Here it is! My short story has been published. For those interested in reading, it, I’d like to offer some context. I discovered this online publication, Enchanted Conversation, and became engrossed in the stories and poetry it offered. As writing is something that I do quite a lot of (and I love fairy tales!) I decided I wanted to try to submit a story.
Each issue of the magazine features a different fairy tale theme, usually a rather obscure tale, and writers are invited to submit a work inspired by that tale. This month’s issue was challenging. The tale “Donkeyskin,” and its sister-stories are of a specific and strange genre of fairy tale (the one I chose is called “Cat-Skin,” which you can read here if you’re interested in my primary source material). This family of tales reminded me of one that I read when I was a child, which (in its cleaned-up-for-children form), both fascinated and confused me. I remember wanting more out of the story, so when I came across this theme, I decided not to pass up the opportunity to create that myself.
The challenge lay not only in the odd elements of the story that I needed to somehow work into my version, but also in the cringe-y inciting incident (a king is intent on marrying his own daughter). The length of each short story submission is limited to 3,000 words, which I found difficult to stay below, but ultimately, I think it works for the genre.
Fairy tales are unabashedly absurd, feeling no need to explain themselves, and unapologetically magical. They have a perplexing way of feeling at once, distant – very long ago and far away – and yet also fully immersing. I hope I achieved all of that in “Knight of the Sun, Moon, and Stars,” based on “Cat-Skin,” by the Brothers Grimm. (You can go to the home page to view all the other stories and poems in this issue!)