Happy Endings

Queen Grimhilde sat in silence watching the room around her with a smile in her dark eyes. She listened to the complaints and the upheaval with joy.

“That little brat stole the man of my daughter’s dreams!”

“They all ended up with the man of their dreams!”

“What makes them so special?”

“Where are our happy endings?”

She decided it was time to step in and get this started, “Ladies and gentlemen, that is precisely why we are here.” She smiled widely, her red lipstick standing out against the fairness of her face. Everyone turned to look up at her in her throne at the head of the table, “I know I haven’t been the friendliest of hostesses in the past, but I think we can settle our differences for the sake of getting our happy endings, don’t you think?” Her voice was husky and demanding.

Maleficent was the first to agree, “Yes. I think we can settle our differences,” she smiled too, her dark blond hair pinned up to her head, “As long as Aurora gets what she really deserves.”

“And she will,” the Queen smiled.

“So, what are we doing?” Gaston boomed, his black hair tied back at the nape of his neck.

The Queen laughed, “Oh, Gaston, patience darling. You will get your Belle back.”

“Ha! I don’t want that harlot back. Someone says they’re going to marry you? They’re supposed to marry you. Not go off and get it on with a monster. No. I have something much worse planned.”

Everyone looked at him.

“Don’t worry dear, you will have your revenge. I promise it.” The Queen took a sip of her wine from the jeweled goblet in front of her.

Ursula ran her hand through her long, black hair, “What do you propose we do?” Her dark green eyes shined mischievously.

“You know what I think?” Lady Tremaine began haughtily, “I think we should just steal their Prince Charmings.”

“Don’t worry Lady Tremaine. We will do that and more. Those worthless little girls will pay for their actions.”

Jafar, who had been silent the whole time, now spoke, “Ladies,” he nodded, “Gaston. I have a plan.” He smiled a crooked smile, his voice sounding more like a serpent than a man.

The Queen nodded, “Very well.”

“But we will need a few others to join the party. Don’t worry. They have the same motive as we do.”

“Very well. What is the plan?”

“First, we must let them invite us into their homes. They must learn to trust us.”

Lady Tremaine interrupted, “How do you propose we do that?!”

Jafar’s eyes flickered to her direction in annoyance, “We will be in disguise,” He continued, “Once we gain their trust, we kill their husbands. Inconspicuously,” he added, staring at Lady Tremaine, “They will have no choice but to depend on us. We will—“

Lady Tremaine interrupted again, “But, I want him for my daughters! I don’t want to kill him!”

Jafar sighed, “Okay… I’m sure I can conjure something special up for you…”

The Queen smiled, “Good. We are making progress. We can figure everything out later. I just want to make sure we are all in.”

Ursula: “Yes.”

Maleficent: “I am.”

Gaston: “Let’s do this!”

Jafar: “Indeed.”

Lady Tremaine watched as everyone around the table agreed, “I suppose…”

The Queen smiled victoriously, “There is no way we shall fail this time!” She raised her goblet, “Cheers to us!”

Everyone raised their goblets, “Cheers to us!”

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Changeling

“I hate to bother you, but I have something important to ask…”

The small voice behind Alanna catches her by surprise, and she slowly turns to face a little boy half her size with big brown eyes. She tilts her head at him, slightly amused, “Where’s your mommy and daddy?”

“Well. That’s what I was going to ask,” his bottom lip quivers.

Alanna furrows her brow at the boy, “What’s your name?”

“I… I don’t know…” Tears start to fall down his dirt-smudged cheeks now, leaving pale white streaks in their wake.

They are standing outside of the restaurant that Alanna just got done eating at with a couple of friends, but they’ve already left. Now she’s alone with this boy who doesn’t even know his own name. She sighs and looks around for any sign of this child’s parents, but aside from the occasional passing car, there seems to be no one around.

“Do you remember what your mommy and daddy look like?”

He sniffles and nods his head up and down, “But I don’t know where they are. They aren’t here.”

“Do you remember where you last saw them?” Alanna’s just grasping for straws at this point, and she realizes that she may end up having to call the police.

He nods again and points in a vague direction straight ahead.

Alanna takes his hand, “Alright, show me.”

The boy takes her straight down the street and right into an alley between two buildings. Their footsteps echo against the walls and somewhere water is dripping ceaselessly against metal. The only light is the moon peeking through the two buildings and reflecting against the puddles of water on the uneven earth.

They stop.

“Your parents were in this alley?” He doesn’t respond, but his grip on Alanna’s hand becomes increasingly tighter. Tighter until she can’t tolerate it any longer, “Hey! What are you doing?” Suddenly something cracks and she yelps in pain.

Her knees buckle underneath her and she falls to the ground; she’s face to face with the boy again, but this time his eyes are not brown. His pupils are so dilated that his eyes appear to be black holes, and his mouth forms into a circle of sharp teeth. He then lurches forward, latching himself to her neck just above the collarbone.

Her screams pierce the air like ice sickles for just a few seconds until the life fades from her eyes and the blood from her veins. The boy pulls away to lick any stray blood from his lips as Alanna falls face first into a puddle, lifeless.

He sighs and then drops to the ground in pain as bones break and muscles contort and bulge every which way. He grunts and yells in agony. After five minutes of this, he is just a heap on the ground.

He slowly lifts himself up, but instead of a little boy, he is now the blonde beauty he just sucked dry. He, or she rather, examines her dainty hands and giggles, trying out her new voice. As she begins to walk back out of the alley, she says, “And that is how I ended up becoming the proud owner of this body.”