½ “Okay, kid. One more time. Name?” “Baelfire.” “Right. Father’s name and occupation?” “Rumpelstiltskin. Spinner.” “Uh-huh. And your mother?” “Milah. She–she’s dead, but, um. Pirate. I guess.” “Okay. Birthday?” “Third day of Red-Crane Moon, sir.” “Hang on, kid, I’ll be right back.– Jesus, Bob, we can’t write this shit down. He’s lying, or he belongs to some weird cult or something.” “Look at his clothes–maybe he’s Amish?” “I’ll send Al tomorrow and see if they’re missing anyone, but I doubt
2/2 it. Seems a little young for Rumspringa, and anyway they’re not into all this fairytale stuff. You ask me, he’s one of those weirdos thinks he’s Bilbo Baggins and lives in his parent’s basement covered in Cheeto dust.” “Yeah? You shoulda seen him flinch when he saw the TV. Never seen a kid damn near piss himself over Peter fucking Pan.” -aka yeah teen Bae totally knew to give his actual birthday according to the Gregorian calendar, guys!
Summary: Unable to sleep one night, downtrodden spinner Rumpelstiltskin sees local witch Mistress Belle dancing nude in the fields as part of a magic ritual. Things take an interesting turn when she asks him to join her.
It’s the nights like these when Rumpel is at his wits’ end. Bae is staying with the neighbours for the night; at least Rumpel knows that he will be looked after and will go to bed with a full stomach. It makes him feel so helpless when he can’t even feed his own son, and he’s infinitely grateful that Morraine’s family can spare a hot meal for him every now and then, just until Rumpel can get to the market in the morning with the next batch of wool. He stands on his doorstep, illuminated in the light of the silvery full moon. The moonlight looks so beautiful tonight, and for once, Rumpel decides to take a moment just to appreciate it. He doesn’t get much opportunity to enjoy nature these days, not with money and food so tight. He can’t sleep for worry, so he might as well just watch the night. It’s at that point that he sees the figure moving down the lane towards the wheat fields, a hooded figure swathed in a long, dark cape. Rumpel’s first immediate instinct is to duck back inside his cottage and bolt the door against possible malicious intruders, but then the figure turns and their face is revealed.
It’s Mistress Belle, the herbalist who lives at the edge of the village. Rumpel likes Mistress Belle; whenever he has needed her potent remedies for a fever or sickness of Bae’s she has always given them to him for free, asking in return for something small, like a tuft from the first shearing of their newest lamb, or a drop of lanolin for a potion. Yes, he likes her, probably more than he would ever admit to, with her bright blue eyes, her soft hair and clear skin, and her knowing, kind smile. They’re very similar in a way, he and Belle. The rest of the village treat them as pariahs: Rumpel for his perceived cowardice and Belle as a heathen who worships the wrong gods and performs strange rituals after the sun goes down and her shop closes. Everyone will go to her in their times of need for her excellent cures, but outside of family ailments, she is shunned, and people cross the way to avoid her. Everyone except Rumpel, who always has a friendly word for her whenever their paths run into each other, and who is always gifted one of her beautiful smiles in return.