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.
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 here, or get yourself a paperback copy 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.