From ‘Once Upon’ to ‘Modern Female’

Once upon a time lived a witchy-witch.

And, like any other witch, she too, every now and then needed playmates. But the good Lord did not give her a face to attract any. 

So, a long time ago, she stole the face of the fairest maiden and made a mask out of it.

Whenever the urge struck her, she would don the mask and venture out into the world to bewitch young strapping fellows. She would take them to her private chambers in the tallest tower, for a few days of companionship and one night of unadulterated pleasure, before she got rid of them. 

After a night of ecstasy, unlike any they had ever experienced, they would stir from their slumber with smiles on their lips. As the sunrays filtered through the curtains bathing the bed-chamber in their golden glow, they would turn to her, just as she removed her mask. 

Then as she lifted her face and the golden light fell on it, they would scream. The idea that they had bedded someone so utterly ugly would repulse them. Screaming they would jump from the balcony, till it ended in a thud. 

Shrugging, she would snap her fingers to clear the (unseen) mess and would go about her way.  

Thus, passed many years. 

People speculated about the disappearing lads.

One such person was Hewas. A charming klutz, he was not particularly handsome. But, he was smart and he had a plan.

He made sure the witch chose him. 

Then, that fateful golden morning as she took off her mask, he snuck his hand under his pillow. For last night before going to bed he had hidden his secret weapon. Even as she lifted her face, he turned and thrust a mirror, infront of her face. 

The instant the witch saw her real face, she froze. Hewas smiled. He knew that moment was close, when she would scream and jump off the tower. 

But to his utter surprise, nothing happened. He opened his eyes and peered in her direction.

‘Well,….. aren’t you clever!’ murmured the witch. Curious, she stared at Hewas, for he hadn’t run off screaming at the sight of her face. ‘Are you blind?’

‘Oh! Almost. I can just make out light and shadow,’ replied our hero, triumphantly.

The irony of the situation made the witch laugh; after all both had tried to kill each other. But he had to be punished. Her laughter soon turned to nerve-grating, high-pitched cackle. Hewas covered his ears to stop it from crawling into his brain and shredding it little by little. But nothing worked. He ran to the door. It wouldn’t open. The witch continued. As a final recourse, he raced to the balcony. And jumped! THUD.

She snapped her fingers, but made him a grave with an epitaph. 

He was came close, but he was a fool,
To kill the witch, he brought a tool.
Didn’t he know, this isn’t a fairy tale,
Secure in my skin, I’m a modern female.
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Shweta Singh
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