The Haunted Fairy Castle ~ Installment 5

by Jessica

I was waiting for the Pluto Bus to pick me up from the employee parking lot today, when I met the guy who runs the Disney fireworks show. He wasn’t much older than me, and seemed normal, which is a quality I’m starting to think should not to be taken for granted around here. He told me all about the fireworks show, when Disney shoots off over five hundred magic rockets and eighty-seven enchanted pinwheels. At the end of the show, he said, Tinkerbell flies out of the Magic Castle, and soars over the heads of the audience on a wire.

“That’s so cool,” I said. “Who plays Tinkerbell? Is she an acrobat, or a gymnast or something?”

He gave me a pained look and said, “Tinkerbell is a fairy who lives in Never-Never Land with her friend, Peter Pan. She only visits Disney Land at night, when Peter is away having adventures with Wendy.”

I backed away slowly.

The fireworks guy did not pass the “normal” test. So far, I have not met anyone who does. It does not seem to be a quality people value around here.

*

When I walked into my office today, my boss gave me her first orders without even looking up from her blackberry. “Cinderella was caught smoking on her lunch break again,” she said. “I want her fired.”

This seemed a little rich, considering that my boss is an unapologetic nicotine addict whom so far I have never seen without a cloud of smoke around her head, and a fine dust of ash over her shirt bosom. I couldn’t help nodding tactfully at the cigarette in her own hand, and asking if she didn’t think she was being a little unjust.

She looked at me as if I were deranged. “Character actors are required to stay in character at all times,” she said. “Fairy princesses aren’t allowed to swear, smoke, or scratch on the premises. Do I look like a fairy princess to you?”

No, she did not. She has kind of a meaty, grayish head, with a bald spot on one end due to yanking out hair in times of stress. I feel sorry for the fairy princesses. They’re not allowed to scratch? What if they have a really bad mosquito bite, and it gets irritated under those stiff, lacy dresses they have to wear? It makes me itch just thinking about it. I suppose they could always rub themselves against a post or something.

I felt delicate about telling someone I didn’t know that she was fired in my first week of work, so I went down to the cafeteria, where the character actors hang out, to see if Cinderella deserved it. Unfortunately, she was smoking. I have to admit, it did look odd to see a princess of her caliber engaging in such an unladylike pastime.

“Hello,” I said, approaching cautiously. “You must be Cinderella.”

“No,” said Cinderella, rolling her eyes. “I wear these glass slippers for my health.”

Okay, so she was going to play high and mighty with me. I guess princesses do that. But it was for her own good, so I tried again.

“Speaking of health,” I said, smiling conversationally, “What about those cigarettes? Don’t you know they cause premature wrinkles?”

“What about that donut?” she said, jutting her chin at the pastry I had snagged from the snack cart. “Don’t you know they cause obesity? You don’t look like you can afford to indulge.”

I was beginning to think it might be easier to fire her than I had anticipated, when the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland hopped in, and I got distracted. I have always had a secret crush on the White Rabbit. I like his waistcoat, and his big, gold pocket watch. He seems to me like a very dignified sort of gentleman. The White Rabbit ripped off his head, wiped a streak of sweat off her forehead (it turned out to be a woman), and screamed, “Where the hell is Alice? We’ve got a parade in five minutes, and the Caterpillar says she’s a no-show.” Then she slammed her head back on and hopped out of the room. Her pocket watch banged against her hip as she left, making a sad, thumping sound, as if hollow.

I felt too disillusioned to fire Cinderella anymore after that, so I decided to wait until after my lunch break. Some parts of this job are more emotionally draining than others, I am discovering. (continue…)

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