But I didn’t want to retell The Cask of Amontillado from Montresor’s perspective. That would add no real value to the importance of the story as a whole, and maybe even lessen the impact, at least in my mind. I chose a character that had no relation to the original story so we can look and see what an outsider, in today’s world, might think of the murderer. It also adds a little closure for Fortunato. Do murderers really get away with their crimes? In reality, a lot of them unfortunately do. However, it was nice to think that eventually, karma bites one in the ass- in the form of an excavator. Montresor is still the primary focus, but he is a visitor in the story of Alfonso and Mr. Luchesi.
Red’s War, hahaha, now that was fun. I actually did a lot of research for this one. The assignment was to write a classic fairytale with our own twist, memorize it by heart, and speak it aloud in front of the class (The Art of Storytelling). My classmates had kind of come to expect a crazy story. They knew I was an author, they knew about the stuff I put in there. It’s really, really quick but adds a lot of character to Jackie Red. Some of them even begged for me to make it scary and were quite pleased with the results. Little Red Riding Hood is a tale so old there is very little I actually had to do. I could borrow the groundworks from other interpretations. Little girl knows her way around the woods, may or not meet a wolf, and reaches her grandmother’s cottage to find that a wolf has eaten her grandmother, dressed up in her clothes, can even talk… Barring all the morals of the story- it just wouldn’t work in the modern world.
I would hope we teach kids enough about animals (not just wolves specifically) that unless it is a parrot with a limited vocabulary, they do not talk. Nor can they put on clothes… without the help of a human. Animals with clothes on them are adorable.
To get the new actionized story I went with the Huntsman’s perspective. I answered the questions of what he was doing out there in the woods, in some interpretations anyway, and gave him a real reason and motive to fight. Little Red is his daughter, without explicitly stating that in the story. I never call her little, or Red. There was a certain amount of subtlety I needed to take for the original version, before, because of time restraints. Now of course, there are no time restraints.
At any rate, if I’m going to recreate a story in my own image, I’m going all in or not at all.