If you find yourself stuck for a short story idea, why not rework a fairytale? Let’s take Cinderella, as an example. You could write your story after the supposed ‘happy ever after’. Your story could centre around the ugly sisters’ revenge. What they do and if they succeed is up to you. Or there’s no reason why your fairy princess can’t have a dark side. You could turn your fairytale into a horror story, or even take it up into space.
There are all sorts of possibles – see where your imagination takes you. My imagination has taken the story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ and given it a modern, humorous feel and changed the gender of Goldilocks! This is just a bit of fun. I hope you enjoy it:
Goldie, Three Bears and a Fairy Godmother
Once upon a time, there were three bears: Colin Bear, aged thirty-eight, Davina Bear, aged thirty-five and Thomas Bear, aged two and a half.
One miserable March morning, Colin Bear was running late for work.
“I’ve made you some porridge, Colin,” Davina Bear shouted up the stairs.
“I haven’t even had a shower yet. And I hate porridge and your cooking,” Colin said, stomping into the bathroom. “Why did we let Cook have a week off?”
“Thomas, come and eat your porridge,” Davina Bear shouted into the TV room.
“No! Shan’t!” Thomas shouted back in spectacular two-year-old tantrum-style. Watching TV was far more fun than eating his mother’s horrible, horrible porridge.
Suddenly, everything went dark and very, very quiet.
“The cooker isn’t working,” Davina Bear cried, taking the porridge pan off the stove and watching as the mass merged into one large lump.
Davina Bear shrugged her shoulders, prodding and poking at the large lump until it became three smaller lumps. She flicked each lump into a big bowl, a medium-sized bowl and a baby bowl and took them through into the breakfast room.
“Bloomin’ power cut,” Colin Bear said, soapy shampoo suds still sticking to his hair. “I’m off to work. I’ve got an important meeting.”
He brushed his wife’s cheek with his lips and frowned.
“It’s eight o’ clock, Davina. You’ll be late for work. And you’ve got to get Thomas to nursery now that the good for nothing nanny’s walked out. You’ve already had a warning for being late. This house doesn’t pay for itself,” he said, halfway out the door.
Davina sighed and marched into the TV room.
“Come on, Thomas,” she said, scooping him up.
“No! Thomas the Tank. Telly’s broken,” Thomas protested, arms and legs flying everywhere.
A few minutes later and the house was quiet and empty. Just how Goldie liked it.
Goldie leaned back into the brilliant orange seats of the car. He shook his head. He couldn’t believe it. Some people just didn’t have a clue. Those Bears were a prime example. He’d been watching them for a while. A great, big house, full of the latest gadgets and gizmos and a garage bursting with fancy motors and motorbikes – all on credit, too. Some people lived well beyond their means. Still, that wasn’t his problem.
They were making it so easy for him, too. They didn’t ever set the house alarm, nor did they ever lock the doors and as for security cameras – they didn’t have a clue.
James Bond theme music blasted into his ears. He jumped, wrestling with his mobile phone as it slipped and slithered through his hands. He hit the green button and the music stopped.
“Boss?” he said.
“Goldie, you in there yet?”
“Get yourself in there. In and out in fifteen, then report back. The lads are ready to pick the stuff up,” Boss said, a baritone voice booming.
Goldie ended the call and threw the phone onto the passenger seat. He’d always hated bosses, especially the one at Tesco, where he’d stacked shelves.
Fairy Godmother hated bosses too, especially today. She watched as Goldie slammed the car door and strode across the road. She shook her head. There was nothing like dragging attention to yourself. The gold tracksuit and golden highlights in his hair didn’t exactly help.
Why, oh why, had her boss sent her here? There was no hope for Goldie. Or was there? Fairy Godmother knew the Bears very well, too. Perhaps there was hope for them all. Fairy Godmother laughed and shimmering stars shot out of her mouth. Oops, too much sparkle juice for breakfast. She smiled. Maybe today wasn’t going to be so bad after all.
Goldie’s eyes darted back and forth. He grinned. He was good at this job. And it paid better than stacking shelves. He pulled the gloves on and gripped the door handle. Fifteen minutes? He’d be out in ten.
Goldie closed the front door behind him. He sniffed. Something smelt good. Porridge. He’d always loved porridge. His stomach rumbled, reminding him that he’d forgotten all about breakfast. His nose took over and he found himself in the breakfast room. He looked at his watch. He’d only been inside for thirty seconds. Plenty of time to eat a spoonful of porridge. He tried the first bowl.
“Aaah! Too hot!” he cried.
He tried another bowl.
“Ugh! Too cold,” he said.
He tried the last bowl.
“Mmmm, just right,” Goldie said, slurping spoonfuls of porridge into his mouth.
He looked at his watch. Two minutes gone. He hurried into the next room – the TV room. His jaw dropped as he took in the enormous plasma screen taking up an entire wall.
Suddenly, the TV burst into life. Goldie found himself flying back into a leather armchair in shock. He grinned in relief, as a brightness lit the room. A power cut. That’s all it had been.
He pushed himself up, out of the uncomfortable chair and switched the TV off. Ringo Starr’s voice faded. He’d better ring the boss and see if they could take the TV. He knew someone who’d pay good money for one of those. He sank down into a soft, pretty pink chair, then sprang up again – partly because his senses registered the vile colour and partly because his bottom registered the rocket toy nestled there.
His phone! He’d left it on the passenger seat. How could he? Goldie staggered forward, blindly blundering into a tiny chair in the shape of a lion. He teetered and tottered, but it was no good. He fell, splat, right into the chair, which immediately broke into three.
Goldie swore. He’d sort that out later. Right now he’d better get up those stairs and find the safe. These fancy places always had safes. Then he’d better check the layout of the rest of the house. Ten minutes left. He’d do it in five.
Goldie grinned, his eyes coming to rest on the open door at the end of the landing. He could see a computer and office chair inside. The study. The safe was always in the study.
Goldie moved swiftly along, then paused. He looked at the bedroom to his left. There was an enormous picture of a hideous, huge bosomed and bottomed woman hanging on the wall above the bed. Goldie screwed up his nose and was about to walk on, when he broke into a smile.
The picture was a decoy. The safe was behind it! Goldie rushed into the room and scrambled across the bed. He slid on the satin sheets and gripped the headboard to steady himself. What a hard, horrible bed and satin sheets were definitely overrated. He eased the picture off the wall and screamed. Not only was there no safe behind the picture, it was also very heavy. The veins on Goldie’s forehead stood out. It slipped from his grasp, clattering to the floor.
Goldie leapt from the bed. This wasn’t going according to plan at all. He hurried out the room. Another problem to sort out later.
He had almost reached the end of the landing when he saw it. A room full of fancy frills, pinks and pastels – the wife’s when the husband snored too heavily or when she was in a mood with him. She was bound to have some jewellery in there.
Goldie walked towards the dressing table and grabbed a trinket box. He sank down onto the soft, plump, pink duvet and his eyes widened at the delights inside the box. He took out a sparkling necklace. That Gladys he’d met at the club would love that.
Goldie chided himself. He was getting distracted again. He thrust the necklace back in the box and dashed out the room.
Then he stopped. Opposite was the most wonderful bedroom he had ever seen. A room he’d have loved to have had as a boy. His feet found their way forward. Racetracks were everywhere, trains and carriages, too. Goldie wasn’t sure how it happened. But he found himself lying there, on the snug, safe warm bed in the shape of a train, eyelids getting droopier with each passing minute.
“What are you doing back here?” Colin Bear said, stopping outside the front door and looking back.
“We got to nursery and Thomas was sick everywhere, so I’ve had to take the day off work and bring him home,” Davina Bear said. “What are you doing back here?”
“I forgot my notes for the meeting,” Colin Bear said, opening the door. “And you left the door unlocked. We’ll get burgled one day.”
He strode into the house, through the kitchen and paused in the breakfast room.
“I wondered what that smell was. You’ve left the porridge out,” Colin Bear said, wrinkling his nose in distaste. “Thomas’ bowl is empty. If he ate all that, no wonder he’s been ill.”
“Mummy! Daddy!” Thomas shouted, from the direction of the TV room.
Colin Bear walked into the room and looked at his chair. He picked up the piece of paper lying there. ‘Boss’ was written on it, followed by a telephone number.
Davina Bear looked at her chair and frowned. She too, picked up a piece of paper lying there. ‘Gladys’ was written on it, followed by a telephone number.
Thomas Bear looked at his chair and burst into tears.
“Someone’s been in our house,” Colin Bear cried.
“And I think they’re still here!” Davina Bear cried.
Thomas Bear just cried.
Colin Bear stalked over to the stairs. Davina Bear followed and Thomas Bear, too.
Colin Bear looked at his crumpled sheets and the fallen picture. Davina Bear looked at her crumpled sheets and displaced trinket box. Thomas Bear looked at the golden man snoring in his bed and felt his tummy gurgle once more.
Goldie’s eyes shot open. A very angry man was staring at him, so was a very scary woman and a very green-looking little boy, who was opening his mouth and…
As Goldie ran from the house, holding his nose and trying not to think about the warm liquid oozing down his tracksuit, he thought how wrong he’d been about that Tesco job. Stacking shelves suddenly seemed very appealing indeed.
Colin Bear looked at Davina Bear and smiled. Davina Bear smiled and looked at Thomas Bear, who smiled, too. Things hadn’t gone well for the Bears for a while, but that was all going to change, including buying a smaller house that they could afford, (and remember to lock) some cookery lessons for Davina Bear and spending more time together as a family.
Fairy Godmother smiled, too. Thank goodness that was over. She’d definitely be sticking to princesses next time, whatever the boss said.