A piece of flash fiction by Valerie Christie based off fractured fairytale writing prompts.

Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince called Prince Charming, who lived in a mansion in London with his good friend, Beast. The living arrangements suited them both very well; the house was so palatial that each had their own wing and there was still enough space for them to host dinner parties, soirees and other social gatherings in the rest of the house. 

While Prince Charming had a string of stunningly beautiful women on his arm Beast, who had always thought himself extremely ugly, had never had a girlfriend. Then one day while at Starbucks, he happened to fall into conversation with a young woman who was standing in the queue next to him. They chatted while they stood in line waiting for their coffees, and once they’d been served, they shared a table. Beast thought that this girl, whose name was Maria was very charming and so he decided to ask her out.

They soon became inseparable, spending most evenings together either at the cinema, having dinner, or going for romantic walks. They spent a memorable weekend in Cambridge,where they stayed in an old coaching inn and went punting on the Thames. After several months, Beast knew that Maria was the one, so he asked her to marry him. However, she declined; she had something she needed to tell him. Maria was Canadian and had neglected to tell John that her visa would expire soon and she would have to return to her home country. Beast was devastated. He returned to the house he shared with Prince Charming, where he spent the evenings weeping so loudly in his wing that the Prince soon grew tired of him.

“We’re going on a road trip,” Prince Charming announced one day. “We need to get you out of London. A change of scenery will help you to start getting over your broken heart.”

Beast merely sat at the breakfast table on the verge of tears, as he had done every day for the past month.

“Get up!” shouted Prince Charming. “Let’s go!”

Startled into action, Beast got up, put his coat on, and got into Prince Charming’s car. “Where are we going?” he asked, as Prince Charming put a holdall into the boot.

Prince Charming got into the car. “We’re going to Stonehenge,” he said. “I’ve brought the croquet set and we can have a game or two. Help you to remember the good old days.”

They arrived at Stonehenge a few hours later and found a quiet grassy spot where they could play without interruption. It was however not as they’d expected. Beast became very frustrated with Prince Charming changing his mind every few minutes about where the best playing spot was, as the grass was always greener on the other side. Eventually he stormed off in a huff, found a quiet place by the foot of one of the megaliths and sat there sulking. The only good thing to come out of it was that he was so annoyed with his friend that he’d forgotten all about his broken heart.