Author Topic: Locked  (Read 1072 times)

Description: Everyone's selfish...

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« on: August 09, 2013, 05:02:25 PM »
People are selfish. Don’t ever let anyone try to tell you they’re not. Everyone does everything for their own benefit, and if it happens to benefit someone else, they’re considered “good.” If what they do doesn’t benefit anyone but themselves, they’re reviled, and called selfish.

Take my parents, for instance. My mother used to be beautiful. She didn’t have to lift a finger for the rest of her life, once she figured out she could get someone else to do anything she wanted just by batting her pretty eyes and sounding as if she’d die if you didn’t do it for her. So she married my father. He wanted the most beautiful wife in the village, and was willing to let himself be beautifully henpecked to death in order to have her. Are they bad people for doing whatever it took to make them happy? Who am I to judge? But I can tell you their selfishness didn’t stop there.

My mother’s beauty couldn’t compete with her incessant demands on my father, so he took to the neighbor woman’s bed as soon as the honeymoon was over. My mother didn’t care; as long as he kept her in style, and didn’t bring the woman into HER house, she could pretend she was the princess she felt she was born to be. The other woman, as it turned out, was a midwife. She had a garden that rivaled one kept by the queen herself. You know the story… or at least you think you do. My mother decided she wanted a child, and they tried desperately until he finally got her pregnant, only to lose the child to the “witch” for stealing a few bowls worth of salad. But the midwife was no witch, and she didn’t demand they give her my sister because he jacked her plants, or even as payment for her services, which he’d been foolish enough to ask for when his wife’s time came. She was jealous… she was good enough to warm his bed, but not to bear his child? She could have had him imprisoned for the theft, being well loved among the people of their village (anyone who tells you otherwise is a friend of my parents.) She chose instead to take by force the child he would not freely give her. Not that it mattered much to my parents, it seemed. Oh, mother put on a pretty show, pretending that she’d given birth to a stillborn, which explained away the fact that they had no baby without giving up her good name to sordid scandal. But soon after my sister was spirited away, my mother demanded that my father get her pregnant again.

That’s where I come in. My name is Locked. Don’t laugh… at least I’m not named after parsley. Why’d they call me Locked? The midwife locked my sister away in a tower, as the story goes. My mother locked my father in the attic, determined not to let the same stupidity happen twice, and for all I know, he’s still there. Once he gave her a second child, she decided she didn’t need him anymore, and locked him away, telling everyone he took ill (keeping him gagged, she made certain he couldn’t say otherwise.) She locked us in a love/hate relationship, blaming me for the loss of my sister, for reasons I still can’t fathom.

Lest you think, “Oh, but your sister isn’t selfish! She was forced into that situation, and came out lucky,” let me tell you what really happened after the midwife took her. My sister is truly our mother’s daughter. From day one, she had the midwife wrapped around her pinky… and later, her hair. The woman had a hair fetish a mile wide, and my sister exploited that the second she caught on. She demanded a tower be built to keep her beauty from being ruined by the smoke and grime of the village, deep in the woods, where no common fool would dare to ask for her hand when she came of age. As her hair grew longer, she demanded that the midwife leave her during the day. Presumably, it was so she could take her ease in solitude while the midwife gathered the things required for her happiness, but really because she’d spotted a prince riding through the forest one day, and had decided she’d indulged the midwife’s fetish long enough.
She didn’t give away the prince’s secret visits as innocently as you may have heard. She’d tried to demand that he make her princess, but he was stronger willed than my father, and was holding out, trying to lead her on. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free, right? Turns out, he was in the process of trying to get one last day of pleasure from her when the midwife came home early, excited by a brand new pair of antique silver scissors she’d managed to buy, to satisfy my sister’s craving for finery. Unlike me, my sister wasn’t really locked up; there was a hidden door the midwife could use to get into the tower, on the occasion she wanted to surprise her with gifts, instead of indulging in climbing up via my sister’s insanely long hair. When she walked in on him, skyclad and tied to her bed with my sister’s hair… she lost her mind. She threw the prince out the window, and lest he be mercifully hung by the beautiful tresses still wrapped around his wrists, ankles and throat, she used the new scissors to hack off my sister’s hair, leaving her bald in some spots. Yes, the prince did go blind from the fall, but the midwife didn’t banish my sister… she stabbed herself through the heart with the scissors in grief and horror of having ruined my sister’s perfect, beautiful hair. My sister couldn’t possibly stay in the tower after that, so she left her body to the crows.

Before the attack, my sister had been about to tell the prince she was pregnant, and since there was no broken body in the long locks tangled in the thorn bushes at the bottom of the tower, she set off in search of him. She had his clothes, so she figured for those alone, he’d be glad to see her. She ended up wandering around looking for him, true enough, and gave birth to twins before she found him. The rest, as they say, is history, only it wasn’t her tears that gave him back his sight, but his children’s.  Her hair had grown back in by then to cover the bald spots, and she was still pretty, so he figured he could marry her for show and have a lover on the side, since she’d already provided him with heirs. She didn’t care, as long as she got to be a princess, and someday, queen.

You may ask, “How do you know all this, and how do you know it’s true?” When I ran away, I’d headed for the palace, working my way through the ranks until I became a lady’s maid. I was assigned to my sister when the prince married her, to take care of the twins. She ignores them. She sits in her room all day, with a servant brushing her long hair, which is not nearly as long as it was in the tower, but still a formidable task. She loves to tell the tale of how foolish the prince and midwife were to her ugly friends when they visit her, even when her children are within earshot.  I’m invisible to her; she doesn’t know I’m her sister, or that she even has one. But I don’t mind, wouldn’t change a thing. I’m selfish too…

Who do you think the prince took for his concubine?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 11:52:10 PM by Lord Palatine »


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