It’s a story of princes and princesses, castles in the Colorado sky, a sly and seductive mistress, an evil monster and fairy Thrivemothers weaving their magic Thrive wands and spreading the happily-ever-after fairy dust all round.
Which [dark] fairy tale character are you?
Three minutes into the hearing, Shan’ann’s father described a “heartless monster”.
Eleven minutes into the sentencing hearing, Sandi Rzucek described her son-in-law as being given a crown by her daughter. That in itself is telling. Shan’ann put a crown on your head…That suggests Shan’ann was royalty to start off with. Was he not worthy to begin with, and did he not feel like an outsider and an outcast while it was supposed to be his happily ever after too?
The king who was once a prince to his parents, betrayed his queen and his princesses-in-waiting, revealing himself as an evil monster, a clumsy sorcerer conjuring with blood and oil and slippery semantics.
Who is the wicked stepmother? Who is the cruel or jealous or greedy uncle in this story? Who is the heroic sheriff riding into Centennial on his white horse, ready to dispense justice [but with no need for a trial]? Are all princes and princesses destined to be revealed as gleaming fakes?
One of the reasons this story has captured the imaginations of the masses is because of its fairy tale aspect. The characters seem perfect and perfectly happy at face value. The house seems like a wonderful home from the outside. Shan’ann seemed like a happy and successful entrepreneur, her husband a thriving employee at the large Andarko company. The children seemed beautiful and well taken care of.
There was even an adorable little dog who, with his big floppy ears and self-deprecating personality, reminded one a little of Donkey in Shrek, an inverted fairy tale where ogres are heroes, princes are in short supply [ahem] and princesses are…well…neither here nor there.
After the tragedy it turned out the fairy tale was fundamentally untrue in virtually every possible way. The home – they couldn’t afford it. They were being crushed by debt. The woman who’d put a crowd on her husband’s head was suffering from a chronic autoimmune disease while working for a wellness company. Her younger daughter too had serious health issues including a deadly allergy to nuts. And haunting the family on the outside was a mistress who would say – when all was said and done – that she thought the family was already broken up…
The real question though is which character are you? Who are we? Are we the innocent princess who comes to grief? Are we [secretly] the mistress pulling strings behind the scenes, skipping slyly but silently in the background, hoping to manipulate things to our own benefit, and slip away silently back into the shadows when we can’t?
Are we the wicked stepmother, looking on the family with chin raised, poking a crooked finger and crooked nose at the whole scene and saying in a cackling crone’s voice: “I told you so, she/he was never good enough for him/her.”
Are we the little fairies floating around social media, spreading our fairy dust with our extra special social media flourishes, meaning well but not doing much to save sleeping beauty, or wake her up from her spell, but yet busily involved in everyone else’s life except our own?
And who is the evil monster? In your world, I mean. Be careful you get it right, because as we’ve seen, the monster in this story was given a crown to wear. Are you sure you’ve not done the same to the monster in your world, and if you’re the monster in your world – would you – could you, confess to it?