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Literature: La Belle Dame Sans Merci

La Belle Dame Sans Merci is a short fantasy story by blogger Anna J. Roberts, about a struggling writer who meets a mysterious Irish girl one night. They start a relationship, and she re-energizes him creatively. Then, about halfway through, things get scary.

The story was written for the Something Awful forums, as a response to a fanfic by Troper Enemy Mayan, which was rooted in a similar concept- a mythical Irish being called a Leanan Sidhe (pronounced "lawn she"), which instills, but also feeds off, creative energy. Roberts liked the idea of deconstructing the Leanan Sidhe, but was disappointed with Enemy Mayan's story, and with his attitude towards fiction and creative writing in general. There are stabs at the concept of tropes, Mayan's value of quantity over quality, and stereotypical man-child writers in general throughout the story, but its greatest appeal comes from reconstructing the Leanan Sidhe as an unspeakable horror, rather than a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Read the story here.

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