Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Fairy Tale: The Ten Year Spell

Once upon a time there were two kids.  The boy was nineteen and the girl was seventeen.

They grew to love each other and began to share their dreams together.  They sometimes talked late into the night, when the warm July darkness enveloped them.  The boy and girl would make each other laugh and forget their teenage awkwardness and isolation.

The boy and girl had one long magical night when they danced and laughed and shared wild stories and forgot about their teen loneliness.  They never forgot this beautiful night, and treasured it for all their days.
Years passed, and the boy and girl grew into adulthood.  The brightness of their dreams had tarnished a little and a slow, quiet fear had crept into their lives.

The girl, now a young woman, suddenly went mad and then came to her senses.  Then, some years later, her mind went into a still darkness.  She emerged into a thick foggy white light.  The woman had to take many cures to banish the madness and darkness, pastel pills of all different hues.  Her body grew heavy and thick with the cures.  Her mind dimmed and she often looked absently around her, forgetting herself.

The boy, now a man, took care of her and loved her just as he had loved her when she was seventeen.
Suddenly they were much older and the world was also suddenly much too old.  The world now seemed to be crashing down as if in the enactment of a bad dream.  Two tall towers fell swiftly as if under a dark spell.

The man and woman looked at each other and decided to run away together and elope.  Time was suddenly moving faster, and a strange fear and uncertainty had crept into the world.  Life suddenly seemed shorter.  The glittering towers of the cities around them shimmered in a strange new fragile light.  Terrible storms swelled up, first crashing debris on the land and then moving across the warm waters.

Many people around them seemed to be under a growing frenzy.  They sought gold and comforts and cocooned themselves with riches and multi-gabled palaces.  The man and woman watched this in wonder, not understanding the meaning of this strange frenzy.
Then one day the man and woman found themselves growing older and colder and stranger to one another.  They lived in a neighborhood called Slumburbia.  The neighborhood had seemed beautiful and placid at first but over time began to turn horrid and grotesque.  Loud klaxons sounded, and a terrible loud careening music often filled the air.  The gutters were filled with filth and discarded mattresses.  The people nearby began killing the beautiful, oldest, most majestic trees, turning them to rotting firewood.  Screaming children ran through the dirty streets, laughing cruelly.

The woman began to turn mad again.  Slowly over time she began to assumed the likeness of an old ogress.  Her dark youthful hair began falling out of her head.  Then her hair began to turn gray and wiry and her eyes turned fire-bright then chalk-dull.

The man was horrified at first, but then came to love her tenderly in her new form.  One day, in her dark madness, the woman breathed in a gaseous poison, seeking darkness and blissful stillness.  She was not overtaken by the gases, and was shocked into a new life and sense.

The man and woman knew that they had to flee Slumburbia before the madness consumed her under its terrible spell.  They roamed the county, looking at beautiful little houses filled with enchantment.  After a time they moved to a new house, a sky blue house surrounded by greenness and tall trees.

The couple was happy for a time.  They dreamed about fixing up the house and having a child.  The woman began to feel younger and less grotesque.

Then a strange thing happened.  Bones began raining down from the sky.  The woman looked up and said, “It can’t be an omen.  There must be an explanation for this odd event.”
But things did not look good.  Time was still racing forward like a swift arrow.  The years were crowding upon the couple.  Their plans were unraveling and they could not seem to have a child.  Everywhere around them in the neighborhood there were beautiful glowing children.  The woman despaired, feeling that she was under a terrible curse.

One showery day in April the woman said, “Husband, I think we are under a spell.  You have been a good husband to me, but this madness and darkness is too powerful for us.  You have loved me and cared for me with tender love and devotion for many long years.  I have also loved you well.  But I have been like a spoilt child, wandering in the darkness and fog.  I have even become a hideous old ogress at times.  And yet you still love me.  But my soul’s sickness makes me love words and songs and pictures and sweet illusions more than life itself.  Husband, let us free ourselves from this marriage promise.  This October we will have been married for ten years.  Liberate yourself from me.  Free yourself, husband, from my dark curse.  Let us break the spell this October.  Ten years of love and devotion is a good long spell.  Let it be enough.”

The man looked at his wife and sighed.  Lately he had been tired and sad and lost and too wanted to be free of this heavy spell.  She smiled at him and they laughed softly together, relieved at this slow realization.  They dreamed of their new liberated lives, freed of the spell.

Later that night she shed lonely tears, weeping for the two happy kids they had been on that warm May evening so long ago, dancing together in the soft darkness.

(To be continued...)

1 comment:

  1. I really like this story, and would like to read more. Though I still think that ogress is a bit harsh.