• Daddy Drinks Because You Cry

    Godith looked out her window, tears running down her face, dampening her cheeks. She was always crying. Her father had started going to the pub early, coming home late. Her mother locked herself in her room praying all day; she came out only for meals. Godith started to cry harder when she remembered how her mother used to love sewing and weaving, and how her mother had had her loom taken away and sold to a merchant who paid far too little for the beautifully worked loom. Godith sighed, looking at her slightly swollen belly. Her mother hadn’t noticed yet, but when she did Godith knew there would be hell to pay. Looking at her stomach she remembered every wonderful detail of how she got pregnant. It was about 3 months ago, before her father had started drinking, before her mother would lock herself in her room all day.

    Godith was so excited. There was to be a feast in her honor! It was her 15th birthday and her brother had come home with a large deer from his latest hunt and the servants had spent all night and all day preparing it. Godith was sitting outside by the kitchen wall when her nanny had bustled up to her, a little short of breath and red in the face.
    “My goodness, there you are, Duckie! Your mother has sent me all over the house looking for you.” She looked at Godith conspiratorially and winked, which made Godith giggle. Nanny said in a whisper, “Just between you and me I think she has a little surprise for you.” Godith jumped up and started racing for her parents’ room. Nanny called after her, “Wait! Slow down Duckie! My old legs can’t keep up with a spry young sprig like you!” Godith slowed remembering that she was not a child anymore; she was a grown woman of 15 now. She walked the remainder of the way to her parents’ room. A servant waiting outside the door showed her in.
    “You wanted to see me mother?” Godith asked her mother, who as usual was sitting at her loom.
    “Yes, but before I tell you why I summoned you here, you must tell me where you were hiding. It took Nanny quite awhile to find you!” Her mother looked at Godith with humor twinkling in her eyes, and mirth in the corners of her mouth. Godith giggled then replied
    “Why, I wasn’t hiding anywhere, I was simply sitting outside the kitchen, enjoying all the scents and wonderful aromas.” Her mother laughed.
    “Oh, Godith child, you are full of surprises.” She thought for a moment. “And speaking of, I have a surprise for you” She quickly crossed the room, picked something up, and walked back to where Godith was standing and shook it out so Godith could see it was a beautiful new blue dress. “I made it especially for you to wear to the feast tonight.” Her mother’s eyes twinkled. “There are some families with marriageable sons coming to our feast tonight and who knows, maybe one of them will take a liking to you and marry you.” Godith held her breath and stroked the dress in awe, it was beautiful, and it felt so fine. Godith’s voice was shaking as she said
    “Mother... it’s... beautiful... I couldn’t possibly wear something so fine...” Godith’s mother looked at her with mock sternness and said,
    “You can and you will wear that dress to dinner. I want the best for my daughter on her 15th Birthday.” Her mother winked at her. “And besides, I magicked it, so all the men will want you for his wife.” She grinned, showing off her perfect teeth. “My mother is beautiful...” Godith thought, “I’ll never be as beautiful as she, even if the dress is magicked, I can’t imagine any man wanting me for a wife...” Godith’s mother interrupted her thoughts and said “Take it, put it on, and get ready before our guests start arriving.” And with those words Godith knew she was dismissed. She walked to her room lost in thought. When she entered there were maidservants there to make sure she was ready before the feast started.
    Later that evening during the meal she saw more then one man stealing glances at her, and not all of them were unwedded. She remembered her mother’s words and started to think that maybe the dress really was magicked. She ate her dinner mostly in silence, unless required to speak. Her father across the room was drinking with the other fathers. Suddenly her father stood up raising his glass and said,
    “I propose a toast. Here’s to Godith on her 15th birthday!” He took a swig from his glass the continued, “and here’s to hoping that she’ll be married soon so she’ll be off my hands!” Him and all the other men in the room roared with laughter. Godith ducked her head, her face burning with shame. She felt someone watching her so she looked up and saw a man she didn’t recognize staring at her intently. She looked at him curiously and noticed his clothing was a bit queer; she also saw he wasn’t laughing. The servants started to clear away the food and dishes. The guests started separating into groups according to gender and interests. She was wondering which group she was supposed to join when she saw the man again, beckoning to her. She followed him and he led her to a clearing in the woods on her fathers land. As she stood before him she suddenly started to feel nervous, she silently asked herself “do I look okay? Is my hair a mess?” She was shocked to find herself asking those questions of herself. She looked at the man again and saw he looked nothing like any man she had seen before. He had slanted eyes and sharp features. She saw the tip of a pointed ear sticking out from his long hair that was so blond, it looked white in the moonlight and realization came upon her: He wasn’t mortal. She became frightened but when she looked into his eyes a strange calm came upon her. He looked at her and as if reading her thoughts said
    “Aye, I am not a normal man. I am of the fae.” He smiled then said, “I was shocked when you could see me, most people can’t when I choose not to be seen, but you lass, you have power, I feel it inside you.” He crossed the gap between them and touched the side of her face. Godith looked up at him and asked,
    “Pray tell me, what is your name?”
    He smiled and shook his head. “We of the fae don’t normally tell people our names, if you wish to know mine you will have to pay a price”
    “What’s the price?”
    “A kiss.”
    Godith looked at him wide-eyed, and he lowered his face to hers and brushed his lips against hers. The brief contact made her giddy, and made her yearn for more.
    “My name is Mirardor, of the Unseelie Court.” Mirardor bowed to her, then took hold of her waist and drew her close to him. She could feel his breath tickling her ear as he whispered into her ear how beautiful she was, and how he wanted her for his own. Time seemed to stop as she pulled away from him a little and began taking off her dress. He looked at her with lust in his eyes but he controlled himself and said,
    “No, my sweet lass, we cannot, what if you get pregnant? You would be unmarriageable then.”
    Godith finished disrobing herself and started to pull off his tunic.“I don’t care, right now I want this, and I want you,” she said fiercely, then kissed the place where his neck met his shoulder and he shuddered and moaned a little. Unable to control himself any longer, he scooped her up in his arms and kissed her passionately. The kiss sent Godith’s head reeling and she felt heat rush throughout her body she kissed him back just as passionately then he laid her on the ground gently. He removed his trousers and nestled between her legs.
    “Are you sure you want to do this, my sweet?” he asked Godith. “It isn’t too late to change your mind,”
    “I’m sure,” Godith replied.
    He slowly pushed inside her and she gasped with pain. He made love to her gently and tenderly at first, and then more passionately as the night progressed. After they finished he held her in his arms and starting singing a strange song and she fell asleep listening to him. She woke up with a start before dawn to find him gone. She realized she was still naked and she noticed that he had folded her dress carefully and there was a note and a ring on top of it. She read the note out loud to herself quietly.
    “My sweet,
    By the time you get this note I will be long gone, I have left you this ring as a promise that I will return to you in 3 months time on the night of the full moon in this clearing. Please, forgive me for leaving you. And please, wear the ring on your person at all times, it will protect you.
    With all the love that I posses,
    P.S. burn this note at the soonest opportunity”

    Tears started running down her cheeks.
    They continued to run down her cheeks non-stop...

    Godith heard a knock at her door, interrupting her thoughts as she looked out the window. She quickly drew a robe over herself to hide her belly but relaxed when she saw it was Nanny entering the room.
    “Since when do you knock, Nanny?” Godith asked.
    “Since you started sitting around growing bigger, Duckie.” Nanny gestured towards Godith’s belly. Godith sighed and looked back out the window. It was the full moon tonight, and she would see Mirardor again. Nanny knew of all this; Godith had shown her the note before burning it, and Nanny was going to cover for her.
    “Your father hasn’t come home from the pub yet Duckie, so they’re going to start dinner without him,” Nanny said while helping Godith put her dress on and conceal her growing stomach.
    “What a surprise...” Godith muttered and attempted in vain to staunch the flow of her tears. She slowly made her way to the family dining room, dreading the coming dinner. She started to cry harder remembering the days when the meals were fun times full of laughter, when they were a family. She took her seat at the table across from her brother, who hadn’t looked her in the eyes in 3 months. The space across from their mother was reserved for their father, but he was almost never home for meals, and if he was you almost wished he wasn’t. Godith’s mother waved at a servant impatiently to bring the food. When the food was served her mother said grace and they began to eat the food in silence. Godith couldn’t stand the silence any longer and asked her mother,
    “Why does daddy drink so much?” Her mother stopped eating and folded her hands in her lap, she kept her eyes downcast and remained silent. It was then her brother finally snapped.
    “DADDY DRINKS BECAUSE YOU CRY!” he cried out anguished and angry. Godith got up and ran out of the room, she kept running till she reached the clearing in the woods and threw herself upon the ground and started crying hard. She heard someone call,
    “My sweet! Lass! Godith! What ails thee my love?!” She felt someone wrap their arms around her and start gently rocking her. She stopped crying after a few minutes and she saw that she was in Mirardor’s arms. When he noticed she had stopped crying he brushed her hair out of her face.
    “Why were you crying so, My Sweet?” he asked softly.
    “I’m pregnant with your child,” she replied just as softly. He looked at her with love in his eyes.
    “Come away with me, come live with me, I will take care of you and our child,” he told her, holding her hands in his.
    “I’d do anything for you, Mirardor,” she said with conviction.

    She works in this tower night and day, weaving a tapestry of images depicted in a magicked mirror. No one knows her name, not even she. No one knows why she’s in the tower, not even she. She knows not why, but she is not allowed to look out the window, she has to look at the world in the mirror. Her only possessions are the clothes on her body and the ring on her finger. She can’t remember how she got the ring. She can’t remember how she got in the tower. The only things she knows for certain are that if she looks out the window something bad will happen, and that she must continue weaving the images depicted in the mirror. She has lost almost all track of time. She sees men coming back from the harvest, one Dark, one Light. She sees newlywed lovers; she feels a pain in her heart seeing them, “I am half sick of shadows,” she said. One light she sees a man, riding a horse. She left her loom, and gazed out the window upon the man. As she did so she heard a crack coming from the direction of the mirror, she knew that it had broken and she cried, “The curse is come upon me!” She left the tower and found she was on an island in the middle of the river. She searched until she found a boat. She had heard farmers call her The Lady of Shalott so she wrote it on the boat and assumed the title. She loosed the chain that was holding the boat then got in and lay down. As soon as she lay down she remembered everything. Her name was Godith. She had had a mother, a father, a brother too. She had had a child, a lover named Mirardor. As she thought of him she flamed with anger at his betrayal of her, at how he had had his queen lock her in the tower and curse her. Godith remembered the ring that Mirardor had given her, and she wrenched it off her finger and cast it into the river. She remembered the song Mirardor had sung when she fell asleep in his arms after making love. The words came unbidden to her and she found she was singing, she couldn’t stop. She closed her eyes and just let herself sing. She sang until her very last. Godith, The Lady of Shalott.