Today’s assignment was to write a fairy tale and transport the reader to a new world but instead I chose to rewrite one of the Grimm Brother’s fairy tales, The Willful Child.

Darkness slowly devours him as dirt compresses his eyelids, conceals his nose, and seeps through his lips and teeth. Worms and maggots approach, writhing along his chubby legs, tasting his pale flesh. His fingers twitch, his right arm rises through the layers of dirt, encasing him. He raises his hand signaling to his mother as she places wild flowers that grow around their cottage by his grave.

He is here because of a piece of blackberry pie sitting on the windowsill, steam rising from the interlaced crust sprinkled with glistening nuggets of white sugar. Drool dribbles from the corners of his mouth, joining at his chin. He drags an old wooden chair, normally found at the head of the table where only he can sit because he is the oldest and it is his sampling chair. It is not his fault that a taste turns into a bite, which ends in consumption. He always makes sure to show his appreciation by leaning in close to his mother. When she smiles, he belches and blows the aroma of the meal into her face, his sibling’s stomachs growling.

His sweaty, plump fingers brush the hot crust. His mother shrieks from behind him. The chair collapses, the pie flies into his face and he topples onto the floor. At this point, she calls on God. When his mother asks why he does not obey her, he reaches for her fingers shaped like small candies, dipped in white chocolate. He gnaws at her bone, feels a sharp sting against his cheek as his last breathe is stolen from him.

His hand waits; he knows his mother remains, feeling her hot breath on his fingertips. Why is she breathing so hard? Screams erupt from above as bark cuts into his palm, lashing at his fingertips. His hand trembles, his fingertips curl as his arm sinks beneath the surface. The end of a branch finds its way beneath the dirt, touching the tip of his nose. Another branch with a jagged tip, stabs through his burial clothes to his stomach. The shrieking fades, the footsteps grow distant as he settles into his earthen tomb.