Teaching Experience and The Glass Girl

Well, it has been exactly one week since revealing my inadvertent secret of having approximately zero classroom teaching experience. The initial shock has worn off, but not the embarrassment and guilt (not to mention the guilt at being guilty–I have said this before. Was someone just not paying attention?). But I haven’t buried myself in my favorite books again, so I seem to be handling it okay. If all goes well, I will be meeting folks at BHS tomorrow to talk about teaching assistant positions (volunteer work, but vital for this classroom experience thing). The whole idea scares the pants off of me, even more so than it did before, due to the embarrassment and the guilt, so, uh… we’ll see…

We’ve officially held two production meetings, making the webseries seem ever more plausible, despite all the completely implausible aspects (like the fact that it’s essentially being spearheaded by three college kids with restaurant jobs and little pocket change). Nevertheless, if there’s one thing I’ve always been good at, it’s dreaming, so I’ve promised to get the first episode written by the eighth. And you know what? I think that just might happen? I checked last night, and I’m up to page 15, and a little more than halfway through my outline. I have hit a bit of a snag, and I know that even when I finish the last scene, there are going to be some kinks to work out, but for the first time in a long time, I will have something to show for all my work.

In the meantime, Zennis is going through some interesting overhauls, namely involving some destruction of the laws which govern the electromagnetic spectrum, so if anyone out there has a good understanding of physics, let me know. (It looks like I’m going to have to call in my friend Simon to teach me some math and science details and get one of my planets back on track.) On the bright side, this has resulted in (drum roll) the third migration period, which means the news of the Svene System might be showing up in the encyclopedia sometime soon. I’ve got big plans for this one, some new magical workings that have been floating around in there–I just have to decide which ones to use.

Annnddd… since there doesn’t seem to be much else going on in my life, I give to you a fairytale from the Burch Twins’ Bedtime Stories (Note, the Burch Twins are part of my universe. This story is my own work.)

Warning: As in most fairy tales, there is death and grusome themes (but no explicitly grusome imagery.)

The Glass Girl

Once upon a time, there was a glass maker whose wife was sick with child. He took her to a healer, who said the woman was very sick, and would die soon if not helped. The healer had the medicine to cure her, but would not do so without payment. Unfortunately, the glass maker and his wife were very poor and did not have the money to pay her. The healer had never had a child, and so offered to heal the mother, if they gave her the child when it was born.

“My child is my life,” the woman said, “if I am to lose it, there is no point in healing me.”

The glass maker told the healer that though he could not give her a living child, he could make one for her out of glass. The healer agreed. So the glass maker made a beautiful baby girl out of glass. But a prince of the underworld took pity on the healer and breathed life into the glass, so that when the glass maker delivered the payment, it was not a glass baby that the healer received, but a living, breathing, child.

Overjoyed, the healer doted on her daughter as any loving mother would. But she coveted the child, and worried that someone would come to take her daughter away from her. So she moved deep into the woods, into a tower with no entrance or exit but a single window.

The girl grew into a lovely beautiful young woman with long, long hair, like spun gold. Whenever the healer left and wanted to return to the tower, she would stand below and call, “My darling, my glass girl, let down your hair!” The girl would hang her hair out of the window, and the healer would ascend.

One day, the prince of the realm was out hunting when he heard a beautiful voice. He followed the sound through the brush until he found the tower. He recognized that the person to whom the beautiful voice belonged lived within, but he did not not know how to speak with her, for the tower had no entrance but the window. He was pondering this when he heard someone coming. The prince darted into the brush and watched as the healer came to the tower and called up, “My darling, my glass girl, let down your hair!” And down came the girl’s hair, like a lovely golden rope.

The prince waited hours, until well past nightfall, when the healer left again. Then he went to the base of the tower and called up, “My darling, my glass girl, let down your hair!” The girl did not recognize the voice, but having been starved of companionship, had no qualms against letting the stranger into the tower. When the prince reached the top, he told her what a beautiful voice she had, and she asked him all about the world beyond her home. The agreed to meet again the next night, and then every night after. After many nights, the prince came to her and asked if she would marry him.

“You can live with me in my castle,” he said, “and be my queen.”

“Oh my,” the girl said, “let me speak to my mother first about it, for she will be quite upset.”
The prince knew how much the girl loved her mother, and how much her mother loved her. “I would not dream of taking you away from her. You shall both live there, of course.”

“That is very kind of you,” the girl said, “but please, let me speak with her alone first. I am sure I can convince her.”

“Very well.” The prince agreed to return the next day, when the girl would present him to her mother.

When the girl’s mother returned, she told her about the prince she had fallen in love with and asked her mother to live with them in his castle after they married. But the mother was distraught that she had not kept her daughter to herself. She flew into a rage and attacked the girl. After cutting off her hair the healer climbed down from the tower, using the vines, as she had used before her daughter’s hair grew so long and thick, and buried the girl’s body in a swamp.

The healer returned to the tower and waited for the prince, for her daughter had told her he was coming. When he arrived, he called up to the tower window, “My darling, my glass girl, let down your hair!” Hanging the girl’s hair on a hook on the ceiling, the healer dropped it from the window. When the prince arrived at the window, he saw only the girl’s mother, and asked where he could find his bride to be.

“Fear not, for you will soon be with her,” the healer said, and pushed the prince out of the window. His body shattered as it hit the ground. When the healer realized her folly, she died of despair.

But the prince of the underworld had kept an eye on the girl, and did not like that she had not even had the chance to die with her true love. So he made a body for the prince out of clay, and put his life inside. Then he delivered the new child to a couple who had been praying for a child. The he went to the swamp, where the girl’s body was buried and did likewise, vowing that the lovers would not die again until they had found each other.

The girl’s body turned once again into glass. But having known life once, the glass refused to stop growing, and so a patch of glass flowers marks her grave.

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