I’ve never been much for princess stories. I never wanted to be saved. I wanted to be the hero, the one with the destiny and the sword and the merry band of adventurers, not the one awakened by a non-consensual kiss.
Fairy tales–the ones I watched on video–were dull and lifeless things with heroines who did little but lose their personalities once they fell in love. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the original tales were much darker. Violent, in some cases, and downright disturbing in others. These were stories to fear.
Given my relationship with horror, is it any surprise that it was then, and only then, that fairy tales and princess stories became something enticing? Stories of fair maidens intertwined with the grotesque–now that was something that interested me, and never more than when Angela Carter did it.
Now the child lived in her grandmother’s house; she prospered.
– Angela Carter, The Werewolf
Anyway, here’s a drabble.
A species of dark red apple.
White as snow, red as blood, black as ebony.
She leaves life as she’s brought into it, skin pale (poison), lips red (blood), hair like a dark halo. Passed like a beautiful object from family to stepmother to dwarves to prince, she learns cruelty before anything else. She learns betrayal and pain and sorrow, she learns servitude, and death touches her twice before it sticks.
You can’t blame her for it. You can’t blame her for summoning her tormentor, for casting iron shoes in precisely her size. You can’t blame her, but you might wonder how things could be different.