Saturday, January 14, 2006

Thumbelina: Vladimir the wanker

Thumbelina
section n: Vladimir the wanker


One spring evening, as Thumbelina sat on a table outdoors painting the sunset, a frog watched her from behind some bushes. The frog had a son who had remained unmarried for two years already, and she was on the lookout for possible brides for him.

The frog thought Thumbelina would make a suitable bride, for she was indeed a very beautiful girl. The frog then hopped up the table, and grabbed Thumbelina, and quickly bounded away on her. Poor Thumbelina did not even have time to scream for help.

For several minutes, the frog held on to the struggling Thumbelina as they hopped away from the house at great speed, leaping easily over tree roots and across puddles of water. Had Thumbelina been invited for such a journey, she would surely have been excited and thrilled at the speed. However, she was kidnapped, and she was frightened.

They came to a stop at the edge of a quiet stream, and the frog called out to her son, “Vladimir, come here. I’ve found you a bride.”

From below the surface, her son Vladimir emerged at the water’s edge. He cast his large, bulging, black and yellow eyes at Thumbelina, and was immediately enchanted by her beauty. “She’s beautiful,” he said softly to nobody in particular. Thumbelina felt uncomfortable being stared at by those huge yellow eyes with black slits in the middle. Their gaze pierced her, as if they were assessing her merits like a shopper would estimate the worth of an item on the store shelf.

She stared back at the eyes, in an attempt to outstare Vladimir. She stared unblinkingly at the eyes, those ugly, monstrous eyes. Vladimir continued staring at her.

After a while, Thumbelina’s eyes began to dry, and she had to blink. She felt that she had lost the little staring contest with Vladimir, although in fact frogs do not engage in such activities. Little did she know that due to the shape of their eyelids, frogs cannot blink.

Vladimir continued staring at Thumbelina, gazing from top to bottom, then bottom to top. It was like he was looking for a flaw or defect in her before deciding what to do with her.

Finally, he made a decision. “I’ll take you as my bride.”
“No!” cried Thumbelina, “I don’t even know you.”
“We can get to know each other better after we get married,” suggested the frog, “I love you, do you know that?”
“You’re mad. How can someone fall in love in a minute?”
“You’re beautiful. That’s enough for me,” replied Vladimir, “some would say it’s love at first sight.”
“I’m still not marrying you,” Thumbelina crossed her little arms across her chest.
“It does not matter what you say or feel,” Vladimir said. “I’ll just put you on that leave while I prepare for the wedding.”

Without warning, Vladimir grasped Thumbelina and hopped into the water. He swam out to a floating lily pad, on which he left Thumbelina.

“Stay still, or you’ll fall into the water.” With that, Vladimir turned around and left to prepare for his upcoming wedding.


***


Just joking about the title. 'Vladimir the wanker' is not a very refined chapter name is it?

This is an experimental foray into fairy tales, hence the (attempt at) slightly simplified sentence structures. Section n-1 was even simpler, but I tired of it. It even started to look a little like those frightful Hardy Boys sentences.

Feedback of all sorts very, very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.


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7 Comments:

Blogger 小李飞刀 said...

Found it to be quite a good read, clear and simple.

Personally, I think it would be more fun if you injected more cynicism into your story telling.

Like maybe cast thumbelina as a typical vainglorious blonde..etc

Well thats my 2 pence anyway...

12:35 am, January 16, 2006  
Blogger Ah Pek said...

i personally thinks that this is a very good start. not that i'm a good writer or what.

9:57 am, January 16, 2006  
Blogger Lao Chen said...

Yuan Harng:
Thanks for the feedback.

I'm tempted with cynicism and do a twisted version- that would be fun. But my objective this time is to try make Thumbelina a little more interesting, and also give the protagonist a bit of character. Target market remains the same: kids. Thus no hedonistic stuff like sex, violence or automobiles.


Ah Pek:
Thats nice...

I'd like to contest the second point. In fact, a cousin recently dropped your Talk Story link to me. Told me this guy is good. To which i replied i already have this page on my links list.

5:13 pm, January 16, 2006  
Blogger plink said...

I like. :)
You're going for the slow-buildup-with-surprise-ending approach?
Kesian Thumbelina. Poor Vladimir also, being tagged (*snicker*) with that sort of a monicker.

5:47 pm, January 16, 2006  
Blogger Lao Chen said...

:D

You're partly right. Slow built up, yes. I'm writing a few sentences every now and then, so it'll take ages to reach any degree of maturity.

Surprise ending, no. I intend to stay with the original storyline as much as possible, maybe with some extra dialogue and characters to add some colour. So the spoiler can be actually found by reading children's books.

"And they lived happily ever after"

Wheee!

7:59 pm, January 16, 2006  
Blogger sonia said...

Hahaha... But... u'll encourage children to kidnap someone to be their bride, becos all will turn out well! *lol*..

Anyway, it's clear & nice.. =)

1:12 am, January 17, 2006  
Blogger Lao Chen said...

Heavens, no!

Vladimir himself does not get a happy ending. I'm actually planning to add a little section detailing his embarassment and misery upon discovering that Thumbelina is gone.

The original story by Anderson has Thumbelina escaping the frog (toad), then being kinnapped by a mayfly, then abandoned, then forced to marry a mole, then being whisked to safety/freedom, then meeting a fairy prince. THEN they live happily ever after.

8:06 am, January 17, 2006  

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