Fairytale Realism: Ogre and Fairy

“As Vincent and Joan approached the castle on the Northern shore of the lake, they were guided by a hideous scratching noise.  A grinding yowling, a churning tumult: before the gates to the castle, the ogre was using a grinding stone to sharpen stakes.

“‘Well?’ Joan said to Vincent.  He looked at the size of the ogre– 350 pounds if an ounce– and then back to her.

“‘Urrr…’ he slithered down from Boa’s back.  ‘Ummmm.’  In one jerky motion he pulled his rapier and charged at the ogre and began hacking at the monster’s legs.  The ogre didn’t notice at first, but eventually swatted the boy aside.

“‘Oh, for heavens’ sake!’ said Joan.  ‘That’s not even how you use that kind of sword.’  She took Vincent’s rapier from him and turned to look the ogre in the eyes.  ‘Sir,’ she said, ‘you have eaten this boy’s parents, and now must suffer the consequences.  Prepare to defend yourself!’

“Moral alert.”

“Um, boys are dumb.”

“No, contemporary society has seen a reversal of traditional gender roles, whereby males are frequently sheltered and innocent, while females– confronted with protecting themselves and their sexuality at a young age– are world-wise and know how to defend themselves.

“The ogre picked up Joan and Vincent bodily and stuffed them under one arm.  Grabbing Boa’s reins he lead them up into the castle and down the steps to a gloomy dungeon.  He threw the boy into an empty cell and put Joan down on her feet.

“‘Will ya-you,’ the ogre stuttered, Joan had never been so scared in her life, ‘join me for tea, Mah-madam?”

“‘Tea?’

“The ogre picked her back up under his arm and climbed many flights of stairs to a well lit tower, with a table and several chairs and a china tea set.”

“DADDieeee, ogre’s don’t have tea.  This story is silly.”

“My stories are never silly, Joan, I haven’t finished yet.

“‘My name is Montgomery,’ the ogre told Joan, once tea was underway.

“‘Nice to meet you, Mr. Montgomery.  My name is Joan,’ Joan said.  Hot tea was doing wonders for her self-confidence.

“‘No, not Mr. Montgomery, just Mow-Montgomery.’  There was quiet for a moment.  ‘I hurt my head,’ Montgomery said.  ‘Real bad.’”

“OHhhhh.”

“‘OHhhhh,’ said Joan.  ‘I’ve heard that closed brain injury can bring about violent tendencies.’

“‘I have a daughter, too, like you.  She’s not ugly like me.’

“‘I don’t think your ugly.’

“‘My face is not pretty, but I am ugly.  I do ugly things.  I hurt people and I don’t remember.  But my daughter, she says I am an artist.  She says I can express myself and my hurting people will go away.  That’s why I was sharpening those pencils in front of the castle.’

“‘Those were PENCILS?’ Joan thought.  ‘You could write for years with just one of those.’

“‘There is a li-little fairy I know,’ said Montgomery, looking toward a footstep at the door, ‘but he is always late for tea, so do not worry.’

“‘My GOODness,’ said the fairy, bursting his slim, slight frame through the door, ‘I do apologize.  Had I but KNOwn there was company in the castle I would have arrived more punctually.’

“‘He speaks funny, too.  This is my new friend Joan, Mow-Monsieur.’

“‘OH, new friends are SO divine.  Almost better than old friends.  My name, mademoiselle, is Monsieur Cocteau.’

“‘How do you do, good sir.’

“‘Oh, wonderful, I am simply WONderful.  Is there anything, anything I can do for you?  I happen to grant wishes.’”

“Wishes!”

“‘WISHES?!’ yelled Joan.  What would you wish for in this situation, sweetest?”  Then he added, as her eyes bulged, “don’t be greedy.”

“Oh.  Um, I guess I’d wish that the ogre would get better, and not hurt people anymore, and be a great artist and win awards for fiction.”

“Hmpt.  ‘Monsieur Cocteau,’ Joan said, sincerely, ‘I wish that my new friend Montgomery could write again, and not hurt anyone anymore.’

“‘OH-HO,’ laughed Cocteau, ‘write AGAIN.  What a powerful wish.  Yes, YES, I am seeing something, I am definitely having a vision.  I see a distant kingdom.  I see a ruined city.  Yes, yes, and in this ruined city there is a manuscript, a book, a book of secrets.  YOUR QUEST, will be to find this kingdom, find this city, find this book, and bring it back here to us.’

“‘ALRIGHT, a quest!’”

“‘You are a good friend to me, Joan.’

“‘You go, girlfriend.’”

“Daddiee, no one says That anymore.”

 

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