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Friday, January 6, 2012

Sleeping Beauty, Rape, and Cannibalism, oh my!

I'm working on a Sleeping Beauty retelling, so I though I'd share an early version of Sleeping Beauty. Here goes:

When a great lord has a baby daughter, he brings together wise men and astrologers to foresee her future. These men conclude that Talia will be put in great danger by a splinter of flax. So, of course, the lord bans flax.

Talia grows up into a beautiful young woman. She sees an old woman spinning flax and is intrigued, having never seen anything like this before. She begs to try, but a splinter of flax goes under her nail and she drops down dead. The old woman runs away. (Suspicious? Hmm.)

Talia's father is so distressed that he can't even bury his daughter. He instead has her dressed in beautiful clothes, places her in a country estate, and abandons the estate forever. (This is a good plan - he probably thought it would start to smell.)

Along comes a king. He's hunting in the forest, stumbles upon this estate, and finds the place empty except for Talia. She's very beautiful and the king finds himself lusting for her, so he tries to wake her and he can not. So he gathers her up and takes her to a bed, and rapes her.

(That's right - there's no true love's kiss here. Our sleeping beauty is raped.)

The king then returns to his own kingdom and forgets about the incident.

Meanwhile, Talia is asleep and not dead. She becomes pregnant, and after nine months gives birth to a girl and a boy. While the infants are trying to nurse, one mistakes her finger for her breast and sucks out the piece of flax. Talia promptly awakes and is confused about how the babies got there, but she loves them anyway. She names them Sun and Moon, and nice fairies attend to her, bringing food and drink. (Why doesn't she go home? This seems like a good time to leave the empty estate, and go find that loving father. She doesn't.)

Then one day, the King remembered Talia and thought to himself, I will see if she is still there, so I can rape her again. He says he is going hunting, and journeys back to the country estate. He is overjoyed to find Talia awake and meet the two toddlers. (I actually think this would have been an "Oh crap" situation, not a "Yay! My victim is awake!" kind of thing.) They talk, and find themselves falling in love.

(Um. No comment.)

The king finally decides to go home to his wife. He's so besotted with his babes that he says their names in his sleep. His wife is jealous, and sends someone out to collect the children. She then gives them to the cook to bake for dinner.

The cook is horrified, so he gives the babies to his wife and instead butchers two baby lambs. (I like the cook.)

The queen feeds the lambs to her husband. The queen tells him that his is eating what is his own. He doesn't understand her, and storms out angrily.

The queen sends for Talia. She is going to boil her in a large pot for being a whore. Talia stalls, taking off her pretty clothes first. The king comes in before she's put in the pot and is enraged, and has his wife boiled instead.

The cook brings forth the babes he saved, and together Talia and the king live long and happy lives.

This is summarised from the version of "Sun, Moon, and Talia" here, where the last line is: "The person who is favored by fortune has good luck even while sleeping." No, really. It says that.

I think it should end:

Talia explains to the queen that she was raped. "Oh, my filthy husband!" exclaims the queen. The king walks in and together, Talia and the queen boil him in the pot.

The End.

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