In 2010 Takerra Allen graced the literary world with Heaven's Hell, an urban fairy tale. In this compelling novel the chapters are all named after fairy tales, and each chapter is befitting of the title. In this blog post I'm going to break down each chapter and how they relate to the fairy tales they're named after. So, if you don't like spoilers, now would be a good time to head out.
Once Upon A Time
This chapter introduces readers to Heaven. She's the main character of the story and her birth isn't like anything you would read in a fairy tale. Her mother is a drug -addicted bottom bitch to her father, Sam. Sam is just what you're thinking he is, a pimp. As soon as Heaven's mother pushes her out, her father gives her the one thing she can't live without, drugs. The one good thing from the whole ordeal is Heaven. "On that day, July 4, 1989, Heaven blessed the earth." But like any other fairytale, the introduction to the main character is imperative to the storyline.
Heaven's childhood isn't really comparable to this Disney character's upbringing. But like Cinderella, she's forced to work instead of living the life of a typical child. In this chapter, terrible things are revealed about Heaven's childhood, garnering sympathy from readers. In addition to that, her father seemingly sells her to pay off a debt. "Now hold on before you go jumping the gun, Mr. Khalil just wanna be ya friend. We ain't gonna take him to Heaven yet baby. Don't you worry about that, I done already told him that what you got going on down there, is worth more that a measly couple of hundred dollars from a card game." Like the original Cinderella, Heaven's father abandons her, only he isn't dead and her peril is far worse than any step-mother.
Beauty and the Beast of the Streets
If you've ever watched Beauty and the Beast you know that Belle and the Beast were connected by books. Him gifting her his vast library, tore down the walls around her heart, helping them move forward in to a relationship. The same comparison can be made with Heaven and G. G gives Khalil and Heaven a ride home and Heaven inadvertently leaves one of her books behind. When G notices they have the same taste in literature, it's as if something sparks inside of him. "As G took off, bumping his Lil' Wayne beats, he reached in the backseat and grabbed his copy of The Awakening of Intelligence. I ain't know I left that in here. When was I reading in here? He stopped at a red light and noticed papers hanging out of the book as he opened it. This book belongs to Heaven Jacy. He licked his lips lightly and though of the irony of them reading the same book at the same time, and the crazy thing was that most girls his age hadn't even heard of it."
Meet My Fairy Godmother
Like any princess, Heaven gets a fairy godmother. After an altercation with Khalil, Heaven is left feeling down and nursing a black eye. Until her fairy godmother shows up. Shay, who is really just a mutual friend of Kahlil and G, takes Heaven on a shopping spree to attend a fight they're all going to. The shopping spree is being funded by Khalil, but Shay spends some of her own money on her newfound homegirl. "As the lady at MAC rang up the order, Heaven reached for the credit card again. Shay stopped her. 'Nah girl, this on me.' Heaven smiled , she like Shay a lot. She hoped that they could be friends."
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Who's the Fairest of Them All
In Snow White, the Evil Queen asks her magical mirror "who's the fairest of them all?" The mirrors response - "Snow White, O Queen, is the fairest of them all.” In this story, Heaven is the fairest of them all, and she's starting to realize it. "She took a look in the mirror and couldn't help but to smile wide, she couldn't believe how gorgeous she looked. Oh my god, I look like one of those girls in the videos. Go me!" If I had to give this story an Evil Queen, it would be Khalil, hands down.
There's No Place Like Home
In the Wizard of Oz Dorothy was on a mission to find her way home, because theirs no place like home. Heaven sort of had that same wish. She wanted to escape Khalil, but was home really a better option for her? "Why is this my life? Why am I stuck here? Although September was six months away, it felt like forever. And even when it did come, it would mean she would have a different life. Nope she'd still be Heaven, with her fucked up family and not one single person that gave a fuck about her. She'll just be in a different location." When Heaven makes an appearance to her family's home, things take a turn for the worst. "Don't mommy me bitch... I don't have a daughter! I am dead to you! You hear me, dead! Don't you ever bring yo nasty ass back here!" I guess there really is no place like home.
Malice in Wonderland
Malice in Wonderland is a modern day Alice in Wonderland. A young girl simply tired of her reality and falls into an alternate one while sleeping. The same thing happens to Heaven. "Sometimes I can't wait to go to sleep, because that's when I see you most clear. In my dreams my memory recreates your presence, but when I wake you disappear." G is the only thing on her mind and he definitely has her in Wonderland.
Well, it's clear and evident that G is Heaven's Prince Charming. The handsome guy that's gonna save her in more ways than one. "'Yo tone, watch ya muhfuckin mouth nigga!' Someone responded, but it wasn't Heaven. She was thinking it, but she didn't say it, whoever said it had a much deeper voice. She turned around and found G standing there staring at her, looking oh so sexy. Heaven damn near melted."
His Sleeping Beauty: The Rescue
It's every prince's job to save the princess, right? So, that's exactly what G does, save his princess. "'Listen, I'm about to take Heaven, but I need you to be down with me if some shit go wrong.' Loc looked at his cousin, his friend, and his boss, and knew that he had fallen for this chick. G continued." He's so swoon-worthy. But not only does he save her, he treats her like the princess she is. "'You know what else I think, Heaven?' She didn't answer she just looked back at him for the answer. 'I think you need a vacation, ma.' She looked at him like he was crazy. 'A vacation?' 'Yeah,' he nodded. 'You said your Spring Break starts in two days right? So come with me to Saint Tropez.'"
The Glass Slipper Fits
Typical prince behavior is being smitten with his princess. G checks that box off as well. "'Yo, where did you come from?' She busted out laughing at him. 'Heaven. I came from Heaven.' And with that, he pressed his lips to hers again and she let him take control." But like the average hood dude, he feels he isn't supposed to feel this way, especially not with a girl so young. He surprises himself when he realizes even he can't control how he feels. "'G, I don't know much about you. But I do think that you are an exceptional man. And I think that you can do anything you want. So if you want a family, on a little boat, in the middle of green water. I think you can have that. Like I said, I think you can have anything you want.' He nodded. 'Anything I want , huh?' Assuring him, she answered. 'Absolutely.' 'Can I have you?' She was surprised at her blatant-ness and the way he demonstrated so much affection towards her. She gave him a look as if the answer was obvious. 'You already do.'" The shoe fits perfectly.
The Big Bad Wolf Returns
The bad guys never go away easily, do they? Khalil is back and he's coming for what's his. "Khalil was standing there in front of Heaven, dressed in the same clothes he was locked up in, smelling in desperate need of a shower. But there he was, in the flesh." After being hoisted away in a police car, you would think Khalil would have learned his lesson, but that isn't the case. But the game has changed while he was gone for those two weeks. Heaven has moved on and has no interest in being locked away ever again. "Khalil sat in his truck with tears running down his face. He was livid just imagining G touching Heaven, kissing Heaven, fucking Heaven. He was also feeling defeated because he knew that he was no match, no competition, and no opponent, to G. He punched the dashboard, hard and screamed as more tears came down his face." I'm scared of what Khalil's gonna do next. He's definitely giving Big Bad Wolf vibes.
Belle of the Ball
Heaven's beauty is the cause of all of her troubles. The reason her dad can't keep his hands off her, the reason Khalil "bought" at such a young age, and the reason G is willing to risk it all to save her. But when a man introduces you to his mom, and she thinks you're beautiful, that ups the stakes. "Hi. I'm Ms. Lucas... Gavin's mother. Wow, you are really beautiful. Gavin said you were, but, wow." Heaven is truly the belle of every ball.
Little Red Riding in the Hood
This was a pivotal chapter for Heaven. She's really a little girl trying to play a grown woman's game. "Lately, Heaven had been a little different and Shay just couldn't put her finger on it. It seemed like she was a little more fiery, a little more, something else. Shay second guessed her notions and thought maybe she was exaggerating." Not only was she acting different, she was dressing different as well. "The dress was skintight bondage type, which looked as if someone had taken a roll of red tape, of course made of beautiful fabric, and only covered the areas of the body that legally needed to be covered." Heaven, in that red dress, at a party in the hood couldn't go unnoticed. Even the onlookers had to admit she was giving Little Red Riding Hood vibes. "'You better watch her little red riding hood, she warned."
The Wicked Witch of the East Coast
Heaven's once fairy godmother is now her Wicked Witch of the East Coast. Heaven has changed drastically, and I can't really discern if Shay is friend or foe. Heaven did turn on her and started acting like Ang, but she does seem to care for her. "To me G, Heaven being exposed to such a different life so quickly has completely transformed her. And by you ignoring it, it's like you're contributing to her downfall. You and me both know how bright, and sweet, and amazing she was, and now, she's I don't know, arrogant, conceited, shallow, all of these things. Maybe her going away to school will help her, and she can refocus on her goals. And if you two last through that, then that means what you guys have is real." What Shay is saying is true, but Heaven over hearing her say that makes here feel as if she's trying to snake her. "Shay was crazy if she thought that she was going to pull that 'concerned friend card on G and try to move into her spot while Heaven was away at school."
The Porsche Turns Into a Pumpkin
Just as Cinderella had been given a timeframe on living her best life, so was Heaven. My girl was living the life of a real princess, only to fumble the bag and her crown. "'Nah shorty, no talking. You gotta go.' Heaven's world collapsed. 'You, kicking me out?' She stammered." After her last almost-fumble, I would've hoped Heaven had learned her lesson. Her "friendship" with Ang had caused her nothing but grief. Instead of owning her role in her demise, she's decided to blame it on the one person that's ever truly cared about her. "If she had come to the realization that this was all hers and that she alone had ruined it, she probably wouldn't be able to live with herself."
Hakuna Matata... It Means No Worries
When Simba was ran away from his kingdom things looked grim for him. He felt alone until he met unlikely friends that helped usher him into his new life. This chapter was exactly that for Heaven. Her leaving G's house was hard for her. His rejection was even harder. But Shay was there to help her pick up the pieces. Even after the nasty way Heaven had treater her, Shay was there to help collect every piece of Heaven. "Heaven honestly could say that she felt awful about the way she had treated Shay. Regardless of whatever had happened between her and Angie, Shay had been there for her in her time of need, and she was forever grateful to her."
From Peasant to Princess and Back
This chapter of Heaven's story was reminiscent of Aladdin's to me. He went from street rat to prince and back to street rat. Heaven graduates from high school and G decides to grace her with his presence. He comes bearing gifts and a jealous attitude, unhappy to see that Heaven has moved on. She's under the illusion that this makes them and item again, but sadly she's mistaken. "'What's best for me? What's best for me!' Shay opened the door and stared at the tow of them wondering what was going on as Heaven turned to G with red swollen eyes. 'I'll tell you what G , how about you stop worrying about what's best for me from now on, cause you're best is the worst!.'"
Ariel and the Evil Sea Bitch
Shay has went from fairy godmother to the wicked witch of the west, to Ursula the evil sea witch. In the Little Mermaid Ursula helps Ariel, hoping that she would fail, and when she saw her succeeding, she swooped in and changed the game. Just when I was starting to have faith in Shay, she commits the ultimate betrayal. She let her jealously blind her into doing something that can't be forgiven. I feel so bad for Heaven. "Heaven looked at both of them and wondered if there was anyone in the world worth a damn. Would she ever catch a break or would everyone continue to fuck her over?"
Happily Ever After
Happily ever after has a different interpretation for each individual. A lot of people translate happy in a work of fiction as the two main characters ending up together. Heaven's happily ever after is much different from what I imagined. By the end of this book she was able to forgive everyone that failed her in her life and find peace. Finding the strength and the ability to stand on her own from the most unlikely person. Heaven disappointed me a lot in this book, but by the end, I was proud. "Heaven placed both hands on the steering wheel and headed down the highway on her own, starting over, and finally, completely, utterly, and simply, happy."