Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Sisters of Sundance--Part I

Sorry I haven't had time to compose Grimm-influenced stories lately--been hectic with some corporate training events. But I finally had a moment---here's the first part of a new tale (also visit some older completed tales below....)

Based on the Brothers Grimm tale, “The Three Spinners.”

She tried to forget her mother, sitting in the other room circling want-ads. For Jan. “She wants me to move out, I’ll move out!” Jan practiced this mantra with ferocity. But under her bravado she wondered how she’d manage. She had a bit of money left (a fraction of the largess she’d been given 3 years ago when she managed to graduate) but not enough to live on. But she’d gotten her AA. She’d done that, hadn’t she? Couldn’t her mother give her credit for anything?

And now this stupid networking event. She’d been building toward “being sick” all week but now this fight and the threat! She had to go, to appease the monster and maybe if her mother thought Jan was “at least trying,” she’d be left in peace to…..? That was the problem. What did she want to do? Besides shopping, texting, or hanging out?

Jan’s best friend, Tina, couldn’t understand tonight’s dilemma. The theatre fundraiser sounded like a blast—free food, drink, a band? So what if Jan’s mother would drag her around, “like the prized heifer at the county fair,” selling her to the highest bidder? Jan stopped protesting. Tina couldn’t understand how it felt to be the daughter of a controlling, ambitious, double-Capricorn named Heather. No, she wouldn’t go. She couldn’t go through another public degradation.

But they were in the car together that evening, dressed up (although Jan purposely wouldn’t style her hair or wear earrings—a tiny act of rebellion). Both seethed in silence. Jan felt a genuine headache emerging. How would she survive this evening?

Heather transformed into her loveliest self as they entered the ballroom. Beaming with laughter and lavishing praise on her “exquisite” daughter, she mercilessly marketed Jan as prospective employee or spouse to whoever would cross their path. Finally, after Heather’s third cocktail, Jan was able to wander off and hide in the corner near the band.

Driving home, her mother seemed especially cheerful. Was it simply the alcohol?

“I got you a job.”


“I got you a job, my darling daughter. It doesn’t pay much. In fact, it might just be an internship, I’m not exactly sure, but, I signed you up and you leave for Utah, next week.”

Should she even bother with a reply? No. Better to ignore Heather when she’s talking crazy.

“If you don’t go, I’m changing the locks.”

Jan felt dizzy. She watched the streetlights pass over her head as the car rushed toward the only home she’d ever known.

“It’s for the Sundance Institute. You know, Robert Redford’s place? You’re going to love it.”

Jan tried to keep her voice monotone. She wanted to sound bored and hide her inner chaos “What am I supposed to be doing?”

“Lots of things. I told them that you “type like the wind, you're a professional organizer and a meticulous housekeeper.” Heather laughed. “It’s a bit of a stretch. But they aren’t paying you and you’ll do well enough. It will be great for your resume.”

“I suck at all those things. I can’t type!”

“You typed your papers in college…. You’ve got a week to brush up”


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