There was a long, anguished wail, a huge rumbling crash, and then silence.
“Sounds like we’ve got a new housemate,” said the Wicked Witch of the West.
An old hag appeared suddenly in the centre of the room. As they watched she changed slowly into a beautiful woman, though one who looked like she’d fallen off a cliff.
“What happened to you?” asked Grizella, from Hansel and Gretel.
“Fell off a cliff,” said the woman. “Where am I?”
“Grimm Villa,” said Rumplestiltskin. “It’s reserved for the baddies from Fairy Tales. We get sent here after we’ve met our sticky end, though that sentence may not have come out as I intended it to.”
“What tale are you from?” asked Ralf, the wolf from Red Riding Hood.
“Snow White,” said the newcomer. “My name is Queen Gloriana. My mirror told me that the little cow was more beautiful than me, I hunted her, gave her the poisoned apple, yadda, yadda, got chased, blah, blah, fell off cliff.”
“Chased by who?” asked Elementra, the witch from Sleeping Beauty.
“Dwarves?” said the Wicked Witch of the West. “You mean, like munchkins?”
“Er, yes, but there were loads of them,” said Gloriana defensively.
“How many?” asked Rolf, Ralf’s cousin from the Three Little Pigs.
“Fifty,” said Gloriana. She looked at their sceptical faces. “Seven,” she mumbled.
“Pathetic,” said the Wicked Witch of the West.
“Really?” said Gloriana defiantly. “And how did you die?”
“A house fell on me.”
“Oh,” said Gloriana. “I suppose that is impressive.”
“Sure was,” said Ralf. “CSI had to identify her by her shoes.”
“Don’t worry, you’re not the saddest of us,” said the Wicked Witch. “Grizella got pushed into an oven by two kids.”
“I was blind,” said Grizella. “They were eating the house of a blind woman. How I ended up as the baddie of that story I’ll never know.”
“Same with me,” said Ralf. “I mean humans eat rashers, ham, bacon all day everyday, but when I chase three pigs I get called the Big Bad Wolf.”
“Yeah,” said Rolf. “And all I did was eat a granny.”
“Er, that actually is quite bad,” said Elementra.
“Oh well,” said Gloriana, “I may be dead, but at least that wagon Snow White is too.”
“Don’t be too sure,” said the Wicked Witch of the West.
“What do you mean?”
“You poisoned her, didn’t you? But yet she’ll wake up if she gets kissed, and you can bet she will, even though her kisser will believe she’s dead, some men would get off with anything. It’s the same with all of us, we have to send them to sleep, or turn them into frogs, or make them guess our name -”
“- which your mum had sown onto your underwear,” said Elementra to Rumplestiltskin. “She saw it when you bent over to pick up the gold.”
“Is that how she did it?” said Rumplestiltskin. “I’ve always wondered.”
“My, what big brains you’ve got,” muttered Rolf.
“What I’m saying is, we’re not allowed to just shoot our enemy, or chop her into bits,” continued the Wicked Witch. “We have to give her a chance to escape.”
“It’s called Bond Villain Syndrome.” said Elementra.