December 5, 2010 fairy stories
Fairytales! They’re brilliant. I read stacks of them at Christmas time. They’re weird, wonderful, threatening. Disney is laughable next to a real, proper fairy story. Have you read Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales? If not, man up and read it. You will see fairy tales in a whole new light.
So I was thrilled to discover this intriguing site on the wide wonderful web. It allows you to generate your own bizarre and happily disconnected stories from a set of functions. Genius idea really. Here’s my result:
I used these functions: violation, trickery, complicity, departure, receipt of a magical agent, victory, return, transfiguration, wedding.
I sometimes forget what people tell me to do or not do because my mouth, salivating and unruly, thinks for me. So I did what I was not supposed to do. I ate the last bit of food. And when I finished the little morsels left on my hands and mouth burned into my skin to render me shamed forever.
“Sugar and spice,” the old woman beckoned as she held out palms filled with cinnamon falling between her fingers like sand. As she sprinkled it across the floor my head swum up in a dizzy spell of hunger. I could no longer control my feet moving towards the cheap gimmicks of an old woman.
I gave him my satchel and shoes as he asked me, then I shed my clothes as he advised me to do. “Wear this,” he said, and he shed his own skin. It fell off in a pile on the soil floor looking like a tablecloth used in my home. When I clothed myself in his skin I no longer smelled like my home or the valley. Instead I became like the men on the mountain. I smelled distinctly foreign. I thanked the man and watched as he dressed himself in my own clothes. He said he would wear them until new skin grew on his back.
I felt my legs lift from the ground and follow the white bird’s path that trailed along the movements of air.
“Take that needle and pin it to the inside of your shirt. From then no one will be able to touch you without feeling the hurt of needles on the bare sides of their palms”
When he placed his hand upon me he let out a great cry and then vanished into the earth.
My head seemed to clear once I set foot on the grounds that surrounded the small, crooked house, my home I had been away from for what seemed like an eternity. I could hear my mother tongue calling from the rustling trees, the voices of my ancestors rumbling through the dusty earth at my feet, the song of my dead father coming from the throat of a sad and melodious bird. I was home again.
A familiar gold and silken robe of dragon scales was placed in my hands on account of me killing the creature. For an odd reason I could not help but feel regret. The girl with the white hair and her foxlike sibling did not mean any real harm but only wanted to protect the mountain as the men of soil bade them do.
A girl with snow white hair came to the house later that day, looking for the man with the leather-bottomed shoes and coat of dragon scales. She told me she was betrothed to that man who had taken her creature form and made her human. She reminded me of the mountain. She was beautiful.
My word, isn’t it just so spookily poetic. So cool.