Here’s the first short story I ever sold (to AlienSkin Magazine.) Enjoy! Content advisory: Drug use.
“Pinocchio, you do know why we’re all here today, don’t you?” Dr. Gilganbach looked down at the wooden puppet, who was busily puffing on a joint.
“Um…” Pinocchio looked around the room. Old Mother Hubbard and her dog; Mother Goose; Big, Bad Wolf; Red Riding Hood; Ariel and her father, Triton; three little pigs; and many, many other fairytale folk stared back at him. “Class reunion?” he asked after a long drag.
Geppetto glared at him. “Oy vey. I make puppet, some fairy comes and poof! Puppet starts poofing the magic dragon!”
“Ahem,” said Poof the dragon.
“Anyone could make that mistake.”
Dr. Gilganbach leaned forward in his over-stuffed armchair. “I think what Mr. Geppetto is trying to say is: You—have—a—problem.”
“Correction,” said Pinocchio, “I have a condition, imposed upon me by society, and nourished and fortified by peer pressure. Not to mention my low self-esteem from being, well, a puppet.”
Everyone watched in awe as he blew a perfect ring of blue smoke into the air.
“Wow, I wish I could do that,” said Poof.
“That is pretty darn cool,” said the big, bad wolf. “Let me try… Anyone got a light?”
“Not you too!” cried the three Little Pigs. “All that huffing and puffing will irritate your asthma.”
“Eh, just shut up and get me a freakin’ match!”
“See! I’m not the only one!” cried Pinocchio. “And there are others. Why, Mr. Dumpty is on crack!”
Everyone gasped and looked over at Humpty. The ovular man looked up from his Red Minotaur can and gulped.
“Humpty!” said Mother Goose. “How could you?”
But Pinocchio wasn’t finished. “Then there’s Ariel; she’s doing weed…of the sea variety.”
“No way,” gasped Triton.
“Daddy,” said the little mermaid, “I can explain…”
“Not to mention all the Lost Man-Children snorting pixie dust. And Dopey! Why, I think we all know what he’s on.”
“Enough,” said Dr. Gilganbach. “We’re not here about them—though I’ll make a note in my chart. I’m always looking for new clients, you know. No, we’re here about you. You need to seriously re-evaluate your life.”
“You’re wasting your time, Doc,” said Pinocchio. “I think everyone should do what makes them happy.”
“So, if Big, Bad Wolf wanted to eat Red?”
“Why then, I’d say, You go right on ahead.”
“Should Puss in Boots eat the three Blind Mice?”
“Of course, that would be my best advice.”
“And what about wicked cactuses?”
Everyone sat forward.
“I believe the correct word is ‘cacti’,” said the puppet.
“Actually,” said Belle, “it can be either. It’s in my dictionary.”
The doctor bolted out of his chair. “Aha! Now we’re getting somewhere.” He stopped and scratched his chin. “Only, I don’t know where ‘somewhere’ is. Can anyone remember what we were talking about?”
“Nope,” said Pinocchio. Whoosh! Out grew his nose, striking Humpty in a head-on collision.
Everyone looked down at the gooey mess in horror. Mother Goose was the first to recover herself and speak. “That, my friends, is your brain on drugs. Now, who wants some scrambled eggs and bacon?”
And they all, minus Humpty Dumpty and one pig, lived happily ever after.