(insert pithy rejoinder here)

The Curse And The Gift

Today we’re treated to another F*cked-up Fairy Tale offering from the Great White North. Take a new look at the classic RUMPELSTILTSKIN as seen through the eyes of everyone’s favorite Canook, SIGHTSNBYTES.

THE CURSE AND THE GIFT

by Ted White

*****

THE CURSE AND THE GIFT

by Ted White

What would you give to have things remain as they are? Nice home, new car, wonderful kids, loving wife, good job, friendly neighbors; you get the picture, lucky guy, huh?

What if someone could take this all away with a snap of his tiny, grubby little greedy fingers? What if some miserable, jealous little dwarf could make your life go away and there was nothing you could do about it?

Well, there is something you can do, but that would require making a deal with the little monster, and who really wants to shake hands with the devil? Not me, that’s for sure!

Think back twenty years ago. I was a man like most men, alone in this world, circulating bars and looking, searching for someone who could make this desolate living go away. I found that person in a little man, a mystery man, a miserable man.

He was sitting at the end of the Dead End bar. The place was so gloomy, I am not sure what led me in here in the first place, but I was here, so I did what I had to do to change my life…forever!

In my drunken stupor, I sat next to the guy. Before I got there he was surrounded with beautiful women, women that I would kill to get to know. I wanted to be this little guy. I wanted to know his secret, and I would pay dearly to find it.

He spoke in riddles.

Heute back ich, morgen brau ich,

Übermorgen hol ich mir der Königin ihr Kind;

Ach, wie gut, dass niemand weiß,

dass ich Rumpelstilzchen heiß

What the hell did he mean by this? What the hell was this song, and why is it digging deep into my mind, driving me crazy?

He continued reciting the rhyme, his voice growing lower each time until it was but a whisper and then it was gone.

He looked at me. “Another loser wanders into my bar, in search of something better. What brings you here loser? Why would you want to talk to the man whom nobody remembers?”

“I just…I just noticed your company, these women, who are they?’ I asked.

“They are people who wanted more, wanted beauty and success, and I delivered, simple as that!”

“How, how did you give them what they wanted? Plastic surgery?” I asked.

“No surgery, just magic, and one more important thing, a handshake” he said.

“A handshake? That’s it? I want in” I said, too drunk to make a better decision.

“No problem, but there is more, I can give you anything you desire, but in return, I want your most prized possession, that which you hold dear, and I want it when I come to collect!” He said.

At the time, the one thing I prized was…nothing. My life was in a downward spiral. I had just been fired, then the girlfriend left, then I was evicted from my apartment, what was left?

I shook his hand, half believing him, half believing this was some drunken nightmare that would be gone by morning. With the handshake, he recited a poem in a language I did not understand. I told him I wanted happiness and success, he just laughed and then ‘poof’ he was gone. I closed my eyes, and the morning, I woke up here.

Somewhere in my heart I cannot believe any of this happened. My reality is that this is my reality. That other life is a mirage, a vision of depression, and gone forever.

This morning I began to notice differences. My kids stared at me this morning, like I was someone else. It was like a stranger had taken control of my life. My wife acted scared of me, like I was a threat to her. At work, my boss came down on me for my behavior as well. “There is something about you that I don’t like. I have not seen this side of you before, but you seem to lack confidence” He said. Confidence, the gift of the deal. Without it, I would still be living the deadbeat life I led, still cruising bars and coming home drunk, that is of course if I was still alive.

With this new revelation, I discovered that which I prize most. All those years ago, when I made the deal, I figured that there was nothing in this world that I prized, but now I know.

With this, I seen him. He had been standing between the two offices in the front of the building. Standing at under four feet, with a long red beard and leprechaun-like clothing, I wondered why nobody else commented on his appearance. Curiosity being what it was, I approached the little guy.

“Aha, my loser friend. You did quite well with your gift. I assume you have figured out the gift…and that’s why I am here” he said.

With the power I now possessed, I ordered the guard to remove this vagrant, but the guard just looked at me like I was delusional. “Sir, there’s nobody here but us guys” he said, to my horror.

I am the only one who can see him, that is clear now. Nothing more I can do but walk away.

“Walk away and all will be gone. You will wake up in the same bar you passed out in, twenty years ago. A few hours from that moment you will be dead, hit by a drunken driver. Nobody will care if you are alive or dead. This wonderful life you now lead will be gone. But you can change this, and make me go away forever.”

“All you have to do to make me leave is to recite my name. This is not an easy task, as nobody knows who I am.”

With that, he laughed loudly and recited the song once again, this time in a language I did not understand.

Heute back ich, morgen brau ich,

Übermorgen hol ich mir der Königin ihr Kind;

Ach, wie gut, dass niemand weiß,

dass ich Rumpelstilzchen heiß

At least he thought I would not understand it. Little did he know that with all the confidence I received from ‘the gift’, I enrolled in university, studying languages from the world over. I am proficient in over thirteen languages, one of them being German. The translation was loose, but I managed to make out a name at the end.

Today I brew, tomorrow I bake,

And then the child away I’ll take;

For little knows my royal dame

Rumpelstiltskin is my name!

I know it, I know it, you creepy little bastard, your name is Rumpelstiltskin!

And with that he was gone. My life returned to normal. My wife and kids loved me, I got a raise at work, and I continued to be a success in whatever I done with my life. I never seen the little guy again.

I was recently honored by the United Federation for the advancement of Little People. That’s right, before the little guy disappeared forever, he instilled on me a curse. The curse took me from a man of over six feet to one of four foot tall. The strange thing, nobody seems to care. It is like I am the same person I have been since the deal, except for the confidence, it grows more each day!

8 responses

  1. This was a great twist on a tale that I honestly had to look up. Brain cells gone.

    Like

    October 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    • Oh no…

      Hotspur’s brain cells gone?? The End Is Nigh!!

      Like

      October 15, 2012 at 8:38 pm

  2. This crazy idea of yours might actually work… words that I never hear anyone say to me ever…

    Like

    October 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm

  3. Nice story Ted. Fairy tales are always told from the outside. You tell yours from the inside.

    Like

    October 14, 2012 at 7:36 pm

  4. Thank you Arch, I never noticed that before, but you are correct I always tell my stories from the first person standpoint…hmmm

    Like

    October 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm

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