“Once Upon A Time…”
Contrary to the saccharine sing-songs Disney have brought us over the years they classic fairytales were not so innocent. Fairytales are folkloric fantasies, and often gothic or sinister in their sentiment.
As you can see from the excerpts below the classic fairytales could be pretty brutal. As if the originals weren’t scary enough modern writers have taken to altering fairytales to give them a bit of a twist. Angela Carter opts to transform the fairytales in to works of abject horror, whereas Roald Dahl gives them a bit of humorous, albeit violent, flair.
Now your mission… is to create an “alternative” fairytale.
Write a short Fairytale of 500-2500 words. Choose an existing fairytale (the more obscure the better!) and put your own twist on it.
Submissions close on TUESDAY 31st JANUARY. Submit in the box below or send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The aim is to have enough stories to compile a ‘Grimm’s Fairytales’-like Anthology, which will be published online as an e-book.
You may wish to:
- Time change- Sleeping Beauty wakes up in the year 2300 surrounded by Robots.
- Crossover- Combine two Fairytales (How about the Big Bad Wolf and The Three Bears team up to hunt down and eat Goldilocks and Red Riding Hood)
- Mash-up- Cinderella vs. Aliens (For inspiration watch the trailer for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters)
- Introduce an original character- Perhaps the Beast has a handsome brother who turns up and intervenes
- Not everything is as it seems- Could the characters be patients at a psychiatric hospital? All of the magic can be explained as hallcinations/ everyday objects.
- Who is really the bad guy?- The original Snow White had the Queen killed. Maybe she becomes a megalomaniac.
Submission date: Tue 31/01/17
Word length 500-2500
Links to Fairytales
“Blue Beard”- Charles Perrault
“Here,” said he,” are the keys to the two great wardrobes…Open them all; go into each and every one of them, except that little closet, which I forbid you, and forbid it in such a manner that, if you happen to open it, you may expect my just anger and resentment.”
Having come to the closet door, she made a stop for some time, thinking about her husband’s orders, and considering what unhappiness might attend her if she was disobedient; but the temptation was so strong that she could not overcome it. She then took the little key, and opened it, trembling. At first she could not see anything plainly, because the windows were shut. After some moments she began to perceive that the floor was all covered over with clotted blood, on which lay the bodies of several dead women, ranged against the walls. (These were all the wives whom Blue Beard had married and murdered, one after another.) She thought she should have died for fear, and the key, which she, pulled out of the lock, fell out of her hand.
“Rumpelstiltskin”- The Brothers Grimm
“Perhaps your name is Rumpelstiltskin?”
“The devil has told you that! The devil has told you that,” cried the little man, and in his anger he plunged his right foot so deep into the earth that his whole leg went in, and then in rage he pulled at his left leg so hard with both hands that he tore himself in two.
“Rapunzel”- The Brothers Grimm
Rapunzel is lost to you. You will never see her again. The king’s son was beside himself with pain, and in his despair he leapt down from the tower. He escaped with his life, but the thorns into which he fell pierced his eyes. Then he wandered quite blind about the forest, ate nothing but roots and berries, and did naught but lament and weep over the loss of his dearest wife. Thus he roamed about in misery for some years, and at length came to the desert where Rapunzel, with the twins to which she had given birth, a boy and a girl, lived in wretchedness.
“The Snow Child” by Angela Carter
So the girl picks a rose; pricks her finger on the thorn; bleeds; screams; falls.
Weeping, the Count got off his horse, unfastened his breeches and thrust his virile member into the dead girl. The Countess reined in her stamping mare and watched him narrowly; he was soon finished.
Then the girl began to melt. Soon there was nothing left of her but a feather a bird might have dropped; a blood stain, like the trace of a fox’s kill on the snow; and the rose she had pulled off the bush. Now the Countess had all her clothes on again. With her long hand, she stroked her furs. The Count picked up the rose, bowed and handed it to his wife; when she touched it, she dropped it. “It bites!” she said.
“Little Red Riding Hood”- Roald Dahl
Then Little Red Riding Hood said, ‘
But Grandma, what a lovely great big
furry coat you have on.’
‘That’s wrong!’ cried Wolf.
‘Have you forgot
To tell me what BIG TEETH I’ve got?
Ah well, no matter what you say,
I’m going to eat you anyway.’
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature’s head,
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.
A few weeks later, in the wood,
I came across Miss Riding Hood.
But what a change! No cloak of red,
No silly hood upon her head.
She said, ‘Hello, and do please note
My lovely furry wolfskin coat.