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LJI Week 11: Innocuous

The little sister is always passed over.  She's angry, but only in an acceptable way.  She cries pretty tears.  She throws artful tantrums.  She expects and is given it all:  the ballgown, the carriage, the night of her dreams.

 It is so hard to be so delicate, so misunderstood, so special.  Then the prince rides in, all white steed and whiter teeth.  Off to the castle, to sit and twirl her suddenly perfect locks absentmindedly, all tiara and throne and teeth gritting underneath him.

Passionless...but perfect.

Happily ever after.

This is not that story.

I hated her growing up.  As the oldest, being the favorite is your birthright.  You expect a certain amount of "watch the baby" and "take care of your sister," but it gets old as she grows into her perfect imperfection.  Where are the ballgowns and princes lined up at my door?  Why am I always covered in spit up and being berated because I can never stop her incessant crying?  Why does she need so much and always gets it?

I realized my birthright was a paper doll, and she tore it, just like she ripped the heads off all of my favorite toys and was praised for being so adept.  She destroys, and it is cute.

She grows more powerful.  I fade.  The prince will never come for me, and I make a strange kind of peace with that.  There is something to be said for being harmless, voiceless, innocuous.  I will never get what I was born to be.  She took it, just like she took my china tea sets and smashed them, scattering shards.

I am quiet.  Subservient.  The grey dress and white cap suit me well, truth be told.  She loves seeing me bowed low like that.  Now I'm earning my keep.

"Please unbutton my dress, my sweet OLDER sister.  My prince doesn't like to be kept waiting."

The interesting thing is that no one expects the knife.  It slides in easily if you practice often enough.

I straighten my cap, wash the blood off my hands.

I believe someone is waiting for me.

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
tonithegreat
Feb. 26th, 2016 04:18 am (UTC)
I like how this starts with sentiments that could be almost anyone's then curves some and then so sharply twists!
zyzyly
Feb. 26th, 2016 04:32 am (UTC)
Wow! that went in a direction I wasn't expecting.
seaivy
Feb. 26th, 2016 04:43 am (UTC)
yeah oh yeah!!!
killer ending - literally : )
davesmusictank
Feb. 26th, 2016 10:07 am (UTC)
Ooh o do love the twist in it.
communitybee
Feb. 26th, 2016 10:14 am (UTC)
Love this!
wherdafux_d_cat
Feb. 26th, 2016 04:33 pm (UTC)
Well done!

If you haven't read it yet, look for Mercedes Lackey's Fairy Godmother. To give you an idea of its general theme, what happens to Cinderella if the nearest prince is, say, four years old? And if your library doesn't have it and you've got an e-reader of some sort, heck, I'll gift you a copy. Even my husband loved it once I talked him into giving it a go, heh!
mac_arthur_park
Feb. 28th, 2016 03:21 am (UTC)
I will definitely have to check that out. Thank you!
jaelle_n_gilla
Feb. 26th, 2016 09:22 pm (UTC)
Wow! Awesome piece of work! I love the pointed end ;-)
ellison
Feb. 27th, 2016 05:02 am (UTC)
Oooh interesting! I like how it seems like it's going to be all sentimental and then it gets all intense on us! I also like the dark tone like the Grimm's Fairy Tales have.
uselesstinrelic
Feb. 27th, 2016 08:34 am (UTC)
I love the way you told this story. The choice of words are great and the abrupt way they're delivered, briefly and as direct imagery, is effective and gives the whole piece an engaging tone.
lrig_rorrim
Feb. 27th, 2016 08:20 pm (UTC)
I love a good twisted fairy tale, and this is definitely a good one. Well done!
rayaso
Feb. 27th, 2016 10:47 pm (UTC)
Good for the older sister! I love the way you altered the fairy tale -- it was lots of fun, and very creative.
patrium_novorum
Feb. 27th, 2016 10:51 pm (UTC)
oooh ;-)
halfshellvenus
Feb. 28th, 2016 12:33 am (UTC)
Although it seems more abstract at first (because it could be almost anyone), this sets up a very concrete show of how resentment can be quieted, but not forgotten.

And how seeming innocuousness can so easily hide darker intent.
favoritebean
Feb. 28th, 2016 06:52 am (UTC)
Heh! She kind of had it coming, judging by how she acted.
eternal_ot
Feb. 28th, 2016 07:58 pm (UTC)

Ah! I loved the twisted end..took me by surprise..good work with the prompt..:)

tijuanagringo
Feb. 28th, 2016 10:23 pm (UTC)
Ha hahahahahaha oh yeah!!!!!!!!!! Good one. Slip the knife in, alright.
sinnamongirl
Feb. 28th, 2016 11:12 pm (UTC)
Good job on the prompt and lovely ending! Well, disturbing ending, but I was glad of it :)
whipchick
Feb. 29th, 2016 11:33 am (UTC)
Such an interesting mix of fairy tale and real resentment!
adoptedwriter
Feb. 29th, 2016 02:44 pm (UTC)
Wow! What a twist!

AW
dee_aar2
Feb. 29th, 2016 08:28 pm (UTC)
You actually twisted that in a way I least expected. sibling jealousy / resentment at its worst outcome. Eeeewww !!!
ellakite
Feb. 29th, 2016 08:56 pm (UTC)
Huh.
Being the youngest in a somewhat dysfunctional family, I can honestly say that I never *WANTED* to be the center of attention... because bad things always happened to those who got noticed. The fate of the nail that stands above all the others is to be hammered down.

Still, from what little I see of the youngest sister in your tale, she revels in being the center of attention... and therefore I somewhat sympathize with the narrator. On the other hand, knowing what I know about the price of being noticed, I doubt the narrator will get the happily-ever-after she expects.

A fascinating piece. Thanks for sharing it!
murielle
Feb. 29th, 2016 10:49 pm (UTC)
Sibling rivalry taken beyond the limits.

Very skillful look at extremes, here--Thank you.
alycewilson
Feb. 29th, 2016 11:00 pm (UTC)
That ending is chilling!
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )