Fables once occupied the woods, but recently all the property and lands were bought up by large Nonfiction faceless corporations .The families believed they were blessed as they all finally had the income to move out of the forest and into the modern world.
Once the fables joined modern day society a law was passed across the States.
Segregation became common. If you were a fable, you no longer were permitted at state or federal funded public schools. Restaurants, churches and communities were left up to the owners or public debate.
To enter the Storytown School for the Feeble Minded, Women, Insane, Backwards or Fabled
You had to cross a line of screaming protestors. The signs were waved frantically while incoherent slurs and insults were flung.
*They Aren’t Real, They’re Just Characters*
*Go Back To the Woods!!*
“If only there were woods to go back to” Ella thought. She passed through the crowd daily, head held high. She stepped proudly, and ignored the screams. That’s when some bastard hit her in the back of the head with an egg.
She spun around, frantic , high tops slipping on yolk from previously missed targets.
“That poof ball on your head was easy to hit, you story trash!!” the man shouted, his face flushed red from exertion.
“I’m guessing that’s the most exercise you’ve gotten in years, Non!!” She shouted.
Ella gripped her books and ran into the school, immediately running for the girls room, to inspect the damage done to her beautiful brown locks.
The sink ran brown, then red and slowly faded to a clear that signaled it may be safe to wash her hands or possibly even her hair.
She took off the small gold crown that held her bun in place.
Ella was once a princess. Look how far she had fallen.
When Ella was 6 her father, a Wealthy man, had fallen ill and passed away quickly one night at his desk. Ella had no other relatives. Her entire inheritance lay in a vault she had no access to until the age of 21. Until she was of age, Ella was in the care of an all girls foster home run by strict nuns. It’s name was the Uglistep House. Ella hated the Uglistep Sisters with all her might.
Ella rinsed egg out of her hair. She wrung out the sections, put her hair back in a bun and placed the crown.
She stared at the mirror, her hands upon the sink.
“This is just for now. This isn’t forever. It will get better.”
A stall opened suddenly which caused Ella to jump.
“Were the herds still BAAAAing?” Mary asked, approaching a sink to wash her hands.
“One hit me with an egg”
“Oh, they’re throwing produce now? That’s new. Usually my brother gets hit with rocks.”
Mary grabbed a paper towel and rolled it into a ball.
“All I want to do is hit them back, but J.J won’t let me. He says not to stupe to their level. I don’t consider it stuping if they are the ones setting the bar…” She threw the ball into the waste basket.
“J.J is right. You are so much more than this. You could march every single one of those people off a cliff like lemmings. But you shouldn’t , because you are better than that.”
Mary smirked. Her actions at her last school helped to form her reputation at Storytown school.
Once after being bullied by a group of kids for her slightly morbid fashion sense , Mary hypnotized an entire herd of sheep. In their zombified state they followed her to school one day where they proceeded to disrupt every classroom in the building.
Now Mary wasn’t allowed around farm animals and kept away from large groups of stupid people.
Mary, who’s father was half Fable half NonFiction married her Fable witch mother. Their mixed family wasn’t truly accepted by either Fable or Non communities, making Mary and J.J school outcasts.
As Mary’s hand grabbed the handle, the bathroom door swung open.
Golden locks of curls and not much else, were outlined by the bright morning sunshine streaming through a large window across the hall.
Goldie had her usual crowd of girls around her as she walked in, leading the pack.
While she looked the part of a popular teenage girl, Ella had to remind herself that Goldie was at THIS school for a reason, and she wasn’t a Fable.
Until the age of 12 Goldie had lived in the forest, raised by whatever wild animals took pity on her.
One day she stumbled upon the log cabin belonging to a polygamist trio of bears.
When PaPa, MaMa, and their lover Baybae came back from their date night, they found their beautiful home in shambles, their fridge raided and a small child piddling in the corner, marking her territory.
PaPa was the first to stop screaming and try to approach the child. He held out cookies, calling out to her while she shook and shivered with fear
“Here, Goldie, Goldie, Goldie….”
The three bears continued with their usual hip and posh lives. Every night they set the dinner table with a place for Goldie. She hid behind the couch and watched closely.
By day 7 Goldie walked into the room, sat down in a chair, picked up a fork and joined her family.
The Bears watched quietly.
“Oh, look honey! She thinks she’s people….”
The Bears adopted Goldie. While she was kept more like a toy poodle than a child, Goldie loved her new clothes, consistent supply of food, and expensive life style. While she loved all her dad’s and mom, Goldie clearly was the closest to PaPa who spoiled her often.
The Locks family were one of the first to move from the woods. Goldie’s parents believed it was best for Goldie to grow up surrounded by her culture, stating over and over “It’s the right thing to do…”
Mary and J.J’s dad had fought for weeks with the neighborIng bear family as their property touched. Shouting matches occurred daily over who owned which trees and what roots were connected to which property.
Mary was happy to no longer live next door to Goldie.
Since the Bears were the first to sell, buildings quickly rose to the sky next to them. Cabin by cabin was replaced with steel monstrosities and belching factories.
J.J’s and Mary’s family held out the longest, but they too signed over their home and moved to the modern world.
Goldie wasn’t in public school for very long. The most expensive clothes in the world couldn’t hide that Goldie still had some serious triggers from her previous animal lifestyle. Bells would send Goldie into a frothing fit. Locker slams caused her to whimper or howl.
Goldie was now a student at the Storytime School under the label “Woman, Insane.” Her money helped her rise quickly in popularity. Girls anxiously waited at the bottom for the hand me down crumbs she scattered.
Weekly visits with the school psychiatrist Dr O’Hare helped to train Goldie. She learned new coping methods. Now at the ring of the school bell the most you saw from Goldie at her desk was a facial twitch. Yes, Goldie sure looked like a normal, popular, rich, pretty girl. Everyone knew different and chose to err on the side of caution.
Mary left the washroom, rather than continuing to stand there viewing the gaggle of make up applying girls and breathing in the fumes of hair spray flying through the air.
As she turned down the hall to class she couldn’t help but stare at the frail girl in the wheelchair, skin blue tinted, pale. Her arms hung low, her entire lower half covered by a grey blanket that had photo realistic legs pictured on the front. A bubbling noise erupted from the tank device attached to the back of the wheel chair . Tubes wound around the girl’s nose and mouth, allowing her to breath in the water on land.
A large Jamaican nurse wheeled the girl everywhere, even accompanied her to class. He was always a few inches away, ready to intervene at the sudden case of a medical emergency. A sudden cough, twitch of the hand, head or arm, sent the tall man into quick action. Having him in the school was often handy. The man acted as a on hand translator as the breathing device, the noise of the bubbles and the girl’s muffled voice accompanied by her severe exhaustion made talking quite difficult.
Mary stared too long, her gaze connected with the red head’s eyes. The large Nurse and the frail girl stared back in silence. The bubbling noise echoed down the hall.
To save herself any more humiliation, Mary hurried by, grunting a polite greeting to them both in passing.
“Hello, Sebastian. Hi iReaeL….”
As she opened the door to her first class, Mary couldn’t help but take one last look.
This was the first aquatic exchange student to enter their school. Her fascination with merpeople was only enhanced by the student addition. She could see the mermaid’s tail poking out from behind the blanket, a trail of wet drips spotted the floor creating a trail that was easy to follow. Mary noticed a fish swimming around the attached tank, seeming blissfully unaware. She pondered the advantages or disadvantages of having a fish swimming in your breathing apparatus. Or perhaps, the fish was a pet.
First of all, her name wasn’t iReaeL. Every student and staff member pronounced the little mermaid’s name wrong. It wasn’t their fault, they were trying so hard to be polite and accommodating. She was the first merperson at Storytown School, it was a great honor! No, the people were not at fault for this error. They assumed her name was strange due to her sea heritage . It wasn’t. The mistake could all be traced back to her first school introduction, her nurse and his ridiculously heavy accent.
The mermaid’s presence hadn’t gone unnoticed . Rumors spread like oil across the top of the ocean. None of the information was accurate or true, just hate filled mutters of ignorant individuals.
The new addition to the signs out front was a scathing insult towards her. This knowledge didn’t slip past the mermaid. While quiet and unable to speak in large coherent sentences, this did not at all limit her intelligence. At just 14 the little mermaid had been at the top of her class. Her thoughts moved quicker than she could express herself on land.
At the discovery of merpeople, devoted religious humans quickly dove down to spread their message of Christ. Having skimmed the reading material, the mermaid had a fascination with the religious beliefs of other cultures, she knew the passage well.
“Anything living in water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you”
The little mermaid had both fins and scales. She had gills as well, but that wasn’t mentioned. The passage originally meant that if you followed the religion, you personally, could not eat shellfish.
Hate and prejudice fueled the new meaning, a dirty lie spread by Non-fiction individuals trying to prevent mixed relationships. The old belief that mermaids or mermen all were product of a human sleeping with a fish. Her mother wasn’t a fish!
Had her Merman father slept with fish? As The Sea King often said to his daughters’ embarrassment “Everyone experiments in college…”
She however was a pure blooded mermaid and quite proud. Her mother had died in birth, after laying her giant egg sack, leaving The Sea King to raise his 6 daughters’ all on his own. The sign outside perpetuated a stereotype. Every ignorant person or creature who passed by and read that sign upon entering the school had this information absorbed into their brain. She wasn’t a sophisticated, smart Daughter of The Sea King here. The little mermaid was a half fish- half human unclean handicapped sea monster in their eyes, followed everywhere by a hulkingly large, unintelligible nurse.
The little mermaid couldn’t express any of these complex feelings or thoughts verbally. She had no voice on land.
Age 15 was a magical year in a merperson’s life.
You were legally an adult. You could vote, have access to blowfish and other intoxicants, and as long as your 90 hours of military or community service were complete you were eligible as a land exchange student for 1 year.
The little mermaid had spent her childhood fantasizing, researching and preparing for her time on the surface. Every merperson who returned she hunted down and interviewed. She pried every piece of information from them that she could.
“It was incredible.”
“I was so popular …. Everyone wanted to be my friend.”
“Everything is so different , it was amazing.”
“It takes some adjustment – not for me through, I picked everything up quickly.”
“It’s not for the weak! You have to be prepared for danger at every turn”
There was one thing she couldn’t grasp. Why did they all return?
Since the exchange had first taken place over 60 years ago, not one 15 year old merperson had chosen to stay on the surface. They all returned to the sea.
Everyone had their reason. It sounded like an excuse to her.
Dangerous? What was more dangerous than a shark suddenly appearing on the grade school playground.
Adjustment? She was like water. Every challenge the mermaid faced she smiled through. There was no fear, just excitement and wonder.
And weak. She smiled. Her secret trips to the surface and her last incredible find hadn’t been for the faint of heart.
The little mermaid had found a beautiful treasure sunken down in the deep sand after a huge storm one night. Often after big storms she would sneak out to unoccupied areas in the deep ocean. She would scavenge, keeping track of her archeological finds.
Last one was the biggest item she had ever moved.
A large marble statute had fallen from a ship above. The white and black swirls were beautiful alone. It was the carved face that stopped her, breathless. He was beautiful, the long legs meant he was from the surface. The hair looked as though she could run her fingers through -an amazing effect in solid marble.
She had to have it for her collection.
It took the whole day. The mermaid persisted through the pain. Little by little, she pushed the statue across the sandy ocean bottom pausing only to stop and navigate a safe path or shift towards a new direction. It took hours. The shadows passed above, she could track her time and progress. Finally, the mermaid reached the cave where she hid all of her treasured items.