by Gerri Leen
Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there was a princess who was not beautiful, graceful, or any of the good-fairy-inspired attributes so prized by charming princes or knights in shining armor (fortunately she didn't have any bad-fairy-inspired qualities, either, so she will not turn out to be the villain of this piece. To be honest, there is no villain of this piece, because villains are just a way out for a writer who doesn't want to do her job of making characters complex enough to sympathize/empathize with, while at the same time making us wince as they do bad things for good reasons, or good things but for the wrong reasons, or kind of good things for not very well defined reasons. Actually, a character should always be defined enough so we understand their motivations, unlike our princess here, who is burdened only with character traits she doesn't have, and is so bland she is boring the crap out of her author who runs off on these nonessential tangents and jumps the barrier between fiction and whining just so she doesn't have to write about her anymore. Right - so let's start over.) Once upon a time, in the city of Dubuque, there was this girl who could have been a princess if she'd been born royal and in a fairy tale, but she wasn't; so she was more the kind of girl who will graduate with great grades and elude the fast-food destiny of her peers by going to a very good school, earning many degrees, and getting a prestigious job with a nice retirement package in a company with a good record of promoting women. When the handsome non-princes show up, they will ask her how she likes her coffee, and she will tell them in the nicest way possible because she knows what it's like to be an administrative peon - or at least she's heard about it from her cousin back home - that she likes it with cream and a little sugar, and then one of the boys will ask her out (she will gently decline the offer, and he will go away and fall in love with a milkmaid or a goose girl or maybe the little match girl, but our non-princess will go right on upping her tax bracket and making sure she will live happily ever after).
6S - C1
Gerri Leen lives in Northern Virginia and originally hails from Seattle. Her stories have appeared in Fusion Fragment, Mytholog, The First Line, and three of the Strange New Worlds anthologies. Her work has also been accepted by the Sails & Sorcery anthology, Renard's Menagerie, Shred of Evidence, GrendelSong, and the Fantastical Visions V anthology.