Disco Hedgehog, Little Dragon Butterfly, Princess Giselle, are some of the surreal and enchanted characters of the fairy tales book written and illustrated by Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf. Fairy Tales, published by Hardie Grant, contains twelve original stories and illustrates a magical and surreal body of work. Below a short extract from the story Flowerbomb, dedicated to the first women’s fragrance created by the Dutch duo. Enjoy!
War had come to the land. Before the war, the land had been enchantingly beautiful. Back then, there were green hills wherever you looked and meadows of flowers in every colour of the rainbow, as far as the eye could see. And the ocean was a magnificent shade of deep blue. No one could remember exactly how it had started, but the war had been going on for a long time. The land was grey and filthy now and the sea was black. The hills were swathed in smoke from the bombs and most of the trees and flowers had withered and died. It was a sorry sight. All the bombs that were needed for the war were made in Mr Cash’s big factory, on the orders of President Black. Mr cash didn’t think about the people in the land or about beautiful things. All he thought about was money. The bombs he made were big, round balls filled with gunpowder and with fuse sticking out of them. Every day, Mr Cash walked proudly around his factory, checking his bombs. ‘Ha ha’, he laughed out loud. “You little beauties are making me rich!”.
All the bombs knew was that they’d been created to destroy the land. “Oh”, they sighed to one another, “this is such a palaver. Quickly, just light my fuse and then at least it’ll all be over and done with”. And that’s how it went, year after year. Until one day, when Mr Cash was ill in bed with the flu. That day, something remarkable happened. For a long time, one of the factory workers, whose name was Frank, had been dreaming up a little plan to do something about that nasty war. And now that Mr Cash was ill and there was on one to check the bombs, he could finally carry out his plan. Like most people, Frank had had more than enough of the war. He wanted to be able to enjoy all of the beautiful things in the land again. What if he came up with something to remind people how beautiful it had all been before? Wouldn’t it make them want to try their hardest to stop this pointless war? For weeks, Frank had been picking every stray flower he’d found among the rubble. He had saved a great big pile of them and that day he secretly filled one of the bombs with his flowers instead of gunpowder. He gave the bomb a little stroke and whispered, “Hello there, Flowerbomb, all of my hopes and wishes are with you. Please, please, choose the perfect moment to let your beauty come bursting out!”. The Flowerbomb knew it had a special mission, even though it didn’t understand exactly what Frank meant.
Let’s fast-forward a little here, because it would take too long to explain how the Flowerbomb was packed up and trasnsported to the presidential palace. And it’s not really very important. President Black, on the other hand, was very important indeed – or at least that’s what he thought. Of Course, presidents are important, but unfortunately they’re sometimes very stupid too. And President Black was one of the very stupid ones. In fact, he was very, very stupid. He refused to do anything at all that might help put a stop to the war. That’s because he was scared that people would no longer need him when the war was over. “I’m going to go and set off a couple of bombs”, the presidentsaid to his ministers. “That’ll keep people busy for a little while”. A clever minister, Minister Bright, said, “Anyone would think you enjoy setting off bombs”. “Of course not, Ms Bright”, the president exploded. “And where did you learn to be so impudent?”. Minister Bright sensibly bit her tongue.
President Black took his cigar from his mouth and lit the fuse of the first bomb whitin reach. “Ha ha”, he laughed as he threw the bomb into the garden where the ministers were sitting. They were all shocked out of their wits and ran away screaming. The bomb exploded, turning the garden black. ” that really is the limit!” Minister Bright sobbed. “I’m so tired of all these bombs and the war too! I want to see beautiful things again!”. “What? Whaaat?!” screamed the president. “That’s enough! I’ve had it with you!” He took the cigar from his mouth again and picked up another bomb. “Yeah, go ahead and light my fuse, you stupid president”, thought the Flowerbomb. “I’ll make sure Frank’s proud of me”. He was bursting to show everyone what he was made of! The Flowerbomb exploded, but there was no bang. There was no sound at all. A big, bright rainbow appeared in the sky. What a beautiful display! Then the rainbow burst apart and thousands of flowers came swirling and twirling down to the ground. What a wonderfull smell! The speechless ministers stood watching – and they weren’t the onle ones. Everyone, all around, was looking up into the sky in amazement.