Writespiration #59 What happened after ‘Happily Ever After’?

After Happily Ever After

I love a good fairytale. I read dozens as a child, but even as an adult I love them, partly because I am a sucker for a ‘happily ever after’ but also because of their appeal and simple storytelling. Lots of people have remade fairytales too, Marissa Meyer for one, I’ve read Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1), obviously, it’s YA! But there are loads more take, Splintered by A.G Howell as an example. For a list of fairytales click here.

Anyway, now I am an adult, I know happily ever after in most cases, is total bullshit!

So, my challenge to you, is to pick a fairytale. Don’t care which, and don’t mind whether you do it in a poem, flash or full blown short story. But, what I want to know is: What happened AFTER happily ever after…?

I will post mine with the responses next week – haven’t had a chance to write anything this week – as you can tell by the delayed Wednesday Writespiration!

Now, to last weeks writespiration which was all about dialogue.

Enette a newbie to writespiration was the first to enter last week with this heart wrenching goodbye.

“Don’t go”
“They need me.”
“I need you.”
“No you don’t. You’ve never needed anyone.”
“I need you.”
“You are stronger than that. It’s what I love about you.”
“What if you die?”
“Then you will go on with your life.”
“How could you say such a thing? Am I not allowed to love you? Am I not allowed to mourn?”
“I didn’t mean it like that. You are the strongest person I have ever met, if anything happens to me I know that you will keep your head up.”
“I don’t want you to go.”
“I can never forgive myself if I know that I live because others died.”
“And how do you expect me to live without you?”
“I think that’s something for you to discover on your own.”
“Please don’t just walk to your death.”
“Keep your chin up, Moira.”
“I’m begging you, don’t go.”
“I have to. Who knows perhaps I’ll actually make it back”
“Please, just stay.”


Jane Dougherty next, and boy is she a master at dialogue. As an explanation, this is from her novel, she’s redacted all the description and bumph around her dialogue and still left a cracking story.

“You all right?”
“Can’t see any blood. Mind you, I can see feck all, so it’s possible I’ve lost a limb or two.”
“The building must have come down on top of us.”
“Lucky we’ve got such thick skulls.”
“There has to be a way out. Seems a bit lighter over that way…”
“Careful, Carla. There could be aftershocks.”
“Yeah, exactly. I’d rather not be in here when they hit. It is lighter over this end. Tully! There’s a way out. I can see… Porca miseria!”
“I’m here, I’m here! What’s up? Are you okay?”
“Look out there.”
“Jesus! What in the name of…”
“Tully, where are we?”
“Looks like half time in the War of the Worlds. Let’s go back. There might be a back door.”
“Just for once, can you be serious? How can we go back? Back where? It was the end of the world starting, remember?”
“Looks like it’s over now, so we’re in luck there, at least.”
“I don’t fancy going out there. Not till they put the fires out and those cracks in the ground stop opening and closing like that.”
“Tough! Now just turn around slowly, and don’t try any funny stuff.”
“Who said that?”
“He did.”
“The dwarf with the Kalashnikov?”
“I’m not a dwarf! I’m eleven.”
“Whoever you are, put that fuckin’ thing away before it goes off!”
“Nah. You’re coming with me.”
“Shopping mall. Ace wants to see you.”
“Who’s Ace?”
“The boss. You mess with Ace and he’ll pull all your skin off. A little bit at a time.”
“Okay. Just askin’. You said you were out of deodorant, didn’t you, Carla?”
“Does your mother know where you are?”
“Nobody knows anything anymore. Now move it!”


Geoff, and his extraordinary talent at always smashing these writespirations. This week he has a seriously witty piece with his character narrating his life so he can write a book. It’s proper good. Have a read:

In so many words

‘He stood watching, his heart pounding…’
‘What is this, Clive?’
‘… like that steam train he loved going on…’
‘Are you writing a book? Is that it?’
‘…as a child, the one with the red and blue livery and the…’
‘Use shorter sentences. It will have more impact.’
‘… six carriages. Meanwhile. Back. In. The….’
‘Ha bloody Ha Clive. If you’re going for the humour genre, I’d suggest better jokes.’
‘… restaurant car, Sally sat alone.’
‘Don’t use my name. You know I don’t it when you write about me in your blog. I…’
‘A chill made her shiver. She turned…’
‘A bit clichéd don’t you think?’
‘… and saw him framed in the doorway, his muscular frame…’
‘I don’t like ‘frame’ and ‘framed’ so close. What about silhouetted?’
‘… his muscular silhouette…’
‘Better but still corny.’
‘…rippled and he thrust…’
‘Eeew, a bit fifty shades, isn’t it?’
‘His hand towards her.’
‘Clive? What’s going on? What’s with the hand?’
‘Slowly and sensuously she peeled back his fingers one at a time…’
‘You know I don’t do sensuous. What…?’
‘Oh Clive!’
‘Twinkling in the refracted light from a thousand…’
‘Yes, you oaf. Yes. And shut up and kiss me.’


Next, Sarah, who has written this hilarious piece.

“Dude, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“The only thing that’s truly ‘once in a lifetime’ is dying.”

“What about CPR?”


“Or Defribills?”


“Those electric paddle things.”

“Defibrillators, moron.”

“Whatever, dude. They still bring people back. So they die, like, twice.”

“Okay. Point taken.”

“Or more. Sometimes they have, like, twelve heart attacks.”

“No. They really don’t. Fine. Actual death is the only ‘once in a lifetime’ thing. The end. Leave me alone.”

“What about vampires?”

“They’re dead.”

“Not really. They rise again. They’re sort of alive. They talk and think and eat.”


“And zombies. They’re sort of living. They… Well, not sure if they think much but they walk and eat.”

“You’re impossible.”

“Who’s the moron now?”

“You. It’s still you. And I’m still not going out with her.”

“You’re missing a once in a…”



Last but by no means least, Mark, who had a go at this type of challenge last year, check out his romantic story post.


  1. Here’s my effort.
    One of the differences between the French and English versions of the same fairy story is the ending. In English, they all live happily ever after. In French, they all live happily ever after AND HAVE LOTS OF CHILDREN. I can see plenty of marital discontent looming on the horizon…

    “Look, Charming, Junior is not going to fall off a cliff, get eaten by a bear, or choke on a small part from a Kinder gadget. His Fairy Godmother promised. He has a lovely little sister to play with and that’s going to have to be enough.”
    “But Cinders—”
    “And stop calling me that crap stupid name. I was christened Amanda.”
    “But Amanda, darling, it isn’t safe to only have one heir to the throne. The court is full of plotting and conspiracies. Any one of his wicked uncles could drop him down a well or—”
    “If anything happens to Junior the crown will pass to Belinda. What’s the problem?”
    “But Belinda’s a girl! She’s a doll and I love her to pieces but—”
    “But nothing! What century are you living in, Charming? Belinda would make quite as good a job of cutting ribbons and smashing champagne bottles as Junior.”
    “But if we had another boy—”
    “That’s not going to happen, sunshine. I have an appointment to have my tubes tied next Tuesday.”
    “You can’t!”
    “Just watch me!”
    “Mother will have something to say about that”
    “Don’t bring Her into it.”
    “It’s in the constitution, and in the story¬—they lived happily ever after, and had lots of children.”
    “Two is lots. In fact, when I stop Belinda licking out the dog’s bowl or trying to stuff the cat in the dishwasher, I wonder if two isn’t one too many.”
    “It’s your duty.”
    “If you wanted duty you should have married one of the court women, not a kitchen skivvy.”
    “Those ruddy glass slippers!”
    “You want your glass slippers back? Go fetch!”
    “That window was a specially commissioned work! It cost the taxpayer a small fortune.”
    “Well, the taxpayer will be saving a small fortune on my official state frocks from now on. I’m leaving. Little Boy Blue’s been tootling his horn at me for months now. And he hates kids!”

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I think a story told just through dialogue, but these were well done! If I have the time, I wil try today’s We are stripping the last of the very ugly wallpaper from two owners ago, and hen will paint Details of life are cutting deeply into my time here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ‘So there were just the two of you when he entered the property you say?’
    ‘To be accurate officer, only my grandmother was home. I turned up after he had effected his entry.’
    ‘The wolf?’
    ‘How many times must I tell this story?’
    ‘Sorry Miss. I didn’t catch your name, by the way.’
    ‘I don’t get given a name, officer; I’m the heroine and I’m known by the bloody cloak.’
    ‘Right. Bit of a bummer that, if you want to sell your story. You need to think about some branding. My brother does a bit of branding on the side. Sheep and cattle mostly but he might …’
    ‘Can we stick to the story?’
    ‘Sorry. And when you say he ‘effected his entry’, is that a sexual euphemism?’
    ‘Do you mean metaphor?’
    ‘Is that what he did to your granny?’
    ‘A metaphor is not a sexual act, officer?’
    ‘No? Shame. So he entered your granny…’
    ‘Eeew. Perlease. Granny hid in the cupboard…’
    ‘I thought he ate her?’
    ‘That’s the French version.’
    ‘Ah. Bit liberal with the accualite, are they?’
    ‘Not for me to say, officer, but they are French.’
    ‘So granny’s in the cupboard, you come in and you say this wolf is in bed and talking to you.’
    ‘In English?’
    ‘Well you’d not understand the story if it was German.’
    ‘Good point. So what’s he say?’
    ‘Must we?’
    ‘Look miss, try and see my side. I get a call, all sort of screams and what nots at the woodland cottage. I turn up, find you, alone with an eviscerated wolf on the floor, your granny traumatised in a cupboard and no sign of any knife or axe… There’s not a mark on you neither. And you want me to believe this wolf talked to you and was about to eat you when a woodcutter turns up, chops up the wolf and then disappears.’
    ‘I was terrified.’
    ‘You seem fairly self possessed to me. Are you sure it wasn’t some sort of sexual meta-phwoar?’
    ‘Metaphor. No.’
    ‘Well I’ve not much choice. I’ll have to call the RSPCA. You can’t go hacking up endangered species and hide the weapon and expect to get away scot free. Quite frankly, Miss, what you’re telling me is just like some sort of fairy story only in this one you end up with wolverine viscera on the shag pile. That just wouldn’t sell.’
    ‘Rather Grimm?’
    ‘Couldn’t have put it better myself, miss.’

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ohhhhh Geoff you outdid yourself this week. I spat icecream everywhere I laughed so hard. I loved all of it

      ‘I’m known by the cloak’
      ‘he entered your granny?’

      You’re killing me! I think, this just became my favourite ever writespiration of yours. It is EXCEPTIONAL

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVE this! Been wanting to read Cinder for a long time. Gregory Maguire has some brilliant retellings (Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Mirror, Mirror, and many more including, obviously, Wicked.) As for YA, Jessica Day George did a great “trilogy” (you can read them independently) about the 12 Dancing Princesses fairy tale: Princess of the Midnight Ball, Princess of Glass, and Princess of the Silver Woods.

    I accept your challenge. Oh, yes. And will be bringing you The Little Mermaid (Disney version) of a Happily Ever After… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw wicked at the theatre over the summer. Cinder is ok, not my fave YA ever, but apparently the series gets real good…. ooooh the little mermaid….. LOVE to hate that badboy!! haha. cannot wait to read it. ❤


  5. Spike Milligan ended one of his books – I think it was Puckoon – with the lines: “…and they all lived happily ever after. Until the next day.” I may be misquoting that slightly, but it’s close enough. And, you’re right, Sacha, because that’s more like real life, just not as satisfying

    Frankly, don’t know how you have time to come up with these challenges, let alone do them


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