FAIRY TALE FLASH - Braids by Amanda Bergloff

The tale of a shortcut, a witch, and braids...
Once, there were three sisters with braids the color of summer wheat who went to gather herbs far from home. Their mother told them to stay on the main path, but the sisters chose to take a shortcut that would allow them to be home before dark.

Soon, they came to a bridge over a cascading stream that a hairless witch guarded.

The youngest sister, Charity, walked ahead of her two sisters.

“Wait here. I will call to you when it is your turn to cross the bridge,” she said.

Charity approached the witch. “Will you allow me to cross your bridge, so that I can get home before dark?” Charity asked.

The hairless witch shook her head. “No, for I am in need of hair, and your golden braid would be perfect for my head.”

“But my braid is not very long. If you allow me to cross the bridge, I will call to my sister, Emyme, that the way is safe. She has longer braids than mine that will surely fit your head better.”

The witch nodded and let Charity cross the bridge. When she was on the other side, Charity called to her sister, Emyme.

The witch stopped Emyme at the bridge and admired Emyme’s longer braids that reached all the way down her back.

“If you allow me to cross your bridge, witch, I will call to my sister, Brita, that the way is safe. Her braids are so long, they are piled up on top of her head just so she can walk without tripping on them.”

The witch nodded and let Emyme cross the bridge. When she was on the other side, Emyme called to her sister, Brita.

The hairless witch’s eyes grew big as saucers as Brita approached, for her braids were indeed piled high on her head.

Charity and Emyme watched Brita from the other side of the bridge and yelled, “Brita, let your braids down!”

And Brita did. Her braids dropped to the ground so hard, it shook, and the witch was knocked into the cascading stream, never to be heard from again.

However, it took Charity and Emyme many hours to pile Brita’s braids back up onto her head, so they could continue walking home. Their shortcut made them reach their home long after dark, and the three sisters wished they had stayed on their original path.
Special Thanks to Charity Tahmaseb, Marcia Sherman aka Emyme, and Brita Long for supporting EC.

Amanda Bergloff writes modern fairy tales, folktales, and speculative fiction. Her work has appeared in various anthologies, including Frozen Fairy Tales, After the Happily Ever After, and Uncommon Pet Tales.
Follow her on Twitter @AmandaBergloff
Check out her Amazon Author page HERE

Cover Layout: Amanda Bergloff
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Comments

  1. Hah, that's excellent. Combat braids!

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  2. Cute! I was wondering what trick the sisters were up to, and we all know water and witches don't mix very well. Very clever, Amanda!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Guy. I owe a little inspiration from 3 billy goats who crossed a bridge once....

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  3. I thought this might be a cutthroat story in which Brita comes to harm, but no, the sisters work together. Rapunzel should have used her braids as a weapon too!

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    Replies
    1. Sisters have each other's back! :)
      Overgrown braids are underrated in the tackling-witch-department. Thanks for reading & commenting, Clarissa!

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    2. I feel like I have read something about Rapunzel's hair being symbolic of her power coming from her own body/within, which I love. Charming story!!

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