Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Fairytale

So, fairytale retellings.


I don't mind reading them, but I've never, ever had a desire to write one. BUT, I've been participating in a 12 week writing competition and a couple of weeks ago they had us write a scene for a fairytale retelling. And it was kind of fun. Especially since I could twist it however I wanted.

So, fairytale retellings. I may possibly write one. Someday.

Are fairytales your thing? Every written one? Plan to?

Until then, if you have time, enjoy my 600 word submission below. And after reading it, let me know in the comments if you figured out WHICH fairy tale I retold. :)

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The first thing I feel is a pair of lips on my mouth. Warm. No—hot. Burning. A part of me thinks they burn because my own lips are cold as ice.
The fire lips on mine are soft. Gentle. Then harder. Firmer. So forceful they cover all of my mouth and I think my breath is being stolen out of me. But then I feel air flow into me, not out. And I realize these hot and firm lips are trying to give me life, not take it.
My lungs fight against the forced air. This isn’t right, they scream. Not right at all. But the rest of my body fights. Take the air, they beg. We need it. Desperate, my body shakes and my heart pounds against my chest. Inhale, damn it.
I sit up and gasp, winning the battle against my lungs. Panting, I look around. I’m in a room with metal walls and marble floors. I sit in a hard plastic bed with sides and a hinged cover that reminds me of a coffin. My eyes adjust to the dim light of glowing computer monitors along one side of the wall and I see more plastic beds scattered throughout the room.
A man in front of me covers his mouth and shakes his head. He lowers his hand slowly and I know, just by the shape of his lips, he is the one with the burning kiss. “You’re alive,” he says in a whisper, as if saying it any louder would make it untrue.
“Where am I?” I ask. My voice is dry, cracked. I wonder when the last time water has flowed down my throat.
“Moab,” he says, rifling through a bag on his shoulder for something. “Utah.”
The words mean nothing to me. My head is fuzzy and I struggle to remember how I got here. To this room. Into this plastic coffin.
“I’m Phil,” he says, handing over a clear bottle filled with water.
I drink greedily, letting too much of it spill down my chin and onto my clothes. I look down at my black jumpsuit and it triggers a memory—my mother zipping me into the one-piece suit. I look around the room again and narrow my eyes at the other beds.
“I was hiking through the canyon just east,” Phil says, pointing with his left hand. “I heard a buzzing sound. I guess it was the hum of the computers.” He steps toward me, then back again, unsure. “I found this room hidden in the rock.”
I press my hands to my temples, trying to remember something. My family. Danger. A curse.
“I saw you lying there,” he continues. “Through the plastic. And you were breathing and peaceful and…” Phil rubs the back of his neck. “But when I opened the cover you stopped breathing and I didn’t know what to do, so I—“
I touch my mouth and remember his burning lips on mine.
“I’m so glad you’re alive.” Phil gestures to the other beds. “Do you know who all these people are?”
Suddenly, I know within each of those plastic coffins will be someone I know. A brother, sister, mother, father. It is my family.
I pull my foot up to read a digital clock strapped to my ankle. It reads 100:00:00:05:36. I’ve been asleep in this cryogenic chamber for a hundred years.
“What’s your name?” Phil asks, finally daring to step close to me.
“Aurora,” I say. “But my friends—and those who decide to save my life—call me Rory.”
Phil smiles. "Nice to meet you, Rory."

17 comments:

Tobi Summers said...

That was really cool. I'm interested to know what happens next!

jaybird said...

You did a great job. I did a writing challenge once retelling the Grimm's fairy tale Maid Maleen. It's posted on my blog so creatively as "Writing Exercise Challenge" LOL. I really love what you did here. "Rory" as a nickname for Aurora was super cute.

The Muse said...

I thought it was Briar Rose, which is a variation of Sleeping Beauty, but I didn't remember "Aurora," so I cheated and looked it up. :) Great job.

Pin And Tack said...

Sleeping Beauty!

Is there any more of your story? I loved it! I haven't had much time for reading, so you definitely got me going. Great writing!

I'm not into re-telling - I like to come up with my own stories :)

ilima said...

Tobi-me too!

Jaybird-On what date did you post it on your blog? I'd love to read it.

The Muse-Aurora and Prince Phillip are Disney-given names for Sleeping Beauty, so I kinda cheated too.

Pin and Tack-I don't like re-telling either, but this was kind of fun. Maybe I'll have more one day. :)

Angela Cothran said...

My guess is Snow White. Oooo but I guess it could be Sleeping Beauty too. But the feeling cold make me think Snow White.

Reina Laaman said...

I was about to say Rip Van Winkle. Shows how unromantic I am. Actually, he only slept for 20 years... Anyway, Sleeping Beauty is my final answer!

I want to know what happens next!

Cortney Pearson said...

Aaaah, Sleeping Beauty is my favorite! And I love what you've got here, I want more!! :D I like fairy tale retellings, if they're done well. :) And yours was.

Kelley said...

Sleeping Beauty! So fun! :)

I haven't had the urge to rewrite a fairytale. I guess I have so many things running around my head, perhaps when they dry up I'll give it a shot ;)

Though this small piece was very good, Ilima! Might want to consider going for it :)

ilima said...

Angie-Too many fairytales where the prince wakes the princess with a kiss :)

Reina-Haha.

Cortney-sci-fi sleeping beauty just seems appealing to me.

Kelley-so much to write, so little time...:)

Robin said...

Yup, until the end I was thinking Snow White-the plastic coffin and all.

Very fun.

Me-I love retellings. My 1st MS is a retelling, but it's in the needs CPR to recover pile--luckily your Rory only needs a little assisted breathing:)

Cassie Mae said...

Oh my gosh. First off, I have to apologize. Google reader hates me I swear and your blog had not been showing up. It is fixed now, and I have to say I'm sorry for not commenting on your posts! Girl! Epic fail on my part.

Okay, I've written one retelling and I really like it, but I'm not a huge fan of them either. Weird I know. :)

Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

Ooh, great job! I'm not much on retellings, but I've tried my hand on a retelling of beauty and the beast for fun. :D

Kathryn Purdie said...

I love it! Now you have to finish. Pleeeeeease. My first thought was definitely Sleeping Beauty, but then I wondered if it could be Snow White. There so much waking upon true love's kiss in fairy tales, I suppose they cross over. But, for reals, please finish this!

ilima said...

Robin-You should do comedy. And I'm still waiting to read some Mara. I hope you haven't left it to die.

Cassie-I'm a little scared of you right now reading all of your fears each day for A to Z. :)

Jaycee-That's a good one.

Katie-Did you like my out of breath sequence? ;)

Giora said...

Wonderful writing, so vivid. Really enjoyed the third part about "My lungs fight ..". Unique. If one of your novels is also written in the first POV like this and with similar style, it shoudl do very well.

ilima said...

Giora-I just wrote a novel in first POV and though it was hard at first, I really like it now.