Last November I participated in REUTS Publications’ contest Project REUTSway. Each week, writers were given a prompt to use to retell a fairy tale. Each prompt was a supernatural creature (vampires, zombies, demons and werewolves).
Two out of the three stories I submitted were chosen for an anthology, which will be published at a later date.
My third story was a runner-up. Each week since February, REUTS has been featuring one of the runner-up stories on their blog.
Today was my turn!
This is the story I submitted for Week 1, the week for vampire stories. I based it on The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. An optional part of the challenge was to tell the story from a character other than the protagonist of the original tale. Since The Little Mermaid’s sisters play a key role in the story, I decided to tell mine from the point of view of one sister.
In preparation for writing the story, I reread a version of Andersen’s original story online. The first thing that struck me was that his mermaids couldn’t cry. I thought, what if the same were true of vampires? That, and the relationship between the sisters, were my key inspiration. From there, the story took shape.
REUTS is posting all these stories in their raw state, so there was no editing. (Yeesh, I was cringing a lot this morning as I noticed my typos and other errors!)
Unfortunately, I never gave the story a title! Anyone want to make a suggestion? Tell me in the comments!
Here’s a short snippet and a link to the rest of the story. I hope you enjoy:
We have no tears, so we suffer more.
This is something the human world does not know about us.
I can’t shed tears for my sister.
And so I suffer for eternity.
I could not tell you when my sister and I became what we became. Our maker never presented himself or herself to us. We had to learn the ways of our new state by ourselves. It wasn’t easy, but we had each other and it wasn’t so bad.
We couldn’t remember our names, so we named ourselves. We awakened in a place that spoke a language we didn’t understand very well, but theorized we had been taught some of it at some point.
I named myself Dolores. My sister called herself Melia.
We kept to ourselves. We didn’t have much choice. One only had to look at us to know there was something off. I don’t remember much about the early days, but I do remember screaming in terror when I looked into Melia’s red eyes for the first time. We’re so pale our skin could be made of bleached linen. We had been very young when we had turned—not children, but not quite adults, either.
Melia longed for the world we didn’t belong to anymore far more than I did. I would see her wistful look the nights we hunted, as we passed homes lit up on the inside and heard voices carrying across the wind. She always wanted to pause and listen to them, while I urged her to forget and move on.