"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fairy Tale Blogfest (with a twist)

That is fairy tale with a twist, not blogfest with a twist...

So this is Emily White's amazingly fun blogfest/contest and I'm so excited to go around and see everyone's entries. You can check the links to all of them here.

Pete's sake, but I had a hard time getting this down to 1,000 words, but here it is, on the nose. Hope you enjoy :D
P.S. The copy/paste wasn't working well and the formatting is a little weird. So sorry about that. I'm putting spaces between paragraphs because it won't let me tab like usual. Weird. Anyhoo...

“Fool’s Gold”

I was in love with the sheep baron’s son. Unfortunately Pa was a poor farmer. Fortunately Frank loved me back. We’d meet under the tree at the border-line and talk for hours, dreamin’ about going west and staking a gold claim.
What are the odds we’d be sittin’ there when our pas both happened along? I’da bet money against it, but I woulda lost.
“What’s going on?” Frank’s pa didn’t like us holdin’ hands all cozy-like.
“Mr. Smith...”
He cut me off. “My son’s not marrying just any girl.”
“She’s not just any girl.” Frank was goin’ all red.
Pa started in with his tall-tale voice. “She’s got a special talent.”
Mr. Smith went glowery, but stopped bellowing.
Pa spread his hands. “Jodi spins wool into gold thread.” My jaw flopped. I couldn’t spin yarn, much less gold.
Mr. Smith was rightfully suspicious. “Then she’ll prove it.”
“I’m gonna marry her,” Frank announced. ‘Twasn’t the best timin’, but ‘twas nice to hear.
“If she succeeds I’ll consider it,” Mr. Smith said.
So I got locked in a barn with a mound of wool and a spinning wheel. A glance at that mound and I figured runnin’ was my only chance.
There was a cellar, but the door was so heavy I could barely lift it. As I was pullin’ this man pushed it open and climbed out. His skin was like a sun-baked riverbed. “What are you doing?” he croaked.
“I have to spin wool into gold.” Why was he askin’ the questions?
“What’ll you trade me to do it?” He rubbed his fingers together real odd.
I slipped Ma’s locket off. I didn’t have much choice.
He took it and started right in. Wool whizzed through his fingers and gold shot out like lightning. The rhythm put me right to sleep.
Sunlight woke me when the doors opened, a mound of gold thread sparklin’ like crazy. Frank swung me around all giddy-like.
Till Mr. Smith cleared his throat, his eyes all greedy. “Prove it’s not a trick. Do it again.”
“No.” Frank pulled me close. “Now I’m gonna marry her.”
“She’ll do it tonight or you’ll never see her again.” The straight-out threat made my stomach twisty.
“See here,” Pa started, but Mr. Smith cut in.
“I’ll visit the bank about your loan.”
Pa couldn’t lose his farm. “Fine,” I said, “but that’ll be the end. Pa keeps his farm, Frank and I marry.”
“And her pa gets half the thread,” Frank added.
Mr. Smith went all red, but agreed. I smiled at Frank. Pa could pay off his debt.
I swear the second pile of wool was twice as big. First thing I did was run for the cellar where the man climbed out again.
“I’ve nothin’ more to trade,” I said.
His eyebrows shifted.
“I could give you some thread?”
“Promise me your first child.”
‘Twas awful, but what could I do? “Alright.”
He leaped to the wheel and I fell asleep listenin’.
Next morning Mr. Smith didn’t know what to do. Frank did though. He ran right over and kissed me.
So Mr. Smith had his thread and even bought Pa’s share. Gave him enough to pay off the bank.
We got married, built a little house by our tree, and made plans to head west. We were ready to go when I found out I was expectin’. Frank was over the moon. I tried to be happy, but the man kept comin’ in my nightmares.
The baby was a beautiful girl. Then one night Frank answered a knock at the door. When I saw who ‘twas I grabbed Annie from her cradle. “You can’t have her!”
“What’s going on, Jodi?” Frank asked.
“She promised me the child in exchange for my help.” The man never took his eyes off Annie.
“I had no choice,” I said.
“You did. You’ll have more children. This one’s mine.”
“I don’t think so,” Frank said, steppin’ between us.
The man pulled a pistol from under his coat. Frank reached for his own gun.
“Stop!” I was tremblin’ scared.
The man twirled his pistol. “I’ll give you one more chance,” he said. “Guess my name by noon tomorrow or I take the child or the challenge.”
I nodded and he disappeared.
Annie started cryin’ and I joined in. Between sobs I told Frank the whole awful story.
“We’ll figure this out,” he promised and we made lists of every name we could imagine.
Next morning I went riding, hopin’ it would clear my head. As I watered my horse I heard the man’s voice. I ducked into some scrubby bushes and crept close.
He was sittin’ by a fire, talkin’ to himself.

“Thinks she can take back a promise
A solemn deal made in the night.
Doesn’t she know you can never go back
When you’ve sworn on a life – it’s not right.

The babe shall be mine
This isn’t a game
Or Rumpelstiltskin
Isn’t my name!”

I scooted right out and galloped home, where Frank was dressing all up.
“What are you doing?” I gasped.
“He’s not takin’ Annie,” Frank said, buckling on his holster.
“I know his name.” I took the gun and gave him a kiss and we went outside, leavin’ Annie in her cradle.
The sun was right overhead when the man appeared. “We’ve guessed your name,” I said.
He cackled, grinnin’ all sure-like. I listed the names we’d thought up. He kept shakin’ his head.
“Is it,” I breathed deep, “Rumplestiltskin?”
His face went so still I thought it might crumble away when he finally spoke. “I’ll abide by our agreement, but payment will be had.” He disappeared for the last time.
It didn’t take long to learn what he meant. Frank’s Pa came by that night. The thread had all tarnished green. Fake as fake. He was pretty angry so Frank and I decided to head west. No more gold for us though. We weren’t rich, but we were happy and that was enough.
Yeah! That was challenging and quite fun! Thanks for hosting, Emily!


Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

Ha! Nicely done -- I like the thread changing at the end. :)

Falen (Sarah) said...

oooh, loved the western spin! Very nice voice

Tessa Conte said...

Fantastic! Haven't read a western-style story in AGES, you nailed it! And I love the twist at the end, that's just inspired.


AchingHope said...

Haha... I love it :) I especially like how Frank isn't stupid, but loveable. Very, very nice :D

J.C. Martin @ Fighter Writer said...

Echo: love the old country Western setting and voice. Think I much prefer this ending to the original. Always saw Rumpelstiltskin as a not-all-bad type! Serves the greedy old man right!

Hannah Kincade said...

muhaha! That's what you get Frank's Pa!! Westerns are awesome.

Kate Haggard said...

You win the award for the most original take on the blogfest. Western AND Rumpelstiltskin. Awesome job.

Charity Bradford said...

A western! Very nicely done. I loved the tone and your ending was wonderful.

Elena Solodow said...

Love that this is a Western. Really unique take! Awesome job.

Mia said...

Yay! I loved this, Frank was so wonderful.


Brenda Drake said...

Yeeeeehaw! That was one dandy twist on Rumplestiltskin. Great job! :D

Raquel Byrnes said...

That was absolutely fun to read. Loved your description about his skin and the sun-baked river bed.

You're twist was unexpected and a nice surprise. Great entry.

Edge of Your Seat Romance

Emily White said...

Update: I'm posting finalists tomorrow. Not Wednesday. See you there! :D

Francine said...


Loved the Western spin on this and fools gold!


Mesmerix said...

The western bit was nice, and not something I saw anywhere else. Very much enjoyed this.

Scribbler to Scribe

Jen said...

This is the first western-style story I've run across! I loved your take! It was fantastic! It's cool seeing everyone's creative sides!

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Oh my goodness, I love this! I just got your message about the blogfest and am going to TRY to work on it although it's due today and it's already 9:15pm... lol. :) So I may or may not make it, but your story has been a blast to read. I love the original voice, so true to the story yet so unique! Bravo!

Damyanti said...

A Western!

I like the thread turning back in the end...less macabre than the original...:)

aspiring_x said...

hee! so sweet! nice to see one with a happy ending! (well except for frank's pa and ole' rumply of course!) :)

Mary Campbell said...

I like it. The western theme is a nice twist. You did a great job of keeping me reading.

Donna Hole said...

I don't usually enjoy such happy endings, but this one ok.

Very nicely written.


Ishta Mercurio said...

Oh, I love the Western element. And I love that the gold turned green and was worthless at the end - that'll teach Frank's Pa to be so greedy! Great job.

Clara said...

Rally liked the thread changing at the end, nice job!

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm so glad he didn't take the baby. Fun twist on the ol' story.