Winter’s Blossom – written spring 2004

Winter Blossom

Seventy five years she had waited.  Waited in pain, waited in eagerness, waited somewhat impatiently, but yet she waited.  And now, at the age of ninety-three, the waiting would soon end.  No more pain, no more patience, no more waiting.

*                      *                      *

Nalla was less than thrilled about the man her parents had chosen to be her husband, but at the same time dissonant and ecstatic about getting out of her fathers house.  She had come to think of this little cottage as a prison.  She rode beside her esteemed and well paying new husband, looking out at the forest as the carriage went by; filled with hope and not a small sense of dread, yet any place had to be better than her fathers.  NO! She pushed the horrid thought out of her mind.  She was a cousin to the royal family now; her life was bound to get much better soon.  She was only fourteen, she had much to experience.

*                      *                      *

Seventeen and still no pregnancy, she had tried everything she could think of.  She had come to love the man she called husband.  He treated her kindly and bought her pretty, expensive things. Most of all he would rather spend time with her than go off hunting or some such with the other nobles.  It hadn’t been until she was obviously never going to be with-child that he had started to get agitated with her more and more easily.  He had stopped wanting to be around her or the large estate they called home; and it was in these times when she was left alone that she called on the companionship of the other ladies in the surrounding village.  Over snack cakes and tea they would gossip about anything and everything, but the conversation always managed to wind its way back to her lack of fertility and little tips that each lady offered up to help her conceive.  Finally an older woman let slip that she had had a difficult pregnancy with her eldest and that a gypsy living in the forest nearby had helped her with herbs and the like.  But, it wasn’t until more women started giving her similar tales that she decided to see this gypsy herself.

*                      *                      *

Trudging through the snow with her lantern barely lit against the wind, she set a steady pace through the elements.  Her frail frame was stronger than it looked.  Living alone in the woods had proven to be tougher than she had anticipated.  But she had done it, done it for seventy five years

*                      *                      *

Eighteen and the long awaited child was finally coming.  Despite the weight, despite the pains, pressures, and problems over the last few months, they were happier then they’d ever been.  Having their first born, it was so exciting!  With one last agonizing push she released her child into the world.  For a moment she just lay their gasping with a smile on her face.  She hoped it was a girl.  Then she noticed something, the midwife hadn’t grabbed the child, the woman had actually taken a step back.  What was going on?  Where was her beautiful baby?

*                      *                      *

The dreadful women had done this on purpose.  They were jealous, and they had plotted against her ever since Richard had looked outside of his own village for a new and different bride.  Their hopes had risen when she had failed to get pregnant, but then the vile woman had dashed their hopes.  The word had spread that she had sought the gypsy’s help.  The moment the midwife regained her composure, she screamed witchcraft and bolted from the room.  Richard rushed in and after one look at the lifeless little body on the floor he was furious.  He screamed, yelled, called her names, and curses for bringing this witchery into his home.  In his wild rant, he had knocked over a lantern and sent the whole place up in flames.

*                      *                      *

Finally making it to her destination, she settled down against the big tree blocking the wind.  Hair almost as white as the snow around her billowed in the few gusts that still made it around the large trunk; seventy five years ago she had asked the gypsy for a daughter and the woman had given her a seed.  She had eaten it and become pregnant. After losing the baby, and escaping the fire with its dead weight in her arms, she had fled into the woods.  After burying the body, she had set out to exact her revenge on the gypsy but found only an empty cottage with a note addressed to her tacked on the door.

Have patience child.  Stay in this house and wait.  My magic promises you a beautiful girl before you die.   She will be the most beautiful in this land, but you must be patient and wait.  Go to her grave everyday and let a drop of your blood quench the thirst of the ground there.  Kneed your lifeblood into the soil with a lullaby and watch your miracle grow. 

She had done precisely that for the past seventy five years.  In that time, her daughter’s grave had become the very tree she sat under now.  In the entire seventy five years the tree had appeared lifeless, had never had leaf nor blossom until the spring before.  A bud, a bright green, melon sized bud.  All spring it had grown, by the time summer ended it had changed shape and become so heavy it bent the branch it rested on; almost lighting on the ground.  The fall had brought a pinkish-white hue to the otherwise green sprout and any day now she knew it would bloom.  In her eagerness, she sat under the giant bud and waited, ever so patiently waited. The winds picked up and the snows fell harder, yet she stayed by her blossom with resolve.

So cold it was getting to where she couldn’t feel her limbs and she was about to set off back towards her home when she noticed a slight tremble in the rosy pink pod.  Fully formed, but still in a tight bud, the petals gave another shake as if a huge butterfly were escaping its larger than life cocoon.  She tried to stand and get a view from the front as her blossom opened but found that her legs would not work.  She had stayed out too long for her tiring old body and now she would pay the price.   With frustration and a little bit of awe she watched from the back as the petals burst open in a spectacular display of pink, white and yellow.  Out from the front of one of the petals stepped a pale, smooth leg. The most beautiful milky creamed flesh she had ever seen.  She didn’t know what she had been expecting all these long years, but a grown woman stepping nude out onto the winter snow was the last thing she suspected would have appeared.

As the woman gracefully stepped the rest of the way out of the center of the blossom and tenderly walked in her direction, she noticed that she recognized the features in that youthful face, but not from looking in a mirror all her life.  Those eyes, and that nose, as well as the set of the chin belonged to the gypsy from those many years ago.  The filthy hag, who had cost her so much, had just taken away her last reason for living.

The beautiful young woman leaned in close to whisper in her ear and her words sent the last bit of life she had left in her flying off into the cold wind.

“Now you may die knowing that you brought into this world beauty beyond its wildest dreams.  You may die, common filth, knowing that I, the true head of the true royal line have finally brought myself forth on the dime of your youth and innocence; die, knowing that all you’ve ever held dear will perish at my hands.”


 

Thank you for reading!

Hope my 16 year old ramblings were enjoyable.

Kurby

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