“Melita, what be your happily ever after?” Griswold asked, as the credits flowed to the swelling, romantic score of a fairy tale set in modern times, currently Griswold’s favourite genre on popcorn movie night.

“Happily, ever after,” that fairy-taled and Disneyfied concept of how we dream life could/should be. Rewritten for modern times, or potentially grim as the Grimm’s transcribed. A prescriptive for children; role reversal and/or tradition while for adults, a playground of erotic fantasy, satire, or thriller.

If I’d looked through the kaleidoscope of infinite possibilities, at various times in my life, happily ever after might be a cabin in the woods, a loft apartment in the artsy part of town, a beach house with waves as my night music.

Being a solitary, my dreams would not be peopled with woodsmen, nor troubadours or men of the sea. A space that was truly mine, surrounded by books and funky life artifacts. Small, airy, energy efficient, solar run and sky-lighted so I might watch the whirl and wheeling of the starscape, or the dance of dust motes in the sun.

Background muzak of cacophonous birds in the moving, swaying branches; street musicians playing blues, or jazz, guitar case out for donations; crash or lull of tides turning.

Would I have seen through that kaleidoscope my cramped, shambly apartment, rooms bare of paintings and knick-knacks? Living in the only house not abandoned and given over to nature on an ancient cul de sac. Circadian rhythms like a vampire, doing research on the web while the world slept. Having And* as my knight in slightly tarnished and dented armor. A family of monsters as my upstairs neighbours whose son asked me the question. A precocious son who awakened the child in me, taught me his language, interpretive dances, provided invitations and imagination. The three of us, sitting on the swing, watching fireflies dance with the fairies. Or zooming as airplanes or making snow creatures we dressed up in old clothing. Our full moon games geared to the changing seasons in our backyard jungle garden.

I smiled, “Griswold – you are my happily ever after.”

He grinned a snaggly toothed grin back, wrapping his waggily tail against his side to make a heart shape. He chuff-chortled with laughter, bubbling out his ears. He thanked me in Griswoldian and did a dance of gratitude, floor shaking as he pound-footed, clapping taloned hands, and sweeping his tail, sending what was left of the popcorn to fall like confetti.

“Me too, Melita. You be my happily ever after”

Image: Paper Chase

Written for mlmm Tale Weaver 175 Happily Ever After. Griswold was born in a Tale Weaver’s tale several years ago, and he continues to appear every so often.

* And Gumpsion is Melita’s boyfriend, having met through Mrs. G’s dependence on regular midnight deliveries of  “Fine Fossimax” by purveyed by Gumpsion and Son, another Tale Weaver tale.