Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
A Modern Day Tale Based on Something Grimm

A Modern Day Tale Based on Something Grimm



|Views: 91|Likes:
Published by Steve U
Updating a sad tale by the Brothers Grimm...set in today's world.
Updating a sad tale by the Brothers Grimm...set in today's world.

More info:

Published by: Steve U on Jun 26, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





A Modern Day Fairy Tale, based on something Grimm
I.I had just buried my parents, the cemetery receding in the rear-view mirror of my car as acollection of miniature Stonehenge monoliths, their meaning dim to me. The stones werediminishing in size but that was not decreasing the pain in my memory. I had been veryclose, and the health care at the end had drained not only my emotions, my beliefs, butalso my finances. So there was nothing to do but stop for a drink at a tavern on the wayhome.He was there, you see, at the bar. Well, you don’t see him there now, for he only appearsto the forlorn or the foolish at the moment of tripping over themselves.“Hello”, he said, running his hand over his slicked back hair, thick with that crusted wetlook. He looked at me with eyes lit up by the fires of a thousand suns. I could not tell hisage as he had one of those timeless looks to him. “You have had some tragedy in your life recently, I see.” The words were spoken by a voice that made the sound of sacredand profane sands blowing on the evening dirge of a windstorm.1
“Too bad.” I turned to my other side, and there was a woman, dusky with beauty thatwas shadowed by the lack of light in the bar, dark hair falling to shoulders that were bareand immediately called to parts of me that were not supposed to be in play at this junctureof my life, at least at this moment. “Too bad, my friend,” she said in a voice thatreminded me of a train pulling into a station with the hiss of a thousand loved ones left behind. She reached out to touch my arm as she said this. It was all I could do to look away.The man took up the slack in the conversation, as my head swiveled dumbly back to him.“Are you down on your luck, financially, too?” He shook his head, and sipped his drink.“A shame.”I nodded, not really knowing if I wanted to agree with him or not, and drained my beer,leaving foam to lick at the corners of my mouth. I licked back.He nodded, finishing his whiskey. “I have a solution for you. Would you like to hear it?” He didn’t look at me.I spoke for the first time. “If you buy me another beer, I will be your captive audience.”He smiled, his teeth seeming a bit too white for someone selling something innocuous.“Very good, sir. Very good. So here’s your deal. Very simple, really. All you need todo is spend seven years wearing nothing but a white robe, and you cannot shave your  beard, trim your nails, bathe, or pray. I’ll give you more than enough money to livecomfortably with for those seven years. If you survive the seven years, I will give youimmeasurable wealth for the rest of your life. If you don’t survive, your soul is thedevil’s.” The man drained his drink, cocked his head, and smiled while he looked at me,waiting for his answer. The woman leaned forward, laughing, looking between us back and forth, back and forth. I barely heard the music in the tavern as I tried to comprehendwhat had been offered.I played the offer over in my head.I took my new beer and downed it in one gulp, and nodded. “Show me the money…putthe immeasurable wealth in some sort of trust that goes to me in seven years, unless I die,in which case it goes to some charity. Then, sure. I’ll do it.”The man’s eyes went wide. “Very good, Sir. Very good. I’ll draw up the documents,and we shall meet back here in one week. All shall be arranged.” The woman laughedand they both got up from their barstools. He grabbed her arm in a very old country,courtly manner, and left.One week later, I was back at the tavern, and saw the same man and woman. They werewaiting for me. I had a lawyer with me, though he seemed to be there against his good judgment. The legal documents for the deal were drawn out and reviewed. My lawyer 2
shook his head but said the documents were legal, all except the part about the soul goingto the devil. “Not even lawyers can make that happen.” The man and woman sniffed andgiggled to themselves. The lawyer shook his head, looked at me, and asked if there wasanything else for which he was needed. I dismissed him.The documents signed, we went out to the man’s car where he had the robe. I changedand was handed a debit card which was to an account to which I was assured would payfor my needs. “One thing,” I asked. “Where did you get this crazy idea? And how doyou know I will keep my end of the bargain?”The old man nodded. “A good point. Hmmm…I suppose we shall have to check up onyou.” We made arrangements to get my key copied at once so they could check on meunannounced. “As to the idea, why, I read it in a fairy tale you know.
 by Gebrüder Grimm.” He smiled.II.I spent the next seven years as prescribed. Enrobed, bearded, slovenly, some would say.All my needs were cared for, however, as promised. I even upgraded my computer,home theater, books, whatever I wanted I bought. I also most carefully read the Bearskintale by the Brother’s Grimm. In that tale, a soldier, destitute and home from the war,made a deal with the devil. However, during his seven years he gave freely to people sothey would pray for him, and eventually through a beauty and the beast sort of thing,found his bride. Now that I knew the rules, I endeavored to copy the hero’s behavior.Thus, I made many withdrawals of money to give to people in need.I watched bulletin boards and telephone poles advertising barbeques to raise money for cancer victims who had no health insurance. I would pay for their care. I donated toys atChristmastime for orphans. I put my arm around homeless men holding up cardboardsigns saying they would work for food, and took them home, fed them, and loaded their  pockets with money.One day, I looked in the mirror and thought, ‘
Why, I look rather like Jesus, what with thebeard, hair, and robe.
Or were we culturally acclimated to assume anyone with beard,hair, and white robe looked like Jesus? I shrugged. I almost felt like Jesus.However, unlike in the story, no widowed father offered me the hand of his daughter inthanks. Still, coming up on my sixth year, I was fairly used to the routines I had now,and actually somewhat happy. So it was that I made my regular trip to an ATM, beforeheading home for the night. I withdrew as much money as the machine would let me.Waiting for the money to be offered by the machine, I nodded to the gentleman in a capwith some racing car symbol on it, smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk a few feet away.He nodded back, that barely perceptible guy nod that says, “Yep.” His eyes, however,took in my robe, which was quite discolored, my beard, and grin. He shook his head,looked away, and took another drag on his cigarette.3

Activity (14)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
kdpgrahi liked this
Steve U liked this
Steve U liked this
Steve U liked this
Jim Ullo liked this
Sal Page liked this
Steve U liked this
Jim Ullo liked this
Steve U liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->