Friday, November 29, 2013

Review of Frozen

Hi. Sorry this is so late. I kept getting distracted all day, and I also was eager to finish up Beyonders: Chasing the Prophecy. But enough of my excuses! You want to read a review I promised last night, so here it is.
Frozen is the next Disney animated film based off Hans Christian Anderson's classic tale of The Snow Queen. The story to me seems like a story that takes place before the events of the fairy tale we all know. It features Anna, one of the princesses of the kingdom of Arendelle, is excited because the castle is finally being opened in celebration of the coronation of her older sister Elsa. However following a little argument the two sisters have during the celebration Elsa reveals a secret she had been hiding for years: She has power over winter. Turns out Elsa hurt Anna during their childhood and had been fearing that she might hurt her again. Fear takes hold of Elsa, who is the Snow Queen if you haven't connected the dots yet, and she flees the kingdom. Anna goes off in search of Elsa firmly believing she can stop the winter she unintentionally brings upon the land. Along the way she makes several friends and learns many important lessons, including that love truly is one of the most powerful forces in existence.
I'll try to talk about some of the concepts of the film that I enjoyed without revealing any spoilers. I enjoyed how they gave a Norwegian feel to the setting of the film and its inhabitants. It serves to put everyone in a pretty far north locality which as we remember from the classic story was where the Snow Queen resided. The mountains definitely looked like they were cut by glaciers long ago and the architecture is definitely similar to what you would find in that area if you were able to take a tour. They even added some elements of the mythology of the area. I think I should stop there so I don't give away anything that might be fun.
Now let's talk a little about the characters. I still view this film as a good back story for the Snow Queen. We don't really have a clear understanding of who she is in the original tale and a lot has been left up to speculation. This may not be what Hans Christian Anderson would've gone for, but I think it does do the story justice because now, in Disney's version at least, she won't be written off as some evil sorceress as a result of what she did. Anna is also a very fun person because she's so innocent and understanding (and a little clumsy). She has the traditional feel of the Disney Princesses while still maintaining her individuality. Also she has plenty of moments in the movie where she isn't just standing around naively. She takes action and helps make some of the most important decisions. Kristoff was also a good friend in this tale. He may appear rugged and rough on the outside, but his mountain expertise and outdoor skills help out more than once and we see he does have a kind heart. Of course one person I can't leave without talking about is Olaf the snowman. He is truly a great Disney sidekick, not only because of his humor, which makes up some of the best moments in the film, but because he is also warm and loving despite being made of snow.
The animation for this film was pretty incredible. They were able to pull off some incredible feats with the ice and snow that I doubt would've been as good had they done this traditionally animated. I'm not saying traditional animation is bad because I've grown up with it and I still love it. I'm just saying a lot of the feel would've been really difficult to capture. In some moments you can still see some of the grooves in the ice and the individual snowflakes being caste up or blown in the wind would've been hard to do without the use of computers. There were plenty of moments where the light reflecting off the snow and ice really did a good job of capturing the emotions of the moment, from fear and anger to love and happiness.
The music and sound within this movie was also pretty cool. At times the music was just like traditional Norwegian melodies while other times the people at Disney were just doing their thing. Yes there are some pretty good songs in this movies which do help to establish more of the personalities of some of the characters. The wind blowing in this movie sound incredibly realistic, almost like they recorded actual winter winds. There's also plenty of convincing ice cracklings, freezings, and snow crunching throughout the movie.
While the movie isn't a one-hundred percent adaptation of the fairy tale there are still elements from the story in this movie. One thing I recognized a reference to was the splinter of ice that infected Kay's heart. I'm not saying Kay's in this movie. For all we know this could take place a while before Kay and Gerda come on the scene. However if you are familiar with the original story you'll know what I'm talking about. There are other moments when people do need to ride on Sven the reindeer, which I'm reminded of as something Gerda did in the original story. I'm glad they chose to include those references in this adaptation.
One thing I do want to talk about is the lessons we can walk away from this film with. Yes love is a big feature, but Disney breaks a lot of the cliches here. One of the biggest topics early on for Kristoff and Anna is about true love. Kristoff is saying that marrying a person you just met isn't a good idea, especially if you know next-to-nothing about them, while Anna firmly believes that you just know when you meet someone. I just realized one lesson that I didn't notice last night was to not judge others by appearances. Anyway, the biggest lesson, and one that I liked most was that they shared a lesson that love isn't just the attraction between a man and a woman shared with a short dance and brief kiss. Some of the characters explain that love is also helping others even when it's not convenient for us and giving up our wants for the needs of others.
All in all I have to say this was a well done story. I've been thinking for a while now that maybe film adaptations would be better off creating new stories set within the universe established within a book or a classic tale, and now we have another film as evidence of that. I hope I didn't bore you out with this review. I wanted to do a good job with actually analyzing it.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday greetings and plans for this weekend

Hi everyone,
I just wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I don't have much to say here I'm afraid. However I did want to let you know I plan to see a movie this weekend to review so that's something to look forward to. Just a little FYI on where I am in writing I'm at a point where Josun might be making some new friends. Nothing like saving someone from a predator to form a friendship.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Clash of Powers

Hi everyone. I was going to do a post on Titanoboa, but I decided that since I've missed a few days that I should share something a little more entertaining. This is a short story I wrote for my creative writing class. I did it while I was waiting for a meeting and didn't expect it to be good. However this got very positive feedback. Most people have said that they saw this as an excerpt from a longer book and they would've loved to have read more. I am considering trying to expand this into a book now. We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, enjoy.
“You should’ve known better than to challenge me.”
            Malcolm glared at Horyct. This monster of a man had no idea just how strong he had become. Well soon he would update his information.
            “You should’ve known better than to destroy my home!” Malcolm retorted. The memory of that dark day burned deep into his mind. He had just been living his life along with his friends. Then Horyct showed up and began a spree of murder and terror. In a single day he had wiped out Malcolm’s town and his friends. Only he had been able to escape death.
            “What difference does it make whether I destroy a town or a planet? Eventually all things fade away. I was just hurrying things along.” Horyct said coldly, his green eyes devoid of emotion.
            “It makes a big difference to the people who call the places you destroy home! You have no right to decide when people should die or when towns should cease to exist! You may walk like a man Horyct, but deep down you’re a black-hearted demon!” Malcolm yelled. Without any warning he leapt at his foe, bringing his fist down on…the ground? The energy he released from his fists cracked the ground and left a shallow crater.
            “You have spirit, I admit.” Horyct said from behind him. “Impressive that you have awakened your gift. However that will not be enough to eliminate me. I have powers beyond any human-”
            “Zip it!” Malcolm yelled as he charged again. “You’re going down today!” Malcolm felt the power he had gained swell up in him. However there was only one way that he could unleash that power. Again he jumped into the air, ready to strike.
            Again his fists connected with the ground when he landed. Stone shards flew everywhere from the impact.
            “Have you really learned nothing from your travels? I cannot be defeated by such primitive methods. My powers of the night exceed anything your feeble mind can comprehend.” Horyct said, emerging from the shadows in front of him.
            Malcolm stood up. He had learned so much from his travels. He had gained a greater understanding of the world than he had back home. He had also learned that the old powers of legend still existed in everyone. Sadly many of those powers had become dormant. His had only awakened after he had trained with the priests.
            He had learned about Horyct and his fascination with the idea of natural selection. He wanted to know if the human race went extinct what would arise to take their place in life? To answer those questions he had gone to consorting with demons and monsters of the night. They had granted him powers over shadows and nightmares. He had become the avatar of everything the world regarded as evil.
            Malcolm on the other hand had walked down a different path. Ever since his home was destroyed he had sought out Horyct to make him pay for his crimes. That objective slowly changed to protecting others from suffering as he had suffered. That change of heart was what began to awaken his power from within. The priests of Evertime told him that the power only manifested its true potential when face with the certainty of defeat.
            “You can’t win.” Horyct gloated. “Soon the great extinction will occur and humanity will be wiped out. The time has come for them to step down and allow nature to create a better race.”
            “Like a demon race?” Malcolm said, building up the power within.
            “You may see them as nothing but demons. What I see is the truth. They have power. They have order. They have respect. What are humans? Savage, filthy, destructive parasites that live off the earth! They tear down and destroy everything they view as different. Even members of their own families! How does that sound like a higher race to you?”
            “Is that you felt when you left your home?”
            “I never had a home. I never had a family. Do you not understand? I am a clone, solely created so this pathetic species could survive! I was never regarded as a person, an individual. Just a tool to prevent extinction so the plague of humanity could continue.” Horyct snapped.
Pacing around the fiend continued, “Look at what they do! They do whatever it takes to satisfy their whims. If something unexpected comes along, they destroy it so they will not have to face the consequences! Everyone in the place where I came from had disbanded families and only select individuals were given the honor of having children. If you could call that an honor to create tools just to save a race that is slowly destroying itself. Well guess what? They can all go to the Deep Chasm for all I care! They deserve to be destroyed.”
            “And how does that make you better than them?” He was almost ready…
            A sharp pain to the head sent Malcolm across the room. How had Horyct struck without moving? What if he did move and he didn’t see it? He still felt the energy. His fists were burning, the power wanted to be released. All the people who were still living, still trying to survive this monster’s anger. He had to do it now. Horyct was moving now. Closer…closer…

            Malcolm struck.

Friday, November 15, 2013

2nd part of chapter 1 of book 2

Hi. I figured you probably want more of what's coming in book 2, so here's the second part of the first chapter. I still have some areas that need working (like showing instead of telling), and some people feel like everything's going a little perfect for Josun. Admittedly that wasn't what I was going for. I was just trying to show that life was going on for our heroes when disaster rears its ugly head. Feel free to let me know of any errors you spot. In the meantime, enjoy.

The next day, everyone in the castle was up bright and early. Everyone wanted to get started decorating for the happy event. The castle’s butlers and maids got to work cleaning the windows and sweeping the floors to make sure they were extra clean. The royal cooks began to cook up a feast fit for twenty kings. The head chief wanted to back a cake big enough for ten dragons as he said. Josun couldn’t even imagine something that big.
            As for Josun and Saurina, the royal tailors kept them away to work on their wedding clothes. Each of them had to be measured to see how big their clothes needed to be. They wanted to use the finest material they had to make the wedding clothes. Josun was fine using his regular clothes, but said nothing, knowing that it would offend the servants if they weren’t allowed to work.
            After they were done measuring him, they sent him off so they could begin working on designing the outfit. Josun went to the dueling room inside the castle where he could practice his swordplay. Many knights of Bylouth were there, working on perfecting their skills or training their squires. Some of the squires were having trouble keeping their weapons in their hands, so someone usually ended up with a dent in their armor or a piece of their tunic cut off.
            “Josun!” One of the knights called out when they spotted him. “What can we do for you?”
            “Just here to practice.” Josun said. Reaching down his belt, he pulled up his sword Vedion. As soon as it was out of its sheath, the silver blade gave off its glow that made people reflect on their lives and things they would like to change. Holding the golden hilt, Josun began to practice on a wooden dummy in the corner.
            Whenever Josun held Vedion, he felt the responsibility of having so powerful a weapon in his hands. He remembered the legends of how Vedion was used by kings in the old days before it was hidden by the Maiden of Melodies. There were those who would love to use the sword for their own evil purposes, but Vedion would not be used by someone with dark intentions. Josun always hoped that he would be able to resist the temptation to use the blade for himself and his own gain.
            Josun quickly shook the thoughts from his head. If he dwelt on such fears, they would surely become a reality. Besides, the wizard Ipurv had said to him many times that if he would not be worthy at a later time, then the sword would not have chosen him at all. He must never let such worries keep him from drawing the sword. He had seen what had happened to a satyr who wasn’t worthy to use the sword, and not once had it happened to him. Nothing should make him think otherwise, as Ipurv would tell him.
            Swinging the sword around one last time, Josun sent the arms of the dummy spinning around, the dull metal flying out from its hands and all the way to the door. Clapping caught Josun by surprise as he turned around and saw a young boy a few years younger than him standing there.
            “Well done!” The boy said as he came up to Josun. “One of the best practices I’ve ever seen.”
            “Thank you, sir…” Josun said, not knowing who this person was. He had light brown hair and a friendly look to him.
            “Oh, it’s Grythod, sir.” Grythod introduced himself. “I’m your new page.”
            “My page?” Josun asked as he sheathed Vedion.
            “Yes. I am honored to be able to learn from you.”
            “Oh. Well, I am honored to be able to teach you. I was just finishing up.”
            “Does that mean that you’re about to leave?” Grythod asked with a disappointing look coming across his face.
            “No. If you want we can begin right now.” Josun’s response brightened up Grythod’s face. He hurried to the wall and grabbed some of the wooden swords to practice with. When he brought them over Josun he took one of them and stood at the ready. When Grythod held up his wooden sword they began with some of the basic tactics for sword wielding. Grythod was not very experienced because in a few swipes he had been disarmed.
            “It’s okay Grythod. It’ll take practice.” Josun said. “Try again.”
            This practice went on for a while. Grythod kept working hard and Josun could see he was getting better the more they practiced. Josun wondered if any of his ancestors had been warriors. Yes Grythod wasn’t a professional and didn’t show any skill right now, yet there was something about him that said he could become great.

            It was an hour later when Josun had finished working with Grythod. Replacing the swords he moved out into the castle to see what Saurina was doing. She wasn’t in her room or out in the garden, so he decided to check the library. She was there reading a book about the legacy of the husaurs, which she now spent more time in than any other book in the library. Josun admitted he like The Adventures of Titlonius, a husaur who had stopped the invasion of barbarians in the land.
            “Oh, Josun, I didn’t hear you come in.” Saurina said as she looked up from her book.
            “Well, this place is filled with books. Maybe they silenced my footsteps.” Josun joked.
            Saurina smiled. “Probably. There’s a lot that’s hidden in here. I doubt even Ipurv has read all the titles that we keep in here.” She said.
            “Wouldn’t surprise me. Your father said all the kings have been adding to the collection.”
            “At least we don’t have to worry about unexpected surpri—what was that?” She asked as they heard a loud boom. Standing up, the princess ran out of the library followed by Josun. In the hall, they saw many of the nights from the dueling room running in the direction of the entrance. They tried to ask what was going on, but nobody answered them. Finally they decided to follow everyone to see what the cause was.
            As soon as the doors came into view, Saurina let out a gasp. The immense wooden doors looked as if several cannons and a battering ram had forced them open, because they were split and heavily cracked. All around the door laid knights who looked as if they had been hit by dragon shields. In the middle of the entryway a man stood fighting off the incoming knights. He had on a black cloak with the hood pulled down to show he looked middle age with messy brown hair and a serious expression. His wooden staff withstood the blows of the knights swords and constantly shot out beams of magic that knocked them back.
            “What is going on here?” King Ifen demanded to know as he came down the stairs. As soon as he saw the scattered warriors and the warlock, he paled as if he had met this person before. Queen Arias was not far behind him, and she gasped as she saw who it was.
            “So after all these years you do remember.” The wizard said when he gazed upon them. Holding his staff high, he proclaimed, “It is I, Jerith, Head Sage of the Council of Magic, conqueror of the barbarian thylls, and the soon-to-be husband of the princess Saurina!” 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Hi again. I've noticed it's been a long time since I blogged about dinosaurs, so I thought I'd change that tonight. Not too long ago I noticed an article about a species of dinosaur called Therizinosaurus. Now you're probably confused, wondering "What kind of dinosaur is that?" Well here's an artist's rendition:
There it is. I know this dinosaur may look strange to some, but this is a theoretical look for Therizinosaurus because not many bones have been found. I learned today that its looks are primarily based off of other fossils of the family this dinosaur belonged to. The only sure features of this dinosaur were the huge claws that were found, each one measuring up to 3.28 feet in length.
Therizinosaurus was a dinosaur that lived in what is now Asia, primarily Mongolia. Its name comes from the Greek words Therizo (to cut or to reap) and Sauros (Lizard). One swipe of those claws would be enough to put the Grim Reaper out of business. Probably not because despite the odd appearance it was theorized that Therizinosaurus was a plant eater. So if that were to prove true we are off the menu for this dinosaur.
I'm not really sure how tall this dinosaur probably stood. Wikipedia said this dinosaur was theorized to have been up to ten metres in length. The picture of the size comparison makes me think this dinosaur is believed to have been possibly around 15 feet tall. However the only way to be 100% sure is to find a complete skeleton. So it probably wouldn't have been that big. We don't know for sure, and that's one of the most fun things about paleontology.
My first introduction to this group of dinosaurs was with watching the documentary When Dinosaurs Roamed America. The animal featured was a cousin called Nothronychus living in what is now New Mexico. The narrator described it as looking " a half-plucked turkey and walks like a pot-bellied bear." However I first officially saw Therizinosaurus in the anime series Dinosaur King where it was featured as one of the Secret Dinosaurs (a dinosaur that the main antagonist Dr. Z hatched, raised, and experimented on in secret, and strangely was the only one that forgave him for the experiments done upon it). A few months ago I saw an episode of Chased by Dinosaurs where Nigel Marvin went back to prehistoric Mongolia to find this dinosaur. In case you're wondering, I'd say that there's a very good chance of this dinosaur appearing in my books. In fact, I have plans to use it when I finally take all of you to the part of Dymos that parallels Asia. I did just think that it would be interesting to see this dinosaur in the Jurassic Park franchise. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Happy 23rd!

Well everyone, this is the conclusion of my twenty-third birthday. I didn't do much beyond the normal lifestyle. Went to classes, did schoolwork, watched stuff online, finished reading books, etc. I did get some pretty cool stuff that I'll share with you.
First, I got a cool new dinosaur t-shirt:
I'm pretty sure it's easy to tell what the t-shirt says. I was surprised later today with a surprise delivery from Thur Goodies. Here's what they delivered to me:

I hope I'm not making anyone hungry. This next picture will probably do the trick then:
Some friends brought these cakes over. However I had gone to the local club on writing and I wasn't back until after they had gone. Uh-oh. Just looking at them is making me hungry. And that's pretty much how this day went.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Last day of 22

I figured since today was my last day as a 22 year old I'd blog about what's been going on. I'm happy to say I've been getting better at managing my time. I've got a place where I do my study and schoolwork and so far I've been getting a lot more done. Now I just need to keep this up.
As for book two I was able to write a bit of another chapter today. I didn't get far though. However I have several possibilities as to where it goes. The trick is deciding which one will work.
I was also working on another short story. All I'll say is that it involves a vampire struggling to gain a soul. I know that may sound like an odd topic, especially with Halloween come and gone. However I was just thinking about how vampires are to be without souls and to me that would be just terrible to live life with no soul. I don't like the idea that every single member of a race is entirely good or bad, because that kind of takes the fun out of living and that isn't how it works in real life. We generally know dogs as man's best friend, but how many of them really live up to that? Also do all horses act like noble steeds? In my mindset I think any race created should have both good and bad people in them.
Well I think that's good for now. I hope all of you have a good week and I'll try to write again tomorrow.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Movies expanding universes?

This is about something that has been on my mind for a while. I've been thinking with book to film adaptations that maybe it would be better if they took a different approach. They just adapt the same story of the books and only give audiences what has already been done. I've been thinking maybe rather than adapt the same story it would probably be better to use films to create new stories for the worlds established in books. These last few months I have seen some movies that did just that. Here are a few examples.
These books give the back stories of some of the legends we've grown up with from our childhood, like the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. However the time came when a movie was adapted from these books. This was the result:
It is definitely something to sit down and watch. This film didn't try to adapt the stories of all the books into one. Instead the film's plot takes place after the books have occurred, in the present day. I will spare you the details of what happens in the movie so if you still haven't seen it nothing gets ruined. I did some research and found out the author was involved in the making of this movie, and he was trying to make it a new story. I say he did a good job.
This book, also by the author of The Guardians of Childhood, is one I haven't been able to look into yet. However this book was also adapted into a great movie. In case you're wondering which one, here it is:
I would definitely recommend seeing this movie if you haven't already. From what I was able to find out online the book had a different story from the film, yet from what I found out it almost seems like the Leaf Men were still living out their lives when the events of the film unfold. Both Epic and Rise of the Guardians were well received, financially and critically. There's just one more movie I'd like to mention:
This movie is supposed to be the backstory of the all famous Wizard of Oz. From what I've heard it uses several elements mentioned in the books yet it still seems to be an original story expanding a well-established universe. I plan to see this film this weekend so I'll let you go now so you can work on whatever it is you plan to do. Thank you for your time.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Hi. I got some positive feedback from this and I thought you would like to read it as well. This is something I did for my Creative Writing class on Halloween. We had to choose one fairy tale and rewrite it. I choose Rumplestiltskin because we don't have a lot of re-imagined or re-told versions of this story. The majority of people who read this in my class said they would've liked to have seen more of the relationships between the characters. If you enjoy reading this I hope it won't be a problem to ask you to share it with others. I'll be posting the short story I tried to get submitted soon, either on here or on my AuthorsDen page. Which would you prefer? While you think about that here's the version of Rumplestiltskin that I call Golden:

Once upon a time in the kingdom of Schifful a miller lived with his daughter. His wife had passed away shortly after naming her Linda. Their daughter was fairer than every maiden in the kingdom, yet no one in the village seemed to think much of her because she was the child of the miller. The miller had high hopes for Linda because his wife was capable of using magic. He tried to help his daughter discover the gift but every attempt ended in failure.
            “Father, I don’t think I have Mother’s gift.” Linda said one day.
            “Nonsense. You must be capable of using magic. You got more from her than you did me.” The miller said. “Why when she was around she’d make the dishes do themselves and turn flour into a feast fit for the king. Why, she could even spin straw into gold!” He exclaimed loudly.
            It was at that moment that the prince, Ronan by name, was passing by. He didn’t hear all of what was said but he did hear something about straw and gold. Peering into the window he saw Linda sitting at a spinning wheel and fell in love. He believed that she could spin straw into gold and once he mounted his horse he rushed to the castle to tell his father, King Ludwig, what he had heard and seen.
            King Ludwig pondered with great interest. He had a great storeroom of treasure and was always seeking ways to make it grow. He had laid many taxes on the people yet that wasn’t enough to satisfy his greed. If someone could spin straw into gold, then he would be the richest king in the world. He didn’t stop to wonder why the miller’s home was so poor because all he cared about was getting the girl with the great ability.
            That very night King Ludwig sent his guards to bring the miller’s daughter to him. They broke down the door of the house, killed the miller, and brought Linda to the castle.
            “I hear you can spin straw into gold.” King Ludwig said. “I have filled three rooms with straw and will give you three nights to prove your ability to me. If you succeed in turning every single straw into gold I will let you live. Fail and you shall join your father.”
            “This is why you brought me here? This is why you killed my father?” Linda screamed at King Ludwig.
            “An unfortunate tragedy. If you fail, then you can look forward to a reunion with him.” With that the king dismissed her and the guards dragged Linda to a room filled with straw it filled every corner except the area where there was a spinning wheel. The guards pushed her in and locked the door.
            Once she was alone Linda began to weep. Her family was now completely gone and she was being asked to do something that she knew was impossible for her. If she had her mother’s skills it would be easy. Yet she knew she had no gift and when the morning came she would die.
            “Why are you so sad?” A voice asked. Linda looked up to see a little man sitting at the window. She was surprised because there was no way to climb up on the outside and she was sure no one else had been in the room when she was thrown in. None of the straw had been disturbed so he couldn’t have been hiding in the stacks.
            “The king has asked me to do the impossible and spin all this straw into gold. If I fail then I shall…” Linda broke back into sobs as she remembered her father’s fate.
            “Fear not. I can do it for you.” The man said as he jumped beside her. “I’ll spin this straw for you and you will be able to keep your life.”
            “All three nights?”
            “All three nights.”
            Linda didn’t know what to think. She had never really trusted strangers and this strange little man just appearing out of nowhere and offering to help her seemed too good to be true.
            “Who are you?” She asked finally.
            “Someone who is willing to help you.” The man said.
            Linda wasn’t fooled. “What do you want in return?”
            “I’ll accept whatever you can give me.”
            Linda had very few things she could give. All she had was the necklace that she had made years ago, the ring that had belonged to her mother, and the clothes on her back. The necklace and ring were her prized possessions. Yet her father had always taught her that sometimes things happen for a reason. With great reluctance she took off the necklace and handed it to the little man. The man accepted the gift and got to work.
            As Linda watched the straw which the man spun turned to gold! She could hardly believe it. This man had to be magic if he could do the deed her father said her mother could. Her eyes grew heavy as the night dragged on and soon she fell asleep.
            She awoke when the guards entered the room the next morning with King Ludwig. He inspected the room to make sure not a strand of straw had been left. To everyone’s amazement every last piece of straw had been turned to gold. The king’s greed however was not satisfied. He had Linda taken to another room filled with even more straw as if he was trying to intimidate her. After the door had been shut Linda looked around as if contemplating where to begin.
            Prince Ronan visited her several times throughout the day. He brought her the meals himself and ate with her. He apologized for the events that had transpired last night and said he never would’ve said anything had he known that would happen. Linda didn’t answer him because she was still hurt. The kindness Ronan showed her healed some of the pain, but not all. She was reluctant to trust him, yet there was something about him that said he was nothing like his father.
            When night fell she looked around for the little man. She didn’t see him by the window this time. She wondered if it had been a dream and that she somehow spun the gold herself. However she soon saw the little man sitting over the door.
            “Night two. Do you have payment for my assistance?” The little man asked. Linda hesitated. Her mind went to her mother’s ring, yet it was all she had of her. As she thought, she felt that this was what the ring was meant for. With sorrow weighing down in her heart Linda took off the ring and gave it to the little man. Again the man spun the straw into gold, but Linda wasn’t interested this time. For some reason her thoughts kept going back to Ronan.
            When morning came every single straw had been spun to gold. King Ludwig only had his avarice grow more. He took Linda to the final room where it seemed to be completely made of straw. The only open areas were the window and the spot where the spinning wheel sat. Before King Ludwig left Prince Ronan entered the room and faced his father.
            “Father, what will become of Linda when she finishes spinning this straw into gold?” Ronan asked.
            “I said she would be allowed to keep her life.” Ludwig answered.
            “But what will become of her?” Ronan asked.
            “Why do you ask?”
            “Because I would love to take her as my wife.” Looking at Linda Ronan added “If she will have me.”
            “What? You marry her?” King Ludwig was astounded.
            “Yes. When she finishes the task you have given her.” Ronan said.
            King Ludwig thought about this for a moment, then agreed to let Ronan marry Linda if she succeeded in spinning all the straw into gold.  Ludwig forbad Ronan from coming anywhere near her until the straw had been spun into gold. He wanted it done by nightfall. When the door was shut Linda saw the little man sitting at the spinning wheel smiling.
            “You know how to get a good man’s eye.” He said.
            “You heard all that?” Linda asked.
            “Of course. And I can help you one more time by spinning all this straw into gold.”
            “But I have nothing left to give to you.”
            “Hmmm, that is a problem.” The little man thought about it.  Finally he said, “If you promise to give me your firstborn son then I will spin this straw into gold.”
            “My firstborn son? I…I can’t.” Linda said.
            “Just like you couldn’t give your necklace or your mother’s ring?” The man asked. “It’s just one child. You’ll have plenty more. You have nothing to lose yet everything to gain. Just one child.”
            Linda didn’t know what to think. There wasn’t much for her to lose, yet the idea of having to give her first son to this strange little man…it was too much. What would her father have done? After thinking for a minute Linda agreed. The man then spun the straw into gold while Linda sat worrying about what she had done.
            When night fell King Ludwig entered the room to see all the straw had been spun into gold. Prince Ronan, when he saw the gold, escorted her out of the room promising her that she would never have to spin straw into gold again. Their wedding was one of the grandest Schifful had ever seen. The months following Prince Ronan gave Linda the attention and dedication that she deserved. As time went on she opened her heart to her handsome husband and felt happy again.
            When their first son was born that happiness ended. Although all the kingdom had celebrated the birth of the new prince Linda mourned in her heart. She remembered the promise she had made to the man and dreaded seeing him again. Linda wanted to tell Ronan about all this, but she never could bring herself to do it.
            As she sat trying to figure out a way to tell Ronan the truth the little man appeared.
            “I have come for the child.” He said.
            “Please, don’t take my son.” Linda begged. “I didn’t know what I was thinking then when I promised you I’d give him to you. I’ll give you anything else, all the treasure in the kingdom if you’ll just let me keep him.”
            “Now now, that won’t do. You agreed that if I spun the straw for you he would be mine. You owe me your life and your happiness!”
            “Please don’t take him. I’ll do anything if you will let me keep him. Please be reasonable, Mr.…” Linda then realized she never learned the man’s name.
            The man opened his mouth as he was preparing to tell her his name but then stopped. His eyes widened as if he had just realized something.  Smiling he said, “If you can guess my name within three days you may keep the child. Fail and he’s mine.”
            Linda agreed and began listing every name that came to her mind. None of them was his name. The next day she sent out servants to every inch of the kingdom to gather names to try. When the second night came she listed all the names. None of them were right. Throughout the third day Linda mourned greatly. She did not know how she was going to be able to find out the man’s name before he came. How was she going to explain to Ronan when he came in to find their child gone?
            She felt a hand on her shoulder. Looking up she saw Ronan standing beside her. She turned away not wanting to give him the bad news.
            “I know the man’s name.” He said. Linda was surprised. Before she could ask he explained, “Two nights ago I heard you talking with that man. I’ve sent out men to every corner of the land searching for names.”
            “But why? Don’t you know that I’m a fraud? A sham?” She asked.
            “It has nothing to do with the gold.” Ronan answered. “When I first saw you I felt like I had seen an angel. I knew you were the person I wanted to spend my life with and I have done all that I could to make you feel like a queen of heaven.”
            Linda hugged Ronan. She felt peace in her heart. Her father was right. She did not understand why she had been brought here. Now she knew it was so she could marry this wonderful man. “What did you find out?” She asked.
            “One of my men was on his way back last night when he saw a strange sight in the woods. It was a little man dancing around a fire singing a song to himself. He was worried that this man might’ve been doing some sort of black magic yet he stayed and listened to the song. He heard the man say a name that might be useful to remember.” Ronan then whispered the name into her ear.
            That evening the little man came as usual. Linda listed off a long list of names to the man. Every single one of them was denied. However Linda was not worried because she was saving the best for last.
            “Is your name Rumplestilskin?” She finally asked.
            “How did you find out?” Rumplestilskin demanded. “There was no way you could’ve found out my name!”
            “Well since your name has been revealed I think our business here is concluded.” Linda said as she held her son close.
            Defeated, Rumplestilskin said “Very well. You may keep your son, but soon you shall learn that only more pain and suffering will befall you than had you given him to me!” With those words Rumplestilskin vanished.
            Sure enough trouble did follow. King Ludwig arrested Linda on the accusation that she was a witch and locked her in the dungeon to await execution. The baby was taken from her and Ronan, and King Ludwig forbade Prince Ronan to visit his wife or to have his child. He ordered his son to go away and not come back for a month. Ronan refused and King Ludwig banished his son saying that if he ever returned he would die.
            With his horse, sword, and the servant who had learned the name Ronan left the castle and all that he had loved. They wandered the forest avoiding the patrols who treated them like vagabonds and criminals. There seemed to be no light left in the world for Ronan.
            However after traveling for quite some time the servant pointed out to Ronan the place where he had seen Rumplestilskin. Ronan had energy return to him with the thought of exacting revenge on the little man. Looking into the clearing he saw Rumplestilskin there packing as if he was going to leave soon. Sword drawn, Ronan charged into the clearing and seized the little man.
            “Why did you curse my family? Why did you bring this misery upon us? Answer me!” Ronan said as he held his sword to Rumplestilskin’s neck.
            “I didn’t do anything. I only said bad things would happen because the child stayed with you.” Rumplestilskin replied.
            “What difference does it make if my son stayed with us or not?” Ronan asked.
            “Because of your father. Long ago he found a family who could spin straw into gold and demanded that they serve him. They refused and he killed them all. Or so he thought. There were two survivors, a brother and a sister. They separated to keep the king from finding them. I thought my sister had been safe but because of this ring which I got from your wife I learned her fate.”
            “But what does this all have to do with my family?”
            “When the king heard of your wife’s gift he thought he could get the gift. That’s what he wants. The ability to spin straw into gold. He was going to use Linda’s failure as an excuse to get the power for himself. He knew that she did not know how to do it, so I stepped in to save her.”
            “So why take payment?” Ronan asked.
            “She insisted.” Rumplestilskin answered.
            Ronan pondered all this. “You give a good story Rumplestilskin,” Ronan finally said, “But none of this explains why you wanted our child.”
            “I did explain. King Ludwig wants the gift. He thought he could get it from Linda but knows that she doesn’t have it. However your son does. He could learn how to use it if given time. The king won’t give him time though. He’s going to use dark magic to transfer your son’s gift to himself. I only asked for the baby to keep that from happening. If the gift is mixed with dark magic it’ll become tainted and bring unspeakable evil upon the world.” Rumplestilskin answered.
            “Now it makes sense.” Ronan said. “That’s why he locked Linda up and sent me away, so we couldn’t stop him from seizing the gift.”
            “And to prevent you from seeing what will become of your child.” Rumplestilskin added. “If he succeeds in taking the gift from your son, the cost will be the life of the infant.”
            Ronan dropped Rumplestilskin and rushed his horse back to the kingdom. If what Rumplestilskin said was true then he had to go back. It didn’t matter whether or not he died afterwards. His son was in danger and he had to get him to safety. Ronan didn’t know how it happened, but he found the journey back to the kingdom faster than the departure.
            Many guards tried to impede his progress. However Ronan fought through them all. His skill with the sword was unmatched in the kingdom. He fought his way through the castle and rescued his wife from burning at the stake. Together they fought their way to King Ludwig who was just about to perform the ceremony.
            “Why have you returned? I banished you from the kingdom forever!” King Ludwig shouted.
            “I know why you did that. You’re trying to get the power to spin straw into gold for yourself!” Prince Ronan accused.
            “Not just that. With the gift of your wife’s family I can do more. I can change entire forests into soldiers that never tire or need food. I can dry up rivers and lakes. That gift will make me the ruler of the world!” King Ludwig explained.
            “You’re mad.” Linda said. “And I will not let you do that to my son!”
            “Then face me in battle.” With that the king drew his sword and began fighting them. Ronan had taught Linda some skills with the sword some time ago and she still had them. King Ludwig was good, but he was no match for either of them. So calling on his dark powers he transformed himself into a massive cockatrice.
            As a cockatrice King Ludwig was a force to be reckoned with. Their swords glanced off his feathers and the wind from his wings made it difficult to keep standing. Linda tried to crawl to the baby to get him to safety but with one swipe of his tale King Ludwig kept her away. Soon they were overshadowed by the monster that prepared to devour them.
            “Excuse me your highness,” called Rumplestilskin from the other side of the room. “Don’t you want him?” He asked as he held up the baby.
            King Ludwig roared in rage and turned to face the little man. Rumplestilskin leapt away and ran down the corridor with the child. The cockatrice that had been King Ludwig was not far behind him. Struggling to their feet Prince Ronan and Linda followed after them.
The size of the cockatrice kept him from going too fast in the narrow corridors yet he gained on Rumplestilskin. Prince Ronan and Linda could see him gaining on the little man and their child. However Linda recognized the corridors as leading to the rooms where she had been told to spin the straw into gold. She opened one of the doors to find the spinning wheel had not been moved. She and Ronan moved it out into the corridor and close to King Ludwig. Once the tail got close enough she tried to grab it. However it was too strong and smashed the spinning wheel.
The cockatrice roared as the corridor began to widen. In no time it snatched up Rumplestilskin and the baby. Linda and Ronan attacked the tail to try and distract him. With a mighty swing King Ludwig threw them out the window and onto the edge of a bailey. The cockatrice flew down to them where it prepared to finish them off. With the spindle she had taken from the spinning wheel Linda plunged it into the foot of the beast. King Ludwig roared in pain, dropping the baby and Rumplestilskin. They watched as the cockatrice turned into a golden statue and shattered.

With the death of the king came reform. Prince Ronan became the new king with Linda as his queen. Rumplestilskin stayed to show her how to further her magical abilities and to help teach her son as well. And they all lived happily ever after.