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Rumpelstiltskin and The Miller’s Daughter

A tale of murder and love.

By Stephanie DownardPublished 9 months ago Updated 9 months ago 14 min read
9
Photo from The World’s Best Fairy Tales.

The King was dead. It was the talk of the whole village. Everyone had their suspicions, but the main suspect was Rumpelstiltskin. He was known for his schemes and tricks, so blaming him was easy. Some people were skeptical and thought the Millers' daughter did it. She had more motive than anyone. Now, this could have been a coincidence, but it just so happened that her father mysteriously died on the same day as the King. The events leading up to the King’s murder were unclear to the public, but the Prince announced that he would not stop until he found Rumpelstiltskin. He reassured everyone his soon to be wife, Hope, had no part in the crime. She was simply a victim. The only problem was the day after their wedding. The people somehow forgot, except me. You miss one royal wedding, and your life is forever changed. These secrets will never leave my lips.

The Miller’s Daughter

I was a simple girl with a simple name. My mother died eighteen years ago, a mere minutes after I was born. My father, the miller, gave me no name. He just called me daughter. To the public, I was the millers' daughter. I hated it. I hated him, and I hated the stupid people in the village. I won't lie. I never wanted to marry the King, and I'm glad he's dead. The arrangement my father made with him was devastating. My beauty was undeniable, but what right did he have to lie to the King? What kind of person says their daughter can spin straw into gold? I had no such powers. The King forced me into a cell filled with straw and a spinning wheel. He told me if I turned all of the straw into gold, I would become his wife. If I failed, he would kill me.

I knew by morning I would be dead, executed by the King for my father's lies. All I could do was cry and wait to be beheaded. It wasn't fair. My heart broke. How could I be betrayed like this? I grasped onto the hope that my father, too, would die. The King hated liars. So, it was only a matter of time before he sought revenge. When I died, I wanted my father to be there, to see the pain and sorrow in my eyes. In an ideal situation, I hoped he would be next to me as we waited for the same fate. It would grant me peace and satisfaction to know he suffered as I did.

After hours of crying, I heard a funny voice.

“What's the matter, my dear girl?”

I looked up to find a small, silly-looking man. His face was devious but maybe a little bit sincere. He wore a grey shirt with a ruffled bottom and some yellow tights. His hat was pointy and red, with shoes to match.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“Names aren't important. I hear you have no name, only the daughter of a miller. Now tell me, what ails you, girl?”

“The King locked me away until morning. My father lied and said I could spin straw into gold. I can do no such thing, and in the morning, I shall meet my death.”

“I see the King is still up to his same old tricks. Let me guess. He promised you marriage in exchange for the gold.”

“Yes, but I have no interest in marrying that cold-hearted man. My father forced me here and thought the King would marry me for just my beauty alone.”

“A stupid man your father must be, but you're in luck. I have a soft spot for damsels in distress. I can help. All I need is something from you in return.”

“I’m just a poor miller’s daughter. I have nothing to give.”

“How about that shiny gold ring on your finger?”

“It was my mother's, but if giving it to you will save my life, you can have it.”

“The deal has been made. I will spin this straw into gold by morning.”

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I watched as this strange man began to turn all the straw into gold. How he did it, I have no idea. He saved my life, but in the morning, I knew I had to start planning my marriage to the King. I fell asleep as I tried to strategize some way to get out of the wedding.

The door slung open, and I awoke instantly frightened. I looked around and saw all the straw had turned to gold, and the strange man was gone. I knew I would forever be grateful to him.

“YOU DID IT!” The King shouted.

He just stared in awe at all the gold.

“May I come out now?” I asked.

Yes. Yes, of course, but I have an even better idea. Follow me, and I’ll show you.”

The King led me down the long hallway. I felt like we walked forever. As we kept going, I spotted a painting of the Prince. He was beautiful, probably the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. It almost took my breath away. He had hair as black as a funeral dress. His eyes were golden brown, and I swear, they followed me as I went by. The Prince had a perfect face. His lips looked like a dream, his nose was so cute, and even his ears were handsome. How could ears be handsome? I didn’t know myself, but I was mesmerized.

“So, when do I get to meet the Prince?” I blurted out.

“The Prince is gone. He abandoned me and the castle years ago. DON’T YOU EVER MENTION HIM AGAIN!”

Chills ran down my spine as the King shouted at me. His eyes were made of pure evil as he looked me up and down, then quickly turned away. Right then and there, I could understand why the Prince would want to leave. The thought of being stuck in this castle for the rest of my life with him made me nauseous. My stomach burned more when I realized we were no longer in that elegant hallway. He had taken me to the dungeon. The stone walls were scary and dark. I began to panic.

“Why have you brought me down here?” I cautiously said.

“To spin more gold. The cell at the end is the biggest of all, and I filled it from top to bottom with straw. This is where you will stay until I say you’re done.”

He shoved me in and slammed the door shut.

“Remember the rules. You have till morning to spin all of my gold. I wouldn’t fail if I were you.”

“YOU CAN’T DO THIS! I FULFILLED THE DEAL LAST NIGHT!”

My screaming was no use. The King just glared at me and walked away. Once again, I was stuck. I should have known he was only motivated by greed. At that moment, I wished a thousand deaths on the King. I didn’t know how or when, but I would kill the King. I could only hope the strange little man would come back.

Rumpelstiltskin

I was a man of many deals and tricks. I came and went as I pleased. No one could keep me captive, but they sure tried. I always got a good laugh from the look on their faces when they realized I was gone. Every day was a new opportunity to get the things I wanted. Something compelled me to have it, not have, need. The urge never went away. Somehow, it felt like a curse. I would never be satisfied. I could hear the calls of the poor souls down on their luck. The ones stuck in a bind. They couldn’t escape. These people would do or give anything for me to save them. It was easy to con them out of priceless possessions. I didn’t like being this way, but I couldn’t stop it. No one knew my name. It had to be that way. I couldn’t tell them. They simply had to guess it, but no one ever did. I thought I would forever be known as that strange little man.

I had been feeling a little off lately. It all started with a girl. Her beauty was beyond compare. I'd never seen anything like it. Her hair was golden blonde and shimmered like the stars. Those eyes were blue as the sky on a sunny afternoon. Her lips were perfectly plum. Any man would have dreamed of kissing them. I never felt like that before, and to me, that was peculiar. In a way, we were kind of alike. She had no name, only known as the daughter of a miller. I guess maybe that’s why I resonated with her. Even though I had a name, I couldn't share it with anyone.

It all started when I heard her call of distress. I knew it was coming from the castle. That was no surprise to me. There was where I did most of my dealings. The King had a twisted mind and no remorse for his actions. I never liked him. I’m no saint, but to me, the King was evil. He hated me. Although he’d never seen me or met me, he knew my name. I didn’t know how, but I always heard him curse me as I fled the castle. Oh, how he hated it when I saved the peasants of his village. I knew someday we would meet in person, but I had no idea it would transpire the way it did.

That first night I met the Millers' daughter started like any other deal. This poor soul needed help, and I needed that ring. Her beauty was a distraction, but something else felt off. Once the arrangement to take her mother's ring was done. I almost felt guilty to the point I thought about leaving the ring before I left. Now, that was an odd feeling. As I spun the straw into gold, I couldn’t help but watch her as she slept. The thought of her marrying the King made me cringe. So, that’s when I decided he needed to die.

I’d already planned to go back the next night, but before I left, I heard that same call for help. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived, but it certainly wasn’t what I thought it would be.

“Let me guess. The King wants you to spin more straw into gold?”

“Yes, but that’s not what I want. I need your help to kill the King. I’m only a frail girl. I can’t do it by myself.”

“That is a bold request, my girl. If I were to help you, I would need that pretty necklace around your neck.”

“This was my mother’s and her mother’s before her. It’s a priceless piece to me, but I agree. You may have my necklace.”

“The deal is sealed. I shall help you kill the King. I have one more request from you, though.”

“What is it?”

“A name. I want to give you one.”

“No one has ever offered to give me that. Not even my father. Yes! I will accept a name from you.”

“You’ve survived on hope and hope alone. So that is what I shall call you. Hope.”

“I love it! Thank you. Wait, what is your name?”

“I can never tell you mine. My powers forbid it.”

“What shall I call you then?”

“That is a talk for another time. We have a King to kill.”

My head spun. I couldn’t believe I got to name this beautiful girl. Not only that, but she wanted the King dead, just as I did. The plan we made was flawless. To me, we were like a puzzle. Two pieces that fit perfectly together.

“I knew I’d find you here! Guards shackle Rumpelstiltskin and take him away!” The King huffed with anger.

“You finally caught me. It took you long enough, your highness.”

“You won’t be so smug when I have you beheaded in the morning, little man. Along with this disrespectful miller’s daughter.”

“Sounds fun. Will refreshments be provided? I’m parched.”

“Only I, the King, will be partaking in a special drink. Your blood will do quite nicely. If I’m correct, it will transfer your powers to me.”

“I hope you like the taste of curses. My power is no great treasure.”

“Oh, I’m very fond of curses. The darker, the better. All the lands will fear me with your powers.”

The guards hauled me away, leaving behind Hope. I wasn’t worried, though. Our plan was right on track. Step one was simple. We just had to let the King catch us together. I knew he would lock me up without hesitation. Step two was a little tricky because I didn’t want to get caught again. Before I was locked up, I lifted the key to Hope’s cell. I poofed back to her to let her out. After that, things had to get crazy. My powers had to be in full force. I’d never used so much at once, but it was the only way to kill the King.

Step three was the hardest of all. We had to sneak into the King's chambers. I looked at his nightstand and found he had drunk all the tea I laced with sleeping dust. I did this just before I unlocked Hope. The King was out cold. It was almost morning, so I had to get into character. Acting like the King was hard, but it’s what I had to do. I glamoured myself as the King and glamoured him as me. It was awkward as I switched outfits with him. I felt disgusted as I put on his sweat-whittled clothes. Once I finished, I poofed the King into my cell. Within the hour, the King would be beheaded.

I stepped out of the King's chambers with Hope. The guards were shocked to see their King with her.

“Mind your business, guards. I’ve changed my mind. I will keep this girl as my pet. A pet that gives me gold.” I let out an evil laugh.

Hope played along perfectly. How she cried real tears was absolutely genius. Her face of devastation was spot on. It was working, and the guards fell right for it.

“Let’s go get my prisoner.” I barked to the guards.

The King was already screaming as we approached the cell. I could hear the anger in his voice. It gave me nothing but pure joy.

“Let me out at once, you fools. I am your King!”

“Oh, this poor little man has gone delirious.”

I said with a laugh.

I instructed the guards to take him to the executioner. I needed them all on high alert and informed them not to let him out of their sight. Every guard in the castle surrounded him. Step four was in full motion.

The glamoured King shouted as they hauled him away.

“You’ll never get away with this! I am your King! Unhand me at once!”

“Gag his mouth shut. I can’t take this nonsense anymore.”

He was kicking and flailing all around. I was smiling ear to ear. It was comical as I watched the man in my body dragged away.

“I can’t believe this is working.” Hope whispered in my ear.

“I know. Let’s hurry to watch the show.”

I knew we couldn’t stay past execution. The glamour would fade once the King’s head hit the ground. Then we had to high tail it out of the castle. As we approached the balcony, I could hear the crowd chanting.

“KILL HIM! KILL HIM! KILL HIM!”

“It is a grand day indeed, my loyal subjects. Today, we end the life of the village terror.”

Those words came naturally. I felt like I belonged in front of these people.

“DROP THE BLADE!” I shouted.

The sound of the King's head hitting the ground pierced my ears. Gasps echoed through the crowd as I grabbed Hope’s hand, and we vanished from the castle. We had no time to waste. I couldn’t stick around to see the horror when they realized the King was dead instead of me. I was exhausted, but there was one more thing Hope needed help with.

Hope

We did it. Rumpelstiltskin and I killed the King. I felt exhilarated. The price to get this freedom was worth all the priceless jewelry. I also had a name. Something I never thought I would have, all thanks to my new friend. Who’s name, I finally knew. When the King found us, he slipped up and said it. I remembered thinking how it seemed so fitting, and I never would have guessed it. I wasn’t sure if he caught on, but I had to worry about that later. We had to start step five, scaring my father to death. If I was right, he probably thought I was dead. I couldn’t physically kill him. That would be too suspicious.

I knew I should have felt remorse, but after all my father put me through, he deserved everything he got. Rumpelstiltskin would once again help me with his powers. He poofed me into my old cottage. There, I hid and began to terrorize my father.

“Father,” I whispered.

I watched as he looked all around to see nothing.

“How could you do this to me, Father?

I appeared right in front of his face, then disappeared again. Rumplestiltskin poofed me in and out like a ghost.

“You gave me to the King to be slaughtered. I’m dead because of you. Now it’s my turn to give you the same fate.”

Once again, I stood right in front of him. The fear in his eyes said it all.

“Please.” That was all my father managed to get out before he collapsed on the floor. I completed the last step. I left my father’s dead body on the ground and walked out.

“It’s done. My father’s actions can no longer control my life. Thank you, Rumplestiltskin.”

As I thanked him, I bent down and kissed his lips. Seconds later, a cloud of black surrounded us. When it dissipated, that strange little man no longer stood before me. Now I kneeled beneath the most beautiful man, The Prince. The one from the picture I was so mesmerized by.

“You? You broke the curse. I’m free!”

The Prince pulled me off the ground, grabbed my chin, and kissed my lips.

“How?” I asked.

“My father, he cursed me out of greed. When I was Rumpelstiltskin, I had forgotten my life before. All these years, he knew. He knew the man he was trying to capture and kill was his son. The only way to break it was a kiss of true thanks and compassion. Hope you saved me.”

My mind raced as I tried to say anything back, but I found no words to speak.

“Come with me, Hope. We have a kingdom to run.”

“We?” I managed to say.

“Yes, we. I know it’s soon, but I feel a connection, Hope. I’ve felt it since the night we met. I know our friendship is new, but I want more.”

“It is soon, but what we did today will bond us for life. I would want nothing more than to stand beside you.”

The Prince smiled, took my hand, and we walked back to the castle. We told our new loyal subjects that Rumplestiltskin had been the one to kill the King. Not only that, but he was the one who kidnapped the Prince all those years ago. We didn’t dare say Rumplestiltskin was dead. There was no corpse to show as proof. The guards searched for days to find him but never did. No one would ever find out the truth about him or my father. The Prince and I made sure of that. Our last and final scheme took place on the night of our wedding.

My friendship with the Prince grew to love. Marrying him was a dream filled with magic in more ways than one. The day after the wedding, people weirdly forgot about Rumplestiltskin. The Prince was now the King. Our pasts didn’t exist anymore. Never again would I be called the miller’s daughter. Rumpelstiltskin would never cross the mind of anyone. Together we ruled with our secrets of murder, love, and a little magic.

Short Story
9

About the Creator

Stephanie Downard

I'm a mom of 3 plus a bonus son. I've discovered I love writing, and in my free time, that's what I do! I may not be the best, but that will not stop me! It can only go up from here! I hope you enjoy the words that trickle out of my head.

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Comments (6)

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  • Lamar Wiggins9 months ago

    Great Story, Steph! I loved how you broke this up into different narrators, it truly worked well to move the story and we got to see into both their minds. Also loved the twist on how Rump became the prince! So glad you shared this, thank you. 🤩

  • Sian N. Clutton9 months ago

    How lovely! Very creative, a joyous read!

  • Teresa Renton9 months ago

    What a great story! Well done 👏

  • Awww, your story was so wonderful! I was so shocked that Rumplestiltkin felt so guilty for taking Hope's ring! I was even more shocked to find out that it was him who killed the King! That was some brilliant scheming! Also, I loved how he made it seem like Hope was haunting her father and killed him off too, lol! The biggest surprise was Rumple being the Prince under a curse put by the King! I just loved your story so much!

  • Lilly Cooper9 months ago

    This is a great twist on the classic :) well done!

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