Thursday, October 20, 2005

Better late than never!

The Princess...

She spent the rest of the morning in silence. After the Old Woman's story, she was no longer happy that she had left the tower. Surely imprisonment was safer than life on the outside.

At lunch, the Old Woman made up for the meager breakfast by sitting a plate full of steamy mashed potatoes slathered in gravy and roast beef in front of the younger woman. "You've been awful quiet," she said, thereby earning the "Stating the Obvious Award" for the year. "You thinking of going back?"

The Princess nodded.

"It's too late to go back..surely you know that."

"All I have to do is walk up to the front gate and knock."

"You could," agreed the Old Woman. "But don't you think you should at least make an attempt at tasting life before going back to that death?"

She shrugged. "I'd forgotten why I went there in the first place until you told your story. Life can sometimes bite you in the heart and leave you to bleed to death."

"True. And those first few months after my husband left were the hardest ones of my life. But...he didn't leave me alone after all. I had a daughter."

Silence.

"And I realized that I couldn't spend the rest of my life afraid of what might happen...instead I had to savor each moment whether sweet or bitter."

"Where's your girl now?" the Princess asked, having no memory of her mother.

The Old Woman didn't answer right away {{{and the audience balances on the edge of their seats in anticipation}}}. "I haven't seen her since she was 3."

"What happened?"

"I...don't know. I tucked her into bed one night and the next morning she was gone. I looked everywhere for her...even lowered myself down the well to see if she'd fallen in."

The Princess was quiet again. That this old woman could talk about such things so matter-of-factly amazed her.

"Well now, once your finish with your meal, I want you to try this cloak on." The Old Woman guestured to the dark material she had been working on throughout the morning. "You'll need it in the morning when you go."

"But..."

"I can't let you exchange one tower for another. Now finish up...there's pie for dessert."

1 comment:

flu said...

mmmmmmm...roast beef and mashed taters... mmmmmmmm.

That's a good recipe for a nice afternoon nap... then maybe she'll be ready to tackle the world.