Fairy Tales for Otaku Number One:

Lina Inverse and the Three Bears

A Slayers Fairy Tale

by Robert Haynie

(Everyone in this fic belongs to someone except the three bears,
who are public domain. I think.)

####

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Goldilocks.

This is not her story.

Rather, this is a story about another little girl named Lina
Inverse, who was considerably older than she looked, and was really
rather capable of some pretty impressive stuff.

But we all know that already.

Often Lina would have adventures. That's the sort of thing you
do when you're one of the world's most powerful sorceresses.

This is about one of them.

Just a rather strange one...

####

(Gourry, where are you?)

Lina Inverse didn't NEED Gourry Gabriev, of course. She was
skilled with a blade herself, and she was a VERY powerful magus, and
she was incredibly clever, and she was also staggeringly beautiful
and not flat-chested at all so there.

And she certainly didn't MISS him or anything, nothing like that,
there wasn't any sort of relationship thing going on no matter what
anyone said.

She just... was used to him being around. That was all.

Oh, and she most certainly was NOT lost. Lost was something that
happened to other people who weren't as clever and powerful and
beautiful and not flat-chested as Lina.

She just didn't exactly know where she was, was all. Not the
same thing. Really.

Oh, hell. She was lost, she had NO idea WHERE she was, and she
would have paid money to see Gourry's clueless but handsome face
right now.

She was also hungry, but there was nothing new about that.

So, lost, hungry, and irritated, Lina wandered the woods like a
lost, hungry, and irritated person. Which, of course, stands to
reason.

After a while of this unsatisfying activity, Lina came across a
small cottage in the woods. Lina's highly trained logic abilities
suggested that cottage = shelter, and possibly food. Both of which
Lina found enticing possibilities.

As she entered, her face lit up. There was a table, and on it
there were three bowls. And in the bowls there was FOOD.

True, it wasn't anything special-- just simple porridge-- but in
the area of edibles, Lina wasn't known for being particularly picky.

She tried the first bowl, but it was too hot.

She tried the second bowl, but it was too cold.

She tried the third bowl, and it was just right.

Being Lina Inverse, she ate the just right bowl. Then she ate
the other two even if they were somewhat unsatisfactory. No sense
letting food go to waste.

She then decided to have a little sit. The first chair she tried
was too tall for her.

The second chair was too wide, in her opinion.

The third one was perfectly sized, but apparently made of
severely substandard materials, since after a moment's sitting it
collapsed.

Lina said "Ouch".

Well, she was feeling a bit tired anyhow. She went upstairs to
see if there was anything to take a nap in.

Luckily, there were. There were-- wait for it-- three beds.

The first bed was too hard.

The second one was too soft.

The third one was just right.

Lina was beginning to detect a pattern here, but was too tired to
care at the moment.

So she dozed off, full.

Now, it probably doesn't come as a surprise to hear that this
cottage belonged to three bears. It should, since bears are not
normally known for their domestic proclivities, much less their
porridge making prowess, but since this is a fairy tale, we can let
this peculiar aberration of natural law slide.

They had decided to take a little walk to let the porridge cool
down. Now they were back-- and appalled.

"Someone's been sitting in my chair," mused the father bear,
adjusting his jerkin.

"Someone's been sitting in my chair too," added the mother bear,
smoothing her skirts and looking rather worried.

"Nobody's been sitting in my chair. They were just smashing it,"
the child bear said, with glee. She'd always HATED that chair.
Maybe now she could have a new one.

"I don't see how-- Hey, someone's been eating my porridge. All
of it," noted the father bear.

"Same here, dear," the mother bear said with asperity. She'd
worked hard on that porridge.

"Cool! I hate porridge anyhow. Can we have fish instead like
other bears?" the child bear chimed in.

"I detect a pattern here," mused the father bear. Then he
stopped short as a strange sound emitted from upstairs.

"I just KNOW there's someone up there sleeping. Our cousins over
in the next forest had the same thing happen to them."

"Maybe whoever it is burned my bed to the ground! I can get a
new bed too!" chortled the child bear, who was finding all this much
more interesting than gathering berries and eating porridge.

"Whatever. Let's check," the father bear said, in a resigned
tone.

"What if it's a burglar?" the mother bear asked, with some
trepidation.

"Dear, we ARE bears."

"Oh, right." The mother bear blushed prettily. This is actually
quite impressive for a bear.

And so, as was inevitable, the three bears went upstairs.

"KNEW it," sighed the father bear, staring at his rumpled sheets.

"Oh, my," murmured the mother bear, who saw a lot of housework
coming up.

"Hey, you-- get outta my bed!" yelled the child bear, shaking
Lina.

Lina woke up.

Lina saw three bears.

In clothes. Oddly human shaped for bears, but bears nonetheless.

And they were LOOKING at her.

"I don't suppose you have an explanation for this, young lady?"
the father bear asked.

Normally, when confronted by something like this, Lina's first
reaction would have been, well, either a line of bushwah or a
skillfully applied fireball. Possibly both. But three bears? Three
freaking BEARS?

And the youngest one looked to be about-- in human terms--
sixteen or so, and was wearing a bress and bodice and had... had...

And Lina broke down sobbing at the thought that a damn BEAR could
have a more mature figure than her's.

Somewhat taken aback, the mother bear started to comfort the
sobbing girl, the father bear looked embarrassed, and the child--
well, teen bear, actually, started to examine Lina's clothing.

"Wow, this is some cool stuff! Are you a sorceress? You're
dressed like one. I never met a sorceress before. Wicked witches,
sure-- all around these woods-- not not a sorceress..."

About three hours later, Lina left the bear's house still
somewhat dazed, but full (again), and oddly content at the kindness
of the bears. She also left the bears somewhat wealthier by a few
gold pieces (an unusually vocal concience prodded to pay for her
meals and the damaged chair) as well as having that new well dug they
had wanted when the teen bear had pleaded for Lina to show her a
real, honest spell instead of something boring like a poison apple.

Later, she met up with Gourry, who looked dazed.

"Hey, Gourry, you ok?"

Gourry just shook his head. "Lina, I GOT to tell you about this
little red-headed girl and the big bad wolf and all the DAMAGE that
happened..."

And that, dear otaku-chan, is the end.

####

Fairy Tales for Otaku Number Two:

Little Red Riding Hood 1/2

By Robert Haynie

(And the characters mostly belong to Rumiko Takahashi, except
those who don't, and the wolf who belongs to the zoo.)

####

Once upon a time, in a little cottage in the woods, there lived a
kindly not-exactly-old man and his three daughters and his future
son-in-law and a freeloading panda. They lived together in peace and
harmony, and--

*WHAM! CRASH! BOOM! THUMP! ZYINGYINGYING! WHOMP!*

Well, they lived together in peace and harmony unless there was a
fight going on.

One day, the kindly old father called his daughters and his
future son-in-law who was sometimes not so much of a son-- but that's
another story-- and said, "I want one of you three to take a basket
of cheese, bread, and sake to your poor old grandfather, who is
feeling poorly."

The eldest daughter said, "Oh, I would be pleased to, but I have
far too much work to do, Father." And so saying, she returned to the
kitchen to cook dinner, wash the floor, chop the wood, mend the
clothes, and develop a cure for cancer.

The middle daughter simply raised her eyebrow, and said, "You
can't afford my courier rates, Daddy."

And the youngest daughter said "That old pervert is NOT my
grandfather, and I'm not going anywhere NEAR him."

"Akane, you are the only one left who I can afford. And do not
fear, for I shall send your brave and handsome--"

"WAH_HA_HA_HAIEEE!" *SPLASH!*

"When not beautiful-- fiancé to guard you from the evil wolves
that live in the forest."

"I'm gonna hate this story, aren't I?" asked the brave and
downright stacked fiancé as she wandered into the house, thoroughly
damp. "Bad enough that instead of a koi pond we're in some weird
western cottage and I got thrown in a well. You want me to bodyguard
the tomboy too? Ain't there supposed to be a woodcutter or
something?"

"Watch out for the fourth wall, baka," whispered Akane.

"Like I care. This has GOT to be the stupidest thing outside of
a lemon I have EVER been involved in. If it weren't for the respect
that this writer usually gives me, I'd--"

At this point, the fourth wall crumbled, and part of the roof
fell in, causing much annoyance to the members of the household,
except for the eldest daughter, who liked to clean.

And so the fight began again.

####

"I look like a fool," grumbled Little Red Riding Hood.

"Well, it's not my fault that that red dress and hooded cape
looks better on you than me. Besides, you're pretty much the lead
here."

"Feh," commented Little Red Riding Hood eloquently.

"Anyhow, let's check daddy's checklist. Take the basket to
Grandfather. Don't let him molest you. Make certain that
Grandfather has enough warm blankets. Don't let him molest you. Be
certain that Grandfather is taking his medicine. Don't let him mol--
You know, I'm detecting a trend here."

"Yeah. Say, which way IS it to the old perv-- Grandfather's
house?"

"I'm not certain. Let's ask that wolf."

Wolves don't usually stand on their hind legs, wear hakama, or
carry a bokken. But this being a fairy tale type of woods, these
unusual discrepancies could be charitably overlooked.

"Mister wolf?" Akane asked.

"And in what manner can I be of some small service to two such
lovely maidens?" replied the wolf.

"Do you know the way to Grandfather Happosai's House?" Akane
asked.

"Why, certainly. 'Tis that path there, which goes around the
mountain and across the stream and through the bracken and over the
till and under the bridge and past the fairy grove," the wolf pointed
out helpfully.

"Seems a long way to me," muttered Little Red Riding Hood.

"Well, perchance it is, fair pig-tailed maiden, but the scenery
makes it worth it."

"I'm in no real hurry," Akane noted. Little Red Riding Hood
thought, agreed, and the two set upon the road.

The wolf then smiled. "Ah, little do they know that I can easily
gain my path to that very domicile in a few short minutes by a
short-cut that only I know of. And then... yet which one? For the
dark-haired one is meatier, somewhat, yet the pig-tailed one is
belike better flavored... Ah, I cannot decide! I shall eat them
both!"

####

At Grandfather's house, Grandfather was poring over a batch of
clothing that would have been far more suited to Grandmother, if
Grandmother was sixteen, well figured, and strangely lacking in any
garments but underwear.

"Sweeto," he murmured happily. "But... I don't have a 1994 Black
Lace Teddy with Hand Appliques On The Chest From Spencer's Of Tokyo.
Looks like I have to go out again."

Donning an outfit that could only be described as eccentric
(Well, it could also be described as stupid, impractical, and
basically dumb) Grandfather went out to ste-- ah, acquire a 1994
Black Lace Teddy with Hand Appliques On The Chest From Spencer's Of
Tokyo. (Some time later, this resulted in his getting the hell beat
out of him by Snow White, but that's another story.)

A few minutes later, the wolf arrived. Noting that Red Hiding
Hood and Akane would be arriving soon, he quickly donned some of the
old per-- ah, elderly man's clothing as a disguise. Since the wolf
was about three times the old man's size, the result was that he
looked like a complete and utter moron.

Getting into bed, he waited. Sure enough Little Red Riding Hood
and Akane arrived.

And stared.

"Oh, PLEASE," Red Riding Hood said.

"Honestly, this has got to be the silliest thing I have ever
seen," Akane noted. "Well, there's no help for it."

Groaning, Little Red Riding Hood walked up to the bed, and in
rather bored tones, said, "Hiya, old perv."

"Old--"

"MY, what big EYES you have, Grandfather," Red Riding Hood said,
poking one.

"OW! I mean, well, the better to see you with, pig-tailed gir--
granddaughter."

"And what big EARS you have, Grandfather," Red Riding Hood said,
pulling them.

"Not so hard, and the better to hear you with, pig-tailed
granddaughter."

"And what a big NOSE you have," Red Riding Hood said, in tones of
unspeakable cuteness, while pinching the nose.

"Yow! That hurt, you know! And the better to smell you with,"
the wolf grumbled, wondering if perhaps he'd slightly miscalculated
his choice of targets.

"And what big TEETH you have," Red riding hood said.

Cue.

"THE BETTER TO EAT YOU WITH--OWIE!" the wolf shouted, as Akane
hit him with the bottle of sake, there being no convenient mallet.

"PERVERT!" screamed Akane.

"Huh?" mumbled the wolf.

"You PERVERT! You said--"

"I KNOW what I said, dark-haired maiden. But what's perverse
about wanting to eat a little girl? I'm a wolf, that's what we DO."

"I don't think he meant it in an ecchi sense, Akane. I think he
meant it literally."

"Thank you for explaining that-- say. I just thought of
something. When you talked about my eyes, you poked one. When you
talked about my ears, you pulled them. When you talked about my
nose, you pinched it. But when you talked about my teeth, you didn't
do anything..."

"Gomen Nasai. Let me correct that oversight," Little Red Riding
Hood said, cracking her knuckles.

####

Gourry Gabriev was looking for Lina. He would find her in about
four hours and one story back, but for now was distracted by what
sounded very much like a little red headed girl beating the living
hell out of a big bad wolf.

Oddly enough, that was pretty much what was happening.

"I FIGHT ON!" said the wolf.

"YOU FIGHT LIKE A PUPPY!" screamed the girl.

"NOW I HAVE YOU!" shouted the wolf.

"HIRYUU SHOTEN HA!" yelled the girl.

"BOOM!" commented the cottage, which was by now a total wreck.

As the red headed girl seethed and the wolf began an in depth
study of the aerodynamics of the lupine form, another girl came up to
him, and asked, "Are you a woodcutter? Because if you are, thanks
anyhow, but Red Riding Hood has it under control."

"Um... no, I'm an adventurer. Have you seen another red headed
girl, about the same size as your friend but not as, um, developed?"

Akane shrugged. "No, sorry. Well, we'll just leave this basket
of goodies for grandfather and head back home." And so they did.

Later Grandfather came home to find that home was not there to
come to, that all of his collection was scattered across the woods,
and that there was a basket with bread, cheese, and sake lying in the
middle of the wreckage.

"Oh, not ANOTHER wolf. Fourth one this year..."

And that, Otaku-chan, is the end of THAT story.

####

Fairy Tales For Otaku 2.5

The Three Goddesses Gruff

By Robert Haynie

(And if you think I own Oh, My Goddess, you're out of your MIND.
That's the property of... Um... er... someone else.)

####

Once upon a time there were three sisters. The three sisters
happened to be goddesses, which is pretty good work when you can get
it, certainly better than the usual milkmaid or shepherdess that is
typical in these sorts of tales.

There was a eldest goddess, and a middle goddess, and a youngest
goddess.

One day the eldest goddess went off to pick wildflowers. Well,
actually, she went off to get a few bottles of sake, but while doing
that she planned to pick wildflowers because that's the sort of thing
one does in fairy tales so as to get into trouble. Besides, certain
wildflowers are very useful in the making and manufacture of love
potions.

As she traveled, she began to pass over a bridge. Now, under
this bridge lived L. Ron. Hubbard--

What?

Oh, wrong kind of bridge. Sorry. No, under THIS bridge lived a
troll.

The troll leapt up onto the bridge and snarled, "Hah! I'm going
to eat you up!"

The eldest goddess looked at the troll, smiled a smile that was
best described as sultry, and replied, "You sure I'm not going to eat
YOU up, cutie?"

"Huh?" replied the troll.

The eldest goddess sidled up to the troll, and purred, "I'm not
usually into trolls, mind you, but you might be an exception. Now,
what kind of thing are you into anyhow? You look like the grape
jelly and electric gerbil type..."

The troll had just realized that (a) the goddess was very
beautiful, (b) was dressed in what could only be described as a
revealing style of dress, (c) was suggesting something that he
couldn't QUITE visualize, but was certainly something that his mother
wouldn't approve of, and (d) his nose was beginning to bleed.

"Ah, y-you don't understand. I mean, I intend to have you for
supper--"

"Oh, you prefer a date first? I like that, the proper type."

"I mean, you ARE supper. I intend to ea-- to ingest you."

"Oh." The eldest goddess looked rather disappointed. "Well,
that would be a waste. Frankly, as food I'm going to be pretty
inadequate. Now, my younger sister..."

"Who?"

"Well, she's about the tenderest, sweetest morsel you ever did
see. Personally, if I were you, I'd wait until she comes by. She
should be passing this way in a while."

"You would?"

"Sure. You sure you aren't into grape jelly and electric
gerbils?"

"Ah! Yes! Very sure!" the troll replied, waving his hands.

"Damn shame. Always wanted to try that. Well, ja!" And the
eldest goddess went on her way, whistling. It was a few moment
before the troll realized that he's had missed his chance. Cursing
under his breath, he returned to his spot under the bridge.

A while later the middle goddess DID start to pass over the
bridge, and the troll leapt out, crying, "Hah! I'm going to eat you
up!"

The middle goddess stared at the troll. "Oh, dear. Why do you
want to do that?"

Taken aback, the troll replied somewhat weakly, "Um... because
I'm hungry?"

"Oh, I see. But I can't say it seems like a very polite thing to
do."

"Oh. Well, uh, I AM a troll, and we... we aren't supposed to be
polite..."

"I don't suppose I can ask you not to?" The middle goddess just
looked at the troll with an expression of near infinite niceness.

Weakened in his resolve, the troll silently waved the middle
goddess past, wondering how even HE could bring himself to eat such
in incredibly nice person.

As she passed, the middle goddess said, "Thank you very much,
Troll-san. Hmm. My little sister will be coming by in a while and I
suppose if you must eat anyone, you can try to eat her. Although I
still think it's not very polite, but as you said, you are a
troll..."

The troll returned to his post under the bridge with a very sour
expression indeed.

Soon enough the youngest goddess started to pass over the bridge.

Somewhat less enthusiastically than before, the troll leapt onto
the bridge and said, "Hah. I'm going to eat you up."

The youngest goddess just blinked at him, and held something out.

Wordlessly, the troll accepted the object. It was round, it was
shiny, he didn't know what it was--

KA-BOOOOOOOM!

As the troll stood stunned by the explosion the youngest goddess
removed from her back a somewhat larger than average mallet and
flattened him. "Stupid bugs," she grumbled as she walked over the
bridge-- and incidentally the troll.

The troll dragged himself to his usual post and resolved never to
accost a goddess again. It wasn't good for his health.

The next day he got his butt kicked by Little Red Riding Hood,
but that's no surprise.

And that, dear otaku-chan, is the end of that story.