It is naturally assumed that fairy tales should always begin with "Once upon a time...." It signifies that there is an interesting story to come, which is usually going to be followed up with "and they all lived Happily Ever After." Everything is tied up into a neat little package where the Hero wins, the Dragon is defeated, magic often helps, and true love concors all. But that is the way fairy tales work. Real life has descidedly never been so neat and tidy.
In reality true love is hard to find and infinitely more complicated then those two little words indicate.
If it's the truth we want then magic always makes things more complicated.
In real life the dragon gets away, or eats the damsel in distress before help arrives. Or maybe he wasn't really evil in the first place and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time suffering a terrible hang over from a night of heavy drinking with the griffins who lived one cave over thus having his crankiness misinterpreted as evilness.
In real life sometimes the hero dies. And there's you ending. It might not be the happily ever after you were hoping for or expecting but it is a conclusion none the less.
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