Once Upon A Twisted Fairytale

Cover Art by Kieran Wolfenden

From the author of the Strange Stories series and A Tale of Two Princes comes Once Upon A Twisted Fairytale; ten classic fairytale re-tellings for grown-ups, twisted as only Victoria Pearson can.

What if Red Riding Hood’s Grandmother didn’t want to be saved? What if Cinderella’s prince was actually a bit of a creep? What exactly was Prince Charming doing kissing a girl he found in a coffin anyway? Find out why you should always be careful what you wish for, why you shouldn’t trust Hansel and Gretel just because they look sweet, and why you really don’t want to displease Mr Elffe.

Grab some iron to ward off the Shining Ones, and some salt to keep the fairies away. Keep a tight hold of your name as we head into the woods and find out what happened once upon a twisted fairytale…

Some of these stories have appeared in some form in other short story collections by Victoria Pearson.

Cover art by Kieran Wolfenden. Edited and formatted by Miranda Kate of Purple Pen Editing services.

Extract From Once Upon A Twisted Fairytale

You Don’t Displease Mr Elffe

I make the finest shoes in the city. Everyone knows that. Maybe even the best in the country. Every pair made to order, hand stitched by me and the wife.
And the fine gentlemen in … waste management like their quality goods. So they started coming to me. And you don’t charge people who work in … waste management full price. Particularly not Mr Elffe himself. Not if you’re attached to all your fingers, at any rate.
So, I’d gotten a little behind on the rent. Not too far behind, you know, but I’d been very busy with Mr Elffe’s shoes, and those of his sons, and hadn’t had time for paying customers for a month or so, and, you know what it’s like.
The landlord sent the bailiffs round, can you believe that? I always find his money in the end, there was no need for that.
But he just so happened to send the bailiff round when Mr Elffe had come to pick up his new shoes. I was so embarrassed. I tried to keep the conversation quiet, get the bailiff out as quick as I could so I didn’t keep Mr Elffe waiting.
Mr Elffe does not like to be kept waiting.
“Look, just tell Tony I’ll have his money next week,” I hissed.
“Tony says it’s full cash now or you’re out on the street.”
Mr Elffe stood up slowly. His energy filled the room. He was much shorter than the bailiff, but he seemed to loom over the huge man. He looked pointedly at the bailiff and then jerked his head toward the door.
“Yes sir, Mr Elffe,” the bailiff stuttered, scuttling out of the tiny shop.
After all, it’s a very bad idea to displease Mr Elffe.

Reviewers say…

There’s no greater compliment from one author to another than to express that the writing is so good they wish it had come from their own mind instead. Such is the case here. Wonderfully thoughtful twists and clever writing make for a stunningly satisfying read. I envy Victoria Pearson her talent, and wish I’d written this book.

Michael Wombat

This collection of twisted fairytales is a modernised take on the classics, always with a twist you don’t always expect. It’s hard to pick favourites, from You Don’t Displease, Mr Elffe leaving me smiling, as The Elves & the Shoemaker is one of my favs, to Red, which you just don’t expect – no one every really thought of Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother like that, and then It is Written gives a whole other perspective on Cinderella.

A great read, and definitely worth you time. I highly recommend.

Miranda Kate

If you want to find out exactly why it’s a very bad idea to displease Mr Elffe, and read fresh new takes on Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and Snow White and get lost in the dark woods, you can buy or borrow Once Upon a Twisted Fairytale for your kindle on amazon here, or get yourself a paperback copy on amazon here. Or you can

Buy direct from the author here

Can’t get enough Strange Stories? Check out the Strange Stories series; Strange Love, and Strange Worlds. Hungry for even more modern fairytales? You may like A Tale of Two Princes, a modern re-telling of Sleeping Beauty and the Frog Prince with a sci-fi twist. Inspired to write your own Strange Story? Victoria’s My Strange Notebook is packed full of creative prompts to help keep your creative juices flowing, and your mental health tip-top.

Audiobook coming soon


[Note, Red is a twisted fairytale, but it is not intended to be read by children. May also be a little NSFW, depending on the work.]


She buttoned her dress slowly; gnarled fingers, stiff with arthritis, struggling over each wooden button. It wasn’t the dress she had been wearing when she met him – that had been lost somewhere over the decades, a casualty of either the children or grandchildren playing dress up, perhaps, or else of the moths. It was similar though, pale yellow and button down, though the body it wrapped itself around was much different.

He probably wouldn’t notice the similarity anyway, men rarely noticed things. Over their many years together, she had changed many times – her hair, her body shape, her face, even the way she walked. He had never remarked on it. Perhaps that was just his way of being sensitive. Or maybe it was denial.

Continue reading “Red”

Mid Week Flash 90 – Fairy Gate

I wasnt sure whether to tag this piece as being part of Miranda Kate’s Mid Week Flash or not, given that I’ve used her picture as a prompt for a poem this time, which I think might be against the rules. The general guidelines can be found here if you’d like to join in.

I’ve also used today’s #vss365 prompt from Twitter, which was “spread” -usually I’d post a #vss365 directly to twitter, but this came out considerably longer than tweet length, and I didn’t want to cut it.

The image for this story is Miranda’s mid week flash prompt, and was taken by Kurt Gordon, an Australian photographer who travels a lot and takes a lot of pictures. You can find them on display over on 500px. 

Fairy Gate

Behind the fields,

Deep in the woods,

Beyond the paths we know,

There is a pair of twisted trees

Where nothing seems to grow.

Continue reading “Mid Week Flash 90 – Fairy Gate”