'Once upon a time there was a girl named Catastrophe. In all the kingdom of Serenity there was never a girl so catastrophic as Catastrophe. Whatsoever she did or touched or made was either ill-done, broken or destroyed. She could not even dream, for when she did her dreams were shattered.
When Cat was first born, she was the seventh daughter of the seventh son of the seventh son, and on and on for quite a few generations. When she was born it was quite tragic for her parents, for she broke the seventh son trend. When she was born her father looked at her and cried out, "Catastrophe!" That was how she got her name.
Isn't that sad? When Catastrophe turned eighteen, she became a maid in the Castle of King Melliflous. When she swept the floors she did so carefully, so that she would not break the stones. She was often scolded by the Official HouseKeeper for damaging Royal Property. She wept at nights behind the cupboards in the kitchen, and escaped her sorrows by retreating into her imagination. In her made-up world, she poured forth such tales of wonder that she found solace even in the worst days.
One night, after Cat had finished sweeping and scrubbing and cleaning for the day, she lay down on her pallet behind the warm fireplace and shut her eyes. She could not sleep. Too much sadness was going through her mind.
"I shall never be anybody," she thought sadly. "I shall always just be a catastrophe. Why, even tonight I managed to destroy the Official HouseKeeper's broom. Now I must pay her for a new one, and heaven knows I make few enough Ownsies as it is. This is a tragedy."
Cat turned over and stared at the sooty cobwebs above. She wished she could take them and make a ball of wishes from them.
"Soot of cobweb, can't you see how sad I am? I beg of thee, Send me something, one or three wishes small that are just for me."
When she had finished her little rhyme, Cat lay awake in the darkness. As she lay there, she noticed one of the stars in the sky dancing about as though it were alive. From where she lay, near the fireplace, she could just see through a little cell-like window that was above the kitchen sink. The night sky glimmered through the slit, and occasionally Cat caught a whiff of cool outdoor air. Now she saw this star, dancing and glimmering like nobody's business, and she sat up in amazement. It was drawing nearer. As it grew closer Cat noticed a figure taking shape inside it. She stared, so amazed that her mouth hung open. All of a sudden there was a flash, like lightening, and the star was in the room with her.
Isn't this exciting?
Cat sat up, staring at the figure that materialized from the starlight. It was a little woman, very old but still very pretty. There was a mischievous gleam in her eye and she was dressed all in white, with a little silver tiara on her brow. Her white hair was braided and bound in a bun about her head. About her waist she wore a blue sash and in her hand she carried a wand.
Cat stared: the wand looked very much like a fountain pen.
But surely, she thought, it really isn't!
"Hello." The old lady spoke then, and her voice was very sweet. "Dear Cat, don't look so alarmed! I am the wish fairy, here to grant your wish."
Cat stammered in amaze, "But Lady, what did I wish?"
The wish fairy tutted. "You must remember. You wished for something, one or three, wishes small that were just for you."
Cat's mouth formed an O.
"Quite right," said the fairy and she handed Cat her wand.
Cat took it reverently and looked at it. It is a fountain pen, no doubt about it.
"I perceive," the fairy said, "That you have a vivid imagination, yet you cannot afford the money it would take to buy yourself a pen and paper. So here. Here is the pen, and here," and the fairy pulled out a monstrous ream of paper, "Here is paper. And don't worry. No matter how much you write there will always be paper for you. It will magically replenish. Isn't that something?"
It was something.
Cat sat upon the floor, marvelling at the white texture of the paper, at the fine nib of the pen. She wrote the first three letters of her name upon the whiteness. Cat. The blackness of the letters looked very fine against the white.
The wish fairy smiled. "No matter what you write, there will never be a catastrophe so terrible that it can't be fixed. That is the power of writing. Happy writing," she added, and vanished.
Cat smiled. Happy writing indeed! Perhaps she could write and sell her work. Think of all the Ownsies she would earn! Cat shivered and ran her fingers along the edge of the paper. These white pages are full of possibility.
"The tale of Catastrophe," she whispers to herself, "By Cat Scribbler. That sounds fine."