Glenda, the Mediocre Witch: A Fractured Fairy Tale

1286331458Many, many years ago, in a land far, far away, a young girl named Glenda sat across the desk from her school guidance counselor.

The counselor was visibly nervous.

She rustled her papers and chewed the paint off her pencil. “Can I be brutally honest?” she asked.

“I’d prefer if you sugar-coat it,” Glenda said.

“Alrighty then,” the counselor said, “Your career prospects are limited.  You lack the looks for a fair maiden. You haven’t the smarts for wizardry and given that you flunked phy-ed, forget about a career in agriculture.”

“Do I have any options?” Glenda asked.

The counselor picked a chip of pencil off her teeth, “I can think of only one,” she said.

So Glenda changed her major to witchcraft and she was no better at it than she was at anything else.

She couldn’t handle a broom. She forgot her spells. She lacked the heart to scare children and the courage to scare their parents. The only thing she could master was turning things into amphibians – yet she scraped by.

A month prior to graduation, the counselor called her back in.

She was even more nervous.

“You aren’t much of a witch,” she said, chewing her nails, “besides the enlightenment has disrupted our business model and frankly, there is not much I can do for you.”

“How am I going to repay my loans?” cried Glenda.

“About that,” the counselor said, “I might have one opportunity but it isn’t much. There is a kingdom in the far, far north that been without a witch for decades. You will just have to make due.”

So Glenda journeyed to the far, far north to revive an abandoned practice.

What she found was worse than anything she imagined. The local population was so poor, so sickly and so devoid of hope that they lacked even the luxury of superstition.

Her office was a mere hovel in the woods – barely worthy of the name. The roof had fallen in, the wicker walls were no more than mouse nests and the hearth,  a pile of rubble.

Undeterred Glenda set about cleaning it up – which all had to be done manually because she never mastered the broom. As she worked, the young prince of a nearby castle rode into her yard.

She was not impressed.

He was short, squat and had hair like a dirty mop.  He couldn’t even sit on a horse properly. He was no prince charming and  wasn’t all that bright either.

Nor was he impressed with her.

But call it what you will, perhaps the magnetism at the bottom of the barrel but both fell instantly and hopelessly in love.

Soon they were married and would have lived happily ever after – but for complications.

***

Within a year, the couple was blessed with a handsome and brilliant baby boy and with each passing year, the child became even more handsome and even more brilliant until it reached the point where neither parent could stand him.

“I am sick of being asked if he is really mine,” wailed the prince, who was now a king.

“And I am sick of the little snot correcting me every time I open my mouth,” griped the witch, who was now the queen.

“At least you can understand him,” complained the king, “half the time, I don’t know what language he is speaking.”

“He’s so vain,” sniped the queen, “when his little nose isn’t in a mirror, it’s in a copy of Maxim or GQ magazine.”

They both agreed the boy needed a lesson in humility.

“So what are you going to do?” the king asked.

“Me? You are the king,” exclaimed the queen, stating the obvious.

“Yeah but you’re a witch,” said the king.

“Hmmmm….”

Glenda didn’t have to think long about it because as a witch she only knew how to do one thing.

Poof!!

***

Many years later, a beautiful princess bounced a golden globe off the head of a frog who was lurking in a nearby pond.

“Shizzle!” cried the frog.

Author: Almost Iowa

www.almostiowa.com

22 thoughts on “Glenda, the Mediocre Witch: A Fractured Fairy Tale”

  1. Hmmm…from an engineer’s perspective only, too many moving parts. I think it far more likely a changling child’s fairy folks, suddenly waking one morning to find a changling of different sort–a teenager–tossed him in that well to drown (wholly understandable), forgetting it was a magic well.

    But your story is very nice.

        1. No worries, I miss participating in forums where writers critiqued each others work. What you said was correct and helpful. Blogging has a shorter development cycle than longer fiction and sometimes it shows.

          1. Dear Mr. Almost;

            If I had the “problem” you do–that your technical writing chops are so skilled that you can spin a sow’s ear into, if not always a Gucci, at least a passable knockoff–I wouldn’t be frettin’.

            But, I suppose it is possible that it is that very frettin’, and working at those skills, that gained them, while some nameless less-skilled folk unwilling to invest equivalent time and effort, unconsciously take petty potshots–to their shame.

            SO glad I ain’t a member of THAT club!

            1. Dear Outlier,

              Given that Hormel is just down the road, I have an inexhaustible supply of sow’s ears. You would think I could turn at least one of them into a Gucci, but it’s harder than you think. What makes it harder still is that I have never actually seen a Gucci and wouldn’t know what one looks like if I had.

              So what do I do?

              I wander about with my sow’s ears, asking people, is this a Gucci? Am I even close?

              What makes it hardest of all is being Midwesterners, the people I talk to are reluctant to say anything not nice. So, I find myself unwittingly peddling sow’s ears as Guccis.

              I tried to get help from professional Gucci makers whose critiques are helpful but when I present my wares to potential customers – they say, “Oh! That’s a lovely Gucci but it’s not something I’d buy.”

              In the end, I would prefer the advice of the people who I am trying my best to please. 🙂

              1. I am a Midwesterner. We ain’t that polite. (Think “Chicagoans”. That’s where I’m from.) All those people telling you you write really well and your pieces rock are telling you the truth.

                Your trash whirlwind story is a Gucci. Or, to use a more appropriate award, let us call it a Twain. I didn’t go back and re-read to see if I still think so upon a second read–but it would actually be my third. That first day, I read again immediately just for the pleasure. That day, I found the piece brilliant.

                (Because I’m me, I’d manage to find some miniscule nit to pick tiny improvement to suggest, but never mind that.)

                FYI, I had to google “most expensive purse brand” to come up with “Gucci”. Below are two apparently piss-poorly-written posts of mine, one of which the dear Maggie gave me my sole pity-Like on, that reveal my opinion of effing women’s handbags (as if that “effing” hadn’t already done so).

                https://outlierbabe.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/the-dentist-and-the-purse/

                https://outlierbabe.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/how-the-other-half-shops/

    1. I figured it was about time someone dug into the story behind the story – that and I am reading A. J. Jacobs Fractured Fairy Tales. The scripts from the old Bullwinkle and Rocky Show.

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