Frivolous Fairy Tales for Modern People: My Voice, Which My Brother Never Listens To

A/N: I’ll be returning to A Dalliance With the Sun next week. But for now, here’s a new story inspired by Sabrina Orah Mark’s Wild Milk. It may not seem like a typical fairy tale, but that’s how Mark’s storytelling is. It’s her own wild version of a fairy tale, and I tried to imitate that wildness here.

My brother wasn’t listening to me. But I continued to call his name, my voice rising at each call — until it rose so tall that I decided to use it as a ladder. At the top of the ladder, I was finally able to bellow down to him because my voice travels better down than straight. So I jumped onto my voice as if it were a hand glider. But he still didn’t hear me. My voice landed just a few steps away from him. The steps were faint in the sand and they were so easily blown away by the wind. They screeched as they were lifted and snatched away — “NoOOoooO!!!” That my brother heard. He turned his head toward the fading steps and brought his hand to his forehead, looking into the distance. I tried calling him again — this time in a violent cackle so that I was distinct enough to hear. The cackle bounced up and down, between the sky and the ground. But then it threatened to turn more violent. I was afraid it would knock my brother over, so I chased after it while screeching like the steps from earlier. I caught onto the cackle, but it didn’t stop bouncing, so I joined it for a ride. By the time it had ceased in its vicious aerial voyage, I was battered and bruised at my brother’s feet. Then, I called his name in a waver so weak that it landed only right before me, between my brother and me. And since he didn’t catch it, he slipped on it and face-planted right beside me. But he still didn’t see me, so I tried to grab his leg. However, by then he was up again, trotting across the sand, leaving me because I somehow lost my voice and I couldn’t find it anywhere in the sand — not it raised nor bellowed nor cackled nor wavered. And by then I had forgotten my brother’s name.



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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