A Prince's Fairy Tale

It was the beginning of a disgustingly humid summer. Gray clouds rumbled through the air with the pretense of opening up and relieving the land with rain, but so far none had fallen. People were being lazy, sitting around in their homes sipping cool drinks and reading a good book. The tense atmosphere wasn't preventing people from relaxing.

At least, it wasn't preventing most people.

Far away from the rest of the village, in the elegant castle of Cinderella and Prince Charming, the annual fairy tale convention was being held. The gala event was hosted by a different fairy tale character each year, but with the muggy weather, already everyone was complaining that despite the cramped conditions, the Seven Dwarves's cottage had been much preferable to this year's grand castle. Cinderella, however, was a much better hostess, and she glossed over the complaints without much trouble.

It was the third day of the conference. After listening to the Big Bad Wolf ask for a better health care plan (as he did every year), watching the fairies fight with the Second Little Pig about destroying the environment, and coaxing the Gingerbread Man not to go on strike, everyone's spirits were waning. Fortunately, on the third day they broke into small groups, relieving some of the tension, and the various princes found themselves in a lavish room, complete with water cooler and pool table. As the others ooed and awed at the room, Prince Charming flopped down on the couch and picked up the television remote.

"This is a great room," one of the princes said. Prince Charming twisted around to look at the prince. He furrowed his brow.

"Henry, right?" he asked.

Henry nodded. "From the 'Princess and the Pea.'"

"Ah yes, I remember."

"I don't know why they couldn't specify our names," complained Prince Peter. "It'd make everything a lot simpler."

"Yeah, well, what're you going to do?" said Prince Philip. "Sometimes the name thing doesn't always work out. Look at Charming-he's got three wives!"

Charming shot a grin in Philip's direction. "Yeah, but two of them are just different versions of Snow White."

"What's so bad about that?" Henry asked. He crossed his arms. "At least you got to marry whoever you wanted. I had to marry a genuine princess, and thanks to my mom all she does is whine about chronic back pain."

"Yeah, but at least she sleeps at night," said Philip with a sigh. "Briar Rose never sleeps. Says one hundred years was more than enough."

"Boys, boys!" Charming intervened. "Aren't we supposed to be relaxing? Come on, sit down, take a load off."

"Actually," said Peter, "I think we're supposed to be discussing our roles in the stories."

"What roles?" complained Charming's brother Dashing. "We don't do anything but marry the princess."

"I rescue mine in some versions," said Philip.

"I have to dance," said Peter.

"And I have to ride all over the damn country to find Cinderella," said Charming. "And wake Snow White from the dead and transform into a bear. You wouldn't even have a wife if it wasn't for me Dashing."

"Well that's all well and good," said Henry, "but what about the rest of us?"

Charming shrugged. "Tough luck?"

Dashing folded his arms across his chest and glared at his brother. "Well don't you think it's a bit pathetic that none of us really do anything?"

"And that if we do do something, it's all for a girl," added Prince Opium. "I go blind for Rupunzel! I don't think that's fair."

"Yeah, and didn't she wind up with kids while you were stumbling around?" laughed Charming. "Wow man, that sucks."

"Well," said someone from the back, "why don't we do something about it?"

"Excuse me," said Charming loudly. "Who are you?"

"Prince James," he said. "From 'The Little Mermaid.'"

"Right," Charming said with a nod of his head. "Well then, what do you propose we do?"

James shrugged. "I don't know," he said. "Write our own fairy tale."

The others glanced at each other anxiously and began to whisper under their breath. Charming raised an eyebrow at his fellow prince.

"Just a suggestion," James said over the chatter.

"A good suggestion," said Dashing. "I completely agree."

"For once it could be about a prince," said Henry excitedly.

"And the princess could be the one doing all the tedious, boring work," added Peter with a smile. "Excellent idea James!"

"But don't you think our wives-" began Charming, but he didn't get to finish. The others were already carried away with the plan. Henry had already booted up the computer.

"Alright," said Henry, "let's begin. 'Once upon a time. . .'"


A/n: Just a fun little thing between my books. The fairy tales are based on the Hans Christian Anderson and Brothers Grimm versions, but of course Charming's name comes from the Disney movies. Couldn't resist that. The rest is all mine. ; )

Post more soon.

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