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146 pages, ebook
First published November 30, 2020
"I wish I might be rescued," wished Floralinda.
"Too large a wish; make it smaller," said Cobweb, after a moment.
"I wish that I didn't have to die," wished Floralinda.
"You are misunderstanding 'smaller,'" said Cobweb.
‘What had happened was that the witch put Princess Floralinda in a tower forty flights high, but said it wasn’t personal. She told her to cheer up. “Princes will be flocking from near and far to rescue you,” she said. “I’ve covered all my bases. There’s a golden sword at the gate for a prize, if the prince doesn’t care overmuch for princesses. And once he battles his way up thirty-nine flights, you’re free to go. I don’t really mind what happens from this point in.” “I do think you might ask for a ransom from my mother and father instead,” said Floralinda, still dabbing at her eyes. “That’s quite normal these days,” for she did not want to be rude and suggest that the tower was déclassé. The witch shrieked with laughter.’
‘That was, inadvertently, the end of flight thirty-eight, which Floralinda had solved by dint of being at once too house-proud and too prone to cut corners when it came to rubbish removal.’
‘It’s also not fair at all that’s stupidity has gotten you this far. That’s another creature you’ve killed simply by having no brains, which makes anyone with brains feel as though it isn’t worth the headache of having them.'