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King Who Orders the Spindles Burnt

I will not allow the thirteenth wise woman to change the fate of my child. Nothing will happen on her fifteenth birthday. She will not prick her finger on a spindle and fall asleep for a hundred years! I will not have any of the queen’s women meddling in my...

Demon Wind

At the crack of midnight, I flew out of the snuff box and spoke to the one-legged toy soldier who was staring at the paper dancer in front of the castle. “Don’t look at things that aren’t intended for the likes of you!” I shouted. Then I...

Rat in the Tunnel

Who comes through my tunnel? A one-legged soldier in a paper boat! I get into his face. “Have you got a passport? Out with it!” He grips his gun and stares ahead. No fear? I’ll show him my teeth. Then he’ll pay the toll. A strong current pushes...

Overtaken Queen

I was playing with my two-year-old son on the boat deck while my husband and the crew napped below. We were having a lovely afternoon when I noticed something black coming toward us from the sea. As it approached, I saw that the figure was a fearfully ugly witch...

Straw King

I figure that my best chance of getting her to spin straw into gold was to threaten her with death. Isn’t necessity the mother of invention? I heard her weeping behind the door. I felt no sympathy. I thought, well that’s what you get for having a boastful...