>Winnie lives

>In my new fascination with readers-as-fans, I’ve been visiting fanfiction.net, where readers become writers, choosing their own adventures for Harry, Hermione, and Bella (is that name an hommage to Mr. Lugosi?). While the site has more than 350,000 Harry Potter stories and 32,000 Twilights, who would have thought that Tuck Everlasting would have 182?

Here’s a taste:

“Fuck that Amy, Give me the bottle.” Beatrice had just downed her third shot that night and was reaching for the entire bottle of Jack Daniels as her drunk friends looked on, laughing their heads off. Her alcoholism had just begun that past month. It was two twenty am and she was already high, getting drunker by the second.

She was a victim of unrequited love.

She had fallen into a downward spiral of depression, and only one man could pull her out.

-

Winifred Foster went to work every morning, no matter how hungover she was from the previous night. 7:00am at the local diner, close to where the spring used to be. She was now 107 years old. But to her ‘friends’ and colleagues, she was 17 year old Beatrice Allen, new to the town of Treegap since a year ago, when she had grown tired of Tokyo. Winnie had dyed her naturally chocolate hair black, and bought some hazel contact lenses to hide her vibrant green-blue eyes. She did this in fear that somebody should recognize her, over time. She kept a low profile, and traveled around a lot, blown off lots of replaceable friends, but she did this because she could not risk the secret of Tuck Everlasting.

The spring had survived, she was still the rightful owner of the wood, she refused to sell it. Even if she had wished to, no buyers would be able to track her down. So many years of aliases, and fake IDs. Her actual identity was a mystery to anyone who wanted to find out. She only faintly remembered the ‘Man in The Yellow Suit’ now, but he was still there, taunting her somehow. Maybe it was her remorse, for not being there when her mother died, for faking her death and leaving everyone behind. It wasn’t her fault she had begun getting older and not a thing had changed. She had no choice but to run. She had a new life to expect then. Now? After nearly one hundred years, and still no Tucks. She had no idea what to expect.

And as she poured some water for a kind gentleman in his booth, she wondered if she could make it another day, in her meaningless existence. She contemplated drinking herself into alcohol poisoning; but ‘of course’, she thought with a bitter laugh she would never die.

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Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

Comments

  1. thereadingzone says:

    >As a certified Tuck-a-holic, I never even entertained the thought that there would be fanfic dedicated to TUCK EVERLASTING. Who knew?!

    and I kind of want to read the rest of that story….:)

    -Sarah

  2. Anonymous says:

    >How do we know this isn’t Natalie Babbit in a bad mood? Maybe she’s pissed off and venting at her own characters.

  3. Roger Sutton says:

    >I read the quoted passage to Natalie over the phone this afternoon. If she wrote it, she is good an actor as her husband! (Who is himself an acclaimed Lear.)

  4. ladydisdain says:

    >The day I Googled “Trixie Belden fanfiction” was a traumatic one for me.

  5. Carlie Webber says:

    >Liz B. from A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy and I are presenting on the readers-as-fans topic at the YALSA YA Lit Symposium in November. Admittedly, neither one of us has written Tuck Everlasting fanfic, but thanks to the internet fandoms are bigger than ever before, and they're starting to be a huge factor in book marketing. It's not just about writing fic anymore; it's also about throwing parties and proms and making t-shirts and playlists.

  6. >I admit to having written fanfiction (and in my 30s so I can’t blame it on youth). I wrote Star Trek: Voyager fanfic and it was, for me, a way to escape real life – like watching Voyager re-runs nightly wasn’t enough! I’ve always wanted to write Little Women fanfic. Yes, I’m afraid I’m all for Laurie and Jo getting married and having raging battles that inspire Jo to write cracking good fiction.

  7. Anonymous says:

    >Star Trek fan fiction is a whole other thing. There are whole Star Trek episodes and series being made and broadcast on, yes, the Internet. And if you thought Trek was hammy when it was written and delivered by pros….

  8. J. L. Bell says:

    >If you’re gonna explore fanfiction, you should be sure to gawk at The Pitfalls of Fanfiction, a LiveJournal community where pissed-off people try to get others to understand either (a) the absolute basics of writing a clear and interesting story, or (b) extraordinarily esoteric details of individual fictional worlds.

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