A Twisted Fairytale
by Neely Mayditt
Once upon a time, in a little brick house with an orange tile roof, there lived a writer.
Every day the writer invented stories. Sometimes she even wrote them down. And very occasionally, one was
After one such story found itself miraculously transformed from the chaos of random thoughts inside her mind and
into words, the writer decided to make an offering of her story to a great and powerful publisher.
This publisher lived atop a mountain in the distant land of Newfoolem (slightly south of, but nowhere near
Newfoundland). Daily, writers -- pilgrims you might say -- would encircle the mountain (often on their knees, in
the mud) to worship and make their humble sacrifices in the hope that the great and powerful publisher would be
pleased enough to make the light of acceptance shine down upon them.
Time passed. Quite a lot of time, as it happens. But then another truly miraculous event occurred: The great and
powerful publisher (blessed be thy name) shone the light of acceptance on the humble head of the writer in the
brick house with the orange tile roof! Oh blessed be! The writer was beside herself with joy. She had been raised
up, no longer destined to grovel in the mud at the foot of the mountain. At least not for a while.
Time passed. And then even more time - a flood of time - and the writer was deafened by the almighty publisher's
silence. Had she offended the great one? What had she done? And then, when the writer's despair was so great it was
almost unbearable, the great and powerful one spoke and the writer was humbled anew with the great one's words. Her
beloved story was to be published for all the world to see. The great one was conferring with illustrators; had
proposed a publishing date -- had edited the work! The writer was beside herself with gratitude and gave thanks,
profusely. It wasn't often that the stars converged in such a positive aspect. She was truly blessed.
And then there was nothing. A whole lot of nothing. The writer grew old and tired. Her hair fell out. Her teeth
wore down to stumps from too much nail-biting. She knew that she should worship at the mountain that this would be
proper, but she no longer had the heart. The great and powerful publisher had banished her to a world of
One day the writer, now very old and tired - not to mention bald and toothless -- worshipped one last time at
the foot of the great illustrious one's mountain. (It wasn't easy, she had to crawl there on elbows and knees, and
without teeth, it was very hard keeping all that mud out of her mouth.) But the journey was not in vain. She
reached the mountain and dragged herself up on stick-thin legs that shook so badly that all the pilgrims
surrounding her moved away in horror fearing she was in the throes of some fatal disease. And so, singled from the
crowd at the foot of the mountain the o'powerful one saw her!
'When oh when, oh great and powerful one, will I see my little story in print?' the writer begged.
The crowd was struck dumb with awe. It was so quiet you could hear a feather fall. Even the mud stopped
'Oh, that,' the great one replied, 'Um, well, you see it's like this: I no longer want your offering. You see,
in all the years that your story has sat on my desk, catching coffee drips and giving me a handy spot to jot down
phone numbers, I've had the chance to accept many much better offerings than yours. But if you should have another
story, don't hesitate to think of me again.'
What happened to the writer from the brick house with the orange tile roof? Well, that's one story that as yet
hasn't been completed.
copyright Jenny Mounfield