The White Cat, by Jennifer Thorne
Érard is a lost and wandering prince. Cat is a fairy guardian waiting for his prince to come. They both must discover 'destiny' isn't all it's cracked up to be, and love can be found in the most peculiar places.
Shipwrecked on a strange shore, Érard is intent on completing his quest and winning the kingdom.
Transformed before birth into an animal by his mother's ill-fated contact with fairy magic and left for dead, Cat has been raised by the fairies with the anticipation that one day his prince would come. When his prince does finally arrive, half drowned and lost, Cat fears abandonment once more, and allows Érard to believe that he is female.
Érard leaves to win back the title to his own kingdom, but returns, drawn back by friendship and a love that the prince doesn't entirely understand. Cat begins to realize that he does not wish to live without his prince. But, will Érard accept and love him for who he truly is?
Sometimes, compassion can solve what swords cannot, and love does truly conquer all.
I’m in love with fairytales. But, not the Disney-ized (read- sanitized) versions. Cinderella’s stepsisters are going to try on that shoe, and they need to have their toes trimmed off first to fit. The hero is going on a quest, but he doesn’t carry a sword and there are no dragons to slay. Instead, he falls in love with a beast, and then wrestles with the personal consequences.
Fairytale language is deceptively simple. A thing happens because it happens, but the question behind it is ‘why?’. What are the thoughts and internal motivations that drove the characters to do what they did? Did the step-sisters really believe that no one would see the blood? How can a prince be so passive as to allow a magical cat to do all of his quest-work for him? Doesn’t he get bored? Isn’t his manliness threatened?
That question was one which intrigued me about the French fairytale- The White Cat- that I used as the basis for this short story. There are three brothers who stand to inherit the kingdom, but doesn’t the eldest usually get the prize? Why was that not a factor in the king’s decision? Then, the hero actually does very little in the story. The one who does all the work, and in the end saves the day, is neither human nor male (although that was one of the items I changed). The princess in the lonely tower becomes the rescuer. How odd is that?
These are the questions that draw me in. Humour, reversals, and clever tricks, with a dash of angst and grue.
You can find where to buy this story and more (coming in September) at the GLBT bookshelf- http://bookworld.editme.com/JenniferThorne
If you’d like to keep up on my latest obsessions and ramblings you can find me online here:
http://www.jenniferthorne.com/ (You can’t comment there because of the evil spam bots)
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