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Future Fairy Tales: Goldilocks

"In the future, fairy tales are going to get weird - here's a little preview."
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Published 6 years ago
Once upon a time in a land not so far away there lived a beautiful little girl. And her eyes were sometimes blue and sometimes green, but her hair was always golden, and her friends (of which there were very many) called her Goldilocks. And Goldilocks was sweet and kind and always did the best she could, and she smiled often, because she loved her life. But her parents wished she was smarter and worked harder at school – they loved their daughter, but they knew there’s always room for improvement.

Every day, Goldilocks would put on her favourite red jacket and skip down the way to her grandmother’s house, picking flowers along the way. And the two would talk and laugh and bake cookies and play silly games until it got late. And then her grandmother would hug her and warn her to be careful and send her home with love and cookies for the family, and if she was doing well that day she would walk Goldilocks home, because she loved her more than anything and wanted to make sure she was safe.

One day Goldilocks was coming back from her grandmother’s house, alone, because it was not a good day for her grandmother. And Goldilocks was skipping across the street with her basket of cookies, when she was hit by a car. It was a very nice and expensive car, and the driver had been going very fast indeed. When he saw that Goldilocks was hurt, and that people were coming over to see what had happened, he drove off even faster, before anyone could identify him and make trouble.

A crowd gathered around Goldilocks, and they asked her how she was feeling, but all she felt was pain, and she couldn’t move her lips to answer them. And someone called the ambulance, and the doctors came and did some scans and identified her parents and called them, and they came down to see Goldilocks lying so still, and they were very unhappy.

And Goldilocks’ mother cried and asked the doctor what would happen to her daughter.

“Well, she’s pretty far gone,” he said, chewing his lower lip. “We could fix her up, but it would take a long time and it would be pretty expensive.”

“Well, she’s our only daughter,” said Goldilocks’ mother. “And we love her very much. But do we have any cheaper options?”

“Of course you do,” said the doctor. “Actually it’d probably be less bother just to clone her. Get some DNA, stick it in a growth vat, copy this one’s brain patterns, and you could have her back to normal in a couple weeks.”

“Only normal?” Goldilocks’ father asked.

“Well,” said the medicine man, “she can be improved, if you’d like. We can make her a bit stronger, say, or smarter, or more risk-averse, so you don’t have to go through this tragedy ever again.”

“Yes,” Goldilocks’ mother said. “That will do very nicely. Thank you.”

And she and her husband took one last look at their daughter, and walked off arm-in-arm, back home to enjoy their dinner. And Goldilocks heard all this, but she couldn’t even scream or shout or argue, and the tears wouldn’t come through the pain.

The old Goldilocks spent three weeks in hospital, and the doctors scanned her and analyzed her and probed her and used everything they found out to help make the new Goldilocks better. And when the three weeks were up, the new Goldilocks went to live with her parents, and the old one was quietly put to sleep.

And Goldilocks’ parents love their daughter now more than ever. And their new daughter is even prettier than she was before, and she does much better at school. But Goldilocks smiles much less now, and she doesn’t skip or laugh, or bring flowers to her grandmother.

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