Voice:One who wins writes history.
"Dear mister,can you spare me a coin?" the boy asked hopefully.
The man just took a glimpse at the boy before he went back on his way.The boy meanwhile continued begging,asking passersby a dime or so,intending to collect enough coins to buy him something to eat.Perhaps a loaf of bread,perhaps a ring of donuts. He had been on the street since past dawn,but all he could get by noon was 3 pieces of gold coins.It was not enough but he was too hungry.So he ran to the bakery,waited until the baker's wife was on the counter,before running in to buy a loaf of bread.Like any other day,the baker's wife would sell to the boy at a very cheap price.In fact she would have feed the boy gratis,if not for the boy reluctance,afraid to be accused of stealing.So the boy walked away with a loaf of bread everyday,donuts on exceptions.
However that day was different,as the baker was back to the shop early.He spotted the boy walking with a loaf of bread, quickly grabbed the boy by the collar,before shaking the boy roughly that the boy dropped the bread he was about to eat.
"Thief!How dare you put your dirty hands on my breads.Why i would like to feed you to the hounds,if not only for my good heart."
"But I bought them sir.Honest!"
"Oh now you are lying eh?How can you pay?With your lice?"
"No,honestly sir.I bought it.You can ask the the missus."
The baker called for his wife,who came out ascared.By that time a crowd has gathered to watch the boy interrogated.
"It's true.He paid for the bread," she said.
The baker stood dumbfounded,slowly letting the boy go.The crowd began to lose interest and disperse when the baker suddenly said,
"Bring me the money."
His wife showed him the money,before he shouted,
"Aha.You wicked urchin.You tricked my wife.This is not enough to buy a bread."The baker picked up the fallen bread,cut it into halves and gave it to the boy."I pity you,so you can half a half of it.Now go."The boy scurried quickly from the distrustful eyes of the crowd,people continued their work and the baker went back into the bakery before throwing the other half of bread away.
The boy was finally about to eat the bread when someone punched him in the face.A group of children stood in front of him and their leader spoke,
"You stupid.Now everyone hates orphans.All because of you.It would have been better if you stole the bread,instead of making an attraction of yourself."The leader walked to him and took the bread from the boy.
"You want to eat it?"
The boy nodded.
"Then you must do us a favor.Nego here said he saw someone near the bridge.Go asked if he is him."
"You don't mean it's the monster,is it?!No,no,please!I don't want to be eaten."
"Shut up!Do you want the bread or not?"
The boy peered over the bridge but he saw no one.He was about to disclose it to the other children when suddenly they shoved him over the bridge.A bush broke his fall , but the boy was paralyzed by fear when a figure started to move from under the bridge,approaching the boy. The group of children watching from above the bridge scampered away as they saw movement below.The boy was left alone,trembling with fear but the figure move as sudden as he appeared back into the shadows of the bridge.The boy was relieved and was about to ran away when his curiosity took the best of him.Slowly he approached the figure,until he saw that it was actually a man,a short man that is.Not more than four feet high.
"Are you..are you Rumpelstiltskin,mister?"the boy suddenly asked.
"So now all the people knows me by this name,is it?"
"Then you are Rumpelstiltskin,aren't you?"
"Sit down and silence your stomach with this sandwich."
The boy suddenly remembered he hadn't eaten all day,so he sat down under the bridge,munching on a sandwich while Rumpelstiltskin told a story.A story about himself.
It all began when a young king came along a road when he heard a cry and saw a baby in a basket lying on the side of the road.The king took the baby home and saved it from frozen to death.Although the baby was deformed,the king raised him well without any trace of disdain.The baby grew up and was named Rupert and only known as Rupert to the king.It was however an open secret that the servants called the boy Rumpelstiltskin behind his presence,as they were afraid that the king would punish them if his Highness was to overhear.Thus everyone would call him Rupert,even the king's newborn son, the prince.
The prince grew up under Rupert's tutelage and later when the king was on his deathbed,his highness asked that Rupert would advise the prince on his way to become a just and loving ruler.The sad Rupert held his promise and the new king reign wisely until one day the new king went for a ride.Then he came upon a road,the same road his father went down years before, and his highness met with a miller.The miller claimed that his daughter could spin gold out of hay,a highly unbelievable story.The new king was interested thus the miller's daughter was shut in a room full of hay and was asked to spun it into gold.Upon the miller's daughter saying that she did not knew how to spin gold,the new king replied,
"You must,or your father will pay."
Upon hearing this she expected the worst would fall upon her father that she began to cry in despair.Rupert who was observing from afar felt sorry for the girl that he begged the new king to let her go,but in vain.Rupert then decided to help the girl by throwing the hay away and replacing them with gold that he obtained from the Royal treasury.The girl was surprised as she woke up and saw the room was full of gold.Moreover the king was perplexed that he moved the miller's daughter into another room full of hay.Again Rupert pleaded for the girl release but also didn't succeed.Thus Rupert helped the girl once more by filling the room with golds.
The next day the king was still surprised,so the miller's daughter was moved to yet another room full of hay.This time however she said,
"If I were to spin all this hay into gold,would it be the last for me?Furthermore i beg Your Highness to grant me a wish."
"If you were to finish it,and that is only if,then I will release you and I will grant you any wish you desire," the king replied.
Alas the miller's daughter had conceived a plan and she knew that Rupert would help her as it would be his pleasure to finally see the girl released.As expected,the next day the room was full of gold and the girl was free to go.She however didn't went back home,not before asking the king to fulfill her wish.
She wished to be queen.
Rupert was all against it but the king agreed thus a grand wedding ensued.
Thus the miller's daughter became queen.
The new queen loved to hold balls and dances, and during these occasions the queen would somehow asked Rupert for favors such as mending the curtains in the Royal room or fixing the broken cellar door.It was soon clear to Rupert that the queen was irked by his presence that he stopped to attend any functions whatsoever.It was also clear that the servants had lose respect,or rather their fear,that they are seen sneering at Rupert even when he is in sight.The final blow came however when the queen had a baby.
The whole kingdom was overjoyed at the newborn baby and so was Rupert.As the baby boy aged three months old,Rupert one day walked into the baby's room to take a glimpse of the him.The baby was fair and comely that Rupert was impelled to take into his arm.Suddenly a scream almost made Rupert drop the baby.Thus Rupert turned around and saw the queen frightened face,who quickly snatched the baby from him.Shortly the king arrived.Before Rupert could say anything,the queen accused him of harming the child,one that he defiantly denied, but the king was not in his right mind,that he said,
"Silence!You ungrateful being.You Rumpelstiltskin."
Never was he disturbed called by that name but that day he felt dejected.So he went away and never to be seen again.
"But didn't you asked the miller's daughter's ring?" asked the boy.
"Actually no,I didn't.It isn't true," Rupert answered.
"Were you..uhm..going to eat the baby?"
"Haha.I'm sure the sandwich you ate taste better.Now that is enough story for you.You better go home now."
"If you don't mind, may I sleep here with you tonight?"
Rupert didn't reply so the boy laid beside him.It was not long before both of them were sound asleep.
Their sleep however was disturbed when a hand suddenly grabbed the boy.Rupert woke up but before he could get up he was knocked on the back.Sprawling on the earth,he looked around and saw a whole crowd of people gathered,an angry mob carrying torches and forks and one of them was holding the boy tightly.
A person from the mob spoke and it was no one else than the baker.
"You monster!You tried to steal the Queen's child and now you tried to steal one of our children?"
"No he didn't.He is a nice person.He didn't..."the boy was cut short.
"Shut up!Bring the child away!"said the baker."Now people,will we let this devil go away for his act?"
No replied the mob in unison.
"Then let us condemn him back to the hell he came from so none of our children would fall victim."
Fueled by their fear by the unknown and unfamiliarity,flamed by their insecurity, the mob began to persecute Rupert.He was kicked down as he tried to get up and when he couldn't get up anymore he was stepped on upon.
Rumpelstiltskin in his rage drove his right foot so far into the ground that it sank in up to his waist; then in a passion he seized the left foot with both hands and tore himself in two.The End.
Illustration done by Amir Safwan Shuib