A Fairy Tale

written by: collage playshop participant

Once upon a time an evil wizard tapped a Queen on her shoulder. The queen spun around quickly and became dizzy. The wizard told her that she must work harder because she was lazy and wouldn’t amount to much. Now this became her concern. And it seemed so.

The evil wizard rarely showed himself, but whenever he did the queen would become dizzy. Because of her dizziness, the queen did not stop to consider whether the wizard was helpful to her or not. This was part of the wizard’s magic.

The King was also not paying much attention to the effects of the wizard’s magic. He was often found in the consulting chambers meeting with the strategists and seers, and those he thought might help his cause. He did not pay attention to the ways in which the wizard made him lose papers, and the ways he would spend hours looking at the same pages trying to comprehend them but not understanding any of them at all. This was also part of the wizard’s magic.

The Queen was often sad. More and more she would not do the things that she was supposed to do or even enjoyed. She did not want to see the people who came into her town for the celebrations and the festivals; she did not go to her garden; she did not go to the dances she once loved. The queen began to lose interest in the world around her. This was part of the wizard’s magic, too.

The Wizard thought that he had an important job. He was proud of his work and the ways he was helpful. He was keeping the Queen and the King safe.

One day the Queen was walking across the courtyard on her way to the Consulting Chamber, carrying a mountain of bills to the King. To her surprise, she had a moment unlike any other. She didn’t trip or fall. She didn’t have a moment of “ah-ha!” or anything like that. The queen was in her body walking but now feeling that time and space had come together. “I am here,” she said to herself, “Thank you.” And she walked on. When she opened the door to the Consulting Chamber, she realized the feeling had gone. “Where had it gone?” the queen asked herself, “and how?”

The next day while the Queen was brushing her teeth in front of the mirror, she looked up and saw her eyes, realizing that she had not looked at them in a very long time. She remembered her eyes as being much browner, but they were definitely greener now. As the queen continued looking at her eyes, she had that moment again. Her body felt different. “What was different?” she asked herself. Then she realized that she was not dizzy.

The queen went to the King and asked, “Have you ever had this happen?” He wasn’t clear what she was asking but began giving her advice anyway, in the same way that his consultants gave advice— suggestions about what to do and what to try. The queen thought that it might be the wizard talking. She wasn’t sure. She decided to explore this on her own.

She was surprised to remember that she had forgotten. And surprised when all of a sudden she was quietly aware of not being dizzy. A short while later, she would again forget. Then remember. And this is how it went. The most surprising moment of all came one day much, much later. As the Queen looked into her mirror the Wizard appeared behind her. He looked over her shoulder and she looked into the mirror right back at him. She saw his eyes. They were the same brown eyes flecked with more green, as hers. She spun around far too quickly and became dizzy in all the familiar ways. A new magic was at play and she knew it.