For Christmas 2018, I asked my family to name their favourite fairy tale or Disney film, and from their answers I wrote a short story for each of them looking at what happened after “Happily Ever After” had been uttered.
Well, I did for the stories based on my parents’ choices. The one for my sister went in a slightly different direction (I’ll get to that at a later date).
Anyway, here are my After Ever After stories exploring what some of our faviourite fairy tale characters did next. Follow the links below to read the full stories.
Skoupaphobia: The Fear of Brooms
Does The Sorcerer’s Apprentice count as a fairy tale? If you’re thinking of the Nicholas Cage film, then probably not; but Disney’s animation of the piece of music by Paul Dukas most certainly does. Ducas wrote the music as a symphonic poem (basically music that tells a story). The story itself was an 18th Century German poem telling of an old wizard who leaves his apprentice to clean up at the end of a day. The Apprentice then enchants a broom to help with his chores and things quickly get out of hand.
This story picks up after the wizard has come back and restored order.
The Spinster Queen: A Lesson Learned from Careless Boasted
Please note that ‘Spinster’ in the title is using the original meaning of the word, i.e. a woman who spins, rather than the modern meaning of an unmarried woman.
This is the third story that I wrote for Christmas 2018, this one for my mum. The story she chose as the jumping off point was Rumpelstiltskin. At the time, I thought this was quite an odd choice as Rumpelstiltskin is not the most savoury of characters. But my mum explained that she chose this because the heroine of the story (the miller’s daughter) saved herself.
I had never thought of the story in that way and had to go back and re-read it to pick up on what she meant.
The story below takes place many years after Rumpelstiltskin has danced out of the Queen’s life and at a time when her kingdom is in trouble.
Insomnia: The Downside to True Love’s Kiss
For this story, I have taken one of my own favourite fairy tales as the jumping-off point – Sleeping Beauty. I looked back at earlier versions of the tale, as Disney managed to gloss smoothly over the original curse, which was supposed to keep Aurora asleep for a full century; not to mention some of the more disturbing and macabre plot points that I won’t go into here.
In the end, it was the synopsis for the ballet version that I found resonated with me the most. This seemed to be the quintessential version of the tale that I remembered from my childhood. It is fairly similar to the Disney version, but does not skip over the one hundred years of sleep. And of course, they both culminate in the ever important kiss that awakens the sleeping princess.
The power of True Love’s Kiss is a common theme in fairy tales (particularly those that involve sleeping princesses – I’m looking at you, Snow White). It is said to be the most powerful force in the world and can outwit even the most iron-clad of curses.
So, this is what occurred to me when thinking about this story: What if the power of True Love’s Kiss came with a downside?
This story takes place a few years after Aurora has been woken up by her prince and is coming to terms with what that downside could be.