Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Fairy Tale for Matt

Long, long ago, in the faraway kingdom of Arlingtonia, there lived a pretty peasant girl, aged fourteen years, called Nannette.  Nannette was yellow-haired and fair of face.  Although her parents loved and adored her, they were each under a dreadful magical spell.  Her handsome father, the kingdom's learned scribe, was controlled by a hateful and wicked witch and lived in a cottage of stone with fancy furniture no one was allowed to touch.  Her beautiful mother, guardian of the kingdom's mentally ill, was held captive by a loathsome and diabolical sorcerer and dwelled in a cottage of timbers which often caught fire from the sorcerer's breath of fire.  Nannette, therefore, sought shelter in each of her parents' cottages alternately, as was prudent, trying always to avoid the stone-cold glare of her step-mother and the choking smoke spewed from her step-father's foul mouth.

Nannette, at this time, was caught between youth and maturity.  She was still a girl in her playful, childish ways yet also a woman, bursting with allure and busting with fertility.  Her corset could barely contain her burgeoning bosom.  Therefore, many young men in the kingdom sought her favor.  For a time, she enjoyed the attentions of Chad the Small of Chestnut Lane.  But Chad the Small was indeed quite short and resented Nannette's more generous stature.  He was a dark-hearted lad and would joust with angry words just as boys of finer character would joust with swords.

One evening in very late autumn, as the winter solstice grew near, when days were cold and short in the northern-most reaches of Arlingtonia, Nannette visited with her dear friend Beck of Waterman.  Beck was also a fair-haired lass of fourteen.  The girls laughed and frolicked joyfully when they were together, often swooning to the most gifted troubadours of the day, Kashagoogoo and Thomas Dolby.  Beck knew a lad from a nearby lane with whom she often sat at chapel.  Although the friendship between Beck and the lad was chaste, Beck thought the lad might take a fancy to buxom, young Nannette.  Beck called to the lad who rode his two-wheeled chariot over posthaste.

The lad, whose name was Mathias, fell at once for Nannette.  His blue eyes shone brightly as he took in the curves of her simple peasant dress.  As for Nannette, she was captivated by Mathias's flowing, golden locks and his soft, sultry voice.  At once they began to spend all their idle time in each other's company, taking long walks in the kingdom each evening, usually searching for a warm place in which they could lie together.  Nannette's heart was filled with the promise of a future full of romantic love and bodily comforts.  Alas, her dreams were not to be fulfilled so easily.

Beck of Waterman was a false friend.  Her true self was not the loyal sister Nannette thought her to be.  She was but a vile vixen, a sinister strumpet who wanted naught but to claim Mathias as her own, thusly thwarting Nannette's hopes for happiness!  Using her wonton wiles, Beck twice lured the simple Mathias away from Nannette.  Having twice lost her heart to such a fickle, foolhardy boy, Nannette swore she would never set eyes on Beck or Mathias again.  Their presence in the kingdom of Arlingtonia would become to her like that of the presence of a pair of rats in the woodshed:  unsavory yet unimportant.

As time went on, Nannette found small islands of happiness in the kingdom.  She sought solace in the school house where she proved to be a bright, promising scholar.  She found joy in the kingdom's gypsy dance troupe.  She worked for a small wage in the king's own kitchen, cooking and serving such delicious fare as the Whopper and Whopper Jr.  She continued to grow in beauty and voluptuosity.  For a time she enjoyed the attentions of a suitor named Trevor the Mischief-Maker whose chariot was emblazoned with the words "Make Merry without Vestments!"  But she knew in her heart that Trevor was but a distraction.  His love was not of the sort upon which a lass could rely to save her from the drudgery of her peasant life.  She continued thusly for two years, attending to her scholarly duties, scurrying from her father's cottage to her mother's cottage, avoiding the evil step-parents that lurked within.

Then one day in spring, as she bustled about her daily duties, scrubbing floors and whatnot, she received a call from the out-of-favor Mathias.  He claimed to have been under a spell during the time he spent with the twisted trollop, Beck of Waterman, but had recently broken free of her cursed clutches.  Now, in full control of his own heart, he could see that the brief time spent with Nannette had been the most joyful of his eighteen years.  He begged for the chance to see her and remind her of the magical union they had enjoyed two years before.  Nannette, curious but wary, agreed.

They met at the kingdom's finest ale house, Eros, named prophetically for the god of love.  As Nannette  fed on a delectable, international meal of grilled cheese from America and potatoes from France, Mathias wooed her anew with his charming wit and kindhearted manner.  He solemnly swore to avoid any tart, hussy, or wench who might try to lure him into a future enchantment.  His blue eyes looked into her soul  and softened her heart.  In those blue pools of love she saw the future -- a future free from evil step-parents and the king's kitchen, a future filled with love, adventure, and many blue-eyed children.  Mathias worked his own magic that day.  He reclaimed Nannette's heart.

Soon, Mathias and Nannette began their romantic journey out of Arlingtonia.  For many many years they  traveled the world-- through the kingdoms of DeKalb, Enid, Tokyo, Dover, and Milwaukee, finally settling in the aptly-named beautiful village of Belleville.  Their progeny are many.  They have been mostly happy.  Their magic continues to this day.

Nannette's loving parents have also found happiness.  The wicked witch who controlled Nannette's father was melted when villagers doused her in the local well.  The fire-breathing sorcerer who held Nannette's mother captive was run out of town by a band of ruffians, never to be seen or heard from again.  The hateful harlot Beck of Waterman became morbidly obese and now lives in a shack on the fringes of Arlingtonia.

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