before he sells the beans to jack, he is born in a house that smells of ceder.
his name is Tiffany. a bold bright name. a stardust name. a girl name. but he is not a girl. he knows this, even if others don’t. his mother puts him in dresses, teaches him how to sew, chastises him when he lets his voice get low.
“my great-aunt’s friend’s sister,” says his mother, with her red lips tight, “once knew these girls that spoke and diamonds came out of their mouths. you know what happened to the nasty one? she got toads. that’s your future if you don’t figure out how to be a nice little girl.”
so he speaks gently. but the whole time he is wondering: who gave them the language of gems. who gave them the language that rolled out of them. it must be magic. and if there is magic, maybe there is hope for him.
he takes off in a dark night. a sad night. one where the fire was too low and he was sick of mirrors. he leaves his mother a note: gone to find where the gems grow.
in the black woods, he cuts off his hair. wears his father’s clothes. feels, at last, whole. runs and runs and runs until his air comes out in a wheeze. walks for weeks and weeks.
he finds the old woman carrying water. she is ugly, her mouth all twisted angry. but she carries the water alone.
the boy does not have much. but he has shoulders. a good back. hands that work. when he takes her burden, she says, “thank you, young man.” and he smiles at her, but doesn’t say anything.
her house is damp. she feeds him stew, apologizes. says she used to make lovely foods but the price of milk and eggs got far too high. she says: if you carry my water for five weeks, i will give you something special. and he agrees.
she talks for him. spends a lot of time telling him of people he never met. girls with lips blood red. girls with white fairy dresses. boys who fell in love with swans.
the boy says little. just nods. sleeps on the floor of her empty barn. when she’s not looking, he darns her clothes for her, keeps the floors swept, fills the lanterns with oil, makes her a blanket for the coming winter.
on the end of the fifth week, she gives him the beans. tells him that they have been passed down in her family, that this was her portion. she says that she is too old now for such adventures. that she hears the beans will bring treasure. fortune. all the things of greed. she says: i will give them to you, for what you have done to me.
in the morning, he takes off. he feels the weight of them in his pocket. he thinks of the old woman and the stories and the sight of her tired hands. he stands in the market for a long time, unspeaking, simply staring at the cobblestones beneath him.
jack’s voice is the last call in the evening. a beautiful cow, young and thick and healthy.
the boy has no money. he bounces the magic bean in his pocket, and thinks of treasures.
“wait,” he says.
transaction complete: one cow for a handful of magic beans. the boy walks the cow home to the old woman, gets there in the morning. they are both very tired. he falls asleep beside the beast in the hay. dreams of the foods the old woman can cook now that she can get milk.
when he wakes up, he is changed. it is as if he simply turned into who he was made to be. not a new body. familiar. the body he could always see.
the old woman stands at the door of his barn. she says, “good morning,” and then she says a new word. a word he’s never heard. a name. his name. a boy name.
he repeats it. it is a jewel in his mouth, so he says it again. another diamond.
“time to fetch water,” she says, winking. the whole way, he whispers his name. it never quite tastes the same, always beautiful, always a fine thing, always his. the something special he was lacking.
in the back of his pocket, there is one last magic bean. he will fetch the water and plant it. and he will carry that old woman to the castles she has never seen.
I’ve been getting a lot anonymous asks talking about the secret spoiler that was seen on the set tour and have therefore compiled a lot of info on what exactly the spoiler might be. DISCLAIMER: all this info is coming from anonymous sources who may or may not actually know anything about the set. Therefore, I am claiming all of this as total speculation until a valid source can provide confirmation. So, here’s a list of all the info I’ve gotten.
The spoiler “would be hard to keep in [Captain Swan’s] house.”
Someone at the convention apparently said that the spoiler had something to do with CS (but backpedaled when they realized that they’d said too much).
I got two very vague anons following an anon that wished people would just tell us the spoiler. They said the following: “It has to do with a boy named Jack *whistles*” and “A tale of a boy named Jack and a….” I guessed that what they’re referring to is the beanstalk, but got no further confirmation.
The beanstalk would align with whatever the spoiler is being hard to keep in the CS house, and it would also be related to CS.
There was apparently a tweet where someone said the secret spoiler was in a green screen room, which they would need in order to recreate the beanstalk set.
There is now a picture of what looks like the bottom of a beanstalk in an outdoor set in Burnaby Central Park (x)
Obviously there is no way for me to 100% confirm any of this, but I thought I would organize all the info I’ve collected, whether it’s true or not, so that you all can be the judge. If you want to see any of the asks I’ve gotten in relation to any of these pieces of info, you can either message me or find them at mrs-emma-swan-jones.tumblr.com/tagged/anon.
Beanstalk: careful hints at past stories, a red-headed hero named Jack, a giant of a boy whose brothers called him Beanstalk, a seventh son of a seventh son with an easy smile and a quick sword… nothing tangible, just the glint of old adventures shining through when the light hits just right.
Echoes of a Giantkiller: Saint George the Dragon-Slayer is friends with the Merry Men, Snow White and Rose Red run a refugee-camp-slash-militia-group, Alan-a-Dale married a Red Riding Hood, the Pied Piper’s kid will weasel lollipops out of the unsuspecting,