Once upon a time there was a prince rescuing a princess, because it happened that way and no one thought anything more of it.
Once upon a time, there was a monster who died when the world moved on, for Medusa was tricked into taking a selfie.
Once upon a time, a dragon burned down a castle and the king rejoiced because he had insured the castle against dragons.
Once upon a time, there was a witch in the woods who lured two children into her home with a promise of free wi-fi.
Once upon a time, a princess rescued a prince and he refused to marry her (not that she asked) and he sulked about the incident for years.
Once upon a time, there was a grandmother who loved a wolf, a wolf who mourned her death so much he dressed up as her, and a girl who killed the wolf because she was unable to accept a love that didn’t fit into her worldview.
Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy godmother who cursed a princess to always appear as she was, and no amount of magic or plastic surgery would ever change that.
Once upon a time, there was a stableboy who was secretly a prince -- and no one learned this because the horses were quite unruly and he reasoned that if he could not control a stable of horses he had no right to make a claim for an entire kingdom.
Once upon a time, there was stepmother who was not wicked at all but no one could bring themselves to believe it so: in the end, not even she could, and it went so very bad for everyone.
Once upon a time, there was a good fairy godmother who didn’t grant a single wish and inspired princesses and princes, stableboys and country lasses to improve their own lives instead of waiting for her to come: there are no stories about her.
Once upon a time, there was an evil witch who would curse her enemies with tooth rot and let the dentists take care of the rest of her work for her.
Once upon a time, there was a dragon who let himself be slain by the knight in the sure and certain knowledge that his hoard of gold would devastate the local economy.
Once upon a time, there was a wolf and three little pigs and they made a reality TV show together and lived happily ever after.
Once upon a time, there was a hero who rescued so many damsels in distress that the kingdom plum ran out of them; in order to keep him occupied, the damsels began capturing each other using elaborate disguises to fool him.
Once upon a time, there was a wooden boy whose nose grew every time he lied and whose penis grew when he told the truth but he never told the truth because the splinters hurt too much.
Once upon a time, there was a prince who was so beautiful that he could only be loved from afar, like how one can love a fire, and he died alone as every suitor felt themselves unworthy. His father the king bitterly remarked once that, had his son been a princess, people would have braved the flames.
Once upon a time, there was a girl that her father brought before the King, claiming she could spin straw into gold. The King just chuckled and the Queen said gently: “We have advisers enough who can do that already, and into other things as well.”
Once upon a time, there was a shoemaker who was murdered by his rivals because he had elves helping him make his shoes and he never paid them a decent wage.
Once upon a time, there was a fairy godmother who gave each child under her care an Xbox 1, though most of their parents sold it to pay for other things and in at least four cases the children tried to get a PS 4 instead.
Once upon a time, there was a boy who cried wolf but, as the villagers saw no wolf every night the boy cried out, they beat him into silence for his insolence until the night of the full moon when they boy turned into a wolf and killed them.
Once upon a time, there was a noble knight who claimed that a curse had been laid upon him that made him commit acts almost unspeakable at times. His detractors at the royal court pointed put that the curse came into play quite often after he’d been drinking at the taverns.
Once upon a time, there was a boy who was very brave and gathered his courage to hunt monsters, only to find out that sometimes all the bravery and courage in every world that could ever be, and a heart as pure as a child’s, are not enough against teeth and claws.
Once upon a time there was born a human child who was half-vampire and had a boring life in which nothing eventful ever happened at all.
Once upon a time, there was a boy and girl who had many adventures together but didn’t fall in love even once.
Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to marry a prince and rather than seeking out a local prince to court she lived in the swamps and kissed hundreds of frogs in the off-chance one might eventually become a prince.
Once upon a time, there was a clever girl who defeated a monster with wit and whiles rather than a blade and no one mocked her for it at all.
Once upon a time, there was a man named Bluebeard with a secret room he forbade his wife-to-be to enter. Upon entering it she found his laptop but never guessed his password so they lived together happily ever after.
Once upon a time, there lived a man whose wife had died and left him with two children to feet on his own. He remarried in spite of all the warnings his children told him about how terrible stepmothers were and when she finally killed them for constantly calling her evil and wicked it was something of a relief.
Once upon a time, there was a girl in a castle and she defended the castle against every single enemy that came for it until boys accused her of hacking the tower defence game.
Once upon a time, there was a magic mirror that told everyone how beautiful they were out of kindness, and the war it caused between a queen and her daughter tore a kingdom apart.
Once upon a time there was a king who was almost kind, but almost didn’t count for enough at the end.
Once upon a time, there was a thief who wore a blond wig and went by Goldilocks who stole a porridge recipe from three bears and built a successful franchise restaurant out of it. The bears never found out who had been sleeping in their beds because bear CSI is very poor and they did not have cable with which to view her cookery shows.
Once upon a time there lived a king and queen: after some years of marriage, the queen adopted a puppy but disaster took both rulers before they had a child and, in accordance with ancient law, being adopted by the royal family put you in line for the throne.
King Puppy ruled justly for many years after.
Once upon a time, there lived a witch who could take pain away. But everyone ceased going to her once they learned where the pain went.
Once upon a time, a fairy godmother fell in love with the child they were granting wishes to and waited for any of the wishes to be ‘Stay with me’ or ‘Never leave me even if I grow up’ but that never happened, even though Peter never grew up at all.
Once upon a time, there was a scared little boy with a stuffed bear and he told Mr. Bear all his secrets until he was old and didn’t need a teddy bear anymore. And he never thought about it again until Mr. Bear sold his story to the media in a desperate bid to regain his affections.
Once upon a time there was a comma that did not go to school and bitterly regretted never becoming an Oxford Comma like their younger sibling.
Once upon a time, there was someone wise enough to fall in love with their own shadow and learn things only the darkness can show.
Once upon a time, there was a woodsman who killed a wolf to save a girl in a red hood from being eaten by it (and perhaps rescued a grandmother from inside the wolf but details were sketchy); the woodsman was sent to prison for years for his murder of an endangered animal.
Once upon a time, there was a Dark Wood that was not dark at all but the wizard who ruled it wanted no animals hunted by greedy men and women and so protected it with terrible magics that did not relent even in times of famine. That legend in time turned him into the dark witch of the wood was, he felt, an honour.
Once upon a time, there was a prince who saved a princess from a dragon by bringing with him a dietitian who explained to the dragon what their diet was lacking and why they felt compelled to capture and eventually eat such a high-carb meal and got the dragon on a sound diet that did much for their digestion. The dragon and dietitian eventually had a cooking show together.
Once upon a time there was a very poor kingdom at war whose knights could scarce afford weapons and sometimes barely honour. A child snuck into the lair of a dragon and gifted them with a video game console; once the dragon was engrossed in this, the people plundered the dragons lair and the kingdom grew rich on that bounty while the dragon grew rich on high scores and made new friends. In time the kingdom ended, consumed by its new wealth and the greed of other nations while the dragon had found peace.
Once upon a time there was a queen with a magic mirror that judged how beautiful women were and in her wisdom the queen changed the mirror to see the appendix as the pinnacle of beauty. People became very confused when a 79 year old woman with two teeth was considered the most beautiful woman in the kingdom.
Once upon a time, there was a chef who was secretly a necromancer but no one in the palace looked too deeply into his affairs because the food costs in the kitchen were so low even though he served rabbit an awful lot.
Once upon a time there was a knight of the realm who forgot to update the dragon slaying app on his isword.
Once upon a time there lived a king who thought himself wise and studied all the arts of psychology to better understand the mind of the queen he would eventually marry; they aided him not in the end.
Once upon a time, in a kingdom of magical dwarves, enchanted slippers and castles that could cause people to sleep a hundred years, a prince was informed that he could never be a princess.
Once upon a time, there was a male witch who no one believed to be a witch because his face lacked a single hideous wart — he was starting to doubt himself a little until the day he got hemorrhoids.
Once upon a time, there was a very hungry caterpillar who grew up to become a very hungry butterfly – and that, child, is where the first dragon came from.
Once upon a time, there was a story of once upon a time that was terrified to end for it knew that no ending was truly happy and would always leave a sadness in the world after the story was over.