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|I've always wanted to defend some of the more misunderstood 'bad guys' in the story world, Rumpelstiltskin in particular, so here is his story. |
The idea of writing it like a testimony was inspired by Akutagawa's 'Within a Grove'.
As you can imagine, I was not too keen on the assignment given to me about a week ago. My boss thought it would be interesting for the readers of the Fairyland Journal to hear some of the testimonies and opinions of the villains so often present in crimes and stories of royalty coming to power through glass shoes and magical mirrors. He assigned me to go down to the prison where most of the "bad guys" are to interview them. I entered to a scene of mad cries of "I didn't do it" and "It was Snow White! She framed me!" and one by one, I interviewed all the criminals there (who were currently able to speak and were willing to). Surprisingly enough, I heard many believable stories (and several crazy ones), and I publish this now in the hope that they will eventually be forgiven for their evil deeds, which they may have merely been misunderstood for.
-Zubirina Magnolia, Reporter for The Fairyland Journal of
* * *
Straw into Gold
The Testimony of Rumple J. Stiltson alias Rumpelstiltskin
Physical Description: Young looking with a clearly pixie face (very round, heart shaped face, toddler like face) and pointed ears
* * *
Zubirina: Is there anything you'd like to say before I begin questioning you? Why you think you shouldn't be in jail?
Rumpel J.: Well, I would like to say that I don't understand is why I'm behind bars and that snotty princess isn't.
Zubirina: Why do you say that?
Rumpel J.: She lied to both the king and to me, and she broke our contract! It was unwritten, but that's not the point.
Zubirina: Then what's your side of the story?
Rumpel J.: I'll tell you how it happened. Well, I work a bit for the local Fairy Godmother, doing her odd jobs, you know. Poor woman, she's not as young as she used to be, and I sometimes go do her smaller jobs for a small wage. Well, I was coming back from the palace kitchens, having just had helped a servant meet her Prince Charming and whatnot, when I heard crying coming from upstairs.
Zubirina: You heard the crying from all the way upstairs, at the top of the tower?
Rumpel J.: Yes, these ears are sensitive! That's why they're all pointy-like, you know?
Zubirina: I see. Continue.
Rumpel J.: Well, I went upstairs, unnoticed, cause Mum - that is the Fairy Godmother; she lets us call her Mum - had lent me ...something. I can't tell you. It's a Fairy Godmother tool of the trade, but I'll say this, it grants you your typical fairy godparent powers -invisibility, power to grant wishes, some teleportation, you know.
Zubirina: Not meaning to be nosy, but is this "tool of the trade" a wand perhaps?
Rumpel J.: [gasps in surprise] How in the world did you know? Oh, don't spread the secret, please, it'll ruin the godparent world! And I could get fired!
Zubirina: It's all right, the whole world already knows anyhow...
Rumpel J.: It was Cinderella's godmother, wasn't it? I knew she couldn't be trusted, goes around waving her wand like a crazy... Ahem, well, on with the story. So I go upstairs, to the top of the tower, and it's pretty tall and dusty and spooky... it's like an upstairs dungeon. Well, the crying gets louder, and at the top of the staircase there's a room, but the door is locked. Luckily for me, I have Mum's tool of the trade, the magic...you know. (I shouldn't be telling you these fairy secrets, really). At any rate I just disappeared with a puff of smoke and reappeared in the room. And voila! Inside is the princess, though she wasn't looking as fancy as she does now. She was crying and sitting in the middle of the room, which was full of straw, and I mean lots of it, and she had a spindle.
Being the nice chap I am, I go up to her and ask why she is crying, to which she responds that her father told the king that she could spin straw into gold. Now why her father would do something as stupid as that is beyond me, but the king, who is apparently just as stupid, believed him, and locked up the princess-well she wasn't a princess at the time, but you know what I mean-and told her he'd kill her in the morning if she didn't spin all the straw into gold.
So I ask her, just to make sure, if she can spin straw into gold, to which she raises her eyebrows and shouts "NO! Of course not! Why do you think I'm crying??!!". Well, I didn't want to see her die, and at the time, I didn't realize how fickle she was, and how stupid as well. I mean, any other person would be asking "What are you doing in here? Who are you?" but I guess not her. So I ask her "Do you want my help then?"
She looked surprised, but happy. "You'd help me little man?" she asked. Yes, she called me "little man"! Grateful one isn't she? [rolls eyes]
Zubirina: Well, you aren't the tallest person, you know...
Rumpel J.: I realize that, yes, I am a pixie! But she didn't need to remind me! I mean "man of challenged height" wouldn't have been so bad! Back to my story. Um. Where was I? Oh yeah, I got it. Well, I would have helped her on the spot with the [whisper] wand, except that she hadn't been assigned to me, and it's not ethical, or legal for that matter, to grant wishes to someone who isn't your fairy godclient. One is allowed to be hired for help though, so I figured I just take the cheapest price because she didn't have anything I'd want anyhow, and I wanted to help. So I said "I'll help you if you give me something." And she offered me her ring. Kind of stupid actually; I can make as much gold as I need, yet she offers me a golden ring. And she didn't even give me real gold! It was gold leaf on lead.
Zubirina: But I thought you didn't care about the gold.
Rumpel J.: I don't, it's the point of the matter, that I was saving her life and she couldn't even spare something more valuable! I mean, she was covered in jewels the king gave her! If she'd given me something nicer, I would have said "Oh, no, I'll just take that el cheapo ring", but nooooo...
I did take it in the end though, because I'm nice, and I sat up all night changing the straw into gold-it's pretty complicated, I had to use a combination of magic and alchemy, and then there was the fact that the princess sat up the whole time chattering away about what she would do if she marries the king. I mean, she wants to marry the king who is going to kill her if she doesn't make gold. I wouldn't trust a guy like that. By dawn, I had gotten it all finished, and I left, the princess was asleep, though I don't think she would have thanked me even if she had been awake, and I went home to sleep figuring I would go to Mum's later and explain what happened.
Well, Mum wasn't too pleased, but on the other hand, she said it was better than letting her die, so the next day, she had me check up on the princess again. And, of course, there she was, crying her head off, with even more straw. So I ask, "Aren't you supposed to be married to the king now?" And she says, "He changed his mind, and wants more gold! But I can be princess if I turn all this into gold. Can you help me?"
I don't know why she went on believing that king anyhow, but I said yes, because she'd die if I didn't, and before I could even point out this rather lovely sapphire I would have liked, she shoves into my hand a bracelet with genuine cubic zirconium.
Zubirina: Was it at least pretty cubic zirconium?
Rumple J.: No! Well, you know the rest from here, I spin the straw into gold, bla bla bla, and the next day, in the castle, guess who is sitting in a mountain of straw? She isn't even crying this time! "I was waiting for you to come. What took so long?" She asks in her typical politeness. "Um, any chance you'd do it for free this time? I'm sure this is the last time this'll happen. I have nothing left to give you..." Nothing left? What a lie! The princess had more jewelry than ever, I think what she meant is she had nothing valueless to give me. So I said, "What do you mean nothing left? You're wearing enough treasure to buy a kingdom?" "These are...heirlooms." She says, "Can't give 'em away wouldn't be nice."
Hmph! I would have left her right then, but I'm too kindhearted for that, you know. So I say "Maybe something else than, you can give me once you're princess?" "What do you want?" she asks. Now, that wasn't such a hard question, actually. I mean, there's two things I really wanted at the time, one of which was a child. See, I wanted a child, to take care of, play with, teach baseball... So I asked her if I could be her official babysitter.
Being the idiot she was, I didn't get any farther than the word "baby", when she offered to gave me her first born child, which is even better than just being the babysitter, so I accepted.
Zubirina: What was the second thing you really wanted?
Rumple J.: [blush] Um, a nice pixie girl...
Rumple J.: Yeah... um, yes, so she promised me her first born child, and some time later, they had a baby. So I went over, politely knocked on the door, wearing a suit and everything, I even brought flowers, to remind the princess of her promise. And do you know what she did? As soon as I stepped into the castle, she set those guards on me, screaming that I was there to kidnap the baby, and they kicked me out. So I wrote a very polite letter to her reminding her of a certain promise she made to me, and she said, she didn't want to give me the baby. Insulted, I reminded her that she had never even thanked me, or told me her name, and she argued that she had been perfectly mannerly and polite. So I said, if she had, does she even know my name? And that's how the whole three days contest started, and each day she guessed five names. But, seriously, what awful names! I mean, my name is not "Tinkerbell" or "The Grinch"! On the second day, the king was getting pissed, and told me, aside, that he'd shut the godmother business down if I didn't let her keep the baby.
So, that night, I set up a bonfire, hoping the princess's guards would find me, and I accidently on purpose sang a song saying "My name is Rumplestiltskin".
Zubirina: But I thought you let them have the baby in the end.
Rumpel J.: Of course I did.
Zubirina: So why are you in prison?
Rumpel J.: Because the king is nasty... and cause I burnt down half the city with my bonfire accidentally.
Zubirina: Ah. I see. Thank you for telling your story, it was very interesting.
Rumpel J.: Just so long as the world begins to realize that I'm the wronged one here!
Zubirina: Yes. Thank you.
End of Interview #1
* * *
Coming up, Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum:
The sad tale of a giant who was robbed of his pet, the goose who laid golden eggs, by the infamous burglar Jack.
|The Luckless: Chapter 2||The Luckless: Prologue|
The Luckless: Chapter I