Short Stories

Short Stories

I’ve published a few short stories. These two are both fairytales, with twists.

Dancing in the Ashes

When Ally ran away from home, she went where every girl wants to go—to find her prince.  It didn’t hurt that her mother had built a dimensional transporter and had found a place with a quaint village and a nearby palace.  When Ally got there, though, the filth surprised her, and the rats.

Dancing in the Ashes, a science fiction retelling of Cinderella, is drawn from the less familiar Tattercoats version of the fairytale.  The most popular modern version came from France, where they took out two of the balls and added the fairy godmother.  In the process, they removed any initiative, courage, perseverance, and intelligence shown by Cinderella.  In short, they robbed her of her agency—let’s give it back.

Dancing in the Ashes was originally published in the anthology Once Upon a Galaxy, where it garnered this review:

“Richard E. Friesen’s “Dancing in the Ashes,” in particular, shatters the romantic aura of palaces and princes and knows how painful a happy ending can be.”

Regina Schroeder Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Pebbles in the Stream

What happens when a pebble changes the course of a stream?  What if someone chooses to go left rather than right?  In this wicked retelling of Sleeping Beauty, such a happenstance changes everything.  The entire tale takes place in that space between the time when the prince emerges from the wall of thorns and when the sleeping princess wakes.  In a sleeping castle, the prince finds many ways to occupy his time, but he is being watched, and his entertainments have dark consequences.