Monday, February 13, 2012

My sister looks at me and sees Rumplestiltskin

I've been reading fairy tales for as long as I can remember, both the Disney-type versions and the more brutal originals. I always loved the stories of adventure and magic. Always dreamt of one day either befriending or fighting a dragon (depending on whether the dragon had a bad attitude or not). Much like my desire for superpowers, I longed to be able to do magic. And while I don't think I would necessarily make the best superhero, I know I would be one hell of a sorceress.

So, not surprisingly, I'm a pretty avid watched of Once Upon A Time. After last night's episode, my sister and I were talking about how much we like the character of Rumplestiltskin. He's a not-totally-unreedemable bad guy, which is always fun. Plus, in the fairy tale world, he hops around energetically and has one of the creepiest laughs I've ever heard. What's not to love? I suppose it's good I feel this way, as last night my sister told me that he reminds her of me (mannerisms, she assured me, not looks). Now, she has a habit of seeing me in a lot of different people and I generally I think she's nuts. This time I can actually kind of see it. Not sure what that says about me.

All of our talk of fairy tales got me thinking about one that I wrote for her last year, when she was out snowshoeing in Idaho (what a weirdo, right?). I sent it to her in five different segments and have decided to present it the same way here. So, this week will be all about the fairy tales. I hope you enjoy the story of Countess Meki!

Countess Meki and the Creation of the Seasons

A long time ago, a year did not have four seasons. Instead each season existed continually in its own realm; Never-Ending Winter, Eternal Spring, Perpetual Summer and Everlasting Autumn. Each realm had its own royalty. For the most part, they lived in harmony. The people of the different kingdoms kept to themselves. And this suited them just fine. Except for one.

The King of Never-Ending Winter was a bitter man. His family had ruled over the frozen tundra for years. Never once in his life had he felt warmth, nor however was he used to the cold. He woke every morning with a stinging in his bones. A reminder of his lot in life. When he could no longer stand it, he began to hatch a plan.

Far away in the land of Eternal Spring, lived a young countess. On the day she was born the Royal Namer took one look at her scrunched up face and declared her to be Vermekia, meaning "natural." The name always seemed too formal to her, so she went by Meki.

Meki loved all things in nature. She often chose to sleep outside under the stars, instead of in the stuffy castle. In her spare time she climbed rocks and trees, looking for new worlds. While other children would scream for the Bug Squashers whenever they saw an insect, Meki would befriend the creature and ensure its safe passage.

One day, while she was taking her daily jaunt through the woods Meki noticed something strange. The gentle warm breeze that ran through the trees changed. For the first time in her life, she was chilly. She breathed out heavily and saw a small puff of air in front of her face. Laughing, she did it again, watching the small cloud waft away. She had to show her friends.

She turned toward the castle and quickly took a step backwards when she saw the old man standing behind her. Meki knew everyone in Eternal Spring, but this man was a stranger. He wore many, many coats. His long beard was wrapped around his neck as a scarf and his hair stood straight up. The top layer of his clothing was encrusted in shimmering ice. He looked at her for a moment through narrowed eyes.

Finally, he shrugged, "You'll do."

He grabbed her arm, his icy grip burning her skin. Before she could shout for help, they were gone.

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