Once upon a time – A Collection of Unexpected Fairytales.

As part of National Flash Fiction Day (16th May) 2012 SJI Holliday & Anna Meade put the call out via twitter and their websites for fellow writers to put together alternative fairy tales within a maximum of 350 words.

They have now published the collection, comprising a wide variety of tales, 88 in total, all full of surprises and plenty of darkness within – the perfect commuter read or a book to dip into for a short tale before bedtime.

You can get your copy on Amazon, here.

I am particularly pleased about this volume as it also represents the first piece I have had published in anything outside of magazines and fanzines.  My entry ‘No damn fairy tale’ is below, but please don’t let that put you off taking a look and buying for the 87 other cracking tales…

No damn fairy tale.

‘This ain’t no damn fairy tale’.

She felt the hand tighten around her throat as his rancid breath met her nostrils, her back drawn up sharp against the rough bark of the tree as he shoved her harder.

‘So, you can drop the bag – you’re not gonna make it to Grandma’s house tonight, Snow White!’

Charlotte resisted the urge to tell her assailant that he was getting his stories mixed up, clutched her bag ever tighter, knowing the contents might just save her life. Her feet paddled to seek purchase on the forest floor as she was hoisted higher.

It may have been a human killer that she faced, but his power seemed evermore supernatural.

There was movement in the surrounding darkness, she sensed and then she saw it – figures moving amongst the trees, eyes focused on her. Charlotte didn’t fear them, she only feared the man whose hands held her tight, knowing of the trail of corpses he had left in his wake in previous weeks. He’d been hiding right there, in the dense woodland, for nearly a month, his tattered grubby clothing, his growing facial hair more than enough to secure the moniker of ‘The Wolfman’ which had been anointed to him by the local press.

She waited until she felt the moment was right, stared him right into his bloodshot eyes and spoke for the first time since he’d snatched her from the trail.

‘You are nothing.’ She raged. ‘A nobody – just a killer, plain and simple. Nobody special – for all your huff and puff!’

She kicked hard into both his shins, his hands releasing their grip enough for her to slip loose.

Her hand released the bag, dropping it to the floor. The hardened casing of the police radio inside ensured it wouldn’t break.

From the surrounding trees they ran, fourteen officers, most dressed in black and with weapons drawn on their target.

DI Charlotte Grimm stepped back quickly as the figure before her raised his hands and placed them behind his head, smiling as he did so.

Charlotte had finally got her happily ever after.

My thanks to SJI Holiday and to Anna Meade for all their hard work in getting this to publication.

Keith

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