Rumpelstiltskin and His Husband
By Eva Nemirovsky (Bek516)
Twisted from Rumpelstiltskin
Once upon a time, two men lived in a cottage in the woods that had space for a child. These two men were Fisil Rumpelstiltskin and his husband, Markus Roak. They wanted a child desperately, but they didn’t know what to do.
They sat around their kitchen table, mugs of tea in hand, and racked their brains for a solution to their problem.
“What if we went to the local orphanage?” suggested Markus at first.
“No, they would never let us adopt a child; we’re a ‘bad influence’ on children because of our relationship, remember?” Fisil scowled.
“All right, well what do you suggest we do?” Markus’s cold, calculating blue eyes revealed a hidden passion behind them, one only ever revealed to Fisil and, even then, rarely.
It was as if a light clicked on in the small ginger’s head. “I can’t believe I forgot about this! My childhood friend, the miller’s daughter, owes me a favor; more than that, she promised me her firstborn child if she were to marry the king, which she did. I can go to her,” Fisil said, beaming up at his mountain of a husband.
Markus nodded, thoughtfully. “All right, I don’t see why not.”
“Great! I’ll leave tomorrow, then!”
The following morning found Fisil approaching the palace; he stood awestruck and dumbfounded in front of the magnificent gates. The queen was delighted to see her friend, and quickly led him into her private study so that they could speak as equals.
She placed her crown down on the desk and offered him tea from her private stock, but he refused. She looked into his green eyes quizzically. “Is something the matter, Fisil?” She laid her soft hand on his.
“No, nothing is the matter; I’ve simply come to collect the debt you owe me for saving your life.” Fisil pulled his hand away from hers and rested his chin on his knuckles.
“Your firstborn child,” he said blatantly.
“What?! Why?” The queen placed a hand over her abdomen, sheltering the life that grew there.
“Because! Because I’m gay and I’m married. I cannot have a biological child from my union with my husband so I’ve come to take what you’ve promised me.” Recognition flashed in the queen’s eye; that was all the prompting that he needed. “You’ll barely miss it. I’m sure you’ll have plenty of children, and it’s not as if we would starve the poor thing; both of us would care for it as if it were truly born of our union.”
Clarissa looked down at where her hand rested and then back up at his face, “No, Fisil. I can’t.” Her voice cracked, “Please don’t ask this of me. Just, please, leave.” She pushed him out the door and slammed it shut behind him before sliding down the door shakily.
Fisil stood there in shock. He fumed and turned, punching the wall beside him; his knuckles bled but he didn’t care, he would try again tomorrow. He would continue to try until she gave in.
He came again the next morning and repeated his request, again the queen refused, and once more the door shut in his face, but Fisil would not back away. He kept coming back, again and again, and the cycle just kept repeating over and over until, finally, the queen realized that Fisil would not stop coming, and she reluctantly agreed.
As each month came and went and the date of the birth grew closer, both Fisil and the queen grew increasingly anxious: one with excitement, the other with dread.
On the day the royal birth was announced, Fisil came for the child, holding his arms out expectantly.
The queen refused. “No, you cannot take my son for he is too clever.”
“But you promised me your firstborn!” Fisil shouted.
“I know, I know. I promise I’ll give you the next one.” The queen appeased the small fuming man and Fisil had to settle with another one of her fickle promises.
Another nine anxious months passed and soon Fisil stood again before the queen, demanding for her second child to be passed into his care.
Again the queen refused. “No, you cannot take my son for he is too strong.” He asked for her next child, and the queen agreed. Again, they waited anxiously and again Fisil asked for her child to be given to him.
The queen refused again. “No, you cannot take my son for he is too handsome.” Fisil did not ask for her next child as his heart could no longer take this cold rejection. He ran back to his little cottage in the woods, sobbing.
Fisil felt his husband’s arms engulf him in a comforting hug and Fisil took the comfort gratefully. Markus brewed tea for his husband and cooed to him; he whispered soft comforts into Fisil’s ears. After a long time in this cocoon of comfort, Fisil had calmed down enough to explain just why he was so upset.
“Markus, it was horrible. Clarissa broke her promise to me three times over. It is true her sons are what she said they are: clever, strong, and handsome, but she broke her promise and she broke my faith in our friendship. Markus, I just want to be able to raise a child with you; is that really so much to ask?” Fisil’s voice shook and his green eyes shone with leftover tears.
“No, no, of course it’s not too much to ask, Fisil. What if I go to ask for the next child?”
“No!” He shouted desperately. “She’ll just break her promise like she did with me. I don’t want to see you hurt.” He pouted, looking up at Markus.
“Fisil,” he said softly, taking his partner’s small hands in his own, “it already pains me to see you cry. Please let me at least try.” Markus would not budge; he was as stubborn as a rock. Fisil knew this, and the next morning Markus set out toward the castle.
He crept past the guards and easily gained entrance to the castle proper. He knocked on the study door of the queen and waited for a reply.
A servant stepped out of the room and looked up at Markus’s looming presence; the small girl squeaked and, in a small voice, said, “Who are you and what do you want of the queen?”
“I request an audience with her. My name is Markus Roak, the husband of the queen’s friend, Fisil. I’ve come in his stead.” The girl disappeared inside the room and came back out to escort the big man inside.
“Come in,” said the small girl, leading him inside. She bowed at the queen and took her place far behind the queen.
“Your Majesty, I am Markus and I’ve come—”
The queen cut him off. “I know why you’ve come, Markus Roak. I will give you my next child, as I promised to Fisil. That is the end of the matter; anything else before I have you escorted out?”
“Nothing at all, you’ve hit the nail on the head.” Markus stood wordlessly and left the chamber without a bow and without an escort.
The time passed quickly and soon on a cold winter night, the queen gave birth to a baby girl. Markus was there, ready to accept the small child, for the babe was late and Markus had been hanging around the castle for a few days. He was prepared for rejection but he held out his arms for the babe regardless.
“Might I have the child now, my Queen?”
The queen looked down at the girl and recoiled, nearly shoving the child into his arms. “Here, you take the girl. I have no need for an ugly, dark-haired babe.”
Markus didn’t care about the child’s appearance; actually, he found her quite stunning. He took the babe swaddled in red cloth, bowed, and left the room. The infant slept as they traveled back to the small cottage in the woods.
Fisil was sleeping by the time Markus stepped inside their home. Markus laid the girl down in her crib, and went to wake Fisil.
Markus shook his shoulder, saying, “Fisil, get up!” Fisil woke quickly, afraid something terrible had happened but it was, in fact, quite the opposite. A miracle had occurred. In the room next to theirs, the infant slept swaddled in her red cloth and wrapped in blankets.
Fisil was in tears as he beheld the radiant beauty of their daughter. They slept well that night and the next morning, they named the girl Raven, for her dark curly locks.
The family of three lived happily and did not hear from the queen, until a year later, when a notice was sent out throughout the kingdom stating that the queen had passed away during the birth of her fifth child.
Fisil, Markus, and Raven never worried that the queen could come after them. The three of them lived in peace in their cottage in the woods for the rest of their days.