"What would you find more upsetting, a talking head or a talking skull?"
I glanced up from my task of grinding herbs and spices.
The new girl was odd, but we tried to help her feel at home. She watched me nervously from the door, holding a hatbox.
"It would depend; I know I wouldn't want to see a head I know," I responded with a polite grin.
She looked into the box, grimaced, hurriedly closed the lid and left without another word.
"Awwh, are you KIDDING?" he asked at the new sign.
I looked. "IT area. Please do not tap on the glass. Programmers are sensitive creatures and it scares them."
"I dunno. I think it's funny," I grinned.
"Well I mean it's TRUE, but that's the point! This is racism!"
"To be fair, I think anyone would be unnerved with someone tapping a window three stories up," my fangs flashed in the moonlight.
A scream issued from inside anyway.
Four years ago, I signed a contract with a vengeful demon and pledged her my first born child.
I haven't been able to get so much as a coffee date since then, let alone get laid, and the demon's starting to get really impatient with me. She keeps texting me dating advice. It's starting to get awkward.
The boat was far too small for the six of us.
We'd cram ourselves aboard and row out to the center of the lake, in the mildest danger of sinking.
The boat was one of two important details; the second?
Sardines in tomato sauce.
We'd all roll open the cans and wait; never for long.
With barely a ripple around her long supple neck, she'd rise; the lake's most famous rumor.
She'd nibble the fish, and if we were lucky, sing us a song.
After we'd woken, washed and had breakfast, we would enter the greenhouse and in a circle gaze into a mirror each.
Sometimes one of us would scream, others fainted - when this occurred an aide would run up to replace the mirror. Eventually other aides would see to the one who had been shaken or swooned.
They never shared what they saw; most of us saw nothing.
I never reacted to what I saw, I liked it too much to have my mirror taken away.
"Oh, she's not in the village," the smitten vampire defended, "She's no common villager, not in the least! Nor does she dress, at all! Ah, the night finally descends! I go to her!"
These words sparked everyone's curiosity.
Secretly, they pursued, the first time many had left the grounds in centuries, all the way into the woods, where they saw her embracing a skyclad woman of wood and leaves emerging from a maple tree.
They all agreed to support their sister's conversion to vegetarianism.
"Oh, but she's just the sweetest thing," the vampire sighed dramatically, wilting with longing against her coffin, "Like maple syrup."
Her sisters shook their heads, astounded; they had speculated the nature of her nightly wanderings over the last few months.
"Personally, I prefer being a bride and feasting on guests who visit the castle," scoffed one, "The villagers taste awful and dress terribly. Abysmal fashion sense, all of them."
The tower was magnificent, polished stone gleaming like gold and crystal in the sun.
The king looked upon it proudly, and presented it to the warrior for whom it was to be a reward.
The warrior spat at the King's feet and turned away.
Angered, the King ordered the warrior imprisoned for their ingratitude.
The guards hesitated.
"With or without their wheeled chair, sir?"
The King gaped, looking over at the tower with all its stairs...
The princesses each received a kitten from their fairy-godmother. All were aghast, except for the oldest, who couldn't have been more delighted, and ended up adopting all six.
They rode in her sleeves, on her shoulders and in the pockets of her skirts, if they weren't running under her skirts; thankfully she was too graceful to be tripped.
They soon grew to be the size of horses and sprouted wings.
Her sisters really missed out!
Summer had arrived with a lazy vengeance in that it had been late, sudden and was blisteringly hot without effort. I was not at all prepared.
I did my best to cope, picking a shady spot in the garden where a breeze might come through with my tail submerged in a discreet wading pool.
The conference calls went great until the ducks came - then nobody could hear me over the quacking.
So then I had to make my bathtub look professional...
The zombies had taken over, but I hadn't noticed much of a change. The air smelled a little worse in some ways, but cleaner in others, and there seemed to be less pests about, both the animal and people kind.
There were generally more seats available on public transport, shorter lines at the stores; so that was an improvement.
Staying inside for the most part and being well covered when outside had worked out well on several levels...
The faeries had been generous.
My table was constantly piled high with the best food, my clothing always fit perfectly, my shoes never pinched or rubbed my feet.
Anyone who knows anything about fairies knows you never accept gifts from them or eat their food, lest you be trapped and beholden to them.
But I decided since I was trapped in my apartment anyway, what the heck.
So far all they'd asked for in return was my Netflix password.
"Are we still doing this?" she asked dryly.
"Yeah," the knight shrugged. "The writer seems to be flogging a dead dragon."
"Wait, is the dragon dead?" the princess asked, "or just asleep?"
"Depends on the continuity," mused the dragon, "I think I'm usually alive, but I'm pretty sure you both killed me at least once."
"So you're like Schrödinger's dragon?" the knight grinned.
"Don't make me eat you again, tin can."
"So, you know how this is supposed to go. The knight gets past the dragon, rescues the princess–"
“–yes," the knight cut in, "I know. We have this the wrong way around."
"I never defeated a dragon before," the princess flourished her sword proudly, "but how did you end up locked in a tower?"
"I never wanted to be a knight," he sighed, "I'm terrible at it. I wanted to be a baker."
"You can be whatever you wish." The princess held out her hand. "Come."
”Listen," she said dryly, "I know how this is supposed to go. The knight gets past the... wait a second!”
“What is it?”
The princess scowled. “You’d better not have hurt my dragon!“
“No, no,” the knight raised her hands disarmingly, “he’s asleep out in the entrance hall. I just snuck past.”
She looked relieved. “Thank goodness. I don’t know what I’d do without Raspberry.”
“His name is Raspberry??”
"Listen, I know how this is supposed to go. I get past the dragon, rescue the princess and we’re supposed to–"
"–get married and everything, yeah.”
"Ok." Confused, he scratched his moustache and adjusted his hat. "So who are you, exactly?”
“My name’s Toad.” The little mushroom-headed boy shrugged apologetically. “Thank you Mario, but our princess is in another castle.”
"Listen, I know how this is supposed to go. The knight gets past the dragon, rescues the princess and they–"
"–get married and everything yeah," the knight finished. "It feels clichéed to me too."
“I’m not actually a princess though,” he said. “But it’s not like I was able to transition properly, stuck in this tower.”
The knight nodded. “I started my transition two years ago,” he said, reassuringly. “I could maybe help you out with that, if you’d like?”
"Listen," she said dryly, "I know how this is supposed to go. The knight gets past the dragon, rescues the princess and they're supposed to–"
"–get married and everything, yeah," the knight finished. "It feels clichéed to me too."
"The truth is, I'm sure you're lovely, but," the princess considered her words, "I'm only into women. Sorry kid."
The knight was silent for a while. "I should be truthful too. I'm not a man. You're the first person I've told."
A tribal Brazilian cottontail. Armed with a sharp spear and a sharper tongue. Sometimes writes stuff. She/her.
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