Once Upon a Sorta, Kinda, Not really Fairy Tale


Fiction Friday Again! Can you believe it’s been a month, and the stories keep on coming! Enjoy this short little intro, possible prologue, to a love story that’s brewing in my head. And heart. 


Growing up, Dad always read us bedtime stories when Mom worked nights. “Only two books.” Dad laid down the law. He was tired from playing cops and robbers all day. He’s a cop.I stared at my collection of Curious George books, and the grueling choice of choosing only one yellow binder aged me. I’m sure of it. For Meg, my older sister by one year, the choice was simple. Beauty and the Beast—every, single, time. That’s about the only thing our books had in common. The color yellow, that is.

Dad would come up behind me as my fingers roamed back and forth over the row of twenty-one adventures and clear his throat. Then cough again. He never coughed a third time. The second time warned me that if I didn’t choose, he would.

I learned quickly to close my eyes, count to three, and reach for George. Else possibly be stuck listening to two princess stories. And that is just wrong when you’re the little brother, trying to define manhood in your early years.

Well, Dad knew all about manly things. Like fighting, wrestling, and putting the bad guys behind bars. And even though I had to endure night after night of “Once upon a time,” Dad somehow managed to spice it up, so we heard a slightly different story every time—the latest always more action-packed than the last. Sheets turned into capes. Pillows transformed into explosives. And the carpet, lets just say Aladdin could have benefitted from the time-travel, dimension-hopping potential of the seemingly insignificant rectangular blue remnant where we wiped our feet before jumping into bed.  Dad helped us to step out of our hum-drum lives when he posed to launch off the small rug into a story. Wonder if Dad knows that he became a bigger super-hero than any whose story he told in that tiny adventurous act?

When Mom read Meg’s favorite fairy tale, the blankets became Belle’s dress, which flowed longer and twirled wider than there was room space to justify such elaborate dance moves. Even though mom was clumsy, gravity eventually brought her tumbling into our bed to finish the story. A tale in which the princess was gorgeous, accessorized her wardrobe with the latest and greatest jewelry and make-up, and her heels. The six-inch ruby-red stilettos were no match for her adversaries. Perfect for the dance with the Beast, that would have Mom back on her feet, pulling me up to play the part of the soon to be prince and…Forget about it! It would go on forever.

But Dad was a whole other story. When the battle to save the princess approached, his voice grew deeper, the twinkle in his eyes brightened, grenade-disguised pillows flew through the air, and the bed bounced, a lot, as his arms flew with animation. Next thing we knew, Nerf guns fired with the power of top military secret weapons, back up troops climbed in from windows and holes in the roof, bullet-flying and sword swooshing battles ensued, and he rarely left out the life-threatened hostages. I bet Belle never saw any of that coming.

Bottom line, the princess was rescued in the end. The beast found his inner Prince. And, of course, the Prince got the girl. And they lived happily ever after. Until the next night. Because life’s a battle. A daily fight. 

And years later, when I first laid eyes on the young lady I planned to fight for, I knew exactly how to win her heart. As soon as I overcame two minor problems. She had no idea I existed. And the enemy? Only the most popular guy in high school. He looked a bit more like a prince than me in his purple converse high tops and Justin Bieber hair thing he had going on. Only a guy with serious confidence can pull off purple shoes.

I had one thing going for me. And it was my secret weapon. Just had to kick-start it and test it out on a couple of friends to see if they thought it had princess-lassoing potential. Because in the end, I didn’t exactly want her to feel like I cast a spell on her or she was tricked into my arms. But a little magic never hurt anybody. As far as I knew.  

And that’s where my story begins.

Do you believe in fairy tales? Love at first sight? Do you have a favorite children’s book or Disney Princess story?  

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