‘Tiger Palace’ by Kirsty Logan

This story has stayed with me because it is all about possibility. As it says in its last line, “…stories can have any ending you like.” Tiger Palace is a re-imagining of the Beauty and the Beast fairy story. A beautiful but cruel empress lives in a palace in the middle of an impenetrable forest populated by man-eating tigers, waiting for the arrival of a man who will free her. But what if the traveller who arrives is not a man, but a woman, and what if they might both become beasts?  What if…? In this, as in her other alternative fairytales, Logan explores different ways of living for all of us, whatever our gender or sexuality. Her stories are about cycles of life and second chances. Rich stories, to give us hope.

(First published in Diva and included in The Rental Heart, published by Salt, 2014)