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Little Remarked Upon Vanishings and Disappearances

Jonathan Cosgrove is a professional writer who, despite the best of intentions, spends most of his time avoiding that. His most recent work appeared in the Arterial Bloom anthology from Crystal Lake Publishing. Contact him on jonathancosgrove.com or on Twitter @jjingo_gaijin.

Once upon a time I was the elder sister of a girl enchanted by a ring.
And I, the elder of a girl wed to a wolf or a hunter, one and the same.
My mother took off her clothes and skin and ran away with a fairy king.
I was lost beneath the wave of a parenthesis detailing a sea lion's interest in my daughter.
And I, still,--
They've heard enough.
We. We. We.
We are the girls, the women, who are lost and unsearched for.
The elders and daughters to dimwits and floozies.
(Even those hideous stepsisters, not related by blood to magic or beauty, were not removed from the story so quick.)
There are no stories about us because we are forgotten once you move to the next sentence, the next line. We're erased.
Beneath the porous surface of the first paragraph our fate, oblivion, waits.
But you can save us--Call 555-Fairy Tale Rewrite.
We're waiting.
We're dreaming
of a fairytale
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, November 12th, 2020

Author Comments

The seed of this piece came from Kate Bernheimer's essay, "Fairy Tale is Form, Form is Fairy Tale." In one section, Bernheimer states that in fairy tales there is an "intuitive logic." Using the story, "The Rosebud," she illustrates how elder daughters are introduced only to be forgotten a sentence or two later in favor of the story of the younger daughter.

"And that elder daughter--what has happened to her? Can you imagine submitting a story to a writing workshop in which the first paragraph introduces two brothers, but one of the brothers is never mentioned again?"

"... the older daughter is simply a noun; and yet she exists in the story, has existed in there, for so very long."

This was my simple, lighthearted attempt to give forgotten siblings of fairy tale princesses some much needed spotlight.

- Jonathan Cosgrove
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