The happily ever after is never the end. The curtain doesn’t fall once love is recognized or evil is vanquished. Credits don’t roll once the giant is slain or the big bad wolf is boiled alive. Wicked stepsisters, malevolent rulers, and hideous creatures still have lives after their sinister roles play out; heroes, lovers, and dreamers often find their victories lead to more troubles.
Within these pages are more than seventy continuations, retellings, and eldritch stories that explore the dark forests, magical castles, and hideous creatures After the Happily Ever After.
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From “A Sleeve of Feathers” by Claudia Quint:
It all came crashing down when he found Geileis in bed, nestled between Dylan and Ailill, Oisin cuddling on the left and Ruari at her feet, with Emmet and Cian resorting to floor space when they ran out of room on the bed. Stephen dragged the brothers out one by one, pushing and pulling so they awoke with starts and cries, until she roused, confused and sleepy, to ask him what in the world he was doing.
“Like it’s the most normal thing in the world.” Stephen contented himself by folding his hands to stop fiddling with the cuffs. “To sleep with your brothers and shut out your husband.”
From “Need to be Apart” by Jody Sollazzo
“Once upon a time in a land far, far away, Westchester, New York…” Cam pauses.
He kisses her all over. His lips are moist, biting, and wanting. He gets to her stomach and kisses a line across it. He rolls her to her side and bites her ample hip, and she squeals.
“…there was a beautiful princess. Everyone saw how beautiful she was except for the bloody beast.”
His voice is as thick as the Dublin heat outside of this crisp air-conditioned Hilton. Em almost forgets about the all the hidden trafficking below. How all these people look the same to her. Em almost forgets who she is.
“That’s not how it was at all,” she says with giggles.
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