Flash Fairy Tales
Edited by Megan Larson
This column combines two literary traditions, the fairy tale and flash fiction. Flash fiction is an unusually short story form, usually at least under 1,000 words, and often under 500. Flash fiction can be a demanding format to work in, but its size makes it wonderfully useful for publishing. These flash stories will all be fairy tale or children story retellings, and would probably be best appreciated if readers are familiar with the original tales behind the retelling. Of course, with so many cultural traditions among the members of Elfwood, this is not always possible, and so is not a requirement.
We'd love to see your stories -- be sure to take a look at the submissions guidelines below before sending anything in.
Happily Ever After
by Katherine L. Burt
The door clicked shut, the trio hurrying to the waiting carriage. A demon scurried towards my prison, muttering and grumbling to himself. He was a first level demon, not worth the notice of the witch or her two daughters. That’s why I chose him.
“Work. Work. Scratch. Scratch.” His small claws scrabbled against the hearth, struggling with the stone. “Work. Scratch.”
“Hurry,” I ordered, straining against my bonds. He shivered at my tone, but continued at the same pace. His mind was half gone from the work he’d done against the witch’s bindings. But if that were the price of my freedom, I’d pay it gladly.
I’d noticed the loose stone a week before. The witch normally kept a close eye on the hearth and her bindings. But with the sudden ball announcement, many preparations had to be made. Attention was spent on other things than their demon servant. As long as I was quiet, they ignored me. That was their biggest mistake.
The demon had been another happy coincidence. A small cleaning imp, one the witches used when they had not the time or the energy to force me to do it. The loose stone gave me just enough reach to make him mine.
With a screech and a groan, the stone popped out of place. Beneath lay the ash from the spell, normally protected by the stone so I could not touch it.
“Mar it, you fool.” The demon wheezed and reached down to draw a line completely through the exposed part of the binding circle.
That was all I needed. With a roar, I threw off the witch’s hold, letting my power shatter the hearth they’d imprisoned me in for so long. The demon crawled away, mumbling and drooling, completely destroyed. It would have been a mercy to destroy him. Which is why I didn’t do it. A demon had to have priorities.
With a snap of my fingers, my ethereal form became solid. My lush nude figure could drive human males mad. The great wings that swept aside the furniture of the room could lift me high into the nights for hunting. I was free! I could fly anywhere and do anything.
Not yet, though. The witches needed to learn that no one bound a sixth level demon.
I raised my hand and snapped. Black hair became auburn ringlets. Pale flesh was covered with a gown of blood red and black as the wings receded. Yellow eyes changed to a soft brown. Rubies, diamonds, and ebony dripped from my ears, neck, and hands. My claws retracted so that I could slip on a pair of glass shoes.
I picked up the demon and held his eyes up to the light, fixing a stray bit of hair reflected in his eyes before tossing him aside.
As the four woes- demon horses of dark color and wild spirits- pulled my carriage to the castle steps, I made my plans. Two Incubi aided me in descending, their human forms barely hiding the deadly glints of power in their eyes.
The witch knew I was there. Her daughters tried to distract the prince with their wiles. They were beautiful, for humans, and their desperation lent them a certain alluring quality, but they were not Succubi.
As I entered, my eyes downcast, the prince saw me over the head of one of her daughters. It was over in that instant. I won. He took my hand and we began to dance.
It might not be what humans consider a happy ending, but I would certainly live happily ever after.
Flash Fairy Tales are retellings of classic fairy tales or beloved children's stories.
There are a few guidelines to remember for submissions:
* 1000 words or less
* Fairy Tale Retellings or Reimaginings
*In the email that you submit, please include the name of the original fairy tale on which your story is based.
* Stories should be proofread and edited before they are submited. Stories with lots of errors simply will be rejected.
* Woodworks retains first publication rights. This means your story should not appear on your shelf, on your website, or anywhere else until we've either accepted and published it or rejected it, or four months have gone by from your original submission without a reply.
* If your story is accepted and published, we'd like to ask that you wait until next month's publication before having the story appear somewhere else.
* Stories can be sent in at any time. However, only stories received before the first of the month will be considered for publication in that month's issue.
Send submissions to
. Questions can be directed to our contact form.
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