At a writing workshop the other night we were asked to write a fairy tale that started with “once upon a time;” included a secret and a betrayal; and ended with either “they lived happily ever after” or “things only got worse from there.”
All in seven minutes.
Here’s my attempt:
Once upon a time there was a hobo who lived in an abandoned caboose parked next to the castle moat.
No one knew how long the hobo had lived in the caboose or how long the caboose had been parked beside the moat but generations of kings swore they had learned the secrets of the kingdom at the hobo’s knee.
One day the hobo was walking beside the moat, trailing a fishing pole into the water hoping to catch his dinner, when a knight drew alongside of him on a horse.
“You there. Is this King Carleton’s castle?”
The hobo pulled his line from the moat and examined his hook. “It is.”
“Run inside and tell the King that Sir Donald has arrived to woo his daughter.”
The hobo stood his ground.
“Move.” Sir Donald nudged the hobo with his foot.
“I can’t go inside the castle walls. If I do, the spell will be broken.”
The knight dismounted. “What spell?”
The hobo shook his head. “If I tell you, the spell will be broken.”
Sir Donald drew his sword. “And what happens to the spell if I kill you?”
“If you kill me, the spell will be broken.”
The knight stabbed him through the heart and the hobo slowly bled to death at Sir Donald’s feet.
Things just got worse from there.