The Golden Queen

The queen sat by the fire and hummed softly to her son, rocking his cradle softly.  The king, delighted by a boy, had yet disapproved of her choice.  A ridiculous name, he’d said.  Not fit for the heir to a kingdom.

And yet she’d had her way.  She always did, now.  Her father had sold her, and the king had locked her in a room full of straw and threatened to kill her, but that was over, all over.  She was the queen who had spun straw into gold, and if there had been another in that tower room, if there had been promises made, that had been before.  She was the golden queen and could do no wrong.

They burst into the room, an angry swarm of king and advisors and guards, and the imp.  The imp stood alone with uncanny grace, skin dusky, eyes only for her.  He raised his hand, and a hush fell, the kingdom’s great men choked to silence on their own choler.

“It is the third day, and your last chance.”  His voice was like smoke and forest honey.  “Can you guess my name?”

She met his eyes for a long moment, the months of waiting and knowing and powerlessness all boiling to the surface, plain on both their faces.  Then she smiled, and reached down a hand to touch her sleeping son.  “Rumleskaft.”  The king reared back as if bitten.  She could see the imp smiling out of the corner of her eye.

“You have me.”  He made a half bow.  “What is your wish?”  His golden eyes were knowing.

She gathered up the baby in her arms.  He opened his eyes sleepily, and a flash of gold showed through the brown before he gurgled happily and closed his eyes again.  “I wish to leave this place.”

A deep bow, then she was in his arms.  “As you desire.”  Rumleskaft touched the baby’s cheek, then wrapped the darkness around them and swept them silently away.


This week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge called for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word GRACE (noun):

For more fairy tale retellings, click on the Fairy Tale category on the sidebar or see the full list on the Fiction page.  Thanks for reading!
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  1. Atreyee says:

    Love the twist in the famous fairy tale-a flash of gold the baby’s eyes,eh?Loved it:-)

  2. This is a great retelling. It flows nicely and is well written. 🙂

  3. JannaTWrites says:

    This was an interesting story – I enjoyed it!

  4. Very cool twist! Enjoyed it.

  5. Brian says:

    Nice update to a classic – and great cinematic descriptions. I particularly liked that last line.

  6. Ben says:

    Nice. Like the others, I liked the twist. Much more fun than the original.

  7. Draug419 says:

    I like this retelling. Great job.

  8. Valerie says:

    Very original!!

    And I loved this line-

    ” Rumleskaft touched the baby’s cheek, then wrapped the darkness around them and swept them silently away.”


  9. JenKehl says:

    Chills…. seriously. Rumpelstiltskin is my favorite of all of the Grimm’s. We read them all often as part of our homeschooling curriculum, but even still I found the most benign version to read to my son when he was very young, before I knew we would read so much of their other works.
    I too loved it as a child.
    Your diversion/version is beautiful, vivid and perfect. Thank you.
    AND as a Trifecta newbie, I am going to be all over your fairy tale re-tellings!!

  10. Imelda says:

    I love this re-telling. 🙂 Good for the queen.

  11. Maria M says:

    Loved this, vivid, fast paced and the ending was perfect.

  12. Michael says:

    Now that was an interesting take on the classic story. I like your Rumleskaft a lot better than Rumpel-whatshisname.

  13. sonya says:

    Good job!

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