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Eileen Maksym studied philosophy at Yale and theology at Boston College, and now uses both to write quirky fiction. Currently she is an academic nomad, following her astrophysicist husband around the world, three kids in tow. When not writing or kid wrangling, Eileen is a hopeless fangirl, and the creator and host of The Hopeless Fancast.

Fairy tales hardly ever come true for quiet girls!
That's the slogan of Happily Ever After Inc., a PR firm for all of your fairy tale needs! Bring us your straw and we will spin it into gold! Want testimonials? Consider some of our most famous clients and their success stories. There's the young woman who lured a prince into marrying her by blackmailing him about his foot fetish. Another client was caught in a very polyamorous relationship with seven brothers with dwarfism. And then there's the girl who conspired with her brother to kill their elderly neighbor because the woman refused to give them candy. All of these young ladies were headed straight for, at best, infamy, or at worst, obscurity. But with the services here at HEA Inc, two of them are now queens, and the third was acquitted of murder and is going about her life outside of a juvenile detention center.
Our innovative approach is threefold. First, we take your story and put it through our Spinning Wheel. Your father's new wife? She's an Evil Stepmother TM. That old lady next door? She's a Witch, possibly also a Cannibal. Once your story is reframed and you're smelling like roses, it's time to promote, promote, promote! We have an exclusive deal with Grimm Bros. for all our publicity. These skillful brothers have centuries of experience with writing copy that will stick with people for years and years to come. The third and final stage is to transform your public persona! Remember our motto: Fairy tales hardly ever come true for quiet girls. We will work with you to turn you, a "quiet" girl, into a glittering princess that turns heads! Remember, it's the loud ones that get the Happily Ever Afters TM. Our girls are loud with their virtue, loud with their beauty. Instead of passively fading into the background, with a little coy flutter of their eyelashes they command the attention of everyone around them. With our experience and your cooperation, we will transform you from a plain Jane into a hero, a queen, someone that little girls will dream of growing up to be.
Now, what's your situation?
You have a sexual attraction to frogs?
...we can work with that.
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

Author Comments

When I wrote "Spin," I had just taken an online class that included the original Grimms' Fairy Tales. What struck me was how much the brothers altered their source material. For instance, they turned mothers into stepmothers out of a reverence for motherhood. And of course we all know what happened when Disney got their hands on these stories! That got me thinking about what those perfectly virtuous girls who live happily ever after were like before the Grimms and Disney had their shot at sprucing them up. And so was born Happily Ever After, Inc.

- Eileen Maksym
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