All fairytales have the potential to become nightmares. They are compelled towards absolute endings, that are necessarily either very good or very bad. There is no room for anything that is abitrary in fairytales.
There are the kind and the wicked, the beautiful and the ugly, the giant and the drawf. Everything seems to be balanced perfectly, precariously on an invisible scale. Anything can and do happen in fairytales – but there is an incorruptible order that has to be respected.
The nature and very essence of each character in a fairytale is made know to the reader right from the start. There is never any doubt as to who is the Mr Nice Guy and who is The Devil Himself.
I cannot imagine anything more terrifying than being stuck in a fairytale. There are two things that may happen:
1. I’ll have to re-live the story over and over; a sinister, Grimm Brothers edition of Eternal Recurrence. Cinderella will go from rags to riches and back, again and again. The pumpkin becomes a carriage, the horse transforms into a mouse.
2. I’ll have to live out the rest of my life in a horribly unexceptional, post-Happily Ever After existence. Who can handle (any form of) normalcy after the drama of a fairytale?
Lastly, there is nothing more frightful than a fairytale sequel. They destroy the supposed enduring myth of a good story. Ariel and Simba are meant to have offsprings (i.e part of Happily Ever After), but we are not meant to know them.
And all this because I started reading The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton again on a whim. I maintain that it is one of the best books I have ever read or will ever read.