8 by Michael Mullin is just the kind of fractured fairy tale that might have been told in an alternate universe Rocky and Bullwinkle. That’s high praise, I loved those stories. The sly humor operated on multiple levels, which is why more folks than just the famous moose and squirrel attended “Wossamotta U”
But 8, and yes, the title is just the number 8, is the story of the heretofore unknown eighth dwarf, named “Creepy” by his better known brothers.
Creepy’s just moody. He’s kind of a night owl, and he’s not into the whole “Hi ho, hi ho” business. Well, would you sing if you had to work underground in a mine every day? I ask you, would you?
Creepy also had a slight touch of Renfield. He ate spiders. At the dinner table. It kind of creeped his brothers out. A lot.
So they locked him in the basement and slipped his meals under the door. Just for a few less than cheerful comments and a bit of raw spider on the hoof. I mean really, was that so bad?
So Creepy lived under the house, and got, well, creepier. And even less cheerful, listening to his brothers continue their rather carefree life without him.
Then “the Maid” showed up. Fairy tales usually refer to her as Snow White. Creepy saw everything! Absolutely everything. And heard everything too. The floors, well, there were some holes in those floorboards.
His brothers never told the poor girl that there was dwarf literally under her feet. So she cooked and cleaned while he spied on her. What else was he supposed to do? She kept sweeping the dust from the floor into his living space!
But when the Evil Witch knocked on the door, he heard everything then too. Did you ever wonder why Snow White let the witch in? Creepy’s “floor’s eye view” of the classic tale, his understandably jaundiced view, is laugh-out-loud funny. And not to be missed.
Escape Rating A: This is hilariously funny. Also a little sad, because Creepy has been abandoned by his brothers for being just a bit different. But it is an absolutely perfect fractured fairy tale, and it is done completely in verse!
Creepy is an unsung hero. Without him, Snow White would have suffocated in her glass coffin before Prince Charming ever came along. If you want to find out about Creepy’s heroism, spend a few moments with Creepy. He’ll make you smile.