a gold stained fairytale

Edit: Hi everyone! This was a really short story I wrote while I was on my trip to Beijing at the start of this year. I'm not entirely happy with it but I hope you enjoy it. 

inspired by the song “Rabbit Heart” by Florence + the machine

Once upon a time, there was a foolish young king by the name of Midas. Desperate for the wealth and glamour of legends of old, he offered up his soul to the witch doctor Mephistopheles, hoping for the power to turn every object he laid hands upon into gold. 

Mephistopheles was all too happy to grant the king his wish, and soon, Midas ordered his servants to buy enormous amounts of bronze and iron jewellery, before laying his golden touch to each russet surface. It was barely enough - he swept his hands over chairs of cheap wood and cloth of peasant cotton, turning every object into solid gold.

Yet, when the time came for Mephistopheles to collect his payment, Midas refused to budge, forcing the witch doctor to seek payment elsewhere. He spied the young and beautiful lover that stayed by Midas’ side, and decided that a threat to Midas’ love would surely cause the king to hand over his soul. Raising a sharp claw above her throat as she slept, he would cut her throat swiftly if Midas did not budge.

But Midas was too enraptured by his new power to send her a second glance, and so Mephistopheles woke the lover and urged her to embrace the king in congratulations of his new wealth. 

Midas absentmindedly did so, and to his horror, his beautiful queen slowly morphed to gold. With tears in her eyes at recognition of her fate, a thrill of guilt enthralled Midas’ heart. With a new request, Midas begged Mephistopheles to raise the curse at his soul’s exchange.

Mephistopheles took pity and promised only that his lover would be frozen in time and that her prison of gold would fade in a set amount of time, in exchange for Midas’ soul.

Desperate, Midas agreed. His final action was to set his lover on a pedestal in his vast and rich garden, before handing his soul over to the witch doctor.

Years passed.

Like old peeling paint, the first layer of gold fell off of Midas’ lover’s skin. As her eyes took in the earthly world for the first time in an age, she gasped at the sight before her. The palace she lived in  for many years with her beloved king had fallen, with only ruins left behind, while the garden around her was overgrown with weeds and loneliness. 

She fell to the parched grass floor on her knees and wept in despair. 

No comments:

Post a Comment