Thursday, 7 January 2010

#Fridayflash - Rapunzel

After writing the modern tale of Rapunzel in verse for last week's #fridayflash, here's how I think it would go in prose...

“Help!” She called, leaning as far out of the bedroom window as she dare, her eyes darting wildly in search of someone to assist her. “Please, heeeeeeelp! Somebody?!” Her panic was so great that she barely noticed the large, white truck pulling up at the curb below.

“Hey!” The occupant of the truck’s cab climbed out, waving his arms above his head to attract her attention as he circled the vehicle and stood on the pavement below. “Hey, you there! What’s the matter?”

“Oh! Oh, thank God!” She leaned on the window ledge with one hand, the other poised at her throat to demurely illustrate relief. She stared, wide-eyed, at the figure below, and struck her best ‘damsel-in-distress-type’ pose. “Oh sir, you’ve just got to help me!”

“Hmmm.” The man frowned, and pushed his Stetson back on his forehead, meeting her eyes with difficulty as he squinted in the midday sun. “Why don’t we start with what the problem is before I agree to anything, lady?” His voice was slightly gruff and he had a day and a half’s stubble growth, but he was actually quite attractive. Rude, she thought, but attractive... She held down her natural urge to say something cutting in reply, and smiled sweetly instead.

“ I’m locked in…” She giggled, and dipped her knees, pulling on the ends of her blonde tresses to make herself seem ditsy and young. There was a chance the act would help persuade him to offer assistance. “I’m staying here with my aunt whilst my apartment gets painted, and she’s gone to work. I think she forgot I was here! You see, I was asleep when she left…and she didn't leave me a key…”

“Well, what do you want me to do about it?” The man's tone was jovial; amused; as he shrugged his shoulders and smirked. “Climb up there and free you from your tower, Rapunzel?” His grin widened at his own joke, but quickly subsided when he realised she wasn’t smiling. “Why can’t you just call her?”

“Oh, of course!” She feigned sudden realisation, then cocked her head at him sarcastically. “Why didn’t I think of that?! Oh, that’s right…" her voice rose an octave in annoyance, "...because my aunt works on an oilrig! She won’t be back for a week!”

“And the police?” His smug grin returned, unfazed, as he hooked his thumbs in his belt and looked up at her from under the brim of his hat. He raised an eyebrow. “You didn’t think to call them? Or a locksmith maybe?” She sighed. She hadn’t thought of that, no. Just panicked and…okay, now she felt really stupid. The embarrassment flared her temper.

“There’s no money in the house for a locksmith,” she lied. “Look, are you going to help me or not?” She huffed and flicked her hair back over her shoulder in frustrated defiance.

“Well, maybe if you span those lovely locks into a rope, Rapunzel, I really could climb up there and fetch you down!” He snickered to himself, holding a fist against his mouth to control his laughter, then flashed her a cheeky smile as he reached into his pocket. She wanted to be angry - he was mocking her! - but there was something quite charming about his boyish teasing, and despite herself, she found she was rather enjoying it! “C’mon! Let your hair down, Ra-”

“Stop calling me Rapunzel!” She interrupted, as he continued exploring the inside pocket of his denim jacket. “I assure you, I’m no fairytale princess! The only thing I ever learned to spin was a bottle in high school!” The man stilled abruptly, his eyes slowly finding hers, before he raised an eyebrow, suggestively, in her direction.

Very interesting!” He said with enthusiasm, retrieving a small, square object she couldn’t quite make out, from his pocket. “So…if not ‘Rapunzel’, what should I call you?” She sighed, somewhat exasperated.

“Emma. Emma Knowles.” She gestured at the object in his hand. “You’re going to smoke now?! Leave me stranded up here whilst you enjoy a cigarette and gloat? You’re very rude! I thought you were going to help me!”

I’m rude?” He replied, with mock offence. “You didn’t even ask my name yet!” Emma closed her eyes in controlled irritation and pasted on an overly pleasant smile before she opened them again.

“Fine. What’s your name?”

“I’m Jacob Prince, miss.” He tipped his hat with the hand that wasn’t holding the square object. “But you can call me Jake.” Perfect! Emma could hardly believe it. She grinned inwardly, took a deep breath and tried a little quick-wit of her own.

“Well, Jake, now the polite introductions are out of the way, how about you honour that last name of yours and show a little charm and chivalry to a woman in distress?”

“Tell you what, Rapunzel,” Jake smiled, raising the square object to his ear. “I know a guy…I’ll call you a locksmith. It won’t cost you a penny…but once I get you down from there, you’re gonna owe me dinner.”

Emma’s mouth fell open in shock, but inexplicably, she found herself smiling at the thought.

“I hope you cook better than you spin, Rapunzel!” Jake continued, raising that single eyebrow at her again. “But since there’ll be a bottle emptied at dinner…I’m sure I’ll get to see those skills too!”

So...Rapunzel's manipulative & the prince is full of himself...but I still reckon they live happily ever after!


  1. Loved this modern take on a classic fairy tale!

    Laughed so much at her only being able to spin the bottle...

    Really clever, creative, wonderful!

  2. "“ I’m locked in…” She giggled, and dipped her knees, pulling on the ends of her blonde tresses to make herself seem ditsy and young. "

    I loved this description so much. I've never seen this action described, but you nailed it. The whole thing is just blazingly brilliant.

  3. hahaaaa love it love it love it!
    So good, great characterization, great discrptive prose. Very amusing.

  4. Wonderful! Great twist on an old tale. Loved the premise, loved the characters, loved evrything about it.

  5. Emma is coquettish, just like that Rapunzel. Tarts, the pair of 'em! Funny story!

  6. heh heh :)
    One day, I will use "Aunt on an oilrig" as an excuse for something. I don't know what yet, but I'll know it when it comes up.

  7. L-O-V-E-D it!!! I think the third paragraph was my favorite. I felt like I knew these characters but nothing about them was boring or cliche. Well written.

  8. Wow, such a lovely prose version, and I'm with you, they probably will live happily ever after :)
    Great work :)

  9. Great re-working Amy! For a moment I thought that the square thing in his pocket was a zippo and he was going to threaten to burn her out - The Laura Eno ending :o)

  10. Somehow they deserve each other. :) Wonderful descriptions. 'Aunt works on an oilrig' was awesome.

    Skycycler - ROFL! That is where I thought this story was going.

  11. Exquisitely written, an utter joy to read.

    Completely believable. It shows how little patriarchy has changed.

  12. That was fun!

    A witty take on an old story.

  13. Thanks for your comments everyone! I love it when my visitors leave feedback, the more the merrier...your views are always honest, constructive and encouraging & you all continue to inspire me & help me improve. :)

  14. Okay, too much fun. I liked the poem better.

  15. This is so charming. Thank you for the smile. ;-)

  16. Very fun! Great banter between the two characters. She really is manipulative. How do you get locked inside of an apartment?

    The twist on the fairy tale was very entertaining!

  17. Very nice retelling. Fun! Smiled the whole time. Good description and dialogue. I'd love to see what their "happily ever after" turned out to be!

  18. Good modern take on the Rapunzel tale. I enjoyed it.

  19. Such fun Amy! Rude and attractive - huh, I've never known any man like that. ;)

  20. Deanna! I don't believe you! We've all known men like that... ;) ...there are reasons the prince is a cowboy! ;D