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The Story Behind Once Upon A Time

Chapter 1

It was the annual fairy tale heroine's get together and you have no idea how long it took the fine ladies of the establishment to decide on that name. Cinderella wanted it to be the 'Shoe and Cleaning Club' - the slogan being - stylish and squeaky (don't ask). Snow White wanted the 'Animal and Deforestation Comity' - after all 'nature is number one' and Aurora bless her heart wanted the 'Women's International Spinning Bee'. And this weird kid called Wendy who insisted on showing up in her nightgown wanted to go with 'Pixie Pest Patrol' - one simple way to deal with the tinkling problems in your life 'just don't believe' - does troubled chick come to anyone else's mind.

I gulped down a few mouths full of coffee and sighed as I glanced around the room. Everyone was doing their own thing. We might as well have just stayed at home for all the talking with each other we were doing. At least there was coffee.

Jill was sitting on the floor, leaning over a dummy and practising her CPR and first aid - something about her boyfriend having tendencies towards extreme accidents. Belle was sitting in the window seat wearing a set of glasses and studying a blueprint - no doubt of one of her dad's daft inventions. Snow and Aurora were exchanging notes on ways to deal with returning from the 'other side' - once again I say TROUBLED. While Ariel was practicing her walking abilities in the hallway – she was still a little wobbly but a lot better than she used to be.

The clock in the hall struck two in the afternoon and I took another big gulp of my coffee, wincing as I swallowed a little too much. The liquid scorched my throat as I gulped.

Two meant that any minute now…


Here it comes.

"How are things going with everyone's other half?"

Yip, there it was. The relationship question, which lead to blushes and giggles.

I rolled my eyes, downed what was left in my cup and poured myself another coffee while leaning back in my seat, crossing my legs and waiting for the show to begin.

Cue Snow's annoyingly high pitched squeaky giggle.

Cue Ariel becoming very interested in where her feet were going as she ducked her head.

Cue Jill becoming overly consumed in bringing the dummy to life – tut, tut, tut, bet that's an interesting story.

And not to forget Wendy's scowl to kill - tuff deal honey, being in love with a boy that'll never grow up.

Of course I didn't have to be bothered with any of that because let's just say that having your mother as your PR works wonders for your crystal clear reputation – mind you though, my mothers opinion of the others wasn't exactly high.

"...and that Snow White - living with 7 men, disgraceful. And that Belle, goodness know what happened in that castle - all that time alone with h-" you get the picture, yeah?

Now, I don't really mind mom getting a good dig in at the others but I actually like Belle. She can really think her way out of a tight spot and she's a great chess player.

Speaking of Belle I glanced over at her in time to catch her rolling her eyes and putting the blueprint to the side she came over to the table poured herself some tea and sat next to me. Belle was a very private person and didn't like it when conversations turned too personal.

Bad move! That was such a bad move that if it were an earth quake it would have broken the Richter scale. Everyone's eyes focused in on her as she sat calm and collected sipping elegantly at her tea.

I wish I could act that cool when everyone's eyes were on me. Maybe she would give me some lessons if I asked.

"How are things going at the castle, Belle?" Snow's squeaky voice sent chills down my spine. Couldn't she get that fixed? Fairy Godmothers could work wonders these days – or so I had heard – I bet that they could work wonders with her voice. I am sure she could shatter glass if she tried hard enough. Ouch.

Belle only shrugged delicately and continued to sip at her tea.

See what I mean. Cool and collected.

See the thing is that the others viewed and still do view Belle as a bit of an outsider. First, she was smart - which was a big no-no around ladies who didn't know how to tell the time and didn't listen when they were told to not talk to any strangers. Second, she wasn't an orphan. Third, she was the one who had had to do the spell breaking. You see they viewed her husband as a bit of an animal – come on, he couldn't help it if he growled a little, he had been a beast for more than a few years – so he didn't live up to their standards of princely behaviour. Personally I didn't mind being in his company at least he didn't wear blusher as I was sure Snow's one true love did. And he could tell the difference between Belle and a faker – yes Erik, I am talking to you. IDIOT!

So the thing is that we kind of gelled since I was viewed as something of an oddity also.

"What can I say?" she answered finally, setting her tea cup gently back on the table hardly making any noise. "He's a beast,"

She winked at me as the room was filled with giggles and tutting.

Give me strength, these women are stupid.

I don't even know why my mum makes me come along to these things, she doesn't like any of the others and she knows I get bored to death listening to their gossip and mindless chatter. Come to think of it that will be why. Maybe I should act like I enjoy it.

Snow seemed to notice my sour expression and focused her squeaky voiced face on me. I would have sold my soul at that point in time for the ground to open up and swallow me but just like every other meeting it never happened. It isn't a lot to ask for is it?

"Oh, I am sorry dear," she screeched, making ever cell in my head reverberate with the sound.

No you're not!

"I totally forgot,"

No you didn't!

"You don't have that special someone in your life,"

Hah, that's what you think!

A wave of sympathetic throat noises came my way from everyone in the room. As everyone turned there perfectly primped faces to me shaking their heads sadly and acting as though I had just ha a death in my family.

Oh, please. Get some perspective girls.

"Oh you poor dear," Cinderella chimed – as if this was the first time she had heard this. But then what do you expect from someone who can't tell the time.

"Didn't anything happen with you and that dashing Woodsman?" Jill asked, now wrapping up an invisible gash on the dummies head. I wonder if it had bashed its head on the floor to escape Snow Whites voice. Hmm…I wondered if it actually worked.

Anyway back to the conversation.

Uh. Once again, I repeat. Mother and PR. You do the maths.

I shook my head. Oh something happened alright. Just not with Robert the Wicked Woodsmen as I had christened him. I really needed to work on it though. It didn't really have a scary ring to it.

"Oh how unfair,"

Tell me about it.

"It is such a shame,"

Ok. Let it go now people.

"To be alone for the rest of your life,"

I'M NOT ALONE. Drop it already will you.

When Wendy, the Weird and Severely Troubled decided to throw in her little brand of sympathy I finally had enough.

Once upon a time there was a dear little girl who was loved by everyone who looked at her,

Hi guys.

So I was watching Hoodwinked when I started writing this (ages ago ;)) and then I felt like taking the mickey out of Disney lol.

Please let me know what you think.