“The Beanstalk Revisited” by Rob Rosen from Myth and Magic: Queer Fairy Tales from Bold Strokes Books, 2014. Edited by Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman.
I read this collection and then went to see the move adaptation of Into the Woods. Can you say “head trip”?
Jack has never been a particularly sympathetic character. He’s lazy, inattentive, dishonest, and greedy. He’s not only a thief, he’s one who keeps on stealing long after his immediate need for food and shelter has been satisfied. That said, he’s always felt flat, and I like this fleshed out, contemporary version of him. The Jack in this telling is older, in high school. He’s as self-absorbed as any teenager in real life. I’m not sure why his absent father was switched out in favor of a deceased mother, but I do like the conflict between Jack and his “step monster”. I liked the trouble he gets into when his father sends him into town to buy a birthday gift for her, and I especially liked the story’s resolution.