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Friday, March 28, 2014

Sleeping Butay (1 of 2) (#FridayFlash)

After reading some interesting posts about, shall we say, certain events that took place in original fairy tales, I had to write this one. Two of the characters (and I do mean characters) appeared in a previous tale, Stonebelly the Dragon.

Image source: openclipart.org
Once upon a time, in the Strange Lands north of Aht-Lann-Tah, lived Lee the boatbuilder. His wife Ki gave birth to a daughter, whom they named Butay. She grew into a beautiful young girl, and Lee often boasted that she had the finest stern in the Dominion.

In Butay’s twentieth year, a shadow fell across the Dominion, and Prince Chowming called his advisers together. “There is a shadow across the Dominion,” he said, repeating the narration. “What can we do about it?”

“It is merely a recession,” said Lord Miserly. “It affects only the peasants. Things will improve if left to themselves.”

“Or,” suggested Lord Fairplay, “we could stimulate the economy. It is long past time for you to find a wife, and a royal wedding would solve both problems.”

Prince Chowming’s resigned sigh was drowned out by the shouts of “Hear, hear!” from the other advisors, and the word was spread.

In the Rival Kingdom, word reached the ears of Princess Hatchet. She had once kidnapped Prince Chowming to marry him by force, until that dragon intervened, and saw a second chance to get him in her clutches—I mean, unite the two kingdoms. She summoned her royal consort, Hapless the (former) merchant. “I know you need to settle some accounts with your associates in Aht-Lann-Tah,” she told him. “Go ahead and take care of business. I’ll see you in a month or so, yes?”

Hapless was suspicious, as Hatchet had not let him out of the castle since the wedding, but he did indeed wish to settle his accounts. And if Hatchet thought he’d return without being dragged back by force, so much the better. He wasted little time in departing.

As soon as he was out of sight, Hatchet hurried to her cellar and uncovered her magic mirror. “Mirror, mirror,” she said, “Have I a rival to the hand of Prince Chowming?”

“But one,” the mirror replied. “Among the boatbuilders dwells the maiden Butay. Only she stands in your way.”

“Your rhyming lacks meter,” said Hatchet, “but no matter. By the power of Google, I command thee: find me a spell that will put an end to my rival!”

“Killing an innocent is bad juju,” the mirror warned. “But I have found you a spell that will be just as effective for what you need.”

“Can it be broken?”

“All spells of course can break, but how much effort does it take?” The mirror told her how. “And it wears off after a month.”

“No problem. She can sleep for a month. By then, I’ll have Prince Chowming.”

Butay was storming her way home, and everyone gave her wide hips a wider berth. She had caught her fiancĂ© giving the butcher’s daughter his own salami, and she made sure that the end of their engagement was loud and public. In her rage, she nearly ran down an old woman in her path.

“Greetings, young lady,” said the woman. “Would you like to try my wines? I have only the finest.”

A bit of an ugg, Butay thought, but… “You know, I could use a good drink right now.”

“Then by all means, try some.” The old woman gave her a bottle. “My gift. If you enjoy it, seek me out. I will be glad to sell you some more.”

Butay wondered what the catch was, but didn’t care all that much. She uncorked the bottle and took a deep swig. “Good stuff,” she said. “I’ll be back.”

“Enjoy!” The old woman, who was actually Hatchet in disguise, waved and walked away. Butay took another long drink, then yawned. “Wow,” she said. “I need a nap.” She went home and laid down.

And there she stayed.



  1. Well, who could blame the girl having a stiff drink after finding her betrothed sharing his salami with another - maybe she'll feel better after a good months sleep! Look forward to next week's episode.

  2. the concept of staging a royal wedding in order to give a boost to the economy is something we here in Britain do on a regular basis!

  3. Aht-Lann-Tah? I think I've visited the ruins of one of their airports. Terrible wifi.

  4. Just goes to show that there's more to life than economics. There's politics.

  5. That salami-sharing does have a habit of spoiling relationship, doesn't it? :)

  6. Okay, okay, this is...hillarious! This take on fairy tales is super fun and always clever, and you've done both wonderfully. Looking forward to part 2, Larry!

  7. I love the play on words here. Like John, I've been to Aht-Lann-Tah before. Around 5:00, the place turns to hell. Then when it snows, all hell freezes over. At least it did this year. :) I look forward to seeing where you go with this. We'll see what happens if and when Sleeping Butay wakes up.

  8. LMAO - you have a way with words, sir!

  9. Yes, Aht-Lann-Tah has horrible wifi at the airport (and you have to pay huge bucks for it), and rush hour is not for the faint of heart (or knights on horseback). But I live in the Strange Lands, and they live up to the name. Trust me!

    Glad to hear everyone's enjoying this—tune in next Friday for the conclusion!

  10. Thoroughly hilarious! Did you have as much fun writing it as I had reading it? I hope so - Mary at Variety, the Spice of Life


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