I can’t believe I let her get away with it. I can’t believe I gave such a shallow, superfluous, scat-bag my pity. My name is Rumpelstiltskin, and it doesn’t matter who knows it anymore.

I worked in the king’s castle, well, not really worked so much as lent a hand in exchange for something I needed, no contract, all under the table. One day I was wandering the halls, and I heard crying from one of the king’s chambers. Naturally, I opened the door to investigate, and inside I found her, the miller’s daughter.

“What’s the matter, miss?”

“I have to spin all this straw into gold, or else the king will kill me!”

She kept sobbing after that, and I could see why. The poor lass was shut in a room stacked floor-to ceiling with straw. I normally wouldn’t do alchemy on request, it never ends well, but this girl didn’t seem like the type to ask more than once, so I told her I could; She was ecstatic. Up and down “thank you”’s and “it’s so nice of you”’s. I made my position clear that I couldn’t do it for free, and she offered up her bracelet. It was a little light, and obviously very cheap, but the first time’s always cheap. I stayed up all night to spin the straw into gold, and lo-and-behold the next night, she asked me again.

I did it again too, because I’m a sucker for the whole “damsel in distress” shtick. She offered me her necklace this time, but with less tears. I guessed she felt more comfortable knowing I could bail her out. I was a fool to fall for it. The very next night, for the the cooze was in another chamber, bawling her eyes out. This sucker was stacked floor-to ceiling with straw, and she needed it, big surprise, spun into gold. The third time she didn’t have anything to offer me, and frankly, at this point, I am absolutely fed up with her. I give her a ridiculous price for my services, a debt, really; I ask for her firstborn child.

She accepts it, obviously. I wasn’t really expecting for her to be so willing, but I spin all of the goddamn straw into gold as per the agreement. The next day she goes and marries the king. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with the prince-to-be at the time, but I got a great plan, ya’ see. I was going to make off to a nearby kingdom with the kid, and have them put it up for ransom. I’d take part of the payment, of course, but it would be enough to get me a nice cushy cabin, away from all the hustle and bustle of the city. I waited until the criers would proclaim the birth of a beautiful baby prince, and it took them about a year to deliver.

I snuck my way into the castle, and spoke to the princess in the dead of night. I told her that it was time to honor our deal, and, surprise of all surprise, she broke down and started crying.

“Please don’t take my baby!” She bawled at me, and I fell for it again. I gave her a deal, if she could guess my name in three days, I’d let it all go, debt-free. Immediately she stopped the waterworks and started spouting every name she could think of at me: Roberts, Catherine, Virgil, Dean, Alex, Jake, Orwell, Xavier, Lovecraft, Geiger, Carol, the whole shebang. I told her that none of them were my name.

She, evidently, sent out all her servants to collect all the names she could find. When I came back the next day, she spent no less than three hours of my day practically screaming them all at me. None were my name. On the second and final night, she had some sneaky servant follow me home. I may or may not have been excited about the prospect of never having to work another day in my life, made some soup, and may or may not have shouted my name at the top of my lungs in confidence that she would never find it out. Imagine my surprise when she did.

The third day I came to her castle, and she told me, flat out. “Your name is Rumpelstiltskin.”

She wore the smuggest grin I’ve ever laid eyes on before or since. She knew she had gotten away scot-free, and played me like a fiddle. She got to keep her kid and her husband, she got to live a life of luxury while I was stuck wallowing away in some hut in the middle of town. I went into the neighboring kingdom anyways, and told them they could kidnap the prince. As it turns out, the girl was from their kingdom. I was played from the start.