Adult Fairy Tales For Millennials
All the internet-based outlets wanted The Princess to write for exposure.
The Little English Major
Once upon a time, there lived a Princess in the Kingdom of Attorneys. The Princess was forbidden from engaging with the world below her family’s skyscraper, but she collected all the land artifacts that made their way up the tower: a stray coffee shop punch card, a knock-off Goyard bag from the lost & found, a Hunger Games paperback that she furtively stole from her father’s secretary. These things spoke to her of another life, one that would free her from the confines of the 88th floor.
One fateful day, King Senior Partner caught the Princess ogling an electrical engineer who had come to fix the tower’s faulty broadband. Full of rage, he destroyed the girl’s collection of middle-class treasures. “This is who you are!” he said, gesturing at the tower’s lacquered boardroom. “Not,” he said, pinching a tattered copy of Nylon Magazine between two fingers, “this.”
Overcome, the princess cried out, “No, Papa! I love that! I want to be an English Major!” Her father gasped and banished her to her room, which was actually a suite of three rooms, so not that bad.
Late that night, she got online and made a pact with the Student Loan Witch: In exchange for debilitating, non-dischargeable debt, she would be allowed to live on land amongst the middle class and major in English.
Away at school in a foreign fiefdom called Ohio, she fell hopelessly in love with the university’s literary magazine. She saved it from certain death by holding a very successful erotic bake sale fundraiser, and as graduation approached, she planned to be a writer and felt certain that her happiness was secured.
(But this is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, not the Disney version.)
Although she loved the publishing industry dearly, it abandoned her and married the internet. She tried to get on board, but all the internet-based outlets wanted her to write for exposure instead of actual money. Tragically, she starved to death within a few short years.
Okay, really she became a receptionist at a boutique fitness studio, which is almost as sad.
Hansel & Gretel & Moon Unit
Long, long ago (like, back in 2014), there was a Woodcutter who lived with his second wife and three teenaged children. Their names were Hansel, Gretel, and Moon Unit, because their parents had been hippies in the ‘60s and liked to consider themselves unconventional.
The family lived comfortably until a terrible blight of the Atkins Diet arrived in the land. “Jesus,” said Moon Unit, “can’t we have some goddamn bread?” “No,” said the Woodcutter, “and for that lip, I’m going to confiscate your phones!” And with that, he banished them to the forest to gather kindling for their stepmother’s artisan wood-burning stove.
Without their phones, it didn’t take long before they were completely lost. “My blood sugar is really low,” whined Hansel. Miserable and hangry, Moon Unit & Gretel nodded in agreement.
Suddenly, they came upon a wonderful gingerbread house in a clearing! Famished, they fell upon the house and totally wrecked their keto.
Unbeknownst to them, the witch who lived there had seen them approach and hatched a plan. You see, she was doing a Whole 30 to kick her killer sweet tooth, and when the three teens approached, she saw a great source of protein and healthy fats.
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She went outside. “Come in,” she said sweetly, “I have so many treats to give you.” The teens, exhausted, happily accepted the invitation. “You must stay,” she said, “for surely you are gravely mistreated at home.” “Nah,” replied Hansel, “Our dad and stepmom are actually cool. They just got married, so dad is going through this weirdly demonstrative parenting phase. But he’ll chill soon. Can we use your phone to find our way home?”
“NO!” the witch shrieked. She flew over to the door and fastened the lock. “Foolish children! I’ll have you for supper with some zucchini noodles!” Hansel, Gretel, and Moon Unit exchanged glances. “Um,” said Gretel, “I’m not sure you can imprison us. The bolt on that door is a candy bar sliding into a donut. Like, we could just eat it and leave.” By the time Gretel finished, Hansel and Moon Unit had already chewed a large hole in the wall.
“CURSE YOU!” shrieked the witch, “If I can’t eat you, I’ll hex you with a subprime mortgage crisis that will doom your entire generation to downward mobility!”
“Honestly,” said Moon Unit as the three walked away, “given the exploding cost of college tuition, we sort of already expected that.”
Once upon a time, there lived a man who stole some kale from his neighbor for his pregnant wife. This was both rude and foolish, because his neighbor was a powerful witch. One night, she caught him and threatened to curse him if he didn’t give her his unborn child. Being a dopey and juvenile ‘90s-sitcom-husband-type, he agreed. His wife was used to his doofus-y antics, so she just rolled her eyes while a laugh-track played in the background.
The child was born and given to the witch, who named her Rakalezel and locked her in a tower, because the other witches in her book club raved about the positive effects of tower-parenting. To keep Rakalezel safe from the many dangers of the outside world — crime and drugs and violence and vaping — the witch sealed the tower’s door. When she wanted to see her, she’d text “Rakalezel, Rakalezel, turn on your webcam” and the two would chat over Skype.
But Rakalezel was lonely. Her only companion was a YouTube supercut of celebrities dabbing. Then, one fateful day, Rakalezel discovered Tinder. There, she encountered an affable hippie who explained that the crime rate was actually declining, and that the impact of crime was exaggerated by conservative media outlets to fuel the prison-industrial complex. They exchanged SkypeIDs and spoke every night, falling deeply in love.
Unbeknownst to Rakalezel, the witch had installed spyware on her phone (by the way, did I mention that the witch was a conservative megadonor? Well, she was). When she found out about the hippie, she fell into a rage and banished Rakalezel to the desert. That was actually perfect, because the hippie lived in New Mexico. They got married and had twins, and they tried not to be such overbearing helicopter parents themselves. They lived happily and dabbed often.