Fiction


Other Tales is a collection of alternative fairy tales; the stories include “The Prince Rejected,” “Ruby and Romulus,” “Cinderella Rejected,” “Jill and the Bean Stalk,” “Snow White’s Father and the Transgender Queen,” “Beau and the Beast,” “Wendy and Polly Pan,” “Sleeping Beauty’s Escape from Date Rape,” “No Mercy in the Garden,” and “A Different Creation.”  Summaries of the stories are listed below.

“The Prince Rejected” is a Cinderella story.  Cindy is a girl whose mother dies and father remarries.  The step-mother treats Cindy badly.  The king of the land calls for a series of balls and invites the young women of the kingdom to attend, and Cindy asks the fairies to help her attend.  Among the guests are Cindy’s neighbors, Lilly and Jeremy Fenn.  As Cindy dances with both Jeremy and the prince over several evenings, she realizes that she loves Jeremy and leaves the before the seven balls are over.  When Jeremy returns home with his sister, he and Cindy are married and are happy.

“Ruby and Romulus” is a Little Red Riding Hood story.  Ruby is Little Red’s great-granddaughter.  She goes to live with her grandmother and great aunt in the woods, where the women are midwives and healers.  In woods, Ruby meets Romulus, a werewolf, and they fall in love.  Despite some surprise from both sets of families, the two are allowed marry and settle in Little Red Riding Hood’s cottage in the black woods.    

                                                               
“Cinderella Rejected” is another Cinderella story.  Prince William’s father holds a series of balls so that his son might meet a girl of his liking.  He is at first bewitched by the enchantment surrounding Cinderella, but then he grow to be suspicious of it and questions it.  He finds that Cinderella is beautiful but simple.  He realizes that he has much more in common with Constance, the daughter of one of his father’s advisers.  Before the end of the balls, the engagement of Prince William to Constance is announced. 

                                     
“Jill and the Beanstalk” is a Jack and the Beanstalk story, except Jill doesn’t go to the giant world to steal or kill.  She goes to try to heal the magical world, to bring love back to the decimated landscape and terrorized people.  Through love, she able to do that before she returns to the human world, her mother, and their farm.  

                                                                
“Snow White’s Father and the Transgender Queen” is a Snow White variation.  After Snow White’s mother dies, the king goes abroad.  When he returns he brings with him Princess Eriana, her daughter, Princess Tanya, and her son, Prince Hakim.  Snow White grows to be very close to Tanya in a sisterly way and to Hakim in a romantic way.  During events leading up to the wedding of the king to Princess Eriana, Snow White discovers that Princess Eirana is a man who dresses like a woman and acts like a woman because his gender identify is female and always has been.  Wanting happiness for her father, Snow White is glad for him and the princess, and at the end of the wedding ceremony, the engagement of Snow White and Hakim is announced.


“Beau and the Beast” is Beauty and the Beast story, only Beauty is a boy instead of a girl.  Beau and his blind grandmother meet the Beast, Nathaniel, in the woods.  Gwyn, the grandmother, was a mid-wife at the castle before she lost her sight, so she knows Nathaniel and the story of his transformation into a beast.  She is not afraid of him, and she and Beau return with Nathaniel to the castle.  The three of them grow close, but Beau and Nathaniel realized that they are sexually attracted to each other.  Beau finally tells Nathaniel that he loves him, and the fairy appears and transforms Nathaniel back into a boy and restores the castle inhabitants. 

                                                      
“Wendy and Polly Pan” is a variation of Peter Pan.  James Hook is a cruel and rich boy who pursues marriage with Wendy.  Though Wendy wishes anything but, her parents are keen on the match.  Desperate Wendy cries for help, and Polly Pandora (Pan) hears her and offers to take her to Everland where she would have to work but where she would be free from a forced marriage.  Wendy hesitates at first, but with James’ continued pursuit, she runs away to Everland where she finds Polly Pan in a committed and content relationship with a girl named Diana.  Wendy meets others that Polly Pan has saved and hears their stories, and she contemplates how the world might change if girls and women rejected boys and men for more nurturing relationships with other girls and women.  

                                                       
“Sleeping Beauty’s Escape from Date Rape” is complicated. Princess Maleficent is raped by Prince Edward, and her parents and others royal to them are slaughtered by King John’s men (Prince Edward’s father) in an effort to seized Maleficent’s queendom.  Maleficent’s handmaid, Maeve, and her brother, Anthony, get Maleficent out of the castle and to the midwife, Hestia.  Hestia cares for the princess; she is also caring for the sorceress, Cassandra.  When they are able to travel, the five of them make for the nearest queendom to ask for help.  Along the way, the children are taught by the midwife and sorceress.  The princess summons a dragon, and her dragon friend and the princess teach the others to summon dragons.  Armed with dragons and weapons, they abandon their flight and return to destroy King John, Prince Edward, and their men.  Restored to her throne, the princess opens up her queendom to magical peoples and creatures.  On a more personal level, Maleficent wishes that rape would cease to be a problem in her queendom, and a bold plan is decided upon where her people are introduced to the worship of the Great Goddess and her ways and with fairy knights and dragon hatchlings seeking out inappropriate sexual behavior and putting at stop to it.  Among those saved from rape is Lady Aurora who has been drugged (Sleeping Beauty) by Lord Phillip.


“No Mercy in the Garden” is retelling of Genesis II and III from Eve’s perspective where she finds her status in relation to Adam unfair and the punishment handed to them unduly harsh toward her. 

                                                 
“A Different Creation” is a retelling of Genesis I where woman and man are made in God’s image, there is no garden and hence no expulsion from the garden, they are told to be fruitful and multiple, and their creation is considered good.  In this creation, humans are to strive to be the best that they can be, and it is a harmonious and loving existence most of the time.     

 

Other Tales II is another collection of alternative fairy tales; the stories include “The Twelfth Princess,” “Not So Happily Everafter,” “Snow White and the Huntsgirl,” “Karen and the Red Shoes:  The Wicked Woman Version,” Karen and the Red Shoes:  The Sacred Version,” “Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’:  The Wicked Woman Version,” “Disney’s The Little Mermaid:  The Wicked Woman Version,” “The Little Mermaid:  The Sacred Version,” “Hansel and Gregory,” “The Frog and the Transgender Prince,” “The Huntsman and the Beast,” “Snow White and Sleeping Beauty,” “Lenora’s Prince,” “The Fox and the Rose,” “Elf Wife,” “Jane’s Knight,” and “Lilith and Adam.”


“The Twelfth Princess” is about Sophie, the youngest princess.  As Sophie and her sisters get older, Sophie watches her sisters get married off and becomes increasing uncomfortable with fate of brides and wives in her culture.  Armed with knowledge of an older, more woman friendly culture, Sophie explores the wild places around the palace until she finds a cave with a pool that gives her a passage into the old world.  As Sophie adjusts to the ways of the old world and partners with a boy named Tobin, she makes the decision to stay in the old world and make it her new home. 


“Not So Happily Everafter” is the story of Cinderella after the wedding when Cinderella realizes that she has traded one kind of slavery for another.  Charming is brutal and insensitive.  He uses her sexually and lets his father uses her as well.  Pregnant with her second child, Cinderella can’t take it anymore, so she drowns herself.


“Snow White and the Huntsgirl” is about Snow White being groomed by her step-mother, Queen Lauren, to be a queen herself someday.  As part of this training, Queen Lauren shows Snow White her secret, a magic mirror, that the queen uses very carefully to watch over the people and to know when to offer aid or assistance to those who need it.  Lord Thomas threatens the kingdom, and Queen Lauren sends Snow White into hiding in the care of the huntsgirl, Tanya and Nathan, one of the queen’s guardsmen.  Snow White and Tanya had always been friends, but having so much time alone in the woods, allows them to develop a more intimate relationship.  Once the threat of Lord Thomas ends, Snow White, Tanya, and Nathan return, and Snow White begins to come to terms with being coupled with Tanya publicly. 


“Karen and the Red Shoes:  The Wicked Woman Version” is a musing on misogynistic elements in Hans Christian Andersen’s original story. 


“Karen and the Red Shoes:  The Sacred Version” is a retelling of Andersen’s story where female sexuality is celebrated and valued.


“Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’:  The Wicked Woman Version” is a musing on the misogynistic elements in Andersen’s story.


“Disney’s The Little Mermaid:  The Wicked Woman Version” is a musing on the misogynistic elements in the Disney movie.


“The Little Mermaid:  The Sacred Version” is a retelling of Andersen’s story where the little mermaid, Serina, falls in love with a human boy, Brendan, and he falls in love with her.  Brendan is fascinated by the peaceful ways of the merpeople, and he asks Serina if he can be transformed and come live with her and her people.  Serina goes to the sea witch, Circe, for help, and Brendan is transformed and adopted by the merpeople.


“Hansel and Gregory” is the story first of Hansel’s and Gregory’s parents’ sudden love and then of the developing love between the two boys.  Fearing rejection or condemnation, the boys run away into the forest.  In the forest, they encounter Herim’s cottage/palace, a refuge from the sexually repressed world they know.  Hansel and Gregory gain confidence with each other in Herim’s palace, but then their parents arrive searching for them.  The two boys are surprised that their parents know Herim and have been to the palace before, but they are relieved that their parents don’t care about their sexual orientation but only the happiness of the boys.


“The Frog and the Transgender Prince” is about Stephanie, the spoiled, awkward princess.  She is given a golden ball on her sixteenth birthday which she loses in a pond, and a frog retrieves for her on the condition that she doe the frog a favor.  She breaks her word and leaves the frog.  The frog finds her at the castle and demands to be her companion.  Slowly, Stephanie begins to talk to the frog and comes to know it as it comes to know her.  Finally, Stephanie realizes that the frog must be under and enchantment, and she hopes the frog will transform into a prince, but the frog reveals that it is a she, so Stephanie chooses to be a prince to be with the frog princess.  Thus the two are transformed into Stephen, the transgendered prince, and Julia, the princess.


“The Huntsman and the Beast” is the story of Snow White’s huntsman, Anthony, after he has freed and warned Snow White to hide from the evil queen.  Anthony wanders onto the grounds of the Beast, Christopher, and the two become companions.  One evening, the magic mirror summons Christopher and reveals to the two boys a vision of the evil queen and three wolves who will go after Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.  The boys go to help the girls, between the boys, the girls, the fairy protectors of the girls, and a dragon, the evil queen and her wolf-men are destroyed, and Christopher is transformed back into a human boy.  Christopher and Anthony part from the girls, but the couples promise to visit each other in the future.


“Snow White and Sleeping Beauty” is a compansion story to “The Huntsman and the Beast” with a focus on Snow White and Aurora, Sleeping Beauty, who become friends and then lovers.


“Lenora’s Prince” is about Princess Lenora and her relationship with a boy, Achilles, who is presented to her father as a slave.  A hostile lord threatens the royal family and the kingdom, and Achilles is set as one of Princess Lenora’s guards.  The two have a strong attraction for each other, and in the conflict, they save each other.


“The Fox and the Rose” is about Running Fox and his clan going to the falls where his clan would meet up with other clans for the salmon harvest.  At the falls, Running Fox meets Rose, and the two of them fall in love.  They pledge themselves to each other, and as their traditions dictate, Running Fox will leave his family and join Rose’s.


“Elf Wife” is about Galan, the elf prince, who stumbles through a hidden passage to the human world and meets a human girl, Magdalena.  They fall in love, and Galan finally confesses his journey’s to the human world and his love for Magdalena to his stunned parents.  Magdalena comes to live in the elf world as Galan’s partner, but she thinks of herself as his wife.


In “Jane’s Knight,” Princess Jane’s party is attacked and her men killed.  Sir Christopher and his page find her, and Christopher comfort’s Jane and takes her back to the castle.  An intimacy develops between Jane and Christopher.  Lady Isabella, Jane’s mother, questions Christopher about his intentions, and Christopher, being a kind and worthy boy, gains Lady Isabella’s approval. 


“Lilith and Adam” is a retelling of Genesis I where woman and man are created in God’s image as equals, and everything is good.  At first life is harmonious between Lilith and Adam, but Adam thinks more of himself and his pleasure.  He rapes Lilith fixated on his own pleasure and his power over her.  For this betrayal, Lilith leaves him, and Adam discovers her disappearance too late to stop it. 

 

First Loves is the story of Julia Gallagher’s sexual development through her relationships with a range of lovers, Ricky Bradley, Beau Jennings, and Ryan Williams.  She is seventeen when she falls in love for the first time with Ricky Bradley, a fellow junior at her high school.  Their sexual relations escalate from kissing to intercourse over a period of time.  Their sexual activity is described explicitly from Julia perspective.  I have tried to make it realistic in terms of a girl’s or woman’s sexual arousal needs and her experiences of sexual pleasure.  Her sexual arousal and pleasure are different from those of the boys’ arousal and pleasure, and the boys enjoy getting her aroused and giving her pleasure—her arousal and pleasure enhances their own.  Julia is an evolving human being not just in terms of her sexuality but also in terms of her emotional and intellectual growth.  She learns quite a bit through her relationship with Ricky, but after that ends, Julia goes to college at Brown University and eventually begins dating Beau.  They have a very intense relationship, and they both learn more about sex and sexuality in their time together.  The very intensity of Julia and Beau’s relationship breaks it apart.  Beau asks Julia to marry him, and knowing that they are nineteen and twenty, Julia can’t and won’t consent to the marriage.  At the close of the novel, Ryan Williams attracts Julia’s attention, and they kiss, and Julia agrees to start seeing him—expecting this new relationship to be another opportunity to learn about sex and sexuality for both of them. 

 

About Kathleen

Kathleen is an Associate Professor at Community College of Philadelphia, an author, a mother to three beautiful girls, and a wife for over 22 years.