The Queen, Gemma, and Eden

Diana Beltran September 29, 2017
Retold Fairy Tales
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    “Of course we need more business around here! Can’t you see all of this empty land? A Starbucks here, a Chipotle there, and a Neiman Marcus over there!” the queen shouting to the king. The king knew that the only way to get her off his back was to give her what she wanted. “Yes my dear,” he monotonously replied, as she began contacting contractors to begin the commercialization of the small town enclosed by nature’s beauty.

    This small town, Gemma, was renown for being surrounded by the greenest, tallest trees and by blue glistening lakes that held incredible amounts of healthy fish. People would travel countless miles to catch fish from Gemma not only because they were extra tasteful, but they also provided what people believed was the panacea to all illnesses. Not a single hospital or doctor’s office thrived in this town, whoever was sick would just have a fish. The surrounding forest was home to many creatures and the original peoples of Gemma, who had moved into the neighboring forest avoiding the queen, whom they felt as menace to their way of life.

    Eden, a young girl who lived in Gemma, noticed that more and more people lost interest in taking care of her sweet little town. “Soon enough, this place will no longer be the jewel of the East,” Eden said to herself. And she was right. As she was walking back home from her daily hike, she saw the queen happily discussing her vision to the contractors. “I would like to bring only the elite to Gemma, so I need country clubs, expensive restaurants, and many designer stores. I am giving you full authorization to build into that nasty forest, nothing but pests live there and we would all be better off without them.” Eden heard this and she ran back into the depths of the forest to warn the natives about the critical situation at hand.

    After meeting with the leader of the tribe, describing to her what Eden had seen and heard, the leader decided that the only way to defeat the queen, was to stop her before she began. “She pushed us out once and she will not push us out again,” the leader reassured her community.

    But the queen was too quick.

    The merciless queen plowed into the forest. One by one, communities of animals were ripped from their shelters, any potential new home destroyed by bulldozers and the queen’s greed. All of the waste from the construction sites thrown into the delicate glass like lakes, shattering all life within them, including that of the all-curing fish. All of the natives, having been dependent only from the food nature provided, began to die one at a time by the lack of animals and plants to eat.

    Time passed and only a few of the natives were still alive but not by much. There was nothing Eden could do, the damage occurred too quickly and no one from Gemma seemed to care. She tried to bring food from Gemma to the sickly natives but the situation in Gemma was not any better. All of the bright colors that had once been characteristic of this town were gone. Each household had family members ill due to the lack of food they routinely would obtain from the forest. There was no medicine in Gemma because for so long, the town depended solely on the magical fish and Eden was only surviving off the scraps of food families around Gemma would share.

    Days later, the Queen fell ill. “Bring me some of those fish!” the queen ordered her deteriorating king. “I need to finish my deed to this town.”

    “But there is nothing left. You have single-handedly destroyed everything, the forest, this city.”

    The king turned and walked away.

    Eden thought that the last thing she could do to try to save what was left of her sweet town was to talk directly to the queen.

    She was escorted to the queen’s room and she saw that the queen looked just a decrepit as Gemma itself. “Why?” asked Eden, with the last bit of wit left inside her, “Why did you let your desire for materialistic needs annihilate the life of Gemma and the forest?”

    The queen could not respond, for the answer was too difficult to admit. The queen closed her eyes and never opened them again.

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