For Shadow over Egypt because I loves her, she let me rant and ramble about nothing and everything as I worked out the writing for this. And because she's just awesome that way.

Mirror-mirror, three little goats.
There was a troll under the bridge.
And he waited and waited.
And waited some more.
He's always waiting.
Sleeping Beauty died in her tower,
Her Prince was never found.
Snow White swallowed the apple
And the poison spread.
The Queen fell out of her window,
And the Mirror broke.
I'm the fairest of them all.

I'm going to tell you a story...

Fairytales have many endings and beginnings and threads and loops and some of them twist in the weirdest possible way, but they all have one thing in common. They connect, and they always, always begin with "Once upon a time."

Not this fairytale.

This fairytale really isn't a fairytale, and the prince is a troll, and the little billy goats are not goats. Sleeping Beauty died in a flaming church and Snow White fell to gunfire. The Queen ate the poisoned apple by mistake and her mirror was in her eyes but no one ever saw it.

And the lamented princess who everyone sought to save was in fact the wicked witch.

Everything is inside out and upside down and there's no one left who can tell the story of the Queen and her mirror and the Princess who wasn't a princess because the ones who know the story are dead, except the troll. But he's too busy waiting to tell it.

This fairytale that's not a fairytale is filled with fire and blood and copper penny death and a god who didn't love his people the way he claimed, and Justice that wasn't justice. The mirror-eyed Queen who stalked the Princess-Witch and tried to save the world and failed. It has all the elements of a fairytale but there's no once upon a time and no happily ever after.

There's no end, and the troll's still waiting for it so he can rest.

Wait a bit till the second billy goat gruff comes along, he's much bigger, sir troll. Just wait.

And the troll waited for the second goat.

Who is to be the fairest of them all? The Queen never cared to be, the princess is too dead and no one else wants to try. I'd suggest the troll if he wasn't too ugly and he's too busy waiting to be the fairest anyway.

Mirror mirror on my wall, am I the fairest of them all?

Yes ma'am, yes ma'am. Fairest, fairest fairest.

Who's left to listen to the mirror?

No one, no one, that's who's left.

And the mirror cracks.

And the crack spreads and spreads, a spiderweb of thin lines. All over fairytale land and as it shatters, we're left with an echo of nothing and a troll who isn't a troll anymore but not a prince either, just a little boy playing with dolls and waiting waiting waiting for the end of the story so he can close his eyes and go to sleep.

Mirror mirror,
In my eyes
Where is the fairest of them all?
The Queen is dead and
The Princess never cared.
Snow White dropped the apple
And Sleeping Beauty won't wake up.
But mirror mirror,
I'm still here.