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East of the Sun & Text of the Moon

A Tale Retold

By L.C. SchäferPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 20 min read
Top Story - August 2023
East of the Sun & Text of the Moon
Photo by Hans-Jurgen Mager on Unsplash

Dec 27th, 08.13EST >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> I don't need to think about it. I'll do it. You've got to have the best treatment to give you the best chance. This is the way.

08.38EST >> From: Dad >> To: Anna

> I don't know what to say. Thank you.

> I mean it.

08.43EST >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> When do I have to go?

08.43EST >> From: Dad >> To: Anna

> Tomorrow.

08.44EST >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> That's so fast! Why?!!

08.51EST >> From: Dad >> To: Anna

> I know, I'm sorry. He was keen to get started. You know what these rich types are like.

08.44EST >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> But what about work?

08.52EST >> From: Dad >> To: Anna

> Please don't be mad. But I already called your boss. She's fine with it.

08.53EST >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> Really??!! What did you tell her?

08.56EST >> From: Dad >> To: Anna

> Not all of it. She's giving you a year compassionate leave.

08.56EST >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> Paid???

08.56EST >> From: Dad >> To: Anna

> Not fully paid, no. But I played the cancer card better than you could.

> You're mad aren't you.

> Shit.

> I was just trying to help. This is hard enough for you.

09.11EST >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> No it's OK

> I guess it means he pays up sooner. That will come in useful.

09.14EST >> From: Dad >> To: Anna

> Sorry. It's my fault you're having to do this.

09.14EST >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> Don't talk like that please

09.22EST >> From: Dad >> To: Anna

> You're right. It's not going to make it easier on either of us.

> I hear Norway is a beautiful country

09.28EST >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> I'll Skype you. All the time.

> You'll stay strong for me won't you?

09.29EST >> From: Dad >> To: Anna

> Of course I will.

09.30EST >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> What's he like?

09.32EST >> From: Dad >> To: Anna

> Hard to say. Haven't met in person. Only email.

> You'll come and see me before you go won't you?

09.35EST >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> Definitely.

09.32EST >> From: Dad >> To: Anna

> You know I can never repay you.

> You shouldn't have to do this.

09.35EST >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> If this is what it takes

> We're going to get you better. You just keep fighting.


Dec 28th, 09.33EST >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Fuck.

> You are not going to BELIEVE this.

> Are you there?

> I really need to talk.

> But I can't talk on the phone right now.

> Message me when you can OK?

> It's urgent.

10.16EST >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Hey what's up

> Sorry for delay

> Been on shift. Only just gone on my break

> U ok?

10.17EST >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Please don't freak out

> I'm going away for a while

10.19EST >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Wait

> What

> Where

> Waht do you mean

10.20EST >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Something has come up

> I have to go to Norway

> Tomorrow

> For a year

10.22EST >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> LOL. Your kidding

> Is it April 1st haha

10.22EST >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> I'm serious

> Some rich guy is paying for me to spend the year there doing conservation work.

> It's kind of a weird deal

10.33EST >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Are you there?

> I know this is a lot. But you're my best friend and I'm freaking out. I'm not even packed!

10.34EST >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Sorry. Just shocked.

> & what do u mean yr not packced, some rich guy whisks you off to Norway, he will just buy u the stuff u need

> thats what money is for

10.34EST >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> What about my stuff?? I can't just leave everything

10.35EST >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> It's not going anywhere

> It's only a yaer. It will all be here waiting when you get back

> & so will I

10.37EST >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Maybe you're right

> Kind of overwhelmed

> But I need to do this. For Dad.

10.40EST >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> my brake's over. can I call u after my shift?

> Or we can go 4 a drink

> ?

10.42EST >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> I'd love to, but I have to visit Dad.

> Call me later?

10.43EST >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Shit of course sorry.

> But will I see you before you go?

10.43EST >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> I hope so

> Fuck it YES

> You're my best friend and I'm going to miss you. We HAVE to meet up.


Dec 29th, 17.04CET >> From: Gabriel >> To: MOTHER

> I know you remember our deal. Well, I found one. Mark your calendar. ONE YEAR. I'll be coming to collect.

17.14CET >> From: MOTHER >> To: Gabriel

> I bet she's a skank like the last one, in which case NO DEAL.

17.18CET >> From: Gabriel >> To: MOTHER

> FFS. She's objectively beautiful. Not even you could argeu with that.

17.19CET >> From: MOTHER >> To: Gabriel

> We'll see.

17.25CET >> From: MOTHER >> To: Gabriel

> Tell you what, send a picture of her. I'll tell you right now whether she's up to scratch. Be a shame to waste a year on her if not.

17.35CET >> From: Gabriel >> To: MOTHER

> [Image]

> There. Happy? No make up, no filter.

17.36CET >> From: MOTHER >> To: Gabriel

> OK, she is a solid 9, I'll give you that.

> WAY out of your league.

> She must be poor, otherwise you'd have had no chance.

> Well? Go on, what did you pay her to agree?

> You leaned on her dear old dad, didn't you? Medical bills, is it? She'll do anything to save her daddy, right?

> Well, she won't do this.

> As Meat Loaf would have told you.

> She'll bail.

18.50CET > You'll NEVER get her to agree to the next part. Definitely not for a whole year. I give it a week, tops.

18.51CET >>From: Gabriel >> To: MOTHER

> Fuck off, Mother

18.5218.51CET >> From: MOTHER >> To: Gabriel

> Now, now, Julian. You know I hate that word

18.53CET >> From: Gabriel >> To: MOTHER

> Yes I know MOTHER


Dec 30th, 13.34EST >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Haven't heard from you, getting worried, pls txt bk


Dec 31st, 8.36CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Sorry, yes I'm OK

> It's been hectic here, getting settled in

> This place is I N S A N E

> [Image]

> [Image]

> [Image]

> [Image]

15.42CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna


> That looks incredible! And expensiv :O

15.49CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Wait til you see the views!

> [Image]

> [Image]

> [Image]

15.55CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Sorry, those took a while to come through

> Very beautiful! You're so lucky!

16.11CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Yeah, I guess so

> Trying to look at this as an amazing opportunity

16.19CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> That's a good way to look at it

> It IS an amazing opportunity

16.21CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Yeah

> There's just one thing though

> It's kind of weird

16.23CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> What is?

17.06CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Hello??? What is???

> Your worrying me

17.09CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Sorry

> Kind of hard to explain

> Look, never mind. I can't talk about it.

> I signed an NDA.

17.10CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Just tell me this. Are you OK?

17.10CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Yes.

17.11CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> You promise you're safe?

17.12CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> I'm safe. I promise.


Jan 5th, 16.33CET >> From: MOTHER >> To: Gabriel

> Well???

16.46CET >> From: Gabriel >> To: MOTHER

> A good thing that wasn't a bet with any stakes. Good thing for you I mean. Everything is going perfectly.

> Thank you for asking

16.46CET >> From: MOTHER >> To: Gabriel

> We'll see.


Jan 15th, 14.08CET >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> How did it go at the hospital yesterday?

15.35CET >> From: Dad >> To: Anna

> Went OK.

15.39CET >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> Skype tomorrow?

15.40CET >> From: Dad >> To: Anna

> Sure, looking forward to it

15.41CET >> From: Anna >> To: Dad

> Wish I could more often. There's a clause in the contract about when and where I can use devices.

> Speaking of which, GTG. Miss you!


Sept 4th, 19.03CET >> From: MOTHER >> To: Gabriel

> She will never last out the year. She will get homesick. And isn't her daddy very ill?

Sept 4th, 19.34CET >> From: Gabriel >> To: MOTHER

> Shut up.


Oct 20th, 00.03EST >> From: UNKNOWN NUMBER >> To: Julie


00.11EST >> From: Julie >> To: UNKNOWN NUMBER

> Who is this

00.11EST >> From: UNKNOWN NUMBER >> To: Julie



> [Image]

> [Image]

> [Image]

> [Image]

> [Image]


00.12EST >> From: Julie >> To: UNKNOWN NUMBER

> Who is thsi

> Cut the shit, your only going to show me those if u r making me do something for u

> So what is it

00.16EST >> From: UNKNOWN NUMBER >> To: Julie



00.18EST >> From: Julie >> To: UNKNOWN NUMBER

> lol wtf

> You could of just not told me and then i wuold of actaully been suprised

00.16EST >> From: UNKNOWN NUMBER >> To: Julie





Oct 21st, 14.04CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> I've convinced Gabe to let me come home for a visit

Oct 21st, 14.10CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> That's great hun! I'm so happy! Can't wait to see u xxx

Oct 21st, 14.12CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> It's not all good news

> It's against my contract. He's only letting me come home because of Dad.

> Dad's not doing so great :(

Oct 21st, 14.15CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Shit babe im so sorry

> anything i can do?

Oct 21st, 14.18CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Actually there is. I feel like it's a lot to ask.

> Can you go and sit with Dad?

> Just keep talking to him, keep reminding him I'm coming home to see him.

Oct 21st, 14.25CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Sure thing bb, anything

> How are u getting back from the airport, ned a lift?

Oct 21st, 14.32CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> No thanks, I'm good

Oct 21st, 14.32CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> U sure? It would give us a chance to chat just the 2 of us

Oct 21st, 14.33CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Gabe is paying for the taxis. He insisted.

> But thank you SO MUCH for asking. Really. You're an angel.


Oct 22nd, 07.07EST >> From: UNKNOWN NUMBER >> To: Julie










Oct 22nd, 08.36EST >> From: Julie >> To: UNKNOWN NUMBER

> id do this really I would but it wont work. shes here to see her dad who might actually be DYEING. theres no way she will leave his side to talk with me. pls you have to understnad

error : : 303 : : sending failed


Oct 25th, 01.51EST >> From: Julie >> To: B00

> hey, u up?

01.58EST >> From: Boo>> To: Julie

> yh

> u hrny? 😈

02.00EST >> From: Julie >> To: B00

> lol yh

> but listen, u know my mate Anna?

02.01EST >> From: Boo>> To: Julie

> maybe. she fit? 😈

02.01EST >> From: Julie >> To: B00

> lol not bad

> shes staying with this rich fraek in norway

02.18EST >> From: Boo>> To: Julie

> k

02.18EST >> From: Julie >> To: B00

> totally werid, hes been sleeping in her room the whole time like since DAY ONE but with these like blackout blinds. shes never seen him! how wierd is THAT

> its writen into the contract and shes not allowed to talk about it

> shes not even allowed a phone in their room or any electricity after sunset

> and get this, now their fucking

> bb/? u there

> ?

Oct 23rd, 10.44EST >> From: Boo>> To: Julie

> fell asleep.

> so your mate

> is she up for a 3sm or what


Oct 24th, 04.18CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Everything is fucked.

> Please message me as soon as you get this.

> I did what you said. And now everything is fucked.

16.07CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Hey hun sorry i was alseep

> Damn timezones

16.08CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> We need to talk.

16.19CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> What about your NDA?

16.19CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Fuck the NDA. I already broke the contract. I'm going to lose the money.

> I did what you said with the candle and he woke up and FREAKED OUT.

> Ranting about his mother and fucking magic or something.

> He had a deal with her and I was part of it. He had to have a woman - me! - sleep with him for a year. To break some curse.

16.26CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Wow thats so fucked up

16.27CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> I must have passed out because that is the last thing I remember. I woke up and I'm in the middle of fucking NOWHERE.

16.34CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> what

> no way

> fuck

> im sorry

> it wasnt my fault ok

> someone made me say that stuff to you i dont even know why

> youve got to believe me i didn't know this is what would happen

16.41CET > So whats he like then is he cute

16.41CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Oh my god Julie.

> Seriously not important right now.

> But for what it's worth, you were dead wrong. He's really good-looking actually.

> Just fucking mental as it turns out.

16.44CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> So what r u going to do

16.44CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> I've got to find Gabe. Face his crazy mother. Make this right somehow.

> I haven't been there for Dad while he was ill. If I can't put this right, it was all for nothing.

> How is he?

16.51CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> hes ok. he misses you but hes holding up.

> how are you going to find gabe?

16.52CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Fuck knows.

> I have to find this other castle. That's where he is.

16.52CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Wheres that

> The castle i mean

> ?

16.53CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> All I know is, it's supposed to be "east of the sun and west of the moon".

16.54CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> sounds coplicated

> have you got gps

16.54CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> I don't think I've got enough of an address for that. But there's an old woman I can ask for directions. BRB.

16.57CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> listen im sorry ok

> ill do whatever i can to help you make this right

> if you need me to sit with your dad 24 hrs a day ill do it

17.23CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Thanks. I appreciate it. Listen, the old lady was really helpful!

17.25CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Cool did she give u directions

17.26CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Almost. She gave me directions to someone who can help me 😀 And a horse!

17.27CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> wow1!

17.28CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> And this for some reason...

> [Image]

17.30CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Errrmmm wtf is that

> is it real? can u eat it? looks sort of golden

17.34CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> No, but it might be valuable. I'm going to keep it safe. Maybe I can sell it or trade it. After all, I have no money now.

17.35CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> i rly am rly sorry 😥

17.36CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Just stay with Dad for me

> GTG. Haven't ridden one of these since I was 14. It's going to be dark soon.

17.38CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Keep me posted xx

22.36CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Just a quick update. The directions took me to another old biddy. She put me up for the night and let me charge my phone. Gave me more directions, and another gold thingy. She says I can have a fresh horse in the morning.

> Please just let me know how Dad is. I'll check when I can.



22.29EST >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Guess your asleep by now. Your dad is stable. He was awake and eating today. He asked after you. How much do you want me to tell him about norway

Oct 25th, 07.46CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Please don't tell him about this stuff. Don't let anything stress him out. Tell him I love him and I will try to come and see him again soon.

12.43CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Ok. Stay safe.

21.24CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Guess where those directions took me

> To ANOTHER old lady.

> ISTFG, this place is nothing but mountains, castles and creepy old ladies randomly handing out valuable stuff.

> This one let me use her bath. Not a patch on the tub at Gabe's place, but my ass is so sore it could be a big tin bucket and I wouldn't care.

> She says it's not too far from here. The castle I'm looking for, I mean.

> Tell Dad I'm thinking of him.

22.24CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Hes doing well, and he smiles when I talk to him about you. He had another scan today to see if the treatment is working.

> Hope you get there and dont have to deal with any more horses or crazy old ladies

Oct 26th, 07.52CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> How is he?

> I am setting off soon. I can see the castle from here. Looks like a fairytale.

> Horse was lame so this granny loaned me another one. Hope I never have to look at another horse as long as I live.

> This is fucking mental.

14.44CET >> From: Julia >> To: Anna

> Told him you're doing a lot of riding, hope thats ok. He talked about you a lot. About when you were a kid. It's keeping him happy and distracted while we wait for results.

23.41CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie


> I'm at the castle. Used the gold to bargain with the princess. I'm with Gabe but there's something wrong.

> Update me about the results ASAP please

23.43CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Not the best news, not the worst either

> It's not responding as well as they hoped, so they are talking about increasing the treatment

> Whats wrong with gabe

23.49CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> He won't wake up no matter what I do. Someone has drugged him. If I could just wake him up I think I could fix this. I'm not supposed to be here. Once they find me I'll get kicked out and that will be it.

> I don't even want to think about how many horses I'm going to have to sit on to get out of the mountains and get home.

23.52CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Sneak out now & buy your way back in tomo! But leave him a message so he knows not to accept food or drink from anyone.

23.54CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Good idea. I'll do that.

> Battery dying. I’ll check again as soon as I can.

Oct 27th, 09.15EST >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Ok. I will let you know if anything changes.

Oct 30th, 15.20CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> You’re not going to believe this. Managed to trick his horrible mother into letting him leave. She’s a real peach by the way.

> I spent TWO FUCKING DAYS washing some stains out of his shirt. Apparently that makes me wife material.

> The good news is, 1. it means he is free of his mother and her curse. 2. He’s covering Dad’s medical expenses for me. And 3. I can come home! I don’t have to wait until the end of the year!

15.42CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Thats great news!

15.42CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> There’s just one snag.

> The curse he told me about is real.

> He’s a bear during the day and only a man at night.

15.44CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Wait. An actaul bear??

15.44CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie


15.45CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Cool

> But he's a man at night right

15.45CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> Yes

15.45CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Didn't cause any issues before, did it?

15.46CET >> From: Anna >> To: Julie

> No

15.46CET >> From: Julie >> To: Anna

> Sounds like it could be a solid relationship tbh

> i mean why would you want to change anything 🤷‍♀️


Thank you for reading! This is a retelling of "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" for the Tales Retold challenge. You can read more about that here:

HumorShort StoryFantasy

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Flexing the writing muscle.

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for "nudes".

I'm also Twitter if you'd like to connect elsewhere.

I value feedback, and reciprocate reads and comments.

Also writing under the name S.E. Holz

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (24)

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  • River Joy3 months ago

    Oh I love this so much. What a great intense read, and such a creative way to retell an old story.

  • Jason McCoy3 months ago

    I came here from the 'My Musings on the Tales Retold Challenge' piece, so I understand the fairy tale it was derived from a little better. I love the texting concept. The formatting was tricky at times, but overall, it worked for the piece. Bolding the actual text helped. I liked that you kept the typos; whether they were intentional or not, they added to the realism of it being text messages. Nice piece and congrats on Top Story!

  • Dana Stewart3 months ago

    I’m not familiar with the original but the concept to re-tell via text was so creative!

  • slimizzy3 months ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Ian Read3 months ago

    A creative take on the challenge! Congrats! 😀

  • Great example of chat fiction and loved the story, would have loved to see the images as well, but it's the words that matter

  • Oooo, I had fun reading all these texts! Thanks for the tea, lol! I was having a hard time figuring out what story you're retelling. Then when Anna mentioned horse, it hit me that this was beauty and the beast. But at the end, you said its a retelling of a different story that I've never even heard of, lol! Nevertheless, I enjoyed your story so much!

  • ANFAS3 months ago

    sport my page

  • ANFAS3 months ago


  • Laura Lann3 months ago

    Came back to say congratulations on another Top Story!! You are shining and really adding to the community :)

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    Very creative take on the challenge. I'm not familiar with the story on which it's based, but ot had me hooked nonetheless. Congrats on the TS.

  • Rachel Deeming3 months ago

    I think you chose an innovative way to write this and I think it works really well. Did you find it challenging? Congrats on TS!

  • Judey Kalchik 3 months ago

    One of my favorite stories ever and I adore this reboot!

  • Real Poetic3 months ago

    Excellence! This is phenomenal.

  • Teresa Renton3 months ago

    I really don't know what to say, this is brilliant. If this doesn't win I'll marry a bear! When I saw the title I just had to read because this is one of my favourite stories ever! I read the 'North Child' version first and was hooked. I love your creative take because I've not seen text messaging used to tell a longer tale like this. Well done! x

  • Dana Crandell3 months ago

    What a great idea to use text messages to tell the story! Well done, LC!

  • This was a very creative way to tell this story. I’m going to be honest at the beginning I was just reading it but as it went along I became more and more interested by the end I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next! Excellent work

  • Alex H Mittelman 3 months ago

    Nice work! Good story

  • Laura Lann3 months ago

    I was hooked on every next line. I haven't read the tale it's based on either, so really did not know where it was going. Going to have to go check that out now too! Delightful read :)

  • Alexander McEvoy3 months ago

    Wow that was brilliant! Super glad you got finished in time :) This is… beauty and the beast? I loved the modernization you put it through! Telling a story through texts like this is so wonderfully creative! You have a remarkable skill :)

  • Lamar Wiggins3 months ago

    This was instantly addictive, like prying into someone's phone. Really unique take on the challenge. It kept me engaged the whole way through! Well done.

  • Lilly Cooper3 months ago

    This was such a different approach and really modernised! It's a great take on the Challenge. You did a great job.

  • Mackenzie Davis3 months ago

    I loved this so much! Great great take on the challenge. The formatting is superb and the texts are written so well for each character! So well done!! ❤️❤️❤️

  • Lana V Lynx3 months ago

    This was marvelous, I've swallowed it all in one sitting!

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