I'm doing this thing on Tumblr where every now and then, I open up the floor to five-word-and-under prompts from the people lurking me. Then, I take the prompts, and write heartbreaking Rumpelstiltskin things.

This prompt was: "Rumpelstiltskin is the father" (as opposed to the previous "Rumpelstiltskin is not the father")

Not a Father Anymore

It's disorienting, to say the least, seeing the wee little babe who fit so well in the crook of his arm in the face of the man riding into town astride that growling beast of a machine. Gold is a jack of all trades, a master of so many things, but he does not know how to make a deal with this.

He had not… he had not expected to see his son again—certainly not roaring past his house in the middle of the afternoon—and for a moment, the vertigo is so great he casts a glance over his shoulder, eyes searching through the stained-glass of his yet unlocked front-door, wondering if maybe… but no, no, that's foolishness. The boy's mother is never coming home, curse or no. There are no happily-ever-afters here, and for all he's tried, no magic yet that can wake the dead.

His son sails past, quick as he came, without word or pause. Gold doubts the boy even saw him, though his eyes turned this way. How could his boy expect to see him here, an old man in a pristine suit? Cane and car and colored glass for background, Gold is certain he has never looked so safely suburban in his life.

No, his son does not recognize him, and Gold unlocks his door, steps into his empty home and eases the door gently shut behind him, though he is shaking, sick to the stomach.

His son did not recognize him.

Gold does not know whether he is grateful or grieving.