Rumpelstiltskin – A Devil’s Deal

In a faraway land, existed a nation ruled by a noble family. The elements of nature had not been kind over the last few years, negatively affecting the country’s crops. It wasn’t long until the people of the land began the effects of their homeland’s economic crisis. Naturally, people began to panic, fearing that their peaceful days were coming to an end. Fortunately, the kingdom’s ruler, a kind, charismatic king, managed to quell the people’s worries.

The king traveled from village to village, inspiring hope in everyone’s hearts that stability would return to their land. Among the many crowds, the king managed to notice a girl in the audience. The girl was strikingly beautiful but what really captured the king’s gaze was her long, golden colored hair.

After crossing paths with the girl on three separate occasions, the king finally decided to meet with her privately at the village’s inn. The girl introduced herself as the daughter of a once famous miller. With the people starting to face such difficult times, her father decided that the two would leave the country and start over again somewhere else.  The King confessed that he’d noticed the girl at a few of his gatherings and that her beauty spoke to him. The miller’s daughter admitted that she found the king to be very charming and that she admired his resolve to help his people.

While the two were getting to know each other, the girl’s father burst into the room. He reeked of alcohol after spending a long night at the village’s tavern. Without realizing that he was standing before the king, the miller bragged about his plans for a better life with the help of his daughter. Shortly after the father passed out, the king said his goodbyes to the girl and promised to see her again.

The next morning, the king confronted the miller and his daughter as they prepared to leave the village. The king expressed his feelings for the miller’s daughter and requested for her to stay behind with him. The miller made a deal with the king that if he could solve the nation’s crisis within a year, he wouldn’t force his daughter to leave the country with him. The king agreed to the deal, returning to his castle with the miller’s daughter.

After only a short while, the king and the miller’s daughter got married. On top of that, the queen was now pregnant with the king’s child. As thrilling as it all was, the king was no closer to figuring out a way to save his kingdom. With only five months left until the queen’s father would return, the king became more and more stressed with each passing day. Worried about her husband, the queen began trying to come up with her own way to help solve the problem.

One night, the queen woke up to a snicker that echoed throughout the castle’s halls. The queen followed the sound, leaving her husband who was still fast asleep. The endless laughing guided her to an unused room in the castle. In the middle of the nearly empty room was a spinning wheel with some straw next to it. Sitting by the spinning wheel was a hunched over imp with a grin that only stretched as he noticed the queen.

As the queen mentally prepared herself to run away in fear, she noticed that the imp was spinning the nearby straw into thin strings of gold. Intrigued by the imp, the queen approached slowly, watching him as he magically transformed the straw. The imp offered to teach the queen how to spin straw into gold if she made a deal with him. Thinking of it as a way to easily solve their problems, the queen listened to the imp’s offer. In exchange for his lessons of the magical ability, the queen would need to hand over her child on the day it was born. The queen immediately refused, saying she could never give up her child for anything. The imp then began to rationalize his deal, reminding the queen that her father would come to take her away soon and that she and the king would lose everything in the end anyway. Thinking about it for a moment, the queen reluctantly agreed to the imp’s offer. Before the lessons began, the queen asked the imp’s name to which he responded that imps could never tell anyone that.

The king was shocked when the queen showed him her new skill. Afraid of how he might react, the queen hid the truth about the deal she made with the imp, telling the king that she learned to spin straw into gold through a dream she had. Prosperity had begun to return to the kingdom with the queen’s help. The gold was traded to neighboring countries in exchange for all different kinds of resources, bringing the land’s people to a never-before-seen level of joy.

The queen eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy. The king was thrilled to have a male heir, throwing a grand celebration that went on well into the night. After the king fell asleep from exhaustion, the queen took her newborn son and ventured into the forest, searching for the imp. She found him dancing around a lit flame, singing aloud.

“Tonight tonight, my plans I make, tomorrow tomorrow, the baby I take. The king, how foolish he never knew, there was nothing that he could ever do. In secret, I cut off her father’s head, for years it was me living in his stead. I’ll grow the child as if it were my own; with this, I’ll never be alone. These silly humans haven’t learned yet, what Rumpelstiltskin wants, Rumpelstiltskin gets.”

Overhearing the imp’s confession, the queen let out an unexpected gasp before escaping back towards the castle. Rumpelstiltskin turned to face her before giving chase, demanding the child be given to him. The queen ran in through the castle’s entrance, screaming for help. Waking up to the distressed calling of his beloved, the King rushed to her aid in the castle’s main hall.

Facing off against the enraged imp, the king grabbed a hanging sword from off the wall and began to swing wildly. The sword passed right through the imp as though he were transparent. Rumpelstiltskin laughed as he mocked the king. Crying out in fear, she demanded that Rumpelstiltskin stop this mad chase. The imp’s eyes widened as the queen spoke his name. The king’s sword sliced downward, landing directly between the imp’s eyes.

The ground beneath the castle began to shake violently, cracks appearing throughout the floor. The king leaped away from the dying imp but the queen was thrown off balance just as a giant fissure split the land. The child of the king and queen fell into the seemingly endless abyss along with Rumpelstiltskin’s corpse. The queen cried in agony as she lost sight of her son with the king forcefully carrying her off to safety.

Months went by as the king and queen both mourned their lost child. After learning the truth behind everything, the king could never forgive his wife for the deal she agreed to. The queen returned to the spin wheel after a long time of not using it. It was then that she realized she could no longer spin straw into gold. The death of Rumpelstiltskin also spelled the end of the magic he’d taught her. Having lost everything, the kingdom of the faraway land eventually became nothing more than a forgotten fairy tale.

When I was young, I missed out on a lot of the popular fairy tales most people grew up with. Having finally read Rumpelstiltskin, I thought I’d do my own little take on the same classic tale.

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