Monday, December 08, 2008

Tell Me A Story...

I was visiting Ullabenulla's blog the other day, and saw a post called, "Tell Me A Story..."  It was paired with the picture below, via Haunt Me.  Instantly a story came to mind and my fingers flashed across the keyboard and produced the story below, which is generously reproduced here by the permission of the new keeper of the story.  Thank you, Ulla!

When I look at the painting here is the story that comes to mind:

The ladies and gentry were all accounted for and had been presented before the Queen and her courtiers.  That is why when a beautiful young woman (who arrived by mysterious coach and with an invitation that was suspect of forgery) entered the ballroom, everyone stopped and turned.

Her laces seemed wrong.  They were too fine and seemed made not by human hands but by a spider's eight.  The satin of her dress did not seem right either.  Too soft.  Too inconsistent of color – it looked like the petals of a flower, ten thousand flowers in bloom in a Dutch farmer's field.  The ribbons were no different.  From China?  No.  From Persia?  Definitely not.  From the finest Parisian pavilions and fabric-makers?  Possible, but unlikely.  For they looked like the tears of a garnet and the blood of a dove, and seemed so supple that they appeared to move of their own accord as if suspended in a body of water and moved by the current of the waves.  But there were no waves and no water, only the grand ballroom filled with eyes that were steadfast and locked only upon her.  The most curious thing was that there, where she stepped, a carpet of stars emerged – a hundred little points of light at the base of her skirts and the soles of her slippers.  

The lady proceeded to dance.  Dances which no one had ever seen before – at least not in a human.  Her moves were foreign but familiar.  No one in the ballroom could remember a person swaying like this, but they had memories of riding out on the hunt and seeing the willows bend, the fir trees move gently from side to side, and the way the wind would take up a pile of fallen leaves and twirl about.  Although the young woman was dressed in finery, there was something fearsome and primal in her movements.  It was a lot like looking at the sun; at first warmed and comforted – then stung.

If the appearance of this woman wasn't strange enough, the court's breath caught as the queen rose from her dais.  As if by cue, the mysterious woman stopped.  She stopped her spinning and dancing and rose up her hands – all at once terrible and beautiful as if indeed the summer sun had set foot upon earth.  The Queen bowed, then kneeled, then going prostrate, she kissed he carpet of stars.

6 comments:

Joan Tucker said...

As yes "she who danced.". gaea the goddess of us all, Joan Tucker

Round Rabbit said...

LOVE THIS!!! What a great idea and what a fabulous little bit of scrumptious writing. This "tell me a story" idea would be a great writing exercise - short and sweet, just writing the first thing that comes into your mind.... hmmm, I must try this. :)

Janet said...

Oh Andrew how very beautiful!!! So exquisitely written! You know you have such talent! I am so very Imoressed how very Beautiful!!!

Jean Campbell said...

What a lovely story to start my day. The description of her clothing is so rich...it brings me beyond the snippet of the painting into a fantastical realm. Thank you for sharing it!

Ulla said...

They say it all! You are a magician with words, among many other talents! THANK YOU AGAIN DEAREST ANDREW!
As the keeper of this tale, I bestow on you sweet kisses of thankfulness...
Blessings.

Andrew Thornton said...

I'm glad you all like the story. It's really devoted to you, Ulla. Without your prompt and the inspiration source, the story would never have been. As you might have noticed, I tweaked it a bit. I think if I went back to it again, I could tighten it up even more and make the prose really flow like poetry.

Thanks again everyone for your awesome support!