When I mention the fairy tale, “One-Eye, Two-Eyes, Three-Eyes”, I often get a funny look from people. One-WhAT? Eyes. Three sisters. One has one eye, one has three eyes, and one, well, she’s the odd one out – she has two like everyone else.
I grew up reading this tale, and I adore it. In a lot of ways, it’s like the Cinderella tale, but better. Lots better. I love “Cinderella”, but it’s not my favorite for a lot of reasons, one of them being the overly sweet ending, which is why I decided to do more with that ending in my novella, Cinders, and simply continue the tale on a more realistic note. Totally me. After that, however, I wanted to try my hand at a good old retelling of a happily-ever-after tale, and “One-Eye, Two-Eyes, Three-Eyes” seemed very fitting. Thirds is that retelling. The end of the original fairy tale is what peaked my interest from the get-go. A lot of readers might think the ending is the girl getting her man and showing her mean sisters and mother what hags they really are, but that’s not a true happily-ever-after for me, and that’s not the note on which the original tale ends. It’s much more subtle and true. That’s why I love it.
Thirds is a retelling, but not a straight retelling. I put the story in my own world with its own set of magical rules and creatures quite different from the original tale. The fairy godmother character in the original fairy tale doesn’t exist in mine. Instead, it’s an elf. But there is still a goat. And geese. My main character’s name is Issina, and not only does she suffer the unfortunate circumstance of having two eyes, she also suffers the knowledge that she has no magic like her sisters own. No magic. No future. No hope. Ah, the beauty of a fairy tale.
Thirds will be published in my omnibus, Bonded, this November. My publisher has decided to put Thirds in the middle of the three stories, and I think that’s perfect because the other two have bittersweet endings (okay, they aren’t the happiest of endings at all, although I have seen that they are satisfying for many readers, including myself), and Thirds has a really happily-ever-after feel to it, so it fits well sandwiched in the middle.
Here’s to little-known fairy tales! May they always be revived and survive.