Fairytale Life. Short Story.

Jenny groaned as the alarm started blaring. She turned it off without looking and stretched, yawning as she did so. After rubbing her eyes for a second she sat up and felt around her hair, measuring the length of it. It seemed normal. Well, that was one possibility down, at least she wouldn’t have to use the scissors on her bedside locker to start hacking away lumps of it. That was never a pleasant start to the day. She stilled for a moment and listened to the birdsong. Everything seemed normal, no more birds that usual. Good, that was very good. She stood out of bed and plodded into the bathroom, there she turned on the light above the mirror and examined herself. Her skin wasn’t any paler than usual, no surprise there thought, her skin was already pretty pale. Her hair was the same garish purple it was the day before, even better. Her lips were a little plumper looking, no sign of any other changes though. Smiling she stripped out of her pyjamas and got into the shower. She let out a low hiss as the cold water battered her body and felt herself relax a little as it started to warm. She always started with a cold shower, helped wake her up. Cold shower, followed by warm for actual bathing, then a big mug of coffee. When she was done she stepped from the shower and wrapped a towel around herself. So far she had ticked off the main ones, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Snow white. Though Cinders was never a real guarantee. Jenny generally held off on chores until she was certain she hadn’t drawn her for the day.

In the kitchen Jenny made her coffee and drank a few mouthfuls before it had a chance to cool properly. With the coffee happily warming her stomach she started to make herself breakfast, plain cereal with some milk. She was always a bit paranoid about cooking anything complicated, particularly in the mornings. There was the time when she started and came out of a daze a few hours later to find she had practically cooked a banquet and used all the food in the house. Myths took cooking and cleaning very seriously. That day had not been fun. Stuck in cooking and cleaning mode she had deep cleansed the house from top to bottom, one of her fairy godmothers forced her to go to a house party on the bad side of town and she had barely managed to avoid getting arrested in the drug raid. Thank god for that midnight clause. The next day hadn’t been a picnic either. Stiff and full of aches and pains with no food in the house.

She ate her food slowly and once she was done she left the bowl where it was. So far nothing had really happened, so perhaps today would be one of her free ones. She was due one of those any day now too. If it was she might go for a swim, it had been a while since she had the opportunity. She hadn’t experienced any of the water fairytales but she didn’t want to risk it. If she did end up going all mermaid in the pool it would be hard to explain and then god only knows what all the chemicals would do to her. Someone knocked on the door.

Jenny moved towards it slowly, trying to be as quiet as possible. At the door she looked through the peephole. Harry was standing outside, he was tall, good looking, her neighbour and most of all, male. She crept back from the door. What ever it was good things wouldn’t happen if she opened it. He had taken part in three situations so far. Two as a prince and once as a hunter. He always seemed to chalk them up as weird dreams but he had started avoiding her. Either something had happened or he had gotten caught up in the events of the day.

Either way she hoped he would go away. He knocked again, she felt bad for ignoring him. He had saved her before. Twice. The first time some dude kidnapped her, tied her up and planned to set her on fire. Harry had managed to stop him. The place had been full of cash, which Jenny helped herself to, and Harry had taken some as well. Neither of them called the police, neither even considered it. Everything was taken care of and of course that money was theirs now. The second time he had found her just after she went into anaphylactic shock and managed to get her epi pen to her. That had required a trip to the emergency room which was extremely awkward as Harry started to get Handsy and Jenny found herself going along with it. She counted down from twenty and no more knocks came. Good, he had gone off. If he was caught up in things he would be back, if not he would be safe. She ran through things in her head, looking for anything she might have missed. She was pretty sure she was clean for the day, but the appearance of Harry made her a little bit nervous. What if she had missed something? It wouldn’t be the first time. The stories had a way of manipulating her, making her gloss over some things. Jenny took a deep breath. Everything was going to be fine, Harry was gone for now, if he was caught up in something he wouldn’t leave so easily. She crept back towards the door and looked out again, no sign of anyone. She ran up the stairs and had a look out the windows, being careful not to be seen. Again, no one was on the street. Ok, that was good. She spotted Harry across the road, chatting to a neighbour. Jenny felt herself relax. He wasn’t involved, it had never pulled in more than one or two people unless she started going along with things. Of course in the moment they always seemed like innocuous things. Like going for a nap. She and her family had been asleep for two days before things snapped back to normal and everyone woke up. Which was always a little benefit. If the story started and things weren’t working it would undo itself. Though of course it didn’t matter how many she followed through to completion, another one always came along.

Jenny took her bowl to the sink, rinsed it and put it into the dishwasher. She was fairly certain she was safe for the day, there was no point in wasting it. Besides, leaving too much of a mess could always be a trigger. With the dishwasher closed she grabbed her keys and left the house. Harry spotted her and waved, though he didn’t come over. Jenny waved back, it seemed that what ever he was looking for he had already gotten it. Jenny turned on the radio and started to hum along with the song as she reversed out, pleased that she would be able to get a few things done today.

About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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