Eve the First:
A Fairy Tale Revision
by Teresa Edmond-Sargeant
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Wicked Prince," "Eve the First" introduces a princess unlike any other in popular fairy tales: ruthless, power-hungry and ambitious enough to conquer Heaven. After successfully monopolizing the known world, Eve lays her eyes on taking down God so she can reign supreme over Heaven and Earth.
She was called Eve the First.
And once upon a time, that name, and its infamy, petrified the hearts and minds of anyone familiar with her conquests, capabilities, and cunning tenacity fueled by her volatility.
Eve’s innocent beauty belied her passion to conquer the world. Her doe-like eyes concealed the twinkle that reflected her megalomaniacal thirst for power. With her youthfully plump, pink lips, Eve barked demands at her subjects and soldiers, threatening to execute them if they failed to carry out her commands. She wore her lustrous locks in braids and pinned up into exquisite loops with hair ornaments crafted from the bones of her enemies and decorated with precious jewels like pearls, diamonds, and sapphires.
In Eve’s kingdom of Regnum, the populace sought for worldly knowledge, wealth, and prestige. Above all, the people pursued the supreme form of existence: immortality. To these ends, they excelled in architecture, arts, music, literature, alchemy and science. With the practices of Pagan worship, drunken orgies, and human sacrificing, they prided themselves on being their absolute best in knowledge and wealth, while their crude and barbaric natures situated them at the bottom of human existence.
Eve ruled the land of Regnum with the utmost passion of all kinds: love, fear, cruelty, and intensity, but mostly the last three. Every day she studied maps of foreign kingdoms, plotted her next conquest, and trained her soldiers until their feet bled and their sanity broke. Wherever she went, her subjects genuflected and lowered their heads, averting eye contact. If Eve caught anyone sneaking furtive glances at her, she screamed the dreaded words, “Away with him and off with his head!”
The next time that person was seen, his headless body was at the bottom of a ravine near Eve’s castle.
As she brandished her sword and ambition, Eve led her army all over the world, from the nearest to the most remote lands. She left behind trails of bloodshed, death, and tears. With every swing of her sword—a stab here, a beheading there—Eve radiated joy as blood splattered all over her armor and corpses piled up. Villagers said their bountiful fields, once ripe with harvest, were cultivated with the blood of the dead. Whole carcasses and body parts littered the meadows, turning them into rolling graveyards, as though the dead had been dug up.
“I have unyielding determination that cannot be matched,” Eve once said. “If that makes me an evil woman, so be it.”
Once Eve conquered a village, she marched into its public square and staked her coat of arms into the soil. Her soldiers kept the crowd back while the crowd admired Eve’s glorious beauty sullied with dirt and blood. Clutching the flagpole, Eve placed her right hand over her heart.
“Today’s victory is in memory of my dear mother, the late Queen Catherine the Third,” Eve said to her new subjects. “She would have been proud to know that I will bestow upon all of you a new day, a new life, and a new era. I acknowledge that from this day forward, this is the age we start to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and heal the sick. I have ushered in a Golden Era of Peace where the sun will always rise in the east, trees shall forever bear fruit, and harvest season shall forever be abundant. This is the time when we unite as one to remake this land so it will transcend our utmost expectations and ideal selves.”
Eve then signaled her soldiers to present her newly conquered subjects with baskets of bread and meat and vessels of cider.
“Today, what I have done was quite a sacrifice, but it was all done for you my beloved people,” Eve continued. “I will give you whatever you yearn for—food, shelter, clothes—and promise to alleviate you of the agonies you long suffered at the hands of your demon of a king. That will happen if — and only if — you crown me your ruler and allow me to erect my statues everywhere in your village.”
Then her soldiers demanded that the peasants form lines in front of them. Cries of “Long live Eve” rang throughout the land as soldiers passed out equal rations of food and drink to the peasants.
Teresa Edmond-Sargeant is an Orlando, FL-based poet, author and journalist originally from northern New Jersey. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies featuring NJ poets. During her time as a reporter in Jersey, she won two NJ Press Association awards.
In 2006, she published her debut poetry book, "How Fate's Confusion Connects"; the book's second edition will be released later in 2014. She is the author of three (so far;-)) Amazon Kindle ebooks: "Eve the First," "An Estella Exclusive" and "Ethical Strains," all short stories.
Edmond-Sargeant is a member of the Florida State Poets Association. She is now a staff writer for The Apopka Chief, a newspaper that covers the Apopka, FL, area (http://www.theapopkachief.com).