7 - I'm Your Fairy Godmother

"That's a plate of pancakes. I've never seen you mess one up yet!"

Isht Visht's hotly mischievous voice comes from all around us.

"I made," I start, stumble over more sobbing, "I made one that was just supposed to be good times for me and Boobsong, that was the only intention, and my game fed it to me and instead I had this horrible flashback--"

"Blast me with a Davey Crockett! Mom that's terrible! Let me guess, right back to your first thirteenth, yeah?"

The gentle colored-pencil lines and shading of Cheryl's kind soft face appear twisting back over her seat, and she looks me up and down.

"Can't reach back there but if I could Boobsong would have to share with me. Take a deep breath. Go nice and slow and think about it. You're my girlfriend the Fairy Princess Rainbow-Bright--wait a minute. Did you say your game gave it to you? Where's the real one, Rainbow's Game?"

A rainbow-spiral-paper-wrapped round candy appears in the air between us, and I snatch it greedily, clutch it tight in my hand and hug Boobsong even tighter.

HEY! She made that to get close to me and feel better! Not be scared! Game, that was terrible! What could be so big you would do that?

"There, see? Just a minute."

Cheryl turns forward again and there's the rip-hiss of a soda opening, and then reaches back over the seat with kind eyes and a pink-and-white can--

Sweet screaming birthday streamers ALCOHOL!

I grab it out of her hand urgently with my and down half the very strong strawberry wine cooler in one pull, then hug Boobsong again, and tease her helpless form with the cold metal some, feeling pathetic and princessy (strawberry wine was reserved for royalty back home, being how hard it is to make taste good, but we were dedicated to our theme and had some hardcore vinters) as the booze goes to work.

EEP AAAH BRRR! Here comes another big thing telling our readers--

 No. No working. Party now.

I chug the rest of the can, crush it, and then find myself microwaving it to slag angrily.

My game takes the molten aluminum away when I'm done redundantly burning it with more radio-frequency growling--microwaves are my equivalent of a death-metal rasp, my girly shriek is hypergamma so high frequency it can't shine in universes with a speed of light under five Earth-c. I'm very dramatic, I think, hoping the drunk-sounding lisp in my mental voice is real. I need to be useless now.

Smells good and wasted already. Smart Cheryl bringing super-stuff! Princess takes lots to get real drunk so fast.

Worried? Why should this be--ooh because can't drive if you're drunk. Your game has us held the very safest always. It won't let you harm me.

"YOU WOULDN'T KNOW IT FROM THAT FAKE CANDY! GAME WHAT--"

"Strawberry children have many times died from poison treats. Your candy being called terrifying made you very upset, and you said very loud that you make it with love and good wishes. You are supposed to make an answer that the candy that gave the flashback can't be yours. Say it plenty hard!"

"OF COURSE I WOULDN'T MAKE A CANDY DO THAT! THAT'S HORRIBLE! IF YOU NEED MEDICINE DON'T COME TO ME I'M THE FIZZBUBBLING SUGARFEAST FAIRY! HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME THINK I COULD MAKE SOMETHING LIKE THAT!"

Angry to prove my point but still suspicious of my game now I hold up the new candy and hold it under Boobsong's nose and smack her ass good and hard with my other hand to lust her up pluck.

WOW THAT STINGS! That was hot! Smell candy sniffnsiff Princess' most definitely. Looks the same, smells the same, has her smell all over it.

Sexy soft peace capped again.

I take it from her nose and stuff it in my mouth by squeezing it to tear out of its wrapper instead of unwrapping it, and suck hard on the artificial-grape ball of sweet hard candy, but cry all the harder because having to use her food-tasting skills like that is all what was wrong with everything back home.

"Game what the fuck what's wrong with you you didn't even take the candy away! I'm not supposed to be able to hold stuff right now and I can't even trust you with candy now!? How can I feel safe like this? Are you broken!?"

If I cry hard enough Cheryl will give me more booze. Should come easily.

And yet I'm determined to trust my candy now. I was going to use this later when we were alone again but if the wish it ended up with would have been best that way the effects will be delayed, and maybe it has something to fix this mess in it--HEY! GRR! What had me thinking I should save it at all? My candy always works when it should! That's an important piece of Sugarfeast--I give you candy, eat it now! CANDY IS NOT FOR BEING RESPONSIBLE WITH LOOK AT THE NAME OF STUPID HOLIDAY! Yeah if you've got an entire bed filled with it don't eat more than you feel like, but that was really stupid of me just now! What's got into both of us? My game's acting as bad as I am!

I crunch it, annoyed, and little sparkles of fizz come out as it breaks. Something feels incredible in my teeth, peaceful calm waves of bliss at the way it comes apart.

"Take out of you things the coup brought back made surface. Have peace as the day goes on. First be angry at Laarhi--"

"DO NOT--"

I trip on it trying to find the candyswear that starts with sn- I use for things like this.

Cheryl holds out another can, and I grab it and chug, this time getting the whole thing down in one go.

"I love you guys so much NEVER SPEAK HIS NAME--"

"The game is interrupting to remind you that your judgement day was so thorough he's a laughingstock in the afterlife."

How the fuck does my heart do these things one part of me blurts well that's kind of mean if its going to follow him for eternity but the rest grins sardonically to remember that thanks to the mythology our people leaving the Strawberry World as I destroyed it spread afterwards, premature ejaculation is called pulling a Laarhi almost everywhere (the judgement I passed on him at the end was that he was that one guy who goes charging in for battle against his orders while the queen is in the middle of diplomacy and starts a war that doesn't have to happen, because trying to murder me started me on the path of revenge that lead to my coming back to that day and peeling the Strawberry World like an apple and literally pulling the houses of its gods out of their spirit world to crumble up and sprinkle down over Strawberry Home as special effects for my apocalypse speech--my game helped with the fiddly stuff, but I could have managed the raw destructiveness on my own--when if he could have just held on until I took the throne I would have considered him a valuable asset and also not destroyed the entire universe--It's okay, there was only the one planet there).

I slump, drunk and floppy, knowing I can't just blot the name out. At least it ended up someplace good.

Yeah I do the wrathful goddess thing now and then. I think I got dad's anger problem.

"Game the candy though. That's the second time. Hold me dammit!"

Tentacles wrap Boobsong and me tightly, pressing our bodies against each other.

"You know what I mean."

Except they are kind of comforting.

Tight squeeze yay.

Either the alcohol or knowing how Laarhi's legacy ended up leaves me just sitting there, feeling dead, but at least not so angry I want to die. Remembering the look on his face as I introduced him to the concept of gamma rays and explained what he was going to have to get off his high horse about to fix it helps a bit. This is still what comes of trying to be all enlightened and have a male general, grumps an old part of me that doesn't do getting with programs, but I feel some better.

The tentacles snake off us, back to the nowhere the game keeps them in, and Cheryl offers a third can--oh hey, game took my last empty away--wait--

"This is still against my rules," I note lispily as I manage to actually sip this one (or at least not chug it in one chug).

The game picks up the wine cooler with a tentacle, and my hand falls back, unable to move unless I'm using it on Boobsong, so I put it back to hold her to me, then remember and start caressing her sides--

Knowledge: to help me enjoy Boobsong's helplessness, my game will give me exceptions to the rule it made. That's how I held the candy and the cans. When I'm finished making her stay dollified--

It shows me a vision of tentacles making a fist-hitting-palm gesture.

The game hands the can back to me, and I take a big pull.

It feels weird holding it. I'm in between the scene I want and the one I was doing, but can't decide how to change it yet. I think I just want to be floppy and stupid and ride.

The sense of that last year whirls around me, dizzy with the booze. It'd been a strange refreshing terror. Life as a Princess before the game made everything clear was like sleeping in a bed made of pulling hands, dragging me all different ways. The game kept them off of me...and made it hard to make a stink about not be able to grasp or take time away from Boobsong. Before that our life had been a constant drumbeat of how we spent too much time focusing on each other and various things that seemed only made to make me turn my back on her when she needed me.

[!] They were constantly telling you not to play with me! Just be there I get like go to see the important people where you can't be all fun but they wanted you to just leave me there on your bed like that even made sense! They knew everything we just said, Verana explained it very simply, but they just didn't listen! How could they be so dumb? There was everything telling them not to be! Our seed-ghost must have warned them a hundred times if you keep doing stuff like that it will take us away!

And then it did--or rather you did, you loyal little toy. Without moving us anywhere. The brutal elegance of how it worked brings a smile even now. We were still there with our friends and family and Princess things, but the power had changed--my game took their toy away.

It was always just "Them". There were so many people and things demanding stuff it just blurred into one faceless monster trying to eat me up.

The last year of our life in Strawberry Home completely changed all that, but at the cost of a war with Them my game won so easily it was like it wasn't there...until Laarhi tried to kill me and found me idolized. The next day was the apocalypse.

But what makes me so mad is for all that They clawed and scraped they didn't want me. They wanted this other kid who would play their game quietly and not make them think about stuff like how the world could change if we just gave some of the stuff I was bringing back through the worldgate a try or that if they really believed in the teachings of our Mothers and Verana the high priestess' prophecies--

[!] This is the worstest part. Everything in that book said watch out if heartforming is interfered with you'll be in very bad trouble. That was the sacred book Our Mother gave at the very beginning that's lost to history! From the very first day they knew what to do with us. They were prepared from the start and I was hardly the only su'khora, but because I was the Princess' heartchild oh no that's special she an exception. Now what do you think, Them? Still excepted?

Their screaming hypocrisy like I was this hellspawn for heartforming and having all the same things happen that happen to everyone. Nectar changes your body, oh no! Have you idiots never seen breasts before? I know what the real problem was and I like my arrangement just fine now but I really do wonder if I might have a pussy and womb as well if I hadn't grown up saying nothing would ever get me to bring a kid into the world to be chewed on by the thing that had me in its mouth.

Did I leave something out of my apocalypse like not having our commercial breaks? It doesn't feel that way, but I'm still unsatisfied. I want to remember the good stuff and I can't feel bad this way and still do that. All I can feel about home right now is the pig-headedly stupid lack of even enlightened self interest that would sacrifice everything and everyone for the sake of just having their world stay the same--okay that's the nub of an idea--

[!] What if we take our revenge by attacking it like you always said to do to our enemies castles with the gun you and Laarhi made? He was always afraid of it and it would be so ironic to destroy the castle he was afraid of it burning up on purpose!

Suddenly the texture of my candy is as vivid as the rocks in one of those hyperreal videogames. I make candy, not flavored platonic solids, so it wasn't notable when it was rough like a blowpop, but it had quite the texture of stone, and crunching it was such sweet catharsis.

You're on the right track, but not the gun.

Su'khora walked the Strawberry World openly and we knew what they were. Succubus is a myth we imported from Earth like strange technologies and my experiences in a city-sized playroom called Disneyworld that changed my view of everything, but Boobsong still was silvery with soft leathery wings and horns and a long lashing tail with that squishy barb before I was old enough to go there and have people say she was a demon, but she's still a bit naughty to have as a partner. To the Strawberry World, Boobsong's a dragon-girl.

Seed-ghost that batteries thing is real after all, huh, but you didn't mean it for sex.

Yes. Power for one occasion, then back to succubus.

Can she use the ones that powered the library lights?

Power is based on electricity. Any source is suitable. DC 14 volts.

Perfect. Alright then game can you make the arrangements and Dreams if I'm going to get spiked for this please tell me now so I don't anticipate the wrong thing.

It's always blown my mind that somehow the parents who are most sure their kids reflect on them are the ones least willing to look in that mirror they're so sure they have. In my case, when the Princess implanted at six months old and her heart's wish manifested as a very small cutesy version of the beast famous for about the same stuff it is on Earth and stayed that way consistently through her childhood, maybe the questions raised...shouldn't have been about the Princess?

The Dreams show me a green checkmark, but I don't think I'm the one it's for this time.

You captured me but good, Princess that I am, dragon. It's time to do the other part.

Omifuck yes I can't wait for this. Mommy's calling, Strawberry Home!

Top, Have a little chat with historians, Nine piece chicken fries


Winter 1996

I'm standing beside Boobsong playing Street Fighter II on the arcade machine at Burger King on High Ridge Road in Stamford on the way home from the meeting with Disney's animators.

Winter sunlight shines in around us, reflecting off the snow outside, making the screen hard to see, especially with the glare of the lights inside, but so what. I'm playing Street Fighter II with my handmaiden who's distracting me by snuggling against me and nobody has any idea Princess Starlight and Boobsong are there playing videogames because we're in our handmaiden disguises. Boobsong is still really pretty, though I miss her wings and tail and silver-ness. I could be a heartformer who just has a seedling with them, but I don't dare blow our disguises by giving anyone the chance to say "hey that looks like Boobsong's tail".

I'm playing Ryu because I just mastered Hadoken and Boobsong is Chun Li of course, but for some reason the game decided that fight should happen on Ken's stage, and she's limited to human-scale reflexes so I can actually play against her. I catch her with a Hadoken as she jumps, knocking her down, start to move in for a try at a Dragon Punch--

Press down two seconds up FIERCE KICK RAH!

In my focus to get the move right I don't quite realize she's up and crouching, with disastrous results for my last few pixels of health when she bounces up into a Spinning Star Kick the instant I'm in range.

Bash against Princess victoriously KO!

I snuggle against her proud silliness and grab her ass tightly (I remember it covered in something polkydotty-colors) as Ryu slowly bounces to defeat onscreen.

"Twenty three!"

"That's us, go get it!"

Turn away from the game Princess coming? Yes okay go to the counter and pick tray up. Follow you to the booth in the middle-place and sit down and slide in super happy I can play footsie and snuggle you!

I follow her and squidge right up so she's cuddling, kick a leg into her space where she instantly grabs it with both of her bare and very snuggly legs, put a hand on her thigh and push her dress up to get my hand near her pussy (it's under the table, no one can see, though the idea of getting caught is kind of fun).

"Okay, get out the concept art."


Earlier that day

I'm standing at the front of a meeting room with a table around which a bunch of variously nerdy-looking guys in business suits sit (I want to sneak some nectar into the coffee maker and see how many guys come to the next meeting, but I'll be good). On the right is glass partly frosted to make a wall from the rest of the studio, and on the left the wall is a mural of Mickey and Minnie in front of Cinderella's Castle.

I look at Boobsong where she's standing against the wall, give her the signal.

Open the case ziip and go around the table handing pictures to everyone. Look what we found, aren't they beautiful?

"These are the Gates of Candyland."


Present Day

Nine piece--game did you actually find a way. Can you put a real one in.

Knowledge: my game has a better version of waffle fries to add, but otherwise it will be just what I'm thinking of.

Tears well up. It broke my heart when they got rid of curly fries. Time to get up on my dragon-punch!

Yes the Sugarfeast Fairy is crying for curly fries. If you can't see the logic in my liking fast food, you haven't been reading very close.

This will be perfect. I was wondering how to arrange all this, where the pieces went, but now it seems clear. I'll do the same as I did with the rest of it. It was hard to figure out, because the reason this all hurts so much because I loved our world and what the Strawberry Dynasty stood for. I believed in everything. That in the end They turned on me is the loss of a friend, not war with an enemy. It'd have been so much simpler if I could just destroy every stone and make a point by leaving a gravel pit, but this will be better, and I don't have to destroy the memories that are dear to me.

If you're wondering what the hell we've been talking about, when I destroyed the Strawberry World, I didn't destroy everything. Strawberry Home, all in one piece, went into my game's storage space, because I thought I wanted it as a life-sized dollhouse to throw parties with. Now I see what I was really asking.

This is a big project, though, and I don't want to interrupt my birthday, so unless my game's planning to ruin my birthday like it did my homecoming scene by taking us now I have a way to get started that should hold us for a while--no, please don't game. I don't think I can handle it yet.

Let's do this to get started instead. I pull Boobsong's head off my shoulder so she'll be able to see, then--oh, thanks, game (it takes the wine cooler with a tentacle)--take off my crown, and look at it.

This is the real crown Mother and her Mother and so many more wore, and it came to me by a crazy path that created Mama's obsession with a lot of things. A glittering gemstone strawberry, huge in the front center with silvery-golden vines with diamonds everywhere and emerald leaves shines back at me, and I strangely feel sudden anger, even though I already knew what I was about to do. I felt that when Mama gave it to me the first time, but couldn't understand why then. Now, I do.

Enough of this being the Strawberry Crown. Let's make it Rainbow's crown. I guess one person is getting marked before Boobsong today, but I think that's appropriate. I'm my own Princess now, not the representative of the family.

I lay my hand on the strawberry, and pour color into it until it's ragged rainbow like my shining heart signature. Boobsong has the tech to help me change the shape, and make the Johnny Jump-ups we found growing out of a snowbank by the side of that weird black stone road on Earth our first ever day there, but we'll need some gravel first.

JOHNNY JUMP-UPS!? Princess please give me lust so I can jump and kiss you!

No because it's still cuter and more fun to deny you and watch you be just that stuck, but I love you too and you're giving me that kiss later.

Yup, I really am a doll for days. Just get used to it. Makes me high a little to imagine just being like this through all the stuff ahead! Can I really even be a doll through sex without you saying cocksleeve move I need your service here?

Either you're a doll or I'll have some other way to have what I'm getting from this--we're still missing something, huh--not now.

[!]

With the family all staring, I hold the crown over my own head with both hands--I did my own coronation the first time, too--and set it in place, mindful of my butterfly antenna bouncing all around with Isht Visht's ride.

"If I know that look, we're going to need ice cream."

"Oh don't worry," I say in a silly-doomful voice. "Burger King has excellent sundaes."

I still can't quite figure out if all that stuff is a dream or what, but there must be something to it if Strawberry Home is in my game's storage space and I'm annoyed that let's have ice cream were the first words out of her mouth after we got back from the Strawberry Apocalypse and then we didn't get to have any. That won't happen this time. There will be no escape. It's the reward on a top priority game goal, and as this conversation establishes, my game is kind of powerful.

"Holy clitwaffles, did you see that!?"

"No, I didn't, where?"

There's a sound like pussy getting touched.

"Oh, yes I did. I'm still getting used to this. Have to remember to check my other half!"

The back row must be Andrea and--the Violets. So curious how that works, but I'm still not allowed to look back--oh snarly steamed sweet tarts. If you want me looking forward why'd you drag up all this past stuff, game?

Knowledge: bringing it back again helps me let go of the painful things, like I've been doing here, but I won't get the most out of that if I just become nostalgic. I can't look back until that's through my head.

I peer out the windshield, but there's just snow and a hint of twisting road outside.

"I could swear I saw Pleiades' hat in the clouds, like fifty feet tall!"

"I also saw it!"

Branching lightning splits the sky and the boom of thunder spanks Isht Visht hard.

"Boobsqueeze's apocalypse is starting up, I guess! Hang on, family, here we go!"

"I'm not ready! This one takes planning and anyway we're trying to go to my birthday!"

"Since when does Rainbow plan things!? Just go there and see what happens!"

What a stupid little cunt I am to have thought I was going to get to go out with my family and enjoy a special day or just have some kinky fun, when there's still work to do. How foolish of me to think I'd be allowed to just leave the past where I want it to be, in the past. How could I ever have thought that hell will stop tormenting you with the most painful thing it can? This is mine: my world could be paradise, but no matter how much I burn to cinders and bury the ghosts of my past the forces that're supposed to take care of me and make me feel safe will just drag them up again. We're going to do this and do what I somehow failed to do the first time instead of this big plan I was making and even I as stand watching the gravel turn to vapor and the vapor flash to quarks and the quarks unravel to superstrings that then lose their vibrations under the withering of my furious light the next ghosts will be filtered up from the nonexistent ashes and the next and the next and the next and Sex and the family and whatever this scene was supposed to be will join a million other fun adventures I didn't get to have that sit on the shelf of my life instead of just being lost forever because that's better to taunt me and poor Boobsong who never got and never will get to have her Princess, while I sit doing the one more thing again the last this time we promise piece of homework that comes with being the Strawberry Princess, and the worst part will be that I know it's because I still contained something of my past, some connection or wish or longing or pain, that could be used to torture me this way, to manipulate me ito make my own hell, ruining heaven for myself and the people I love most.

Only when not one speck remains, only when I'm someone else entirely will it end, and my game will never let that happen, if I could even do it.

They always said I was leading you all to hell. I guess They were right.

Don't look back, my game condescendingly says, like it has any intention of ever letting me do anything but stare into a million different recordings of the worst day of my life.

I grab the wine cooler back from its tentacle, down the rest, throw the can down, and flop back, let my head loll so I look out the side window into the grey void that's inside me too.

Outside, a mickey head shines out like the Bat Signal from someplace on the horizon, like that's going to do anything, like Walt and Pleiades are going to be able to help, like I wouldn't just be sick of the sight of all of it we sat down to a design session together. With all the bitterness built up I lash out and quench it from the sky with a blast of anti-light (it scared Boobsong to death when we discovered I can wield it like dad, but I don't think we were doing the math that we'd just found out anti-light isn't why he went dark like he did) from my eyes that only doesn't cancel every particle between here and there because I don't want to hurt poor Isht Visht as it goes through her window.

[!]

Her new page drips with pathetic desperation and I turn away from the window and just curl in, holding her tight and trying to roll us into a ball to shut the world out as I read her.

MOMMY I'M BEGGING PLEASE DON'T DO STUFF THAT MAKES YOU SO DARK AND COLD! PLEASE IF YOU HAVE TO BE MAD OKAY JUST BE MAD AS YOUR SEXY SELF AND STAY BRIGHT NOT TURN INTO AN AWFUL DARKNESS-STAR!

If you want that why did you design my game to turn me dark?

Knowledge: the game was made to keep everything away from me that would keep us apart the way I'm thinking here. I won't be condemned to this repeating forever. There are things I need to take up that were left behind when Laarhi came to kill me, like the lake where my family stayed that I felt so forlorn without. There won't be so much as that, but unconsciously I'm trying to find those things constantly. This will keep on until I get them back.

"So this is truly hell. We'll just go on with this forever and ever and I'll never get to enjoy even one single scene with Boobsong without it being poisoned somehow. I'm sorry, all of you. I'm sure you had a really nice birthday planned for me."

I can do one thing to express myself, at least. With furious light from my head, I blast blast my crown to atoms, to see if the Dreams care about any of us enough to protect the family from my supernova.

Or I would, if my game didn't steal it away to its storage space to rape me more with later.

"Boobsqueeze what are you talking about?"

 "I made up a plan for an apocalypse, and now we have to skip my birthday for it--no. I fucking won't. I have you guys. Save me. Save us. Whatever you do don't let the Dreams take us off your plans today. That sick fucked up past of mine is a black hole trying to suck us all in and ruin our fun and my game keeps on telling me it's inside of me and I'm the one doing it but I'm not the one constantly dragging up stuff I don't want to think about with flashbacks and shit. I can perfectly well leave my wreck of a past behind but the Dreams and my game are against us for some reason, like trying to punish me and Boobsong or something, but I know you guys aren't and I know the birthday you have planned for me is going to literally be so awesome I cum and I don't mean from all the sex you were totally planning on so please you guys, help me. I need my family right now because you're all me and Boobsong have right now and we're up against the scariest stuff in the multiverse. If I ever made you think otherwise I'm so sorry. I know you all care about me and Boobsong so much."

"Welcome to Latchkey Day, kiddo."

Cheryl reaches back and holds out a bottle of Amaretto, and I get to work making myself useless all the way. My game will just sober me up when it wants to torture me again, but I can still say what I think of all this with a nice blackout, and Amaretto is yummy straight from the bottle, not too alcoholic to chug satisfyingly.

[!] Mommy keep fighting this way! You're supposed to be angry and ask for our family's help! The game said you have things to take up again and our family is one of them! That's for sure but what if the Disney stuff is another thing? Give Strawberry Home away and say that's the end and hang out with us till the end of time and we can be just Sugarfeast Fairy and Boobsong there's doesn't have to be all that other stuff. Maybe it breaks your depression to say this is over now like we wanted to all those times. Maybe the thing your apocalypse should have done was to say you were done, not the Strawberry World. If you think about it that way does it feel any better?

My tears turn pathetic instead of cold and bitter at the thought of calling Walt right now to say happy Heartwarming and just leaving it there. He'd be the one, of course, him and Pleiades. They could do right with it, and she's right about my apocalypse saying I was done instead of the Strawberry World, but so is my game, I can't seem to be done somehow, I keep screwing it up. When nothing is left I'll be free at last and yet I somehow never let go enough to make that happen--Strawberry Home should have burned in the apocalypse, and become myth along with the rest of it.

"Thanks Cheryl," I slur, and take another pull.

"Be high-spirited, cumswallow, we're going to look out for you."

"Thanks Mama."

We ride in silence for a minute while the family kindly lets me drink in peace.

"Boobsong figured it out. She thinks I should have said was done at the Strawberry Apocalypse, not the world, and I should just give Strawberry Home away and say that's it which would totally fix this I could say it in two seconds and it's be over with and the problem is I can't you guys, I'm like stuck or something. Like...I need to stop being me because it's keeping me from being me--RRR! See?"

That sense of They pushing in again piles up and confuses me. It took the form of a dream once where I slept at an office full of pressing-in junk instead of my house, a life full of other people's stuff for the work I was supposed to do (or end up homeless) that fell on me constantly and made me turn my back on Boobsong to look back again and find her in pieces, broken by some falling thing or something.

What would I throw out of Strawberry Home--but we did that already. And there's a reason I'm into the Disney Princess thing. Is there something I--

--that dream ended with--

"I'm sinking, family, help."

This is all probably just alcohol. Probably I'll look back later if I have a later and see Boobsong's memories and wonder how even drunk I thought I made sense.

"Mom hang in there, we've got answers. Look at the lightning out there."

I stare out the windshield between Cheryl and Mama. With Eisela beside me I'm sitting with the three mothers of the family and the next hugest nerds after Mama the Trekker, Cheryl who ran a BBS in the eighties, and Eisela the Pokemon trainer are right behind me. Did they know how upset I am?

There are trees now, on both sides of the road, huge evergreens.

Another bolt strikes, and blazes a giant North Pole sign across the sky, like Pleiades' hat and the Mickey Signal.

[!] Mommy the Dreams have a role you play in them. You need that back very bad. That's the missing--YES YOU REMEMBER THAT YES!

In the Strawberry World--I don't think it's right to say back home when I am home--we called me the Sugarfeast Fairy, but Earth knew me by another name until I came there in person--right. I think. Strawberry Tongue worked like infernal, and we called colors like beauties or so, and Lucy somehow came to Earth unchanged without my help, so my name in Strawberry must have landed in the same language as Lucy ENOUGH.

Okay, reader, you now have enough information to figure out how to saw "Rainbow Starshine" in Strawberry Tongue, and from that find out where Earthling mythology misremembers me. This is hard mode, but you can do it, now. Dare you to try, but the one that'll really fry your brain is how to say my last name in Strawberry Tongue, and you'll have to wait a while for that one. It won't be quite the same-as this, where you find it.

Okay seriously. What my sloppy drunk ass was trying for--


1925, Papua New Guinea (via time-travel consciousness-projection from the 1990s)

Wait WHAT--AAAH holy glowing laser rings no time! Panther eyes glare at us out of the darkness, so I bring my light up nice and bright--oops, not that bright. We seem to be in a jungle, not anime, and the panther that was glaring bolts when I blow its night vision out for the next five years. The jungle is dense. Bright light just shows leaves and trees close around us.

"What is that light?"

A sort of radio-announcer voice comes from behind us--oh, hI WaLt! Of cOuRSe iT's yOU, tHiS eXPLainS eVERyTHinG!

Also yeah you don't need your electric lantern now, I've got it.

Gasp how'd we get here what is happening!? It's real Princess Acme Station says it's Earth in nineteen twenty five!

Good snarlygraping question, Acme Station--right. Walt.

"That was me. I had to scare a panther."

Now how the fuck am I supposed to introduce myself to Walt Disney when he has no idea who I am--oh my fizzfrozen sparkle taffy leaf dresses. Good one, Dreams.

I flumph my wings out, make them nice and colorful-bright, smile with the sheer stupid epicness of this, and stick my hand out to shake.

"HI! I'm your fairy godmother."

He snaps a picture no-one will ever in a million years believe with the huge camera around his neck, scrolls the film advance, snaps another one, puts the camera down and takes my hand, but kisses it (on the back of the fingers, unlike Mama) instead of shaking, lets my hand go.

"You're not actually a fairy, can you be? What's your trick for lighting?"

He shakily pats himself looking for something, finds a pack of cigarettes, starts looking probably for the lighter.

"Need a light?"

He looks relieved and puts a cigarette to his lips and I very carefully zap the end of it with a thread of rainbow-flickering laser from my fingertip that'll be visible in the steamy jungle but hit so any scatter doesn't find his eyes.

His eyes cross to see what I'm doing, then the cigarette bursts into flame and I stop lasering it and he takes it away from his mouth and stares. Hehe it's 1925 you can't even pretend I've got a laser diode up my sleeve!

OH THAT'S RIGHT I'M NAKED MUAHAH. Ogle, come on, you know you want to!

"My trick is I'm a real fairy and that's real fairy magic. So's my being here to save you from that panther. I'm Princess Rainbow-Bright Starshine, and this is Boobsong. Say hi to Walt, Boobsong."

"Hi Walt Disney, very pleased to meet you!"

"Boobsong's my fairy helper. Isn't she cute? Useful, too. She's got photographic memory! Stare if you want, she likes it."

Give him some nice cutesy bashfulness if he does.

"How the hell--"

He trails off as my offer breaks his resolve against ogling Boobsong.

Instincts say arms go this way, up and back like stretch and look him in the eye for just a second. Hips go side to side a little then just keep on looking smile happy!

Alright, direct approach it is--

Disney drops the cigarette, gapes, looks flustered.

"Be nice, you," I laugh to Boobsong, and fuzz her head.

"Come on, Princess needs a hug."

YUS MUAHAH turn and face Princess super snuggly hug you show Disney my nice ass now. 

I enjoy her hug a moment, then look up at Walt. "So, got a wish? Want one like her? They can look human when you're out on the town."

"This is one of those deal with the devil things, isn't it? Alirght, you've got me, but I want to be successful. Pretty ladies don't do much if I'm broke! Have I got enough soul to cover all that?"

Slowly, following some ancient monarch instinct, I step uncomfortably close to him, look him in the eyes. Boys get so confused when a girl is taller!

Here we go somebody stop me if I'm doing it wrong--

"You'll be the best-known cartoonist who ever lived, and your movies and shows will define American culture for at least the next century, but listen up. I know the devil, and he is a big stupid meanie. Don't you talk to him or have anything to do with him. That's his lie that her kind belong to him. They belong to whoever they say they belong to. Including just themselves. This is fairy magic and yeah, you're giving up your soul, but that's just because you'll fall in love with your helper so hard it pops right out and lands in her loving hands. There's no deal. You'll see. Now, ready? Are you in?"

I step back again, Boobsong faithfully still hugging.

"You sure you ain't the devil?"

He pauses a second.

"You ain't, are you? Why bother lying when I said you got me? Hey, what's your percentage anyway? This is America, even fairies have an angle."

How does everything work so perfectly.

"Ever meet a girl who's angle is just that she's from Connecticut? I grew up one town over from Greenwich, so to speak, except where I come from Greenwich looks like the wrong side of the tracks. My angle is just sharing the family wealth. You get real popular going around handing out favors. No strings attached, don't worry."

"Alright, if you say so. You did say Princess I guess. How's this work? You just wave that magic wand or something?"

"First, you take at least one more picture of her, unless you ain't an appreciator of backsides."

You know what to do, cocksleeve.

Stick your cocksleeve's ass out super sexy. Come on and take a pussy pic, Princess said be sexy for a reason!

"She'll be disappointed if you're shy. You have your own darkroom, right? Act like it."

Making seeds it's playtime super happy eeeyah!

He actually gets down low where the good view is, and snaps a few more--

Gasp Princess he got one it went right to him!

Disney stops and just squats there, holding the camera--congratulations, you!


Present day

"Why do I always get the role wrong. Just because I feel like Cinderella becoming a princess thanks to all of you--do I have to do it right this moment, Dreams--no, I don't, because that won't be doing it right. You'll tell me when the right one comes to me, and it has to be good, okay? If it's the right one for Strawberry Home it has to be spectacular. Even for us. Show me some real melodrama or I won't know it's time. Make sure I'm ready and we both no I'm not now and can't be rushed."

The Princess title and crown...they were part of it, something about rank or whatever, gave authority and weight to what I do. I must be able to say it if I'm a Princess, that makes sense, right?

What I do, what I was always born to do and Boobsong made me a beautiful game to do in, is bring new games to play. New fantasies, things to try, breaking down the order of the world that makes you chew through the gross fibrous stuff to get at the juicy orange inside. Nature has yummy stuff in it, but buried in pain and hard work. Getting it can be satisfying, but how much more often do you just want some candy and a good time?

The pleasure of a vibe is just candy for your crotch, really. You can easily make that a part of sex, candy doens't have to replace food, except it can when su'khora nectar made your body a pleasure toy and took you out of the system of suffering that keeps herd fitness (for being one of Eden's processing nodes) up, just like Boobsong's carefully-played sentient masturbation doll game could be all the sex I need if I wasn't so in love with our family here (and remember our understanding that our hearts belong to our heartchildren).

I haven't eaten a 'proper' meal in who knows how long (fast food is just deep-fryer candy, of course), no bread, but I sure have had cake to spare. It rules. I like to share that joy with people. The best way to get there is heartforming, so all my crazy kinky games and performances and teaching have at the back of them the hope that you'll see something that if you haven't already is that just-right spark you've been waiting for that makes you implant and starts your adventure. Have to keep the variety up to be sure of that, and, oh dear, it's totally fun, too.

But there's something personal, a game I especially like to bring, because of the way my past was.

Laarhi trying to kill me wasn't some kind of failure of the world. That's how the system is supposed to work--not that we had succession by murder, but every feudal world has succession by murder if you get away with it. Nature just wants the genes to keep going. There needs to be one herd leader and it's effective to make lots of born kings or queens who feel something inside that pounds at them constantly to ascend the throne and let them grow up and kill each other until one's left and rules until they don't have the strength to protect their family from the others that aren't dead yet.

It so happened that I was born to the Queen currently winning that game, but all that meant was I got to see up close how good it can feel to wear the crown before Laarhi took it from me, realize I would never have won the game if I hadn't been born with such a long lead nobody could ever catch up like I was, and see, right in front of my face, how much of a pawn I was. I was a game piece to play with, nothing more, and They threw me away when I couldn't be used to checkmate political enemies anymore.

And then I got to see what it's like on the other side, when you're a Princess born to rule and have no queendom. We never came back after Laarhi because it was done, then. I would never be able to keep the Empire in line except by rule of fear of this battlestation my game, and I didn't want that. I wanted to rule beloved, like a Strawberry Queen is supposed to. It would have broken my heart to see them afraid of me. It did.

I might have gone a very different way if it wasn't for Disney. I can still remember the way it felt to walk into the Magic Kingdom the first time and see the weird made-up castle that wouldn't be remotely defensible, the fake city streets...and then the Princesses on every corner. 

Dressing out of your rank was a crime in the Strawberry Empire like just about every feudal society, and that day at Disney, I saw the truth that law hides. Those kids' jewels were plastic while mine were real, but I could see that didn't make even one of them any less a Princess than me.

If I hadn't been eating one of the incredible candies you could get in that world when I saw this, I might not have seen what was possible, but just having Heartsong as I called her before either of us had boobs to inspire her current name helped me see. Candy could be dangerous, they warned me, because it seemed like you were eating a meal when it wouldn't nourish. That wasn't so different from sweets in the Strawberry World, but it set the idea off, because she--nursemaid Colleen, Mama's first life--explained it in terms of how the candies were made of alchemy and things from rocks as much as food, and so I realized: if there could be something that tasted this good, was sweeter and better than any fresh fruit or tart we made in the Strawberry world, could be like nothing you'd ever even seen (try this weird neverending taffy YOU CAN BLOW BUBBLES WITH IT) in the natural world...couldn't there be a game that'd satisfy the things that made you a Princess with the same amazing fun they'd never imagined, no more needing the pile of skulls to sit on and ocean of blood to sail that made you a "real" Queen, than those hard purple balls in the crackly wrappers that tasted just like Heartsong did the time we tried kissing needed grapes to make? Then every single one of those tossed-out Princesses could have the crown she was born to wear--all they (yes they, Princess is a gender for sure but it works just fine with girl and boy and lots of other ones) needed was a little of that purple stuff to make it real in the form of the companion to play the game with them, whether that was a Prince or Handmaiden, that their seed-ghost would give them.

...and then Boobsong made my game and showed me just how small I'd been thinking. Why stop at toys when you can hand out real crowns? Not every time, because not everyone even wants that, but...I think the family are enjoying their crowns, and I have to say it feels pretty good to make someone Santa Claus. There are other ways to be Princesses than just ruling empires. It's a leading role, but that can mean a lot of things. The Dreams help me out with this, and they always fulfill the wishes in my candy and fairy-dust the best way possible.

Understand this, though: my candy and Fairy magic can give you the carriage and dress and diamond slippers (glass is thinking so small) and even teach you to dance (as Sex found out), and they'll only go back at midnight if you don't get attached to them, but all that stuff is accessories, usually literally. What's the point of me, if I can't give you the Prince? Or Princess. Or really horny alien. Or...

I am the Sugarfeast Fairy. I am the goddess of artificial flavor and superstimuli. I bring fun and games and the way to feel good in ways you never knew your body or soul could, the weirder the better.

But most of all, I'm your Fairy godmother.

So Dreams, Strawberry Home. Do we have a wisher?

Pleiades' hat again--you're kidding--no. That makes more sense than anything in history. They say doms mostly do the scenes they want to have done to them, after all. And if I give it to Walt--not Pleiades, because she needs to get to be Cinderella, which means her Prince Charming needs a real castle--

Drunken weepiness tells me I've got this right. If I give it to Walt he knows me and is my friend and Boobsong's and is grateful for Pleiades to both of us, and he knows how to do this. He'll VIP us backstage passes all the way to the very last store-room so it still feels like home to us, but that damn place will finally take care of Boobsong and me and honor our relationship like according to the religion it was supposedly founded for it was supposed to do and we'll finally be at peace.

Game my toys and stuff--

Knowledge: my game will take everything that was mine to its storage place, but my room will be marked as a special place, until I decide what I want with it.

"I WANT THERE TO ALWAYS BE A PLACE FOR US THERE," I find myself wailing out loud and hoping my game explains to the family like it does when I (most of the time) can't manage that socially.

Even as Queen I never thought it would be mine. I didn't want it to be. It's nice to feel taken care of in a home that isn't yours and you aren't responsible for and is big enough you never feel like you're imposing. I just wanted to be welcome there as me, with Boobsong, and not this other Princess who wasn't heartforming and a star and matching up to all these prophecies.

Now we can have that, finally.

Usually I make Boobsong scribe for me, but this time I want to write it myself. Game I need a tag and pen.

My game makes appear over Boobsong's head a black square of heartstone, shiny and stiff, and a pen that color seems to drip from the tip of, brilliant and glowing.

I take them, snuggle Boobsong's head to me to use her as a writing desk, and scrawl in my childish handwriting extra-wiggly with my weepy drunkenness:

I'm your Fairy godmother.

The ink changes colors as I write so it comes out cutely and beautifully rainbow, and it's bright as the sun shining through cracks in a windowshade.

Knowledge: the ink is my color, squeezed out to make this, shining with the happy thoughts of it.

Oh. You did squeeze me, didn't you. It's happy and squishy to be squeezable for pretty color so it just happens to me.

Anything you want to add, cocksleeve?

No that's the awesome way with your message and nothing else.

I pause, finished, but...my lips tremble, blubbery. There will be a place for us? My room? Always and forever?

Knowledge: my game will make sure of it.

I get that thing where I should be crying but it's like I don't know how to cry for how this feels so it's just kind of stuck.

Just do it please I want that special place as much as you.

"Alright Walt," I say, as tentacles take the pen back so I can put the free hand on Boobsong, "let's see how well you earn that be our guest thing."

I hold up the tag--

"But make it awesome, okay? Enough drama?"

Knowledge: it will be such an epic quest he'll make six movies from it.

A tentacle takes the tag, and vanishes.

Are you sad you don't get your wall-candy, dragon?

What makes you think he says anything but these walls are ugly and asks you to get rid of them because your game said show her the stuff you want destroyed because you'll like the show?

Knowledge: my game will make him ask me for anything that needs to be destroyed, especially outer walls.

I put my hand to my mouth as somehow my drunken and jumbled memory brings up the prophecy that at the end of time the power of the Strawberry Queens would be fulfilled and no-one would need clothes to be safe, not even the castle itself, and the brutish defensive walls that were made separate from the beautiful buildings inside because of that prophecy, would be cut away "like at Unveiling" meaning using the sacred tool whose name I've always thought it so hilarious that it translates to English pretty directly (and rightly) as "bodice ripper".

I hope I don't need to explain again what kind of book Boobsong is.

With Walt helping, we can really give those historians a chat. I wonder who it dug up--no I don't. Boring.

How about, 'and on top of everything, you can always rely on Walt to get the food court right'.

It feels like the sun comes out a bit to have this squared away. The Amaretto has gone away, but I don't feel like drinking to blackout now, which is the only place to go from here.

"I love you all," I slur, "now where are we going? And hello and Boobsong says hello and she loves you and--"

[!]

"--also wants to know where we're going and something else too hang on."

I just want to say that it's wonderful to see them again.

"AND IT'S SO GOOD TO SEE YOU ALL AND BOOBSONG SAYS THAT TOO!"

Helpful toy. Too drunk to say hi right saved me.

"Pussywillow you stand me up like a drinking glass, I hope you intend--there your game goes. What's it telling you?"

Knowledge: Mama gets to ream me until I cum from the squeezing of her dildo inside of me making my balls inside feel like she's crushing them in her hands tight like a strawberry squeezed to make wine. If I don't say this to her in the horniest way I can manage, the game will extract my words using mind control, and make my mouth seal shut unless somebody puts their hand or cock in it, and tell me a joke that would make everyone laugh till their heads fall off, and I won't be able to share it, for at least a month.

Holy fuck aaah nothing like punishment to focus your mind and that one's a masterpiece okay game I have to set up for this please--

Knowledge: keep going constantly and I have to start now.

!!