Cinderella sat in her throne, with her gown of gold. The large throne room was empty, it was just her. And me if you count the rafters part of the throne room. It has been ten years since Cinderella married the prince and became the princess of this small kingdom. I still don’t have the slightest idea how I lived this long; I mean the average lifespan of us pigeons are only a couple of years. Now I’m sitting on the perch of 15 years! I think the only possible explanation is that lovely singing voice of hers is a curse.

 “Oh Merrick, my winged friend. Fly to me and sing the news of this world with no end.”

 She’s singing again. It’s like sweet venom; my body is rejuvenated but my mind aches with knowledge no bird should know. As I swooped down to her I suddenly got a craving for autumn turkey. I rarely leave the towers of the castle, but yet my mind is filled with images and my beak with words of news. Yes, I am cursed.

 “Wait,” Cinderella interrupted. “What was that last part you said?”

“Uh…” I hesitated. “I don’t know you spoiled princess. I don’t listen to even half news I spew.” Oops, did I say that out loud? Oh bird seed I did. Looks like I’ll be the secret ingredient to the mince meat pie tonight.

 “You said Tabitha is expecting,” Cinderella ignored my outburst.

 “Oh right. The princess’ step sister is expecting her 5th child. This father is—“ I stopped myself. I should fact-check this before I bother the princess. Else I being baked in a pie is the least of my concern!

 “Who’s the father?”

 I feel a song coming on. “Tweet tweet, he did cheat. Tweet tweet he did cheat.”

 “Who did?”

 Funny, never knew how light her hair was until now. “The Prince.”

 “NEVER!”

 That was louder than expected. Following my instincts I flew to the rafters for safety. We pigeons are closely related to the chicken, you know.

 “Merrick, get down here!”

 “Tweet tweet no way.”

 “Then you lie! The prince loves me!”

 “He loves your feet.”

 “What do you know? You’re just some bird!”

 I muttered, “Just some bird who stole three cute dresses to hip the fact you have no hips.”

 So Tabitha went and seduced the prince? It’s about time, if you ask me. She had the most radiant green eyes I ever seen—before I plucked them out of course. Her sister Annabelle wasn’t that bad either. Of course she is dead now. Fell down the staircase when Cinderella was giving them a grand tour of the castle. I wasn’t there but I’m sure she tripped her.

 “Oh sweet prince, tell me the rumors are not so. Did you really cheat on me with my step sister, as smart as a garden hoe? Let the bird retract what it said. For I am as good as my mother dead.”

 She just call me ‘it’? I’m all male, baby! It looks like she finally ran out of rhymes. Maybe now I can finally see my old girlfriend, Charlotte, again. You see we pigeons aren’t as stupid as you humans, we don’t get married. Instead we—wait, who am I talking to? Stupid humans, making me talk to myself.

 She’s openly weeping now. I hate to see her cry, we all did. It’s why we stole those dresses so she can meet the Prince. We didn’t know she was child-barren. At least we aren’t in France. My cousin Renee told me about his king—WHO AM I TALKING TO!?

I flew down to the throne. Her gown was wet with tears. Or maybe it was a leaky roof.

 “Afternoon report, princess.”

 “I wish no news today.”

 “Tabitha is not expecting.”

 Cinderella beamed with happiness. Her eyes filled with hope, “Really?”

Time to lie. Well to an extent not so much, “That’s right. Turns out she’s only fat.”

 Cinderella leaped with joy and danced around the throne. “She’s still fat and lazy after all these years. And I am—“

“Anorexic.”

“Merrick, one more outburst from you and I’ll feed you to the hounds.”

 I blinked. “We have hounds now?”

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