May 22, 2009

Ida of the Cabbage

Lulz, yes everyone I'm going to attempt to amuse you with fiction writing again. A little background on this before I do, I've been trying to write...SOMETHING for ages. I'm still sort of stuck in my "fairy tale" mode but I think I'm moving out of "strange and grotesque distortions to trouble you for life" to something a little more light hearted. So you may have heard me rambling on Twitter about giant cats and werewolves and this is more or less the product of it.

In addition to fairy tales I also obviously borrowed (stole) (shut up you) from the story of Heracles, or to your barbaric tongues, Hercules. And there's an awful lot of lefty womanist feminist in-jokes here, so enjoy the story of Ida's birth, challenges are sure to come. Also, no, you don't get the benefit of a jump or anything so get ready.

Once upon a time, there was an old farmer named George. George lived in a shabby shack with his wife, Mara, on the land of his ancestors. It had provided family with every need for generations and generations and George had simply never seen a reason to move. The field outside was fairly large, producing rows of cabbages and tomatoes and other vegetables, but was often damaged by droughts and insects and animals from the nearby woods. But this didn't stop George from turning a profit by selling his meager wares, which in turn didn't stop the couple from being utterly poor.

George only ever had one simple wish in life: to bear a son. Mara, however, who was much younger than and slightly resented her husband and often did everything in her power to undermine his accomplishments, disagreed. Mara's dream was to escape the incredibly hard and incredibly dull life of farm work into the neighboring town of Nodton. There, she would make her fortune as a botanist. Whenever she voiced these ambitions to her husband, he would simply laugh and continue on with his crops.

Day after day the couple would repeat the same routine. George would attend to the land while Mara would waste away in the kitchen and curse her fate. After a long day of working George would come back inside at noon for a drink of water and lunch.

"You know, Mara," he would say as he drank, "the land has been so bountiful to me and you. It has given us everything we could possibly ever hope for—"

Mara would roll her eyes and take biscuits from the oven. "Here we go again…"

"Except a son."

"Well, maybe if you keep planting cabbages, one day a boy child will just spring up from the ground!" Mara would say mockingly.

"Ah, if only it were true dear. I would have a strong son, a fit son, dark as the earth beneath our feet, with eyes as green as a radish leaf, and hair as dark as pitch. And he would help me with the fields and when we go into the city, he would meet a fine wife and bear me grandchildren at last!"

"I like how you've got everything planned out there, George."

And so it would continue every day just like that.

Until one day.

One day while George was tending to his cabbages, he heard a sharp cry. His head jerked and he moved as fast as his body would allow towards the source of the noise. Another sharp cry alerted him to one of his cabbages, which was twitching about in ways no cabbage should. George knelt down to the fidgeting cabbage and peeled away its leaves to reveal tiny hands, a tiny face, and lastly a tiny body. A surge of excitement galvanized him to life as he stood with the crying babe in his hands and he hobbled back to his home crying out, "A son! I finally have a son!"

Mara heard the commotion inside the house and stuck her head outside to see what happened. "What? The sun?"

"No, Mara, look!" George fairly barged into the house, bowling his wife over in the process. By now the baby had stopped crying and simply looked about bemused at his new surroundings. When Mara rose from the floor she furiously hit her husband with a wet dishtowel three times.

"What on earth are you going on about old man?" she exclaimed. "What's this about the sun?"

"Mara, look!" George thrust the baby into Mara's shocked face. "A son! The land, which provided so much for us, has given a son! At long last! From the cabbage patch, just as you said it would!"

"Holy cripes, are you serious?" Mara inspected the child in wild amazement. The baby was all that George could have dreamed: hair as black as pitch, eyes green like a radish leaf, skin a warm, earthy brown and glowing with an inner radiance. Every detail perfect, except for one thing…

"Uh, George I hate to ruin your celebration, but this isn't a boy."

"It—eh what?"

"Nope, it's definitely a girl. See?"

George took another look at the baby, then slapped his head with his own palm. "You've got to be kidding me. It's a girl?"

"'Fraid so. Guess you'll have to throw it back and try again!"

George sighed and took the baby from Mara's arms. "A daughter. Well, the field wouldn't curse me with such a burden without reason, perhaps…my girl child shall be as great as any boy! No, greater! This must be so, how could the crops be wrong?"

The baby cooed and reached out to her new father's nose, and grabbed it. A disturbing pop resonated in the kitchen followed by a cry of pain and a childish giggle. Mara's eyes twitched and her face flushed red; not only was she tied down by her husband and lack of means to run away, but now…now there was a child to take care of. Everything had apparently conspired against her and this was the final straw.

I'll get rid of that child if it's the last thing I do, old man! she vowed.

And so the child was named Ida and her life began.

1 comment:

Please share some knowledge. Or amuse me at least :O