(Author’s Note: Another story written by request for a friend. It’s about a monkey, and family. My apologies to snakes for the type casting. – Dean)


Monkey’s New Family
Deep in the jungle, beside a slow moving river, in a small tree, Monkey sat alone. She could see the other monkeys playing in the other trees, hear them hooting and laughing. She would watch as the mother monkeys and father monkeys groomed and watched over their children. Monkey never tried to join the other monkeys and they never seemed to want her to. After awhile, all the other monkeys moved deeper into the jungle and left Monkey to her own silence. Monkey was very sad.
Monkey never had a family she could remember. There was never a mother monkey or father monkey to groom her or watch over her. She tried to groom herself but couldn’t reach everywhere. She couldn’t watch over herself. The other monkeys her age didn’t know what to think of the monkey with no family. They had family and friends to play with. They didn’t know how to approach her and she never approached them. All the monkeys, including the mother monkeys and the father monkeys thought Monkey didn’t care about anything or anyone. They were wrong. Monkey cared about everything and everyone. She cared a lot. It was just that no one seemed to care about Monkey. One morning, Monkey awoke to find all the other monkeys gone. She never tried to find them.
Monkey found herself a small tree beside a slow moving river and made it her home. She would sleep in her tree, bathe in the river, and forage for her food. It wasn’t a terrible life, but Monkey was always alone. Some days, the other monkeys would pass through the trees nearby. Monkey would always watch them but she never greeted them or tried to join them. The other monkeys never greeted her or asked her to join.
One day, while Monkey sat alone in her tree, a man came walking along the river. He stopped under her tree and laid out a blanket. He sat down and took out some fruit. Monkey loved fruit and it never mattered what kind of fruit it was. She was trying to think of a way to get the fruit when the man looked up and saw her.
He held out the fruit to her. He asked, “Would you like this?”
Monkey shrieked and hid among the leaves higher in the tree. The man laughed and placed the fruit on the ground away from him. “It’s yours if you want it.” He said. “I have much more than I need. The man continued to talk to Monkey as he ate and watched the river. Monkey didn’t really listen because she just wanted the fruit and the man wouldn’t leave so she could get it. Finally, after what seemed like forever, the man got up to leave. He packed his things and picked up his blanket but left the fruit.
He looked up at Monkey, still hiding in her tree. “Hope you enjoy the rest of your day, little monkey. I will see you tomorrow.” The man said. Then, he walked away along the river.
As soon as Monkey was sure he was gone, she jumped down from the tree. She grabbed the fruit and started eating it. It was the best fruit she ever had.
True to his word, the man came back the next day and the day after and the day after that. Each time, he would bring Monkey some fruit. Some days, the fruit would be different but Monkey didn’t care. All fruit was the best to her. Each day, Monkey would sit lower and lower in the tree while the man talked to her and watched the river. One day, Monkey was eating the fruit and realized she was sitting on the blanket next to the man. She didn’t know how she had gotten there. She just wanted to eat the fruit. The man was still talking and looking at the river. He was smiling. When she finished her fruit, she continued to sit there, listening to the man talk and watching the river with him. When the man got up to leave, Monkey didn’t know whether to run away or jump into her tree. So, she just sat there. The man smiled at her and said, “Why don’t you keep the blanket? It can keep you warm when it gets cold and dry when it rains.”
The man packed up the rest of his things and left. Monkey grabbed her new blanket, some sticks, and a few of the big fallen leaves and made a little shelter. It was very nice and comfortable but Monkey still felt alone. She wrapped herself in her new blanket and was very sad.
Every day, the man would come sit under Monkey’s tree and bring her fruit. Every day, Monkey would come down from her tree and sit beside him. He would always talk to her while she ate the fruit. Some days, she would talk to him. Often, they would laugh together at silly things. Monkey was less sad when the man was there.
One night, Monkey was sleeping in her blanket when she heard something moving in her tree. She opened her eyes and saw a very big snake about to eat her. She was wrapped in the blanket and couldn’t get away. She closed her eyes. A very loud and very deep growl shook the tree. Monkey opened her eyes and saw the snake slithering away as fast as it could. She looked down. There was a jaguar looking up at her. Monkey was afraid the jaguar would try to eat her but he just nodded his head at her and lay down in the shadow of her tree. He watched the jungle. Monkey watched the jaguar. In the morning, the jaguar stretched, looked up at Monkey, nodded, and went off into the jungle. When it got dark, the jaguar came back and found a spot in the shadow of her tree. He nodded again at Monkey before turning to watch the jungle.
Every day, the man would bring Monkey fruit and they would sit and talk. Every night, the jaguar would sit or lie or prowl under Monkey’s tree, his deep purrs a soothing lullaby and a reminder he was there. Monkey was telling the man again about the jaguar and the snake when a head popped out of the river.
“Hello, Otter.” Said the man. “Otter, meet Monkey. Monkey, this is Otter.”
Otter stepped out of the river and made an awkward curtsy which caused her to fall right back into the river. Otter came back out, sputtering. Monkey laughed, then felt guilty for laughing. Otter started laughing, which started Monkey laughing again. Even the man laughed. Otter started spending lunch with the man and Monkey. When the man left, Monkey and Otter would play and laugh and tell each other the silliest stories. More often than not, Otter would stay with Monkey until Jaguar came. And, that was fine with Monkey. It meant less time for her to be sad. One day, Otter was behind Monkey when she made a surprised sound. “May I?” She asked Monkey. Before Monkey could respond, Otter started grooming Monkey in those places Monkey couldn’t reach. While Otter groomed her, Monkey wept.
Monkey was fixing her shelter when she cut herself with the sharp edge of a leaf.
“Can I have that?” Asked a voice above her.
Monkey looked up and saw a bat hanging from the branch above her. “Hi.” Said the bat. “I’m Bat. But, you can see that. Wait. You can see?”
When Monkey nodded, Bat continued, “Great. Never assume. Never assume. People think bats can’t see. I see great. People are weird. I am missing a tooth. Makes it hard to bite. So, can I have that?”
Bat pointed to Monkey’s blood on the leaf. Monkey just nodded. Bat grabbed the leaf and slurped the blood off. “Ah.” He said, “That hit the spot. I was so hungry. Still am a bit but that helped. Oh, yeah. Vampire bat. Probably, should have mentioned that. You know, I vant to suck your blood. Blah. Well, not your blood. You’re nice. Although, I just did. Anyway, moving on. I’m Bat. I said that. Thought I might be a vampire, not just the bat kind. Tried to turn into a human once. I think I hurt myself. Not how I lost my tooth though. That story is wild. Not a vampire then, just a bat. So, you. You’re a monkey, right?”
Bat stopped talking and looked at Monkey. Monkey looked at Bat looking at her. She didn’t know what to do or say. So, she did the first and only thing she could think of. Monkey  laughed. And she couldn’t stop laughing. Bat looked surprised, then started laughing as well. Monkey and Bat started spending their mornings playing and laughing together. He rarely stopped talking and told the wildest stories, most of which couldn’t be true. None of the stories were about how he lost his tooth. Monkey laughed at every story. Bat decided he liked to spend time with Monkey and made a home high up in her small tree.
Monkey no longer spent her days alone. Bat was constant company in the morning. The man would come and they would eat and talk and watch the river. Otter would join them and play with Monkey all afternoon. Jaguar was there every night. Sometimes, the man would bring meat for Jaguar and blood for Bat in times when hunting was more difficult. Sometimes, Jaguar would bring blood for bat. Otter would find shining things along the river and give them to everyone. Monkey thought the clip-on earring looked great on Jaguar. He complained but he always wore it. Everything was great in Monkey’s life, but she still felt there was something missing. Monkey was still sad.
On a day that seemed like any other, Bat had tired of talking and fell asleep and the man hadn’t arrived with the fruit yet, Monkey saw the other monkeys passing through the trees. As they always do, they stopped where Monkey could see them. The monkeys laughed and played and Monkey didn’t feel sad. She saw the mother monkeys and the father monkeys grooming and watching over their children. Monkey felt her heart break because of what was missing in her life. She cried.
Monkey was still crying when the man came. She picked up the fruit but couldn’t eat because she was crying too hard.
“What’s wrong, Monkey?” The man asked.
“I don’t have a family.” Monkey managed between tears.
“What is a family?” Asked the man.
Monkey was so surprised, she stopped crying. “Don’t you know what a family is?”
“I know what a family is to me,” said the man. “What is a family to you?”
Monkey thought a moment. “A family helps with food and shelter?”
The man looked at the fruit in Monkey’s hands, then up at her shelter in her tree.
“Oh.” Said Monkey. “They groom you.”
The man looked at Otter who was trying to pull something from the river. Otter saw them and waved. They waved back.
“They watch over you.” Continued Monkey.
The man looked back to where Jaguar spends his nights.
Monkeys eyes widened. “They are always there for you and want to spend time with you even when you would just like some quiet time.”
The man laughed and looked up the tree where Bat was sleeping.
Monkey tilted her head down, just her eyes looking up at the man. “Family loves you even when you don’t realize you are loved?”
The man nodded. “Seems to me, Monkey, you have a family. One that chose you.”
Monkey cried again, but these were the good kind of tears. She had a family all this time. Monkey hugged the man and, together, they went to help Otter.
Monkey wasn’t sad anymore. She never sat and watched the other monkeys when they passed through the nearby trees. She never thought about the mother monkeys and the father monkeys and how they groomed and watched over her children. She had a family that took care of her and she was going to take care of them. Monkey was  happy and spent all her days and nights loving and being loved by her new family.

(Author’s Note: This story is the fourth in a series of stories that feature princesses, twisted fairy tales, and an interrupting co-narrator. For ease, I’ve numbered them in the title. While they really don’t have to be read in a specific order, there are sometimes references to previous stories. I hope you enjoy. – Dean)


Once upon a time…


You don’t like once upon at time?

“Once upon a time is great. It’s just my turn.”

Your turn?

“To tell you a story.”

You are going to tell me a story? What story are you going to tell?

“This one.”

The one I was going to tell?

“Yep. Who’s it about?”


“Got it. Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess who lived in a tall tower…”

Why did you stop?

“You’re supposed to interrupt.”


“That’s the way it works. When you tell the story, I interrupt. So, you have to interrupt me.”


“So, I have time to think of what happens next. That’s how you do it.”

Not really. But, you seem to have interrupted yourself.

“Yeah. So, um, what happens next?”

You’re telling the story. You tell me.

“But, I don’t know the story.”

Make something up.

“You really aren’t helping. What’s the name of this story?”

Never Tangle With a Gorgon Princess.

“What’s a gorgon again?”

Greek myth. Snakes for hair. Turns men to stone by looking at them.


Yes. She was one of three gorgon sisters.

“I see the problem here.”

There’s a problem?

“Yep. The title doesn’t work.”

Why not?

“You have to explain what a gorgon is when you should just say Medusa. So, the title is now ‘Never Tangle With a Medusa Princess.’”

Fine. It’s your story. You can name it what you want.

“That was too easy. You’re up to something.”

Why would you think that?

“I just know. Anyway, you can continue.”

Continue with what?

“The story.”

I thought you were telling it.

“Nope. Your turn. I did the hard part and set it up for you. You know. Once upon a time. Beautiful princess. Tower. Even fixed the title for you. And you are welcome for that.”

Thank you. But you said you would tell me the story.

“I can’t.”

Why not?

“What do I know about medusas?”


“See? Think you just made my point.”

Alright. I will tell the story.

Once upon a time in a distant land, unless it was nearby, there lived three beautiful princesses in a single tall tower on a small rocky island.

“Three? And, how are they princesses?”

She has two sisters. And, everyone is a princess in these stories.

“Not everyone.”

Okay. Not the Prince.

“And you.”

I’m not in this story…. What are you looking at?

“The readers.”

Cute. The princesses were all beautiful except for their hair which was made up of snakes.

“Snakes are beautiful.”

Not everybody thinks that.

“Doesn’t mean they aren’t.”


The princesses were all beautiful and their hair was made up of snakes. Medusa’s hair was special as it was made up of many different kinds of snakes while her sisters each had only one.

“Not a king snake.”


“Her hair couldn’t have a king snake because it eats other snakes and then she would be bald.”

She would still have the king snake.

“Nope. Without the other snakes to eat, it would starve to death and fall out. Bald.”

No king snake.

Medusa thought she was more beautiful than her sisters and told them so all the time. She made them serve her. Her snakes would bite theirs if they didn’t do what she said. She spent most of the time staring into mirrors and feeding her hair.

One night, while Medusa was sleeping, her sisters carried her up to a room in the top of the tower and locked her in. They hired an old woman to look after her, took the only boat, and left the island.

“Good for them. She was mean.”

They locked her up.

“Did they leave her a mirror? And food for the snakes?”


“Then, she’s fine.”

Not really. She liked to go for walks.

“You never said that so it doesn’t count.”

After her sisters left the island, Medusa felt very lonely and regretted the way she treated them. The old woman would never speak to her. Medusa spent the whole of every day in a little room in the top of a tower just looking in a mirror and feeding her snakes. She was really bored.

One day, a prince arrived on the island.

“Here we go, dead prince time.”

I don’t always kill the prince.

“Yes, you do. This one is about to die too.”

The prince walked up to the tower expecting to find his beautiful princess. However, a storm had blown his ship off-course and he was expecting to be at that other tower with that other beautiful princess. He shouts up at the window at the top of the tower.

Medusa hears this prince outside the tower yelling at her to let down her hair. She panics a bit. Not really knowing what she should to do, she grabs one of the snakes, pulls it from her head, and throws it out the window. The snake hits the prince in the face. They are both very surprised and the snake bites him.

“Whoa. Then?”

The snake was one of the poisonous ones. The prince died.

“Told you. Dead prince.”

It happens.

About that time, the legends started of a beautiful princess locked in a tower on a rocky island. She was under a curse that turned her hair to snakes and could only be cured by True Love’s Kiss. Getting turned to stone was never mentioned.

“Can the kiss do that?”

Nope. Because, she isn’t cursed. It’s who she is.

So, prince after prince comes to the island seeking to rescue and kiss her. Medusa learned from the first prince not to pull out the snakes…

“If she keeps pulling them out, bald.”

That too. But, bald is still beautiful. She would miss her snakes, though.

Instead, she would look out her window as they looked up at her and…

“They turned to stone.”

Every one of them.

“You go through a lot of princes. There can’t be many left.”

I have an unlimited supply.

After years of prince after prince turning to stone at the base of the tower, a small ship arrives at the rocky island and Princess Awe Some steps ashore.

“Wait. Awe Some? Finally! If you turn her to stone, I am never letting you tell me another story.”


“Well, I will. But, I will be very mad at you.”

Then, I won’t turn her to stone.

“Or, have her bit by a poisonous snake.”

I won’t have her bit.

“No stone prince falling on her and crushing her to death.”

I hadn’t thought of that one.

“No killing Princess Awe Some. Promise.”

I promise. No killing her.

“Pinky swear.”

Double pinky swear.

“Yay. What happens next?”

The Princess Awe Some walks to the tower. She doesn’t pay attention to the stone princes or the skeleton of the snake-bit prince. She doesn’t even look up at the window at the top of the tower. Instead, she goes up to the door and knocks. The old woman opens the door and points Some to the stairs.

“She doesn’t say anything?”

Nope. She actually can’t speak. She wasn’t being mean.

“Did the sisters cut out her tongue?”

Now who’s being dark? She was born that way.

Some walked up stair after stair until she reached the room at the top. She politely knocked before unlocking the door. She slowly opened the now unlocked door and there was Medusa looking directly at her.

“Nooooo. You promised. Pinky swear and everything.”

Some understood something that most people didn’t. Medusa’s gaze turned MEN to stone.

“Some’s not a man.”


It was a long voyage, Medusa was beautiful, and Some had been waiting to kiss another Princess a very long time. Some moved quickly across the room with nothing but kissing on her mind.

“The snakes!”

Medusa, realizing what was about to happen, grabbed all the snakes with both hands and pulled them back. Some reached Medusa, took the snake-haired beauty into her arms and kissed her.

“Whoa. True Love’s Kiss.”

More lust than love. They just met. But the tower shook and all the stone princes crumbled.

“The kiss did that?”

The area is prone to earthquakes and there happened to be a tremor at that moment. Some and Medusa made their way over to the bed while still kissing.

“Then what?”


“Right. Move along, folks. Nothing to see here. You’ll tell me later.”

I will?

“Yeah. I’m not at work.”

We’ll see.

“That means yes.”

Some covered Medusa with a hooded cloak and led her from the tower. They got on Some’s ship and sailed away in each other’s arms.

“Into the sunset?”

The sun was setting, but they sailed the other way.

“Did they get a happily ever after?”

It wasn’t long before Medusa met a gargoyle she really liked and was already made of stone and her and Some parted ways. Some was okay with that as Medusa still spent a lot of time in front of mirrors and the snakes could be annoying. Some went on a search for another princess.

“I think I can sleep after that one. What’s next?”


“But not tonight.”

Not tonight.

(Author’s Note: A friend asked for a story with a talking tree and a dog that meows. If you have read The Perfect Gumdrop, you will have seen a cameo appearance by characters in this story. – Dean)


The Little Puppy’s Meow
In a small town that surrounded an even smaller forest, a litter of five puppies was born. Each puppy was cuter than the last and the smallest was the cutest of all. Day after day after day, the puppies played, wrestled each other, and chased their tails. Each day was more exciting than the last and they were very happy.
One day, the puppies were more excited than usual. For that day was the very first day of Barking School. Their teacher was a big Great Dane. First, she showed them how to bark. Her bark was loud and deep and the whole place shook. The puppies tried to hide behind each other but only managed a silly looking puppy pile. Then, they all started laughing.
The teacher had them line up. She went to the first puppy and told him to bark.
 “Woof.” Squeaked the puppy.
The teacher shook her head and went to the next puppy.
“WOOF.” She barked, making her siblings jump.
The teacher nodded and moved to the next puppy. That puppy’s bark was sharp and hurt everyone’s ears and the next one’s bark was almost a whisper. Finally, she got to the last puppy, the smallest of them all.
The little puppy took a deep breath and barked as loud as she could.
The teacher almost fell over in shock. She told the puppy to bark again.
“Meeeooowww.” Barked the little puppy.
The teacher got mad at the poor little puppy and told her to leave Barking School if she wasn’t going to bark properly.
The puppy ran out of Barking School and into the woods, her sad meows rebounding off the trees.
After awhile, the puppy reached the center of the forest. She was so very tired and stopped at the biggest tree and cried the saddest of sad meows.
Suddenly, she heard a voice. “What’s wrong, little puppy?”
Surprised, she looked up and saw that the tree had a face ad it’s eyes were looking at her. She had never heard of a talking tree before but she had never heard of a puppy that meows before either. Yet, here they both were.
The little puppy meowed what happened at the Barking School to the tree, who listened patiently as only trees can. Even talking ones.
The tree smiled and told the puppy it could help and shook some of it’s limbs. Suddenly, the loudest bark the little puppy ever heard came from high in the tree. The puppy looked up just as a sleepy little kitten climbed down the tree. The little kitten looked at the little puppy and the little puppy looked at the little kitten.
“Meow.” Barked the little puppy.
“Woof.” Meowed the little kitten.
The little puppy started running around the talking tree and the little kitten chased her. Then, the little kitten was chased by the little puppy. There was barking and meowing and meowing and barking as the little puppy and the little kitten played and wrestled in the forest. No one cared who was barking and who was meowing, it was fun.
The talking tree laughed, “It seems that you are the answers to each other’s problem.”
The puppy meowed and the kitten barked their thanks and headed back to town. When they got to Barking School, the kitten hid in the shadows. The teacher was mad when she saw the puppy and told the puppy to leave if she couldn’t bark.
So, the puppy took a deep breath and…
The kitten barked so loud from the shadows and with such force that it knocked the teacher down. All the dogs and puppies at Barking School looked shocked at the little puppy. Just then, the kitten came out of the shadows. The puppy meowed and they both ran out of Barking School.
The meowing puppy and the barking kitten meowed and barked, barked and meowed as they chased each other, wrestled, and played as only new best friends do as they journeyed across the forest to the Meowing School.

(Author’s Note: This story is the third in a series of stories that feature princesses, twisted fairy tales, and an interrupting co-narrator. For ease, I’ve numbered them in the title. While they really don’t have to be read in a specific order, there are sometimes references to previous stories. I hope you enjoy. – Dean)


Once upon a time in a small village beside a great forest, there lived a young girl. On her eighteenth birthday, she was given a hooded cloak the color of dried blood.



“Why did you stop?”

You haven’t interrupted.

“Why are you feeling my forehead? I’m not sick. I was listening. Isn’t that the point?”

Oh. Then, I will continue.

“Wait. Since we already stopped, I have questions.”

Of course you do.

“I could have just listened, you know. Anyway, you didn’t say she was a beautiful princess.”

She is beautiful, just thought you might be tired of me saying everyone is beautiful.

“Everyone is beautiful. You can still say it.”

Good point. She isn’t a princess though.

“Why not?”

Her parents aren’t a king and queen.

“So. I bet her daddy calls her princess.”

What if she doesn’t have one?

“She doesn’t need a daddy to call her princess to be one. It’s just nice when he does.”


Once upon a time in a small village beside a great forest, there lived a beautiful princess. On her eighteenth birthday, she was given a hooded cloak the color of dried blood. The giving of the cloak is a family tradition always given for the eighteenth birthday and is to be worn during the next full moon.

“What’s her name?”


“Really? Thought you were a writer or something. The best you can do is Red?”

What would you suggest?


That’s just a shade of red.

“But, it sounds better than Red.”

Scarlet was excited when she was given her cloak. That night was the first night of the full moon and she was to go to her grandmother’s house deep in the woods before nightfall. She took water, a satchel of food, and her knife and headed into the forest.

“She has a knife?”

Yes. Why?

“She’s a werewolf?”


“A werewolf that needs a knife?”

It’s still day and it’s her eighteenth birthday, so she hasn’t changed yet and you are getting ahead in the story.

“Does Scarlet know she’s a werewolf?”

I don’t know yet.

“Why not?”

I make this up as I go.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen?”

I have an idea.

“Then, how do you know I am getting ahead in the story if you don’t know the story either?”

Because I haven’t gotten there yet.

“That shouldn’t make sense. What’s next?”

Scarlet is walking through the forest when she comes across a man walking alone.

“Prince Charming? I thought there was supposed to be a wolf.”

Technically, Scarlet is the wolf in the story. And, I never said he was a prince.

“Is he going to die?”

Do you want him to?

“If he is going to die, then he has to be the Prince. It’s a pattern.”

Scarlet is walking through the forest when she comes across a prince walking alone.

“Now, it’s getting good. She’s going to eat him.”

I didn’t say that.

“Just wait. And, when will Princess Awe Some show up.”

She’s not in this story.

“Again? Why not?”

She has nothing against werewolves. Her favorite cousin is one.

“How did that happen?”

Prom night. Full moon. Hairy date.

“I want to hear that story. It’s like Teen Wolf meets Carrie.”

Not quite. Let’s finish this story first.

“I’ve been listening.”

The Prince goes into full charming mode, even showing Scarlet his jeweled long sword.

“Ewww. SFW please.”

It’s a sword. Really. The Prince claims he knows the forest well and that there is a faster path to her grandmother’s house. He leads her off the main path deeper into the woods. The Prince does everything he can to slow Scarlet down so he can spend more time with her. They even stop for a meal and Scarlet shares her food and water with him. It is getting later and later in the day.

The Prince runs out of delaying tactics and they arrive at grandmother’s house just as the full moon rises. Scarlet’s grandmother is waiting and congratulates Scarlet for bringing her first kill with her. The Princes turns just as Scarlet grabs his hand and cuts it with her knife. She brings his hand to her mouth and licks his blood.

“Whoaaa. You even used the knife. Don’t stop now.”

The taste of the Prince’s blood triggered Scarlet’s transformation and she turned into a wolf. The Prince, thinking himself charming and not very brave, fainted.


Be nice. He’s about to be eaten. Some people don’t handle that very well.

After their meal, Scarlet and her grandmother run through the great forest, playfully chasing rabbits and deer until they come upon a clearing lit by the moon. There, they meet with other wolves and Scarlet is welcomed into the pack. She gives the pack back the hooded cloak, it’s color now brightened with the blood of the Prince.

“What happened to the woodsman that kills the wolf?”

Grandmother ate him years ago.

“So…. not sleeping again.”

Okay, I’ll stay.

“This is the part where you tell me what’s next but it won’t be tonight.”

Is it? I think there will be a gorgon.

“A what?”


“Really? I’m ready.”

Not tonight.

“I knew you would say that.”

(Author’s Note: Many of my stories are requested by friends. This was as well. There were no specifics. She just wanted a story. – Dean)


Deep in the deepest of deep woods, in a snug little cottage, there lived Big Bear and his Little Cub. They were very happy. They played games all day and snuggled all night. One day, Big Bear had to go on a long trip and Little Cub was terribly sad. She was terrified that something would happen to Big Bear and he wouldn’t come back. She didn’t want to stay in their house in the deep woods without her Big Bear. She cried so hard when Big Bear said goodbye that she thought she could drown in her own tears. So, when Big Bear put on his thickest of thick fur, Little Cub quietly climbed onto his back. Big Bear felt like there was something behind him. He looked over his left shoulder and nothing was there. He looked over his right shoulder and nothing was there. He turned around to look behind him, but there was still nothing there.


Big Bear knew it was time to leave. He looked for his Little Cub to wave goodbye but she was nowhere to be seen. He slowly waved anyway. With lowered head and a heavy heart, Big Bear began his long journey. Little Cub quietly held on to his back. Big Bear walked through the deepest of the deep woods and Little Cub held on. Big Bear crossed the fastest of fast rivers and Little Cub held on. Big Bear trudged through the coldest of cold snows and Little Cub held on. Big Bear climbed the tallest of tall cliffs and Little Cub held on. No matter what Big Bear did or where Big Bear went, Little Cub held on. Every night before sleep, Big Bear, with tears in his eyes, would look up at the moon and stars and say goodnight to his Little Cub. And every night, Little Cub would whisper from Big Bear’s back goodnight to her Big Bear.


Eventually, Big Bear finished all the mysterious things that big bears do and it was time to go home. He went back down the tallest of tall cliffs, through the coldest of cold snows, recrossed the fastest of fast rivers, walked once more through the deepest of deep woods and returned to the snug little cottage they called home. And through it all, Little Cub held on.


When Big Bear walked in, he called out to his Little Cub. At long last, Little Cub stopped holding on and let go. She slid to the floor, a very exhausted Little Cub. Big Bear smiled at his brave little one and picked her up. He lovingly bathed her and put her to bed. She opened her tired eyes and told her Big Bear goodnight. With tears of happiness, Big Bear told his Little Cub goodnight and settled in beside her. That night, Big Bear and his Little Cub snuggled in their snug little cottage in the deepest of deep woods.

(Author’s Note: This story came about in a unique way. I was in chat on another site and chat was a bit slow at the moment although there were 20+ people there. A friend asked for a story. So, I typed this story one line at a time with no idea if it was even going anywhere. – Dean)


Long ago in a faraway kingdom, there lived a fierce and formidable dragon. It was considered to be the most terrible dragon in the entire history of time. The king of the small kingdom in which the dragon lived did not want this terrible dragon living there. People fled the kingdom and they never got tourists. So, the king sent heralds far and wide to find some brave adventurers to rid him of the fierce and formidable dragon.

  Continue reading “The Fierce and Formidable Dragon”

(Author’s Note: This story is the second in a series of stories that feature princesses, twisted fairy tales, and an interrupting co-narrator. For ease, I’ve numbered them in the title. While they really don’t have to be read in a specific order, there are sometimes references to previous stories. I hope you enjoy. – Dean)


Once upon a time in a kingdom far away…

“Why is it always far away?”


“Once upon a time in a kingdom FAR away. Why not someplace near?”

It’s a fairy tale. It just usually is.

“If you live there, it’s not far away.”

Good point.

“I know, right? Here’s another one. Why is it always a kingdom? There are queens.”

It’s a patriarchy thing.

“You said there would be dwarves. This is Snow White? And, you are going to change it?”

Yes and yes.

“Then, change it. Duh.”

Any other editorial observations?

“I think I’m good.” Continue reading “Never Bite a Vampire Princess (Little Bedtime Stories #2)”

(Author’s Note: A friend asked for this story. She wanted it to be about a gumdrop. Not quite sure if I covered everything she asked for, but, as all my stories seem to do, this one took off on its own. I make no excuses for the leprechauns. That’s all on them. There is also a brief cameo by another good friend who many of you may know.)
It was Gelling Day on Gumdrop Island and Ali was excited. She wondered if she would be red and cherry, purple and grape, or orange and, well, orange. She would even be happy if she was green and spearmint. Some gumdrops got spice flavors while others got fruit flavors. She sat and waited until it was her turn and her name would be called. She watched as name after name was called. She was very excited.
All this excitement was very tiring and Ali started dozing off just as she realized that she was the only one left and a name hadn’t been called in awhile. She quickly woke herself up just as a faded yellow gumdrop in a lab coat approached her.

Continue reading “The Perfect Gumdrop”

(Author’s Note: This story is the first in a series of stories that feature princesses, twisted fairy tales, and an interrupting co-narrator. For ease, I’ve numbered them in the title. While they really don’t have to be read in a specific order, there are sometimes references to previous stories. I hope you enjoy. – Dean)



Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess.

“Wait. I thought this story was about a zombie princess. Zombies aren’t beautiful.”

She isn’t a zombie yet. This is the beginning of the story. So, she is a beautiful princess.

“Not all princesses are beautiful. Just because Disney likes to draw them that way.”

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess. She knew that she was beautiful in her heart and therefore as beautiful on the outside as she was inside. She didn’t need anyone else to validate her beauty. How’s that?

“Fine. I guess.”

One day, on her eighteenth birthday…

“Is this Sleeping Beauty?”

Not exactly. There are zombies.

“It is Sleeping Beauty. Plagiarist. Besides, she’s supposed to be sixteen.”

No minors allowed. Those are the rules. She is eighteen. Do you want to hear the rest of the story or not?

“Yes. I’ll be quiet. You’re still a plagiarist.”

Continue reading “Never Kiss a Zombie Princess (Little Bedtime Stories #1)”