I put my other fairytale in the “about Diana” pages as it’s not just long, it’s depressing. I can only assume it’s a marker of my emotional state right now, since funerals tend to put family problems under a microscope and my issues might be better viewed with a telescope.
This other fairytale is slightly better/less dark, although some people may be surprised/weirded out that I don’t just want a champion, I want a true protector:
I clutch my box to my chest, and run a gauntlet from the castle. The village people and castle dwellers alike beat me and smack me, aiming for my throat, my mouth, my hands, my eyes. They want to knock the box out of my hand, precious with things I have made, and they want to cripple me so that I may not speak or write again. I say nothing, and huddle over the box which contains my True Voice. A blow to the back of my head sends me to my knees, and just as I’m prepared to be knocked unconscious I hear the ring of steel slicing through the air.
“Stop,” I hear a deep voice say, and I look up, there is a knight in armor that has been spraypainted with bubbling graffitti. “Let the girl have her say.”
A townsperson from the back yells “You can still get her from behind!” and blows rain down on my back, but then I hear slapping, and the heat of a body – three women clad in rags in attitude stand between me and the rest of the crowd.
“She hasn’t hit you,” the little girl says.
“And she hasn’t stolen from you, or killed any of you, or even eaten your bread!” her mother yells at them.
“And it seems that this is all about you simply not liking what she sees.” The crone had her cain raised, and deftly bapped a man who was attempting to get a hand through to yank my hair. “And if that’s the case, it’s not her that’s the problem but what lays before her eyes.”
The crone turns to me. “Go on honey, open the box.”
I open the box, and take out an ornate hand mirror and hold it up to the crowd. Its handle grows and becomes roots in the ground, and the glass expands and expands until every member present can see themselves. In their reflections, every person is naked, clothed only in tattoos that mark their deepest characters. Many are marked with the yellow-green of hatred poisoning, but most are dark purples, and depressed, though the children shine bright with hopeful reds and oranges, all lined with the dark blues of trust.
I hear rage and tears, people throw rocks at the mirror, but it will not break. The three women and the knight protect me with their bodies. Those not marked with the yellow-green of hate retreat in fear at the madness of their neighbors, but I can see when I peek between my champions that a few of them are either quietly moving rocks out of convenient reach or actively stopping their loved ones from throwing the rocks, and some are being led quietly home.
At last, the hail stops, and the sound on the field is that of crickets, frogs and the heavy breathe of those who have spent their anger.
The knight takes my hand. “I will see you to the mountaintop,” he tells me. “And there you will sing.”