published on January 1, 2008

Earlier this year we presented to you, our readers, in celebration of our tenth anniversary online, parody epilogues. Unlike the PPP Contest, these epilogues are not be judged; they are simply for your enjoyment.

This one is from the fabulous Elizabeth Hoyt and features the heroes from her superb Princes Trilogy.

A Princely Epilogue

Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was talk of a sequel . . .

“Dude,” groaned the Leopard Prince as he sipped from his mocha latte, half skim, no whip. “There’s no way Elizabeth Hoyt can do a sequel.”

“Way,” croaked the Raven Prince. He poked his straw in his orange frappuccino morosely. All three princes were at their favorite Starbucks, a place at the corner of Never Never and Just Past Midnight, that drew a rather upscale fairy tale crowd. “She could do the Elephant Prince, the Jellyfish Prince, the Giraffe Prince—“

“The Pillbug Prince,” rasped the Serpent Prince, “the Chickadee Prince, the Wolverine Prince—“

“That’s been done—it’s a comic,” objected Leopard.

“But he isn’t a prince,” said Raven. “And anyway he doesn’t turn into a Wolverine.”

“So why do they call him Wolverine?” asked Leopard. He reached across the table and broke off a corner of the Serpent Prince’s chocolate chip scone. “Doesn’t make sense. He should be, like, Claws, or Blades o’ Death or—”

“Back off my scone, man,” hissed the Serpent Prince. “Listen, the point is the woman is running out of viable ideas on how to end her fairytales. Look at me.”

Both of the other princes winced. The truth was that the S-man had definitely come off the worse for wear of any of the fairy tale princes, what with the enormous stainless steel staples used to reattach his head.

The miniskirt-wearing princesses at the table next to theirs hastily looked away as the Serpent Prince cocked his head at them and hissed.

Leopard cleared his throat. Man, he hated it when the S-man did that head cock thing. Always looked like his head might, y’know, come totally off. Kinda gave him the heebie jeebies. “Anyway, point is, we gotta stop this Hoyt woman.”

“Stop her from what?” Raven croaked. “Writing? I don’t think so. She still has payments on her new AlphaSmart and I hear she’s taken to calling herself La Hoyt—“

“La Hoyt?” Leopard nearly choked. “Sounds like an LA suburb.”

“Or an LA nightclub,” hissed the S-man.

“Whatever.” Raven slurped from his frappuccino. “She’s not going to stop writing any time soon.”

All three princes were quiet for a bit then, listening to the shriek of the espresso machine. The S-man scratched at his neck staples.

“Okay,” Raven finally said. “What if we sent her in another direction?”

“Like south?” Leopard asked.

“No, dude!” the S-man hissed. “Wings means like a different writing direction.”

“Self help books are popular.” Leopard perked up. “She could write Authors Who Love Imaginary Men.”

“Or Authors Who Decapitate Their Heroes,” S-man hissed moodily. “Yeah, I don’t think so. The lady’s not cut out for self help.”

Raven cleared his throat. “What about mysteries?”

“Dude, I dunno,” Leopard objected. “I totally figured out who the murderer was in my book, even with the red herrings.”

“Okay, no mysteries,” Raven mused. “What about a different romance subgenre? Vampires are popular.”

“Oh, hey, and she’s been reading a lot of J.R. Ward, too!” Leopard said.

“J.R. Ward?” The S-man squinted. “How do you know?”

“I just know, my brother, I just know,” Leopard was trying to look mysterious but he was a bit hampered by his mocha latte mustache. “You feel me?”

“What is in that latte? Crack?” hissed the S-man.

“Guys! Guys! We gotta focus,” Raven croaked. “Maybe if she just wrote, y’know, contemporary romances, instead of all this historical stuff.”

“I can see that,” Leopard mused. “Maybe with an FBI agent hero and a librarian heroine who takes a harlequin Great Dane on the run with her in a baby blue ’68 Chevy pick-up. And it could be set somewhere exotic, like Wisconsin.”

Both of the other princes stared at him.

“What?” Leopard said, and then caught sight of his watch. “Oh, man I gotta go. I promised the old lady I’d be home for supper. Her parents are coming. Again.”

Raven winced. “Ouch.”

“Yeah, and every time, they’re always telling her “You could’ve married that young king.” Sheesh.” Leopard drained his latte and lobbed the empty cup at the trash can.

“One benefit to marrying a goat herd girl,” the S-man mused. “No in-laws. ‘Course we do eat a lot of mac and goat cheese . . .”

“Yeah, well, at least your woman isn’t always asking you to do that feather thing in bed,” Raven croaked.

Leopard winced. TMI. “Oookay. Well, it’s been real, guys. Same time next week?”

The S-man made a gun with his thumb and forefinger and shot both Leopard and Raven. “Count on it.” He strolled from the Starbucks.

Raven held the door for Leopard and looked out at the fading sun. He slid on his Oliver Peoples shades and sighed. “Just another happily ever after day in fairy tale land.”