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Jane St Clair

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Mordiana and the Sorcerer's Secret
By Jane St Clair
Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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A Fairy Tale Contest! You had one weekend to write a 2500-word fairy tale with a credit card in it. Some of the other 30 prompts were a drama/doll;horror/rest stop; comedy/emergency room, and ghost story/therapist. SAD but true , this is the writer's idea of a good time.


Mordiana and the Sorcerer’s Secret

Once upon a time there was a disgruntled fairy godmother who was sick of helping passive princesses and spoiled damsels in distress. It bothered her very much that in a galaxy far far away, perfectly mediocre princes were getting help in the form of light sabers and Forces, as in Use the Force, Luke, while her pathetic wards were too weak to pick up even a light-weight sword much less understand how to wield the forces of the universe.

“I’m mad as hell and I'm not going take this anymore,” Mordiana said. “I’m going to fix this problem once and for all.”

So on that very day, Mordiana dressed herself in witches’ blacks, and cast away herbs and cats’ whiskers and parts of a prince’s palomino’s ass into her boiling cauldron. She danced and pranced and marched around the terrible fire and crackling stew, as she waved her magic wand and spoke her magic intonations and chanted her magic words to cast a marvelous magic spell.

Steegle, stumble, cord and kite

Bring forth the power of the universe’s might

Steegle, stumble, mend and mand

Make a sword to fit a princess’ hand.

Meegle, mumble, horse and cow

Give me a token, give it now.

There was a terrible quaking, and then a formidable clap of thunder, and even Mordiana, who is a stalwart soul, fell backwards in terror. But when the smoke cleared and the rumbling of the earth beneath her ceased, Mordiana held in her hand a tiny talisman. It was perfectly made and perfectly square, with merry red, yellow and blue colors and a magic barcode on its side. The numbers and markings and beautiful flashing silver hologram made no sense whatsoever to Mordiana, even as the voices of the spirits around her said:

Faster than a speeding bullet…

More powerful than a locomotive…

Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound..

Look! In your hand – it’s small but it’s power

It’s the sorcerer’s secret of Western Civilization!

Mordiana held the little square in her hand, and for a moment, she doubted herself.

“Certainly it is not Kryptonite,” Mordiana said as she bit into the talisman to test it. “This is very strange, and yet my oracle has always been correct before. Surely I must have faith in its wisdom now.”

Nevertheless, the new talisman looked like a puny little thing.

Summoning up her powers of believing, Mordiana made herself very small, as small as a dragonfly. Then she rose up on rainbow-colored dragonfly wings and flew backwards, backwards like Merlin, very much backwards in time –to the upper middle class house where Cinderella toiled day and night in unpaid servitude to her wicked stepmother and two ugly stepsisters.

Mordiana landed there on the very night of the prince’s ball. Cinderella was sitting in a corner, crying and feeling very sorry for herself because she had been left behind in a dirty little corner of ashes and cinders.

“Oh fairy godmother,” she cried, “have you come to turn my pumpkin into a carriage for me?”

Mordiana looked at her in disgust. She’d heard this victimhood rap for hundreds of thousands of centuries now, and she was tired of it. Tough love is but a kindness to those who wallow in identity politics, she thought to herself.

 “Look, cookie,” Mordiana said to Cinderella, “it’s time you helped yourself. There’s more to life than princes’ balls.”

At that moment, Mordiana handed Cinderella the magic credit card.

Speedily they flew to Rodeo Drive, where Cinderella bought a beautiful ballgown from Vera Wang and a cache of Harry Winston jewelry. Vidal Sasson fashioned Cinderella’s golden locks into a fabulous sassy updo. Cinderella hired a chauffeur from Rent-A-Cop and a personal attendant from Merry Maids whose sole duty was to arrange her dress and keep its long train from soiling in dust and cinders.

At the ball, the prince immediately took Cinderella for a media princess every bit as qualified as any hotel heiress or sleazy rock star to become his wife. Cinderella’s curse was broken. The terrible curse that would have made her glamour disappear at midnight and turned her coach into a pumpkin was finally over. Indeed, Cinderella finally realized that the only curse she ever really had was the curse of the working class.

Feeling triumphant at Cinderella’s success, Mordiana flew to a tiny cottage in the woods where a beautiful young princess was singing in an irritatingly high voice into a wishing well.

“Someday my prince will come,” the lovely brunette sang as butterflies and deaf angels twirled about her head.

“Oh for goodness’ sake,” said Mordiana. “With your looks, do you really need to be stuck with seven little dwarves, kinky though that might be? You’re going to wait forever here for your prince, you’ll risk being poisoned and placed in a glass coffin if you don’t take matters into your own hands. Snow White, use the force! Here’s forty billion items on sale on Amazon, eBay and”

Snow White took the credit card into her trembling hands and then used it to order an entire new wardrobe from Bloomingdale’s. She and Mordiana flew to the Pinkerton Agency, where they hired a momentous team of bodyguards to keep her safe from the evil witch. They called Tom Cruise’s agent at William Morris, who immediately booked the seven dwarves on a reality television show about Little People, so that they and Snow White could make a ton of money and move forthwith out of their pathetic cottage and into a big mortgage in Malibu.

Soon after, the police arrested the evil Queen for impersonating an apple salesperson, and put her in jail for life. When the prince finally arrived in Malibu to fetch Snow White, it was much too late. She was already turning down marriage proposals from rich Saudi princes and upper class East Coast twits even as she appeared daily on Entertainment Tonight and

Buoyed by the successful happily-ever-afters of Snow White and Cinderella, Mordiana next dived deeply under the sea. There she found the Little Mermaid, crying and fretting that she had no legs.

“You’ll have prosthetics by tomorrow,” said Mordiana, handing her the credit card. “Use the force, honey, and buy whatever you need. With this magic card, you don’t even need health insurance.”

The saga only continued with one success story after another.

Through the magic of credit, Mordiana was able to buy Beauty’s beast an extreme make-over and the necessary therapy that led him to total anger-management. Mordiana helped Scheherazade employ a team of Martindale-Hubbell A-rated lawyers to get the goods on Blue Beard and convict him of mariticide. Together Sleeping Beauty and the fairy godmother hired psychic Sylvia Browne to undo the curse on her castle so that she could remain fully awake not only during her wedding ceremony but through her entire marriage to the boring prince.

And so the story of the great force of Western Civilization continues even today. Today, any potential princess may activate her cards the moment she receives them free in her mail. She will not need a job or a high school diploma, her signature alone gives her the magic she will need to master the process. The magic key opens the doors of Macy, Nordstrom, Tiffany, and Saks, and all the powers of Michael Kors, Juicy Couture and Versage – whatever she wants or needs is now in her sweet little pink palms forever.

There are no fairy tales anymore,all princesses everywhere now live happily ever after.


The End  


UPDATE: Modiana took third place in this contest on March 1, 2008.

UPDATE: Here are the judges' comments. Nice, but remember I only came in third.

''Mordiana and the Socerer's Secret to Western Civilization'' by Jane St Clair - WHAT THE JUDGE(S) LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - Brilliantly funny and well written, this story combines fairy tales and humor with the modern world effortlessly............................This story has a nice "twist" on the usual -- the social commentary is good. ......good story!  The writing was mostly quite solid, both technically and creatively.  The bits with the disney princesses were clever, and the happily ever afters fit with the tone and feel of the piece.  All told, it was consistent, funny and an enjoyable story...........................................   WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - The only way this story might be improved is by using more descriptives and less of the brand names............................A bit of conflict beyond the fairy's good deeds is very much needed. Also, develop Mordiana's character. Why is she so frustrated?......well…ok--this story was good, but I kept asking the story what happens when its time to pay the credit card off?  Do the princesses do it? or does mordiana have to?  That would be the more interesting story, I would think…............…........................  ADDITIONAL COMMENTS - ...This story made me laugh aloud..................................this was solidly written and funny.  Good show....





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