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The Woman in the Tower

Once upon a time a woman sat alone, locked at the top of a stone tower.

     When the people who had come to settle near the tower first approached it, they discovered her locked inside, and set about freeing her. The question as to whether she had been put there, or whether she had voluntarily ascended was to become a moot point, for when the door was finally unlocked, she refused to descend. Indeed, so often did those who wished for her liberty come to the door of the tower and try to remove her from the top most room in which she had once been locked, that, after a time, she discovered a way in which to lock herself in—and all others out.

     It is unknown how long she remained locked in the tower room, for no one could get inside to see her until a sizable knight who happened to be passing was asked to go up and use his hefty shoulder to beat down the door.

     But when he did so, it was discovered that the tower had been abandoned; the woman’s whereabouts were unknown.

      Rumor passed down through years among the women folk of the village, one that grew louder with each passing age until it formed into legend, that when the woman chose the time to free herself, she had left the tower merrily.

The Old Queen and the New One

 Once there was a little girl who wandered into an enchanted forest. That's obvious. Of course she did. How else do you get into an enchanted forest? The interesting part is what happened when she got there. Which was this:     She came upon an unkindness of ravens. They were singing. Naturally it was a dirge. That's the only thing a raven can sing. As it happens, they were the queen's ravens.      Which queen?      The one who ruled over all the enchanted lands. Haven't you heard of her? She's testy. Aged. Bit of a handful, really. Likes her ravens.      The ravens liked the little girl better. They followed her instead. So... that made her queen.     What happened to the other one? The testy one?      Well, this is a fairy tale, so I think you can guess.     But you'd be wrong.      This is a new kind of fairy tale. One of those modern ones. Where the old women aren't nasty, poisonous old crones (well... not always). Where old women have a lovely, motherl

The Golden Curse

When the light of the sun hit the eyes of the village lass, she cringed. A casual passerby would have thought it odd, but the people of the village knew why she did so: for when the sun hit the full length of her each day, she turned into a statue of purest gold.     On cloudy days, she was safe from the frozen harm. At night the curse was broken with the first light of the brightest star. But on days of sunlight, she was trapped in a form that was particularly problematic, for gold is the ever-desired thing by those who prize security and comfort above all else. For when she was in her golden state, she could very easily be broken into a hundred pieces and used for the very things for which gold has always had a purpose. And it could not be stopped, such was the nature of the curse, by being kept indoors, for one way or another the sun's rays drew her forth from her home at dawn and changed her.     The village was a peculiar one in some ways. The grandest way of all, however,

The Queen Who Learned

 There was once a queen who sought to stop the hands of time, for she wanted her reign to go on forever.      For years she searched for the means by which she could end the ticking of the clock. Her quest carried her far and wide, in and out of magics and sorcery, around and about the edges of fate, and down and through the annals of the history of the world.     She learned and learned, and the more she learned, the further she fell from her goal, until she learned so much that she knew, quite abruptly and all at once, that her search was futile.     Sorrow did not claim her then.     Only the memory of wistful longing.     For though her pursuit had been in vein, she had spent a lifetime learning.

The Stag Whose Heart was Healed

In a land twixt the realm of night and the reign of day, there lived a white stag.   Noble in bearing, regal incarnate, such a creature was born to the authority that he wielded over his land.   And so he lived and ruled all within his purview, unquestioned and held in awe by those who acknowledged him king.     So steady and routine was the nature of his rule that the stag was unprepared for the coming of a white doe to his land.      When first he looked upon the doe, his eyes were filled with wonder at the sight of her.   Upon a second glance, he noted the kindness and care she gave to those she encountered.   And the third time his eyes cast her way, he saw that where she tread, green things grew and blossoms began to bud, as though she herself begot Spring.     But his gaze sharpened when he saw the reverence paid her by his creatures.   A hardness fell upon his heart, and admiration gave way to jealousy.   In his envy there were planted seeds of hate that sprouted fast an