{Flash Fiction/Giveaway} with author Danielle E. Shipley: “One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes, Retold”

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Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it.

Visit Danielle's website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

“One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes, Retold”

A woman had a torrid affair with a particularly attractive Cyclops. She thought she’d been discreet enough, but – alas! – she had failed to anticipate that this extramarital union would result in a baby whose single eye in the center of its forehead might hint at its heredity. The woman nervously laughed off her husband’s suspicious gaze upon their firstborn daughter, saying, “Isn’t it lucky and completely, unaccountably random to have so unique a child? Given that I’ve totally never cheated on you, what on earth are the odds?” And, thinking to be cute, she named her daughter One-Eye.

Not long after, the woman gave birth to a second child whose looks also favored its father (the woman’s rightful husband, this time). Despite aforementioned father’s misgivings on the matter, the woman insisted that if “One-Eye” had been such a very cute name, then mathematically speaking, “Two-Eyes” would be doubly cute for their second-born daughter; for – alack! – she failed to consider how foolish she would look should another daughter be born to them with a normal pair of eyes, and the name “Two-Eyes” already taken. When this did indeed take place, the woman, thinking quickly (if not sensibly far ahead), took one of her husband’s eyes and gave it to the newborn, afterward naming her Three-Eyes. This proved the final straw for her husband, who filed for divorce and went to half-blindly seek his fortune elsewhere.

Now, the three daughters grew into adolescence, a turbulent age where girls often begin to question their looks and doubt their self-worth. One-Eye and Three-Eyes had it especially hard, for obvious reasons, and conspired together to console themselves by being quite nasty to their obnoxiously ordinary sister. “Stupid Two-Eyes!” they scorned. “At least we’re exceptional! What’s the use of being like everybody else?” And they forced her to do all the chores and denied her any meal grander than table scraps.

Two-Eyes bore the mistreatment without complaint or retaliation – not due to any remarkable submissiveness of nature, but because, much as she would have liked to punch her sisters’ lights out, the eyesight of her namesake ocular pair was rather weak, and it did not strike her as wise to begin a fight she could not see well enough to win. She chose instead to bide her time, using her hours in the field tending the family goat to plot her way to a better future.

One day proved an acutely difficult day for plotting, for she was so hungry from her inadequate rations that she couldn’t hear her own thoughts over the growling of her stomach. Her weak eyes spilled tears of frustration, which she quickly swiped away. And when she had done so, she looked up to blurrily behold an old woman peering at her.

“Why so sad, dearie?” the old woman inquired.

“Perhaps I hadn’t better tell you,” said Two-Eyes. “You are a stranger, after all, and one can never be too careful, in this day and age.”

“You’re a wise girl,” the old woman approved. “But I think I can guess what troubles you. Your stomach’s rumbling carries all the way to the road. I’d be happy to offer help, if you’ll receive it. Try telling your goat,
Little goat,
if you are able,
pray deck out my table.’”

“Hmm...” said Two-Eyes, her two eyes narrowed in thought. “It seems a bit of a risk. For suppose I spoke your rhyme, and a beautifully spread table stood before me, from which I could eat as much as I wanted? I would have no temptation to eat the scraps from my sisters, then, and they would wonder at the change. They might start following me out to the field to spy upon me, and while I believe I could sing a song that would put One-Eye’s one eye to sleep, it would take a lullaby stronger than any I know to lull more than two of Three-Eyes’. Her third eye would see my trick with the goat, and I fear she would knife the dear little kid to death.”

“Oh, my,” said the old woman. “I didn’t think of that. Mmm, that would indeed be a pity. But you could always bury the goat’s heart for luck.”

“At best,” said Two-Eyes, “the heart might grow into a tree with leaves of silver and fruit of gold. Under the circumstances, I shouldn’t wonder if the tree allowed none to pick from it but me, and my sisters would only treat me all the worse for jealousy. Sure,” she said, shrugging, “there’s a decent chance my tree would catch the attention of a Knight, and I daresay our marriage would follow. But there’s got to be a less convoluted way to get a Knight; I don’t see why my poor goat should die for it.”

“Well, then, what do you propose to do?” the old woman asked.

After giving the matter a bit more thought, Two-Eyes squinted at the goat and said,
Little goat,
if it’s within your purview,
pray improve your view.

“(And mine,)” she muttered beneath her breath, so as not to spoil the rhyme.

At once, a pair of stylishly-framed prescription lenses appeared in Two-Eyes’ lap. She donned them with a grin, thanked the old woman for helping with her brainstorming session, and returned home to the dismayed stares and gasps of her sisters, as well as the delight of her impractical mother. “Oh!” the woman cried, clapping her hands. “Shall we call you ‘Four-Eyes’, now?”

“You can, if you like,” the bespectacled girl replied. “But I should appreciate ‘Foresight’ just as well.”

O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Danielle E. Shipley
Release Date: Feb. 5, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance / Macmillan

A witch’s attempt to cast one spell too many casts everyone touched by her previous spells into chaos. Scattered throughout each other’s pasts, Sula and Edgwyn, Villem and Rosalba, and the rest of the magic’s affected have a single chance to break this last enchantment before their “happily-ever-after”-s cease to have ever been. 

Book Three of The Wilderhark Tales 

An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast; a princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell; bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk – all within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all. 

You’ve heard the stories – of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel; of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball; of frog princes, and swan princes, and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea. Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love. 

Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.

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  1. Thanks for featuring me, Bonnie! I had fun with this little tale. :)

    ~ Danielle

  2. I had to laugh at this one - good story! I wanted to smack her when she takes an eye from her husband to make her daughter "Three Eyes" though! Foresight wasn't something she had LOL!

    1. Haha, yeah, no. I'm surprised that woman's marriage lasted as long as it did. XD

  3. This was fun. I am not familiar with the tale you retold but i enjoyed it. I have a soft spot for fractured fairy tales ever since I discovered gail carson levine's fractured fairy tale series as a child.

    1. It's a fairly new old tale for me, too. Wikipedia's list of fairytales contains so many I know nothing about!
      Loved those little booklings of Levine's, too. They definitely contributed to my developing passion for such retellings. :)

  4. I love it! What a cheeky way of retelling the fantastical. If all of her writing is like this, I need to grab The Seventh Spell ASAP! :D

    1. Why, thank you! ^_^ I have been told my style of wit extends throughout much of my body of work, so if you enjoyed this, then I would definitely advise you give The Wilderhark Tales a read. (I'd start with Book One, "The Swan Prince", but the subsequent books are designed to stand on their own power, if need be!)


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