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[Fiction] Long Story Short

By Megan Jauregui Eccles

Alexandra did not mean to fall through the rabbit hole or win the prince’s hand or impale the queen on her dance spear. She had always been clumsy. Knocking over tables and smashing teacups and tripping into love. This was not how she’d intended to win. She didn’t even realize she was competing, honestly. She’d merely wanted to hear the prince laugh again—like rippling water—and before she knew it, the prince was hers and the queen was dead. Quite an accident. But now she had a kingdom, a throne, and husband who would not stop crying, and she wasn’t quite sure what to do next. Well, she had some inkling. She’d read enough books to know which side of the line she’d fallen.

Alexandra was the villain in this story.

And she was perfectly fine with that.

She supposed it would have been simpler for her to stay home. In that world, she was definitely on the hero track. There she had a new stepmother, an oblivious father, and an upcoming dance to attend. There she would have had predictable sorrow followed by predictable fun, maybe fall in love with the cocky but sensitive jock and somehow end up with a “makeover” that was little more than the removal of her glasses and the addition of a ponytail.


Now, she had everything.

“My love.” She feigned to her weeping prince. “Fetch my mirror.”

The prince opened his mouth to argue. Alexandra tapped her fingers sweetly against the spear, still stained with his mother’s blood.

He scurried away with a whimper and returned on his knees, holding the enchanted mirror up.

“Mirror, mirror.” Alexandra smiled.

Megan Jauregui Eccles writes dark, speculative fiction for young adults and is represented by Lauren Galit of LKG Agency Her writing has appeared in Kelp Journal, Coachella Review, Ladies of the Fright, The Lineup, and Dwarf+Giant. She teaches creative writing at John Paul the Great Catholic University and is a former literary agent assistant. She holds a BA in Music from the University of San Diego and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California Riverside—Palm Desert.


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