Now available from Dark Opus Press: Tell Me a Fable, an anthology of dark short fiction retelling Grimm’s fairy tales, edited by A.W. Gifford and Jennifer L. Gifford. Included is my story, “Eyeless Old Gothel”, based upon the story of Rapunzel.
Once upon a time… These words begin one of the most enduring forms of literature, the fable. Timeless in its history and simple in its morality, it’s our legacy, passed down in written form. Of all the fables, Grimm’s fairytales hold a special place in our collective hearts. Favorites like Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, Snow White and Little Red Cap are retold in this collection with a modern flare. Stories by: K. Trap Jones, Danielle N. Gales, Wendy N. Wagner, Kristal Stittle, Vivian Caethe, Anne Bean, David Turnbull, Marie Michaels, Mark A. France, Benjamin T. Smith, Jason Barney, Wendy Nikel and Brenda Kezar
Rapunzel she shall be called, after the least of the herbs the thief had stolen. A girl born with sin deep in her heart, just like her mother. Just like old Gothel.
Old Gothel takes the infant, as is the price. The demon wretch mother, see how she begs with her hollow words, how she cries her empty tears for her child. Old Gothel slams the door on her, trapping her inside with her lascivious deceits. Others with keen eyes can watch her close now that the truth of her shame is revealed.
The father–her little sneak-thief–he begs her so. “Must it be this way?” he pleads.
He’s tall, this one, his body the product of long, heavy hours under the sun; such strength is but a trifle before the weakness in his soul. Gothel sees him from a great distance before swooping in with her sight, sees the nights he lies with his demon woman, flesh all twisted and glistening and excited and mounting and full and ripe and bursting and, and, and… Oh, how she hates him. She sees it and it burns, scolds her deep. Look upon his eyes now, all wet weakness and regret. See how he averts them from her hideousness–her scarred face, her hairless head, the strip of coarse black cloth wrapped where her eyes once sat.
To read the rest, as well as check out all of the other stories, pick up a copy below!
- Tell Me a Fable (wendynikel.wordpress.com)