Frivolous Fairy Tales for Modern People: A Dalliance With the Sun (Part I)

Naturally, as one does, Selene makes the trudge up 14 flights of stairs, up the tallest building in the city, to reach the Sun so that it will give her a son. The young woman yearned for a baby— she loved babies, always looking at mothers on the street and their tiny lumps of chubbiness with longing and envy. However, she had no interest in men and was sure that adoption agencies wouldn’t approve of her young age and the questionable state of her apartment. So against her better judgment, she delved into the deepest corners of the internet and found her solution.

“How to Get a Baby from the Sun,” that mysteriously enlightening article was titled. It was actually an old Tumblr post from ten years ago, but there had been one comment that convinced her. 

re: works. have twins now. but be weary of the outcome.

The message was ominous, but Selene was desperate. She wanted a baby to love and to hold. A baby that would always be hers. And what other outcome could there be than getting a baby?

Loneliness is truly a danger for the desperate.

With legs weak, but resolve stronger than ever, Selene stared up at the Sun. Its brightness was more oppressive than usual as if it sensed what she was about to do.

Step 1. Take an ant and kill it.

She drew a jar out of her bag. In it was a tiny black arachnid, it was harmless, the kind you’d find underneath your couch. But no one has sympathy when killing ants, and for Selene, it was an easy decision. Kill a tiny life in exchange for a cuter one. So she smashed the jar onto the ground and stomped on the ant before it could scramble.

Step 2. Light a piece of clothing (that you are wearing) on fire. 

She shrugged off her T-shirt, leaving her in the tank top she had underneath. Holding the shirt at arm’s length she brings out a lighter and ignites it. The fabric catches fire and shrivels to ashes rapidly. 

She’s so close.

Step 3. Pledge loyalty to the Sun.

When Selene initially saw that final point she was puzzled. There were no instructions on how to “pledge loyalty” — no script to recite or anything. It was what she thought about most— along with cursing the out-of-order elevator— while walking up all those stairs. What would she say to the Sun? 

It had to be good if she was going to be given a baby. But she also didn’t want to waste any time, and a lengthy monologue would likely seem overdone and insincere. So she finally decided on something concise.

“Great Sun,” her voice bellowed confidently. “I give you my body and soul, and for that, I would like a baby of my own!”

At that, the sky broke open.


Suparna Hande is a junior majoring in Creative Writing & Literature and Asian Studies. Her current series, Frivolous Fairy Tales for Modern People, features short fiction written in the well-known fairytale form, but in a modern context. Her pervious series, Sagas Among the Arcana, included poetry and fiction based on weekly tarot readings. In her free time, she enjoys playing the violin and dancing.

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