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Looking Glass: The Costs of Ransoming an Ugly Princess

by Channie Greenberg

The wizard flung his cape, he saw
Two distant vistas to explore;
One formed of crystal, secured by fiends,
Another wrought by ethereal beams.
He ate handfuls of viviparous dreams while he pondered.

Noduled, sustainable yields balance bleak,
When thrust against gem-filled fields, so to speak.
Filtered, thus, through such sonic hasps,
A manner of status could be his, at last,
If not for the moue on his lover, bedfast; trolls fled her face.

A little chain, a little gin,
Accordingly, custody, involuntarily, began.
A princess more, a scepter less, he confessed,
That his small, warthog-like captive lacked noblesse;
She was crude, willfully dripping nose mess on his best hankie.

He contemplated belladonna tea,
Hot tongs, cold cloth, rabid monkeys,
Elected, instead, to abide local laws,
When something shiny gave him pause;
He’d wire her maw, jackdaw his chaperoning.

Thereafter, shimmering denizens petitioned release;
The king’s girl for one thousand obsidian piece,
Ten discs of higgaion cantations, and a newborn Erinaceinae.
The mage amassed the exquisite CDs, but let the “useless” hedgehog scramble free;
He’d been interested only in gathering the fee paid for royalty.

Nonetheless, the king’s compromise cost the spellbinder much;
His communal powers averred, failed to exploit his role such
That the money might as well have been rotten leaves; infamy makes no heroes.
Worse, it worked past old comfort’s perfect portholes
Opened abysses extolled by not even lowly woodland critters.

At his death, small mammals spat.

Copyright © 2012 by Channie Greenberg

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