A fractured Fairy Tale.

Once upon a time there was a small town in the back of beyond . The town was a sleepy little place that didn’t try to do to much. It didn’t want to grow. It didn’t want to change. It wanted to stay asleep. However, on occasion, new people moved into town. Some of them had never been there before. Others returned because they had family that had lived there for a very long time. It was very difficult for the town to change, because there wasn’t a lot of money or desire to do so. Or, when people did try to change it, the dreaded monster Jejune reared it’s uggggly head. It would thwart the growth or the ambitions. Or, it would make progress move very slowly. All in all, it was very hard to make changes.

Now, some people saw this as good. Dogs could sleep in the streets, no one locked doors, and people were friendly. Yet, some of the same qualities that made it a good place to live made it a difficult place to live. There weren’t many shops. There weren’t a lot of jobs. The schools weren’t as good as they could be and that made some people unhappy. These people decided to band together to challenge the monster, Jejune.

Pretty soon, there was more than just a few people trying to get the monster to let go of the the town and let people change. Little by little, there was headway made. Old buildings were saved from being torn down just because they were old. Other groups worked to bring more money into the town. People planned new shops and some even decided to look into how the town was run. This of course made the monster very unhappy. The sad part was that the monster could move from group to group or people to people. It was never in the same place twice, which made it very hard to kill.

Now, in the town, there was a group of people who were suppose to represent the interests of others in town. Some ran shops, while others worked in shops or for the town. Some of them just lived in the town and wanted to help any way they could. They got together and called themselves the Synod. The Synod was a mixed bunch of people. Some of them thought of the monster as an old friend and didn’t want to hurt him. Others knew that the monster was dangerous and felt that it was time for change. Over the years, the Synod met in a hall, called the Conservatory. They got together and talked about how to change things and what to do. Sometimes they did great things and raised money to help the town. Other times, they did a really bad job of it and they would get discouraged and go back to sleep. For a while, there were some bad people on the Synod that worked for the monster. The monster encouraged them to be mean to other people on the Synod and at the same time make them think that they were being nice to them. Unfortunately, it worked.

The Synod got sick, and tried to go to sleep. Some of the new people in town were unhappy with that but not exactly sure what they should do. Then the Synod got the idea that if they had a person working in the Conservatory, that maybe things would go better for them. The Synod wanted someone to do all the jobs that they had no time to do themselves. They hired someone and it didn’t work out. They tried again and that didn’t work either. The people they hired wanted to sleep as much as the monster. Then, one afternoon, a woman came in looking for a job. Her family was grown, and she was looking for something to do other than cook and clean all day. She was very smart and not afraid of the monster, Jejune.

She took her job seriously. At first she had to clean and sort all kinds of messes left by the other people. She had to make sense of piles of papers and boxes of stuff that had never been properly sorted. However, she worked hard. Her neighbor came to help move the heavy stuff. He too was not afraid of the monster and wanted to see things change. Together, they worked on fixing up the Conservatory to make it work better. They found newer machines to make the work go faster. The man was very talented with machines and with some of his friends had figured out new ways to do things that worked better than the old ways. It was also cheaper. The woman was very happy. She had a lovely job, a good friend, and really felt that she was doing things to make the Town better.

She went to meetings, met with people and tried to find better ways to do her work. New people joined the Synod and it was looking like the monster was going to have to let loose his grip on the town. Even if it was just a little. The man joined the Synod as did his friend who was also good with machines. Together they sharpened their swords and their pens to defeat the monster.

Little by little, people around the Town could see the change going on at the Conservatory. One old granny at a meeting said how proud she was to see the change. It had been too long that the monster, Jejune, had been ruling the land. Other people noticed the change and were happy. Things were looking good.

Meanwhile, the sick people on the Synod were getting upset with all the change. Even though they had told the woman to do much of what she had done or hadn’t told her not to do some of the stuff, they were getting upset. One of the people let the monster slide into his soul, and when the woman was least expecting it, he’d yell at her. Jejune was clever enough to do this when no one else was around. This was very upsetting, because the woman really hadn’t done anything wrong. It was just that the monster was upset and used people to try and put things back to sleep.

The woman turned to her friends and some of the other people on the Synod to talk about this. It wasn’t right. They were making progress. Things were getting better in the Town. New laws were fairer. People were happy with the changes. Groups were getting together and talking more than they had in many years. People wanted to challenge the monster and it was beginning to look like the town might actually wake up more than it had in years.

Jejune was stronger than any of them thought, and took over the souls of many on the Synod, especially the man who liked to yell. They were sick, and didn’t even know it. Some of them weren’t very strong, so when the really bad ones came to them, they sided with those infected by the monster. They were afraid of being hurt. Together, they worked a nasty spell. It was created with lies, hate, malice and ugly thoughts. It broke all kinds of laws in this land and they didn’t care. Some of the people said that this was wrong. It didn’t stop them because they didn’t care. They wanted to hurt the woman who was defeating the monster. They wanted to hurt her friends too. Most of all, they wanted things to go back to sleep.

At a big meeting in the Conservatory, with lots of people attending, the Synod waited. They waited until the woman’s friend spoke and said nasty things about him. None of them were true, but they said them because the monster had poisoned their souls. Jejune wanted the man to fail, because if he failed, it would hurt his friend, the woman. It didn’t work as well as they thought, so they went on with their plan, and threw the spell of nastiness at the woman. Now, being a clever woman, she wasn’t totally defenseless. However, the spell burned. It upset her and took much of her voice away. She found it very hard to explain that she had done no wrong. She didn’t lie. She hadn’t said the things that they were accusing her of doing. The woman tried to explain that it was others as well as members of the Synod who were infected by the monster that were in the wrong.

One of her friends who was in the Synod tried to help her and the man. He tried to make it right. The spell made it hard for the people to hear what he was saying. Two people that the woman thought were her friends attacked her and upset her very badly. The woman knew that they had broken the laws put out by the Sunny Kingdom to the north. She understood that she was within her rights to have things done a certain way. However, the Synod didn’t want to listen. People in the audience got upset and left. Others were struck dumb by the stupidity of the Synod who were sick and barking at the woman like mad dogs.

In the end, she realized she couldn’t win the fight. She threw the spell back at them the best she could and with the help of the man and their friend worked a small spell that made the sick people think they won. She would work just like they wanted her to for a short time. Meanwhile, the two men would work on a better counter spell to make the sick people on the Synod to see just how wrong they had been.

When the meeting broke up, friends of the woman helped her clean up the Conservatory. They tried to calm her down and let her know that they would wield their swords and work to set things right. The man took the woman back to her house and sat with her while she cried and cried. She crawled under her quilt and tried to settle down. He got her water when the remains of the spell tried to choke her and eventually fell asleep on the chair.

Before long, the sun came up and the woman had to go to the Conservatory and work. It was a very difficult day. The man came with her and helped her change the Conservatory to look more like it had before all of the good things started happening. It was very frustrating to have to remove all the helpful machines. Yet, they didn’t want the monster Jejune to encourage the sick people on the Synod to damage the machines.

The man and his friend who were on the Synod sharpened their pens and began to write letters to those people upset by the meeting. They also began to check on all the laws that had been broken during the meeting. There were a lot of them. It would take a great deal of hard work to stop the damage done at the meeting.

The man checked on the woman to make sure she was okay. Her burnt lungs and voice were healing slowly. She still coughed and had trouble breathing. She cried at times because she was upset. All she had wanted to do was make the town better. She couldn’t understand how people could let the monster run their lives. Her frustrations made the man angry. He polished his sword and sharpened his pen. They were the best weapons to use against the monster. What he didn’t know how to heal was her broken heart.

So, as the woman healed and learned to work with the counter spell the men had worked during the meeting, the men prepared to do battle with the monster Jejune. After all, they could do nothing less.

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5 thoughts on “A fractured Fairy Tale.

  1. So sad. One of the mind-worms that infects small town people is the thought that any “professional” who wants to work there must be second-rate; otherwise, why would they want to work there?

    See Kathleen Norris’s book DAKOTA for some examples.

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