I don't feel as happy with this story as I have with my others. I carried across my point pretty well but I feel like there's something missing, like I've done something wrong. I won't worry over it too much though, I get that feeling a lot as you probably know by now.
The Frog Prince had always been my favorite story ever since I was young. My mother read it to me so many times, she didn’t even need the book anymore. She knew it by heart and so did I. My older brother made fun of me for it. He said it was a girl story. That doesn’t hold much ground once you learn he’s gay.
That story implemented in me the lesson to always be courteous to frogs, specially the talking ones. Which is why I picked that dried out frog off the sidewalk, carried it to my home, and gave it some water. And that is why when it said, “Thank you.” I said, “You’re welcome.”
We introduced ourselves and she decided to stay. I had a suspicion it may have had something to do with the never-ending supply of flies that originated from my habit of leaving the windows open. For the first few days, her eyes followed me everywhere. She didn’t speak another word not even when I spoke to her.
When I got home from work on the fourth day of her stay, my old copy of The Frog Prince was sitting on my coffee table. I frowned; it had not been there when I left. The mystery was soon solved however when I spotted the frog. She sat on my book -right on the face of the princess- waiting. I greeted her as I had everyday, not expecting a reply.
“How was work?” she asked, as if she had asked it every day.
Staring, I slowly replied, “It was okay. My boss is getting grumpy. He wanted my new story two days ago.” At that time I was a reporter of sorts, more of a writer really. I wrote a column for a popular magazine for kids. I enjoyed my job if not my coworkers.
She blinked her bulbish eyes, soaking in that piece of information. While she did so, I set down my briefcase and loosened my tie, trying to act nonchalant about the whole thing.
“I have an idea,” her words were slow and carefully pronounced. She was a very well-mannered frog. “Since you rescued me, you deserve payment.”
I protested but she talked right over me, “You need a story. I will give you a story. A story much better than this one,” she stomped her webbed foot on the cover.
I was interested then. Was there really a story better than The Frog Prince? If so my career would skyrocket. I could move on to a bigger and better job, with people who understood me. I accepted her offer and we got down to business right away.
My pencil was poised over my notepad as I leaned forward eagerly from my position on the couch. She remained on her perch as she told her tale; the sound of her words mixing with the scratching of my pencil, “Once upon a time, because isn’t that how most fairytales start, there was a prince who got himself turned into a frog. I’m not sure how he managed that for I never did ask and he never did tell me. He was touchy about it, but then, he was touchy about a lot of things.
“He was not well accepted in our community. The others thought him evil and wrong because he had not always been a frog. I, however, found him charming. I showed him our ways, taught him how to fit in so he could have a new life. I loved him, and I thought he loved me.
“There came a day when I was by myself. The prince would often mope and at these times I could not stand him. I swam about in my favorite stream, enjoying the cool water and the peace. An object fell into the spring suddenly and soon followed a little girl. She cried and wept and sobbed for her lost plaything, that wrenched golden ball.
“I was upset, I will admit. I was enjoying myself, minding my own business, and this pampered child ruined it, and now she would not leave! I knew what she was; her stylish clothing made it apparent. A mean thought welled up into my mind and to this day I regret acting upon it. I told that girl I should retrieve that ball only if she would take me to her castle and love me. I don’t know why I did it, perhaps I thought she would never agree and she would go home, dejected. That did not happen. She agreed.
“True to my word, I got her her ball. She however was not true to hers. She ran away with her precious toy and left me behind. I told the prince of this later, never dreaming of what he would do. For as I’ve stated before, I thought he loved me.
“The next morning I could not find him, no matter where I looked. For days I worried over him, wondering at his fate. Then I heard the news. The whole countryside was raving over it. The princess was to be married and to a lost prince! I think it was a codfish who first told me the story of the frog prince.
“I knew what had happened. My prince had gone to the princess stating that he was the frog who had assisted her and insisting she keep her end of the bargain. The princess, being a human, could not tell the distinct differences between frogs and, as of such, believed him. His curse had been lifted over the time he spent with her. He was human again and had no need of me.
“So they got married and lived happily ever after,” she stopped there with the most bitter expression you will ever see on a frog.
I stared, my eyes wide, not believing this twist. My favorite story was a lie! The frog prince had been turned from a misfortune hero to a lying, traitorous scumbag. I managed to splutter out one question, “What did you do?”
She blinked and a toadish smile crossed her face, “I went to the fairy that had turned him into a frog. It took me some time to find her for the story of The Frog Prince did not specify her name. It turns out she was very fond of frogs and she was eager to help.
"With the lessons that she taught me, I snuck into the castle. And after I had turned them both into flies, I ate them.”
Wisely, I left that last detail out of the story I turned in to my boss.
Question: What do you think of my fairytale spin-off? How do you feel about spin-offs in general?