Sian Evans’ New Short Story – Loving Rapunzel

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LOVING RAPUNZEL

“Are you coming in?”

“Yes,” I answer from the doorway of your study.  Reclining on the Chesterfield, knees drawn up with Wuthering Heights open on your lap, a fire raging, a glass of whiskey three fingers deep on the floor within easy reach, you watch me walk towards you.

Perhaps I ran.  Were you even drinking whisky?  It might have been summer.

“No happily ever after,” I say nodding towards the well worn book.

“I know,” you reply. “I’ve read it before.”

“Of course you have.”  If you treated your lovers like you treated your stories we would all last longer – a second reading at least.  Read it again, you’ll get more out of it the second time.

I deviate away from lies.  I seek the truth in books.

A world contained is a world controlled.

I wonder if I might be in revolt of literature.

I followed your shining blonde hair like Pavlov’s dog.  Woof! Woof! Woof!  My loyalty was beyond what you could summon.  Yet, I still walked dutifully behind you.   The only heel in our relationship was the one you crushed me with.  You went looking for balls.  Throw me a fricking bone!

In the fairytales of old it is always the prince who is enraptured by the princess; he always gets hurt, physically scarred, damaged, whilst she maintains her beauty.  Why aren‘t you reading Jane Eyre.  You are no Heathcliffe.

Does the reader continue the story or is the story a continuation of the reader?  Do I not read to fantasise about another world, another life where perfection roams?  I don’t read if I can help it because words mean nothing.  There is nothing to read in a passive person.

Fairytales and their fantasies – my world.

I’m off to bed with a good book.

Ok.  Didn’t want to fuck tonight anyway too busy washing my hair.

No wait that was you.  What role am I playing again?

I go to bed with cadavers; I have sex with these past lovers through my memories.  I fall in love with characters.  I don’t sleep – witches work best in the dark hours.  All laws are defunct here, here in this four walled room, this square box, our tower, our kingdom where you and I listen to nineteenth century love gone wrong.

When you attempted suicide (melodramatic!), many questioned why I did what I did.  How can one explain love and desire?  Of the person or of the self I hear them cry?  It doesn’t matter.  Old people die.  You were old to me because I was old to you.

Who do you think you are, exactly?  I am the prince climbing up my long blonde hair to reach the tower I imprisoned myself in.

Why?  Why did you follow the enchantress?  This is what they always ask and I always reply with the same answer: I saw myself in the witch.  And I always reply with the same answer: because I didn’t like radishes.  And I decline to answer because no one has free will when they’re enchanted.  And I give the answer no one wishes to hear: I didn’t exist, it’s just a fairytale.

You have the fairytales all tangled up!

Alas!  I cry in mock horror.  Whatever shall I do?  Fear not.  My prince will rescue me.

The prince is blind.

Aren’t we all? 

How many nights did you liken me to Oliver Twist?  Young, naïve, a puppet with/without a puppeteer, you tell me.  I am the green grass of home and the grass that is greener on the other side.  I am a white gown with a golden ring.  I am pink flesh coloured red; rouged cheeks, lips, nipples.  I am a dirty hungry child in need of love.

What are you?   I am a woman who loves, who cares, who didn’t force but was invited.

I read.  I read you.  I read your needs.  Have I not done what I have been taught/made to do?  Why else make me like this, why tease me with flesh, tempt me with words, if to act is to deny myself all but you.  Shall I be heroic and offer myself to you for all eternity?  You don’t even talk to me.  Can you ever be enough?

Interim period.

Should I be heroic and offer myself to me?

Was I supposed to be a statue, devoid of any feeling?  Look at me I’m merely made up of a head, two arms, a trunk and two legs; that’s absurd.  Dissect me and see my heart beating love.  Cut away my skull and see my brain throb with desire.  I’m not hollow inside, not any more.

I am a straw doll made up of endless strands of blonde hair.

Endless?  Did I write that?  Surely not, wait let me have a look…damn; my hair is in my eyes.

You move and so do I.  Wuthering Heights is cast aside, but it’s ok, you noted the page number.

Your finger is in my mouth.  I lick.

We wait.

I think but no words form.  My mouth is only good for physical love.  I renounce language.

“It’s over,” you whisper.

“I know,” I whisper back taking your finger out from between my lips.

She’s foreign to me and I revel in that.  Who isn’t captivated by the foreign princess?

Stockholm syndrome.

Retreating, I find myself once more leaning against the doorjamb watching you from afar.  Circling I settle down in my basket.

Book on knee, no dog at your feet, glass in hand you read with no thought to breaking your spell.

There is a twitch under the skin where the blood flows…it still beats the damaged heart.  I imagined that when you were gone I would be dead.  Merely absent then and I am in a transient state.  There is no rational thought when seduced by witchcraft.

The witch cries from below.

Catherine scratches at the window.

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 I scratch my fleas.

“Don’t forget to leave the key.”

Cocking my leg I piss against your tower.

The witch was an evil bitch who thought she had a new pet in Rapunzel.  A puppy! How cute.

Dogs are feral.

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