I'm not feeling very inspired where prose is concerned this week, so I thought, rather than force a story, I'd post a poetic modernisation of a traditional fairytale for #fridayflash. I don't think it strictly qualifies as 'telling a story', so I won't be putting it in the collector, but I hope it's enjoyed nonetheless. The poem is a revision of the tale of Rapunzel...and I suppose, more a critique of modern expectations!
The Old Fairytale...
For those whose memories of the nursery fail them, in the original tale, the baby Rapunzel is locked in a tower by an evil enchantress as retribution for food stolen by her father from the witch's garden. Rapunzel's eventual rescue from the tower frees her into the world for the first time, through marriage to a rich, handsome prince. She lures this prince to her rescue (the hussy!) with the following qualities - beauty, virginity, a stunning talent for song, and expert spinning skills (specifically, the ability to make rope with her own hair...charming!). Oh, and post-marriage, Rapunzel also turns out to be capable of multiple births without remote damage to her figure (she was surely the witch!).
In return for all this loveliness, Rapunzel's prince must prove his courage, virility and martial skill by fighting for her. He essentially earns Rapunzel by enduring various physical trials and suffering permanently maiming wounds in the process (attention-seeker!). Needless to say, the prince proves himself a formidable warrior and rescues Rapunzel, winning her love. She proves herself beautiful on the inside as well as out and weds him despite his blindness, suffered in pursuit of her. Then, of couse, the two live happily ever after.
These characters, I'm sure, held useful lessons for the children of 15th-century gentlefolk. The tale of Rapunzel taught attainment and rags-to-riches aspiration in the society they'd grow up to join, providing they were brave or pure...but I think the legacies of these characters probably need updating for today’s audience! You see, though their examples are now all but impossible to achieve, Rapunzel and the prince are, from time to time, still to be found setting the bar for modern folk! And it only leads to confusion all round when neither Rapunzels or princes turn out as the fairytale predicts... So, I reckon, it's time we got things straight!
The Poetic Update:
Walls (The Modern Tale of Rapunzel)
"You ask too much of me –"
said the girl from her high pedestal
be not surprised
if I fall at the first hurdle."
"You make it sound so easy,
no butterfly, no daisy,
none so delicate
"Nothing passes unchallenged there –
your fingers on my soul, you see, are different
to your fingers
in my hair."
"History screams from my every pore -
an enchantress to keep you from
a door that does not exist beyond a crown
there to encircle and protect
my skin of bricks and mortar.
And it is going to take much more
to wash away these walls."
"Try words", Rapunzel called down from her tower,
And the prince below her
and scratched his head.
Maybe I'll re-write 'Walls' in prose as my #fridayflash for next week?! :)