Gotta work on the ending. Or not.
November Writing Challenge #10
HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Snow White, sixty years later (age 76) (her husband is Charming)—she is kind
Sleeping Beauty, sixty years later (76) (her husband is Gallant) —analytical
Cinderella, sixty years later (82) (her husband is Handsome)—a little bitchy
~they may be dressed like modern women, but with tiaras, or they might be dressed as Disney or fairy-tale characters, but they should be gray-haired and elderly
A kitchen—era depending on director’s decision, but in keeping with the costumes
the three are seated around a table, drinking coffee or tea or something out of goblets
Snow White: So, Grumpy came to visit last week. He’s the only one left, and he hasn’t changed a bit. He even looks the same. I think he was born old.
Sleeping Beauty: I thought Dopey was still alive? I always thought Happy would outlast us all, given his optimism. He was always so robust. And he was the first one to go, wasn’t he?
Snow White: He was. That took us all by surprise. But Dopey died about a month ago. Grumpy, bless his heart, took care of him until the end. I wanted them to come here to the palace where I could look after them, but Grumpy insisted that Dopey would be more comfortable in familiar surroundings. He was probably right. I wanted to go down to the cottage to see him, but my hip was acting up and Charming thought the ride would be too much for me.
Cinderella: Sounds like Charming. Sometimes I think you two are lucky to have husbands who look out for you. Handsome just doesn’t seem to care what I do.
Sleeping Beauty: That makes sense, though, doesn’t it? After all, our husbands had to bring us back from the dead, so naturally they worry.
Cinderella: And all Handsome had to do was ram a shoe on my foot.
Snow White: And speaking of husbands—I think Gallant is beginning to fail. He can’t remember anything these days—really can’t remember. And he’s taken to standing on the balcony and staring vaguely into space. I got the royal physician to look at him, but there’s nothing that can be done, he says. Age. Funny how that happens. And sad. I can’t imagine the world without him.
Cinderella: Handsome has taken to humming. All the time. It wouldn’t be quite so bad if he hummed tunes, but it’s just humming. She hums tunelessly.
Sleeping Beauty: Well, it could be worse. We’ve had them for many years now. Sixty years! We were such children then, when they carried us off.
Snow White: I was sixteen. A child indeed. All I’d known was the death of my mother and the cruelty of my stepmother, and then the kindness of the gamekeeper (Cinderella snickers) —he was kind. He was a good man. He said I reminded him of his daughter. Had it not been for him, I would have been killed. And the dear dwarves. . .
Sleeping Beauty: I was sixteen, too. Sixty years ago! But then, I fell into that sleep when I was sixteen and was awakened when I was technically one hundred and sixteen. I’d still like to know how she suspended time. I missed so much. It was quite a shock to enter the modern world. The castle was so out of date! But my father let Gallant take charge of updating everything. Poor mother never adjusted, though, and to her dying day she dressed like someone from the Dark Ages.
Cinderella: Well, sixty years ago, I was older than the two of you. Twenty-two. Old enough to know better. I thought I’d never get out of that appalling house, out from under the yoke of those awful girls and that witch of a stepmother. You two were lucky.
Sleeping Beauty: I don’t think Snow White was so lucky. She had a very traumatic childhood. I was lucky, though. The world revolved around me. It just stopped for awhile.
Snow White: And I was lucky in a way. I wouldn’t trade my time in the forest for anything.
Cinderella: But think how much better things would have been if your mother hadn’t died or even if your father hadn’t remarried. You probably would have been married off to Charming anyway.
Snow White: Perhaps.
Sleeping Beauty: Well, it’s useless to imagine what might have happened. What happened, happened.
Cinderella: And I suppose what will happen, will happen? Que sera, sera?
Sleeping Beauty: What?
Cinderella: We have a new court jester. A young man from Spain. He says that all the time. Que sera, sera. What will be, will be.
Sleeping Beauty: I’m not sure I believe that. After all, we have some choices.
Cinderella: I know I did. I wanted to go to that ball, so I found a way.
Sleeping Beauty: At least in the Grimm version you did. Disney made you pretty passive. Actually, he made all of us passive. Me the most of all, I think. All I did was fall asleep.
Cinderella: Isn’t that all you did?
Sleeping Beauty: No! I can’t believe we’ve known one another all these years and I’ve never told you!
Snow White: Tell us.
Sleeping Beauty: I heard the curse—you know—the fairy who wasn’t invited. So burning the spinning wheels was my idea. But then, my father had to figure out where to get thread for the weaving. I helped him set up a deal with the kingdom of Gallant the Fourth. So—-
Snow White: So your Gallant would have known about you from tales told by his father and grandfather—
Sleeping Beauty: Yes indeed. I like to think I played a part in my own rescue.
Cinderella: I still think I had more to do with my fate than you two.
Snow White: In the Grimm version.
Cinderella: Well, of course, the Grimm version.
Sleeping Beauty: But you just used the word “fate.” Can we, in fact, influence our “fate”? Or is fate something that happens inevitably? Are we also “fated” to do those things which lead to an already determined outcome?
Cinderella: Oh Beauty, honestly. Are you a queen or a philosopher?
Snow White: There’s no reason one can’t be both, I think.
Cinderella: It’s fate.
Snow White: Let’s not quarrel. We’re old now. We don’t know how many more years we’ll be able to meet like this. You were both good enough to come here this year since I can’t ride. And next year, who knows?
Sleeping Beauty: You’re right.
Cinderella: You are. We’re lucky women, all three of us. There have been ups and downs, but maybe we really have been living happily ever after.