Elixer

They made him seem such a hero
but they left out the bit
where he fondled the dwarfs

They made him seem such a hero
but they left out the bit
where he provided the GHB for the apple

They made him seem such a hero
but they left out the bit
where she couldn’t marry in white

They made him seem such a hero
but they left out the bit
where he called her ‘my immaculate’

She was no fool
She knew the ways of the world

She was no fool
She knew what he had done

She was no fool
She knew she’d have her chance

She was no fool
She knew she’d take revenge

One drop for each fondled dwarf
Two drops for every letter in GHB
Three drops for the wedding dress
Four drops for calling her Maria – the fool

He got a night cap
Every day
For the rest of his life
She lived happily ever after

Yesterday’s prompt inspired me even through my moodiness. I guess I upended it a bit, turning the hero into a villain. And the victim into a perpetrator. I happily blame/thank a fellow participant for that. Alison Dunne.She tweeted something that got me thinking:

I’ve decided in 2018 to keep a count of how many women are victims in the cultural stuff I consume, books, plays, telly, you know. Thinking of a catchy hashtag ? I’m fully expecting it to catch on.

I love altered fairy tales. There something about something SO familiar turned into something surprising that makes me excited, that makes me smile, that makes me happy. I’ve done a couple in the past, either prompted or unprompted.

Jenny Luddingtone wrote my all time favourite altered Little Red Ridinghood story last year, for the ‘poem from a minor character’ prompt. Yesterday she wrote one about the soft spot of the wolf – and she has a point!

Since I’m a fan, I searched yesterday’s NaPoWriMo.net entries for more fairtytale related poems, coming from the prompt to write a poem in which a villain faces an unfortunate situation, and is revealed to be human (but still evil)

I found poetry tales featuring these characters from the Northern European story book:
Snow White by Smitha V.

Cinderella by Charlene Delfin

Rapunzel by Vandana Bhasin

Captain Hook by N.K. Hasen

Loki by S.G. Liput

Please leave yours in the comments if you can add to the list. They don’t need to be from this year’s #NaPoWriMo. I used an old drawing of mine, for example 😉

Elixer by Angela van Son

8 thoughts on “Elixer

  1. Smitha V

    Thanks Angela for the mention. Did not like the prompt initially but once I started writing it, found it fun. Enjoyed reading you. You have made the hero a true villain😀. Words make all the difference.

    Reply
  2. Dawn D

    *Perversion*

    She was left in her room.

    Alone.
    
Again.

    Nothing she did was ever good enough,

    No matter how hard she tried.

    The only thing

    Where she seemed to succeed
    
Was looks.

    Her mum enjoyed dressing her up,

    Tying pink bows in her dark curly hair,

    Putting frilly skirts on her,
    
Tailored from delicate silk and lace

    Which meant she had to sit in place
    
Not run around,

    Climb trees,

    Explore the forest
    
Like she would have wanted to.

    Because she knew too well

    The screams and beating she’d get
    
If she came back with the tiniest snag,

    Hair out of place,

    Scartched elbow,

    Muddied slippers.
    
Did she realise

    Quite how expensive these clothes were?

    And how lucky she was
    
That her parents could buy her

    Such beautiful garments?

    (She didn’t feel so lucky
    
Since she couldn’t be herself,
    
But she daren’t say so.

    She’d tried once.
    
The barrage of words,
    
Belittlements,

    Guilt,

    Still rang in her ears)

    So she sat,

    Quiet,

    And learnt to be defined

    By how pretty she looked.

    *

    He sat on the sidewalk.

    Alone.

    Again.

    Nothing he did was ever good enough

    No matter how hard he tried.
    
The only way to be noticed,
    
It seemed,

    Was to excel in school.

    But even that didn’t seem enough,

    Since the school bell’s tinkles

    Had long stopped ringing.

    And there he was,

    Waiting,

    Forgotten.

    Again.

    The only way to be loved

    Was to impress,

    To whine for more attention
    
To show devotion

    Never to show hurt.

    You had to be stronger

    Than the competition

    Who cared if it was
    
Your own brother and sister?

    If it meant stepping over others,

    Lying,

    Cheating…

    Who cared?

    As long as he gained
    
A bit of Mother’s attention.

    *

    She looked at herself in the mirror,

    Wondering aloud

    If she was still beautiful,

    This was, after all

    The only way to define her worth.

    And when she felt threatened

    The anger and loneliness hidden inside

    Came to the surface.

    She sprouted warts on her nose,

    Her skin started to sag

    Her shoulders,

    Weighed by the burden of low self-confidence,

    Curved towards the ground.

    She donned a black cloak

    And offered red apples
    
To innocent beauties.

    *

    He looked at himself in the mirror

    Wondering whether he still had it in him.

    But did he have a choice?
    
Life was “Eat or get eaten”
    
So he’d have to keep fighting.

    He’d still walk all over others

    To feel his worth was higher.

    If not, they’d surely walk all over him

    And he’d be finished.

    He’d demand devotion too.

    If you weren’t devoted to him,

    Then you had to be against him.
    
That’s how he learnt love works.

    And if you didn’t love him

    (in the twisted way he thought was love)

    Then you’d better beware!

    Why should he love you

    If he gained nothing in return?
    
So he’d crush you

    Every chance he’d get.
    
*

    Whether in fairy tales or in real life

    All evil has an explanation.

    And people with open hearts

    Are easy targets to their perversion;

    Whether an innocent beauty
    
With hair black as ebony,
    
Lips red as blood
    
And skin white as snow,

    Who didn’t choose how she looked,

    Couldn’t change who she is

    And didn’t yet know how to protect herself;

    Or a battered child

    Told from the beginning

    That her feelings were lesser

    Than those of Father,

    Of others,

    Who had to change who she was
    
And grew up thinking
    
She wasn’t worthy of attention

    If she didn’t behave

    According to expectations.

    *

    In my poem, villains suffered some pain, but the situations are old in my poem, not current.
    Yet the evil is still present.
    I started with the evil queen, imagining what sort of childhood she must have had to feel so threatened when her beauty fades. And I couldn’t help but make it a bit auto-biographical too :)


    Reply
  3. Pingback: NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo 2018 – Day 16 – “A Play On Words” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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