A Tinder Tale

Once upon a time, in a tropical climate, far from the equator, Rumpelstiltskin and Goldie Locks met on a dating app. They had both moved there after some horrible incident in their home lands which they were both trying to avoid thinking about. The locals never really gave them much interest and didn’t really bother making them feel welcomed.

At the very same moment, they both had a similar idea. Perhaps they could find what they were looking for with another tourist and so they downloaded the app. Their’s was the first profile to pop on the other’s screen and they matched. it seemed almost destined, like it was being written by some divine force.

Rumpelstilskin was a bit unsure of his identity. He was an alchemist. That much he was sure of (and his gender for now) but what he really longed for was some Aryan looking goddess to validate his self worth and fall hopelessly in love with him.

Goldie Locks wanted a home and a family. As a child, she longed for it so much that she thought she could magically manifest it into being. She was wrong, that much she was sure of (for now). Her therapist had convinced her of this, after many iterations of the same advice, warning her from seeking shelter in the woods.

There first date was a true fairy tale and quickly Rumpelstilskin built a home of gold for them in the center of the city. They married the same day in the courtyard and became King and Queen of the land. Their dreams had come true. They found love in a hopeless place. But like most whirlwind romances, they didn’t spend enough time getting to know each other well enough and expected that for the first time the fates were working in their favour. How naive.

Goldie Locks spend most of her days inspecting her newly built home. At first this filled Rumpelstilskin with joy. He was a proud craftsman. But slowly, and with an accuracy that seemed implausible, she offered critique and Rumples (as Goldie Locks had decided was a more fitting name) was compelled to make amends.

And so for a decade, Rumples spent his days following Goldie Locks around obeying her commands while she refurbished the house. He soon tired and turned his attention to food. He didn’t know she was a foodie as well.

Goldie Locks, so obsessed with her dream home had no interest in sex. Eventually Rumples demanded a child. His manhood was being questioned consistently and he longed for a child who would love him instead.

Goldie, whose heart was usually locked, stiffened at the proposed invasion of her body. She had designed the house for a child, but hoped instead to be treated like a child, with everything catered just right to her.

“No this idea was too too bad,” she thought but could not find the words to explain it to Rump which she started calling him after his demand for a child.

Rump, still in love, was willing to cut a deal, find a way to make it all work. They had never discussed their pasts in proper detail, but perhaps there was some reason she did not want to have a child that she was struggling to talk to him about. Secretly, he stalked her profiles until he found some clues about where she grew up. That night he told her about his concerns for her and asked to meet her parents.

The walls of Goldie’s heart started to crack and her locks were about to stop working.

Goldie was an albino. And she knew that Rump would not love her if he knew. For perhaps his child would be a shade of brownish black that he could not bare to accept.

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And if the child is a shade darker than they, wouldn’t that ultimately put Goldie in a situation wherein she either had to lie and pretend she had a lover or risk revisiting her past from which she fled? Goldie was aggrieved, and she gradually developed trichotillomanic symptoms.

Similarly, Rump was severely afflicted. He could not understand nor grasp how Goldie Locks, the woman he fell madly in love with a decade ago, the very woman who harpened on having a family – “creating” was the verb she would often use – that very person was now, more than ever, irrevocably against the notion of a child.

Rump knew it wasn’t just the sex. After all, she fetishized short men – whether twistedly or not. She rubbed his groin and made him moan many times. He, on the other hand, tasted her entirely, savouring her profusions, whatever her body could provide him, except for an offspring.

Time trickled by and things grew… Well, they grew grim, for lack of a better word. And Rump, maddened by the inexplicable ludicrousness of Goldie’s constant rejection, finally decided to break his own rule: Never solicit deals for personal ends. One night, after making sure that Goldie was fast asleep, he snapped his fingers and teleported himself to a place he never thought he would visit again: Egypt.

It was not the country he once knew in his youth; Egypt had turned into a modern city under an unforgiving sun. Rump was standing in front of an old shack, off the Nile river. It was destined for Rump to meet his nemesis once again.

Afreet, the Arabian devil, the hoarder of things, and – most important – the storyteller, predicted this encounter and the reason behind it. And so, upon arrival, the all-knowing Afreet was already resolved on a deal.

It was dramatic irony, for sure. Rumpelstiltskin was not dumb; after all, he was the master of deal-pricing – especially if the deal pertains to a cached truth. “Your own first-born,” Afreet’s first words were. Rump was reticent for a brief moment before he accepted the trade. Given Afreet’s history, he was not unfamiliar with Afreet’s cunningness – he would get him into a seemingly fair and unbeatable game and later find out it was all nasty scheme out of which Afreet would emerge winningly.

What is the truth which worries Goldie that I must not know of?” Rump asked after spending several minutes rephrasing the question silently the best way he could. Afreet, who had been attentive for the slightest ambiguity in Rump’s question, scowled in logical defeat.

The fate of the first born attracted a lot of attention from those who knew to read the stars. Three cunning men are all present, although Kaggen had managed to remain undetected until this point. He has arrived with the plagues and remained, waiting for this exact evening.

A trickster God, Kaggen didn’t fear the wrath of a demon nor the ego of a short man. His interest was Goldie. Many year’s ago, just before things fell apart, Goldie’s mother sent her away from the village in secret. Albino children were considered the spawn of devils and murdered. Afreet, wondered if the rumours were true.

Kaggen, of a similar but vastly different tribe, needed Goldie for a destiny of his own making and required that when she birthed, Rumpilstikskin would not father the child.

These vastly different interests were coming to a head, when thousands of kilometers away, Goldie who continued to rip her hair as she slept, woke as the last of her curls fell to the floor.

It was a simple nursery rhyme, composed just for her, her mother used to sing it as she plaited her hair. It went as follows:

Here I see a sight of wonder,
Of beauty white and hair asunder,
Beware, beware, tall trees and rocks,
Beware, beware, Miss Goldie Locks.

She struts and strolls, on Igboland’s knoll,
Nigeria’s tell-tale moll,
For she is white, and with little spite
Rules our darkest night.

The power she bears, in the flair of her hair
Makes the legend true, as true as can be,
That if you are to cut her golden plait,
Goldie’s no more than a lioness with no gait.

Goldie did not give way to panic as she clutched the last cluster of hair she had pulled unconsciously. She knew where her husband was, for she felt the chunk of his weight lift off the moment he left the bed. He had mumbled a few words about absurdity. She simply presumed.

Goldie quickly placed her last golden tress in a vial Belle had gifted her on her wedding night. It was supposed to preserve it for a good amount of time before she could make use of it – if she could make use of it, anyway. Goldie was henceforth a bald tale; several of her heart strings detached from one another as she examined herself in the mirror.

Goldie Locks was an Ogbanje child: a spirit doomed to be stuck in an internal loop of reincarnation. Ogbanje children usually died very young and were an accursed burden of Igbo mothers. Nevertheless, Goldie had surpassed the expected years and had outlived her Ogbanje curse. – or so she thought. She always envisioned herself as the one who escaped the fell grasp of death, up until this exact point, where, after long years of silence, Goldie Locks finally decided to seek her twin sister and ask for help.

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Kaggen sometimes referred to as |Agen or Kagg’agn or ‘Preying Mantis God’ or |Kaggen is not really well known. The effects of colonialism was particularly deadly for his people - an era of history that Kaggen felt responsible for considering that he had left his people to join the plagues in Egypt.

But as an ancient wise God of the bushmen from the Southern most tip of Africa, Kaggen was being reimagined by the descendants of the old people. He was determined to correct past wrongs and the surviving Ogbanje child, Goldie would be able to perform the Khoi ritual and become a therianthrope.

Then, transformed into a golden black bear would then mate with an old foe, baby bear. Now more appropriately named, Young Adult Bear and birth twin cubs. Brother bears.

An act that would piss off Afreet.

And so as he was about to answer Rumplestilskin, Afreet realized the forces at work and he pretended not to notice the presence of the Preying Mantis and replied:

Spin Goldie’s last lock in your wheel,
The Golden Thread
*will reveal,
the destiny of the child, surreal.

In a tinder tale that unites all stories
The Golden Thread
determines who fails and who gets all the glories.
Remember now, before things get gory
The first born child is only meant for me.

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The animus between destiny and choice was defined by one factor: time. It was akin to playing chess with both opponents using the same color. While Kaggen devised a schema to get what he desired, Goldie’s heart, body, and soul for once moved holistically, in unison, to favor her immediate arrival to her sister. Goldie had tried to call her several times, yet it was a despicable hour of the night. “Don’t be alarmed. I’m coming to you. x” was the message she sent, just in case.

Goldie conjured up the shoes Dorothy had given her on her wedding night – she later found out they were purchased on YellowBrickRoad.com – and wore them hasitly. She clicked her heels three times. A brisk gust of wind made her gasp in agony; if Goldie had a some invisible strands left still clinging to her scalp, they would have surely been plucked out. Decorum, however, was not necessary anymore.

Seconds later, Goldie found herself in her sister’s arms in a rather large, very unfamiliar apartment. Chielo, the priestess and oracle of the goddess Agbala, had just moved into a new residency, testing her new life as an impressionist painter. After overcoming the shock of seeing Goldie’s perishing state, Chielo quickly got down to check Goldie’s chi, her personal god. All colors of misfortune befell Chielo’s vision. It was then that the sisters developed a plan to avoid the imminent scandal.

Goldie was to wear a wig made of her own hair, which Chielo had personally prepared and stored several decades back. After all, it was in Chielo’s nature to understand the future, and things such as losing one’s own hair was one of the few things she could predict without having to contact goddess Agbala. Goldie was, henceforth, to wear the wig under the pretext that it magically grew back; she was to cast the spell of forgetfulness (bottled nicely in sand from the dead sea) on her husband; and she was to have a baby.

Goldie first protested, relating how she had been trying to keep the truth of who she was away from Rump by purposefully not bearing a child. Chielo, however, commanded trust in her priesthood. “It is not your child that will bring you shame. It is your lack of faith,” Chielo warned. There was a second, more serious warning, however: “I see two sets of eyes laid on you and your husband. Go, follow my instructions, and be on your guard.”

Goldie clicked her heels, once more that night, and returned to the sweet fragrant of her bedroom where Rump had been sitting at the foot of their bed.

Rump’s head was bent. His tears pooled in a crevice of the duvet and while his weeping was sincere, he was also entertained by the growing body of water. He had never experienced sorrow before and he decidedly hated it. He didn’t realize that he was also romanticizing the pain - memories to indulge in at a later time in his life.

Rump was madly in love with Goldie. He had never experienced a woman’s tenderness before and following her like a doe-eyed husband, spinning whatever she demanded for their home was one of the happiest times of his life - he now decided. He wished they could have children

When Goldie returned and found her husband slumped at the edge of the bed she was unprepared for his humility. Before she could say anything, Rump confessed that he made a deal with Afreet and apologized. He was not made aware of Kaggen’s presence by Afreet and so Goldie, too, remained in the dark on this. As Rump came to the end of his story, Goldie blurted, “I am an albino and all of our children will be black, first, second, fiftieth and last.”

Rump raised his head, his eyes red and shining with tears. As much as he fantasized about marrying an Aryan woman, he fetishized black babies. He assumed that he might at some point have needed to convince Goldie to go to Nigeria to adopt. This newly found excitement was bitter-sweet.

He took Goldie’s hands and said, “I don’t wanna give our first born to the devil.”

This aroused Goldie, she now longed to call him, Daddy.

“Then impregnate another and give that child up. No egg of mine will become a monster for Afreet. You made this deal but I do not consent.”

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The arranged copulation was by no means a shift in their relationship status. Both agreed that having an open relationship was not in their best interest and that Rump, who endured performance anxiety, would only have sex with a stranger under the influence of a love charm provided by Anahit, the Armenian goddess of fertility whose potency had long been forgotten by a Eurocentric world.

Goldie chose Anahit’s guidance as she did not trust Venus’s wisdom who was notorious for turning any pleasant relationship into a tribulation of sexual debauchery. The chosen surrogate – as they decided to call her – was most definitely a victim. After all, no one wanted to bear the child of a disreputable Jack. Who better than Moll Flanders – who, with the help of literary necromantic abracadabra, was brought to life – to bear Rump’s child?

“Just don’t send me back to those awful pages” was the only condition she stated when the deal was presented. Flanders did not take any offence as to why she was chosen; anyone who could perform simple mathematical equations could easily calculate the ratio of Moll’s strength to the amount of bullshit men bestowed on her: Moll Flanders had insurmountable tolerance.

The sex was over sooner than expected. Moll grew quickly weary and bored of Rump’s rhythmic movements that seemed overly methodical – inexperienced was the right word.

“When was the last time you f—ed your wife?” Moll said, rolling over the bed as she fixed her bra.

“F—ed? You mean fucked?” Rump asked.

“Yes.”

“Can’t you just say the word…? Or is it too… vulgar?”

Moll fixed him with her gaze. “Had it been my f—ing choice, I would’ve f—ing said f— all the f—ing time, but the author would never let me. F—ing censorship.”

“Ah…”

“How come you get to say it?” Moll began picking up her neatly folded clothes that fit the century.

“Oh, well. We live in different times. Fuck is the least offensive word, actually.”

Goldie waited in a nearby cafe during the entire encounter. When the moment came, she found it completely exasperating to willingly offer her man to a woman – cuckoldry in reverse. Yet Goldie’s love was made of iron, or so she believed. Back in their room, Rump and Moll were saying their very last farewells. As Rump gallantly showed her to the door – as though chivalry after what he’d done would display courtesy in his character – Moll turned to him and said, as an afterthought: “You do know that this is going to be a ghost-baby, right?”

Rump’s eyes widened.

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“well I guess, that is Afreet’s problem now.”
Rump slammed the door and walked away decidedly, but unsuccessfully, guilt-free.

“My first born may be a sacrifice to the devil. But my next would be an ode to love.” He repeated this mantra to himself. At the sight of Goldie, his pretenses shuddered. And he fell into her arms weeping.

She held him tight and promised to love him forever. In a heightened state of co-dependency, the lovers were certain that they had escaped the curse of Rump’s past and had sex with a lack of inhibition. Goldie even slid the tip of her finger into Rump’s asshole, and he pressed against it more eagerly than she expected.

“My first born may be a sacrifice to the devil. But my next would be an ode to love.”

But for his crimes, Karma, the bitch and intersectional feminist, diminished Rump’s sperm count to zero. The ghost child would be his last.

Young Adult Bear was busy watching Brave, the Academy Award winning animation for the billionth time when Kaggen arrived.

“You know, Goldie could turn into a bear as well…”

Moll killed her cigarette on Afreet’s floor.
“It’s done.”

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The coming eighteen years harbored more astonishment than happy days in its bag of wonders. Despite their ceaseless attempts, the couple was not able to conceive another child. It was during the third year that they realized something was wrong. Goldie’s calendar was a combination of monthly check-marks, pinning down the best days for conception. To no avail, however. A few check-ups at the doctor and tests at the clinic concluded that Rump was sterile. Ultimately, the couple grew apart.

Goldie had picked up on a hobby she had long forgotten: writing. Rump, on the other hand, got involved in more and more black dealings. It wasn’t that he became wayward or that he returned to his old ways, but something’s gotta give when two lovers resent each other, thereby rendering their marriage nominal. All the riches of Rump’s backstreet trade did nothing but thinly cover the elephant in the room.

That was true, as true as it can be, until one day, as Goldie was finalizing the third chapter’s draft, she received a call from a private number.

“Hello?” she said, wondering who it was.

A baritone voice responded. “Is this the Locks-Gold residence?”

“Who’s asking?” Goldie did not want to sound alarmed.

“Is this Goldie Locks?”

Goldie raised her voice. “Who’s asking? Who’s on the phone?”

A silence followed this question, at which point Goldie was going to hang up with an infuriating touch of her thumb. But the voice spoke again.

“I’m sorry.”

“Listen, I don’t have time for this. You either tell me who you are or I’m going to hang up. Don’t consider calling this number again.”

“Wait, wait! Wait,” the voice trailed off. “I’m… This is Sam Flanders.”

“And who’s that supposed to be?”

Another pause, and then: “Your son.”

The last two words pulled the carpet out from under Goldie’s feet. Her son? She had a son?

“I’ve… No. Whoever you are, this is a very mean joke.” Goldie hung up on the voice as it struggled to say something.

Later that day, when Rump returned from one of his business trips, Godlie related to him what had happened. At first, she wanted to keep it a secret, but she figured if the marriage was dull enough as it was, she might as well just be honest. After she was done, Rump only stared ahead, motionless.

“What is it, Rump?” she asked. “Do you know this person?”

Rump slowly moved his head to her direction. His adam’s apple bounced as he took a large gulp.

“Goldie,” he whispered. “Goldie, this is… this is not your child. This is my son. The son I gave up to Afreet. The one I conceived with whats-her-name?”

Goldie’s eyes bulged out in brusque realization. “Moll?”

“Moll, Moll,” Rump rolled the name with his tongue.

Goldie was confused. “Why is he calling? What do you think he wants? Wasn’t there a deal?”

Rump fell into a pensive mood; Goldie was insistent.

“What happened, Rump?”

“I think,” Rump drawled, “I think there was a breach. A deal is only valid if everything is intact.”

He suddenly rose form his seat and left. “Where are you going?” Goldie urged.

“Nowhere.”

Rump disappeared.

Afreet stood with his legs spread wide apart. He had a gun in his hand, and from the other end of the gun’s barrel, was a boy in his late teens.

“Happy fucking birthday,” Afreet hissed.

“Please don’t do this,” the boy pleaded.

“Shut your trap, hybrid.”

“Please, please, I’ll do anything, just don’t----”

“I SAID SHUT YOUR FUCKING TRAP.”

The boy lowered his head. Afreet continued.

“Master Kaggen wants you to call him.”

“What if doesn’t recognize me?” the boy whimpered.

Afreet chuckled. “Just say your name. He’ll know what’s up.”

The boy with quivering hands dialed the number Afreet had written to him on a slip of paper. The phone gave a few beeps before finally connecting.

“Hello? Hello? This is… This is Sam Flanders.” The boy wept uncontrollably, but a push from the gun’s muzzle motivated him to collect himself.

“Dad, I’m your son. I’m your son. I’m your son, and they’re going to kill me.”

Sam was displeased with how horribly life ended up being. "Waiting in a dead ghost egg with no possibility of life and then suddenly an old German fairytale sprays some magic into my mom’ story and boom. Here I am. I considered myself lucky at one point. " said Sam.

It was unfair and everyone who read the story knew it.
They just didn’t happen to mind the business of the writer’s mind.

“So this is shit.” Kaggen sits across the hall of the boy’s thoughts.

“yeah well, as one the the three cumming men, I kinda feel like you were implicit.” Sam accused.
“Yeah, I was there.”

Sam stopped for a moment. “And what happened to my mom.”

Kaggen lit a joint and offered it to Sam. Sam refused it.
“Well son,” he paused and puts out the joint. “It all started a very long time ago…”

After Kaggen dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s, Sam, who was now completely intoxicated, reclined his back.

“Goddaaaamn,” he let out as he exhaled the last remains of the joint.

“Don’t fucking say that,” Kaggen said slowly.

“What?” Sam was confused.

“If there is anyone who will be damning, it ain’t God. It’s either me or Afreet.”

“Oh,” Sam chuckled. It was funny. Kaggen was funny. “So you just rescued her from the clutches of the Brits?”

“Yep.”

“And… Defoe… the author… was okay with it?”

“Of course not,” Kaggen spat, waving his hand dismissively. “The white boy thought he was doing Moll a favor by imagining her life. The last chapters are utter bullshit. All imaginary.”

“Damn.”

“Yeah… She had a pretty good deal. She’ll make others believe she’s at their service when in actuality she’s my servant. I’m just glad your father didn’t get to her first.”

“Kind of hard to believe that she’d be anyone’s servant. Mom spent her entire life trying to earn a status in society.”

“Yeah?” Kaggen smiled, baring his teeth. “This is how it works in the world of men.”

“Men,” Sam repeated.

“White men,” Kaggen corrected.

“What?”

“White men, boy.”

“What’s wrong with them?” Sam defied.

At that moment, Afreet, who had been preparing his lunch in the kitchen, let out a glass-shattering laugh. “Crack open a book, boy!”

Sam lowered his eyes. There was always a bit of truth in what Kaggen and Afreet said – he knew that very well. But this one; well, it hit home. Sam looked around for comfort.

“Men,” Kaggen continued. “Men, women, males, females, black, white, red, yellow, green, purple, orange, magenta, however the fuck they came. Humans,” he insisted, “Put 'em in a cauldron and boil 'em on high temperature. They all taste the same. It’s only the intelligent ones that taste particularly better.”

Sam looked up. “And why is that?”

“They had more time to eat.” Kaggen and Afreet burst into fits of hysterical laughter. “Get it?” Kaggen pursued, turning to Afreet.

Once the laughter subsided, Sam grasped the opportunity to venture out a burning question. “What’s going to happen to me, then?”

Kaggen and Afreet adjusted their backs and relapsed into a deafening silence. They exchanged meaningful glances.

“You’re going to kill Miss Goldie and your father,” Kaggen said with finite authority.

“After all these years, nothing has changed.” thought Goldie.
Her memories hoping between decades, time travelling along the history of her life until such a point where they breach the future. These memories, now imaginings, stir facts, ideas, dreams and determination into a plan.

It was unfortunate that her hair never grew back, but she wore her bald head proudly. It shone. And those who met her in recent years, assumed her name referred to her sparkling crown. But she realized that her rebellion to her sister’s advice was her undoing.

She placed the wig her sister had given her and cast a spell of forgetfulness on Rump. Where ever he was, he would surely forget…something. She returned to the vial, Belle had gifted her on her wedding night which held her last lock. She slid the hair into her palm and inhaled. As she dropped her nose to her hand, she heard whispers coming from the strands. While there were many voices, one rose above the rest:

In a tinder tale that unites all stories
The Golden Thread
determines who fails and who gets all the glories.
Remember now, before things get gory
The first born child is only meant for me.

Goldie gasped. Isolated the strand and scrutinized it.
She held it above a tealight candle and watched it shrivel away from the light.
slowly burning, releasing the stench of evil. much like the smell of grilling a McDonald’s patty.

As Goldie watched her hair burn, she laughed at the tinder. A million kilometres away, Afreet’s body was ablaze. He screamed out to Sam. “Now child! Go!”

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The stench of hate and dysfunction was so powerful, it swathed around Rump in sudden gray-scale layers. A snake it was – no less than the potency of a reptilian predator – for that’s how Rump felt when he suffered a brusque tightening of his throat and chest. “What the…” Rump began as the world around him seemed to swirl in violent circles. His eyes fixed at the floor, and as his legs gave away, he fell in his knees. Someone should help, he thought urgently. No one should see me like this, he contradicted silently. “Oh,” he sighed, as another stab of hate pierced into his aura. Moments later, he was sprawled on the ground, his arms and legs buckled in complete paralysis. Quickly, and quite virulently, he was dragged into a back alley. The blood that gushed out of his nose formed a snail-trail as he disappeared into the obscurity. He was on the street, in broad daylight; there were no witnesses.


“I gave you my all,” Goldie whimpered, a day after Rump’s disappearance. “No text, no call,” she continued. “Nothing.”

She did what she could do, and she followed protocol. She waited for twenty-four hours before she notified authorities that her husband, her dear and miserable husband, had disappeared. Her visceral reaction was not that of panic, but of absolute disappointment. Goldie did not suspect that her husband was abducted. Something told her that he’d left her – left her for good.

“You miserable fuckface. You sad, sad excuse for a… for a…” She wanted to say “for a man”, but she could not bring herself to say it. Rump was a magical creature, like herself; he had no excuses. “For a übermenschlich!” She exclaimed finally. “An überasshole.” The last remnants of her anger deflated as she rolled her third joint. It looked crooked, and more like a Subway sandwich than a proper joint – she didn’t care. Goldie looked around for a lighter, but could not find anything. She stood up, began feeling her surrounding, exerting her mental powers to remember where she put it. As crouched to inspect the space between the couch and the parqueted floor, a disembodied voice above her said, “Looking for this?” She only had a nanosecond before her vision darkened. Someone must have turned off the light, her final thoughts were.


When he woke up, the first thing Rump saw were a pair of colorless espadrilles. He twitched his muscles, but his entire body was tied to a pole. He opened his mouth, but found it sealed – not by a duct tape, as drama may require, but by a tongue-binding spell. His eyes rolled and he let out a groan akin to a cornered animal. The coagulated blood blocked one of his nasal cavities. He let out a sharp exhale through the nose. To his left, Goldie was still numbed to sleep.

“This is it,” he heard Sam say.

“This is it,” he repeated.

“The end of the tale.”


Kelly looked up at her dad, it was the first time he told her a bedtime story. He kissed her on her forehead and got up to leave.

"Dad?’’
“Yes, Kelly”

“I’m feeling a little scared.”

“Good, that is the point.”

Kelly stared at her father, her face frowning and trying desperately to hold back tears, she appeals to her dad, “But why?”

“because life is shit.”

“even in the magic stories?”

“Always.”

The child paused and then sat up with a look of resolve.

'Don’t worry daddy, you don’t have to leave the light on tonight."

Her father switched off the light and left the room.

In those moments before her eyes adjusted to the light, shivers ran through her body and her mind was left to imagine the dangerous demons who are not far away. Then she closed her eyes and realized, it was even darker behind her lids. She thought about the story her dad had just told, deconstructing every detail with her 6 year old mind and then realized, most monsters operate during the day and she will need her strength in the morning.

And so she slept peacefully, throughout the night and every night that followed.

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THE END

Afterword:

This was massive.

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