Hi, my lovely readers! Just a quick note to say the song Amárrame by Mon Laferte inspired the twist to this book and it’s the only reason why I wrote a short story about Rapunzel.
Even if you don’t speak Spanish, give it a listen you might be surprised and like it.
The thick mist curiously peeked through the small, glassless window as it did every morning for the past twelve years.
Rapunzel opened her eyes pushing the long strands of runaway hairs from her face and stretched like a graceful cat. Breathing deeply through her nose she let the air in her lungs escape through her parted dry lips.
The minutes tocked and quietly she searched for newness in hopes to uncover sounds she had never heard before to reach her ears. Hungrily she listened, seeking some new discovery yet, there were no new sounds.
Birds never chirped but the wind howled. It smelled clean but there was no sun. Reality set in and she laid motionless in bed with nothing to look forward to.
She would be happy to get a day like this, if her life were different or if she was a different person. Regrettably, that wasn’t the case.
Outside of the wind, it was eerily silent and disappointment consumed her body and her mind. Once again, she realized she wasn’t having a nightmare but living her life. This was her life. One of loneliness, abandonment, and torture.
She’d been in love once, at sixteen. A time when her heart was full of hopes and dreams for the future. It’d been a day like any other before it. Dawn becoming morning, morning becoming noon and noon becoming evening.
When dusk fell, she carefully tiptoed over to the double-hung window in her bedroom and let her lover into her chamber. They intimately kissed and sensually laughed removing the other's clothing one piece at a time leaving them puddled like breadcrumbs on the hardwood floor.
After making love, unable to keep their hands off each other, they talked about running away and getting married one day.
When morning came, he’d take her face in his hands and kiss every inch of it. She'd giggle as he carefully draped his lips over her eyes, nose, and mouth one last time before he climbed out the bedroom window.
One morning, in particular, the town’s guards waited outside her home to apprehend him ...
The sheriff, who was a vile, horny man had his eye on her and wanted Rapunzel as his bride. Diligently he’d been watching her for weeks.
Jealous, he began to stake out her house as soon as he heard she had an interested suitor. Wanting to confirm the rumors for himself, he stealth himself in dark, silk clothes and waited outside her home camouflaged by the night skies.
Peeking through the window, he saw the two young lovers. He hungrily watched as they passionately consumed one-another and pleasured himself while he saw them make love.
He envied their youth and how carefree and happy they were. It enraged him so, he came back every night after that to feed his hateful soul. Wanting her for himself he strategized a sinister plan to rid himself of her lover.
They were taken to a grand tribunal and found guilty of fornication. Her lover was hung and part of her punishment was to witness his hanging and watch him die.
Her ghost-like self stood facing the gallows but she refused to open her eyes. She also refused to cry. Not because of her lover; her being was shredded inside for him, but to not give the sheriff the satisfaction of her pain.
Cuffed and shackled, she was taken to face the depraved man one last time. With great arrogance and sense of entitlement, he sat facing her. His eyes focused on her great beauty. His body hungered for hers as it was visible below his garb.
He was shameless and felt no guilt for what he had just done. Through veiled eyes, he gawked at her.
She knew she’d entered a nightmare. A dark, empty abyss into which she had fallen and there was no bottom. Feeling sick to her stomach she took deep, shaky breaths hoping the queasy feelings would pass.
With a sense of grandeur, he circled her form a few times minimizing her existence. His fingers slithered across her shoulders and back as he looked up and down her body making her feel small and unworthy.
Her breathing hitched and her heart thumped against her chest frantically. She felt dizzy.
“I will fully pardon you—”
His voice was a notch too high to keep anyone’s attention in regular conversation, but she had no option but to listen.
“If you accept my offer of marriage.”
He now stood facing her millimeters apart. His hand came up to her jaw and he held her steady with his index finger and thumb crushing her chin. She squirmed trying to move her face away but felt more pressure instead.
His lips crashed on hers bumping her teeth and he drew blood from the impact. His tongue licked at her mouth.
His breath was foul, it revolted her to the core causing the taste of bile to come up in her throat. With lips white from pressing them together she heavily breathed through her nose. And like a leaf, her body trembled almost convulsing to the floor.
Shaking her head violently she screamed, “NO!” Then the girl vomited at his feet.
Enraged and considering this a punishable offense, his hand came across her face with great force leaving a tinge of red on her left cheek.
A sentence to a life of solitude and imprisonment in a secluded tower was the only punishment he saw fit. A way for her to replay and suffer her lover’s death until the day she died.
"When you change your mind. I might consider taking you as a courtesan,” he sheepishly said.
After that awful judgment day, she would never love again. She would never be seen or loved either. Practically, she’d been erased from history.
Immersed in scorn she hoped to one day get her retribution.
Revenge on the old, hateful, piece of shit of a man who for an instant thought, his opinion was above what she herself wanted. No man should have that right. No person should think of themselves above another.
At that time, she had no idea how that would come to be, but she lived with the hope she’d accomplish it someday.
As the years passed, the days didn’t get easier.
In the beginning, the sheriff would come to see her once a month convinced she wouldn’t be able to take the solitude and she would fall at his feet and into his bed. But that was not the case. Rapunzel stood firm in her convictions and refused him.
Six months passed before the sheriff started coming every three months. The following year he only showed up twice. Towering above her he raised his grinding, angry voice.
“You will have me!” he spat.
Launching at her, he pinning Rapunzel's body down to the floor. Squirming hysterically she flared her arms and kicked her legs. His hand touched her intimately through the fabric of her dress pulling it up. That’s when she kicked him between the legs causing an agonizing scream out of his lungs. Next, Rapunzel pushed her fingers into his eye-sockets. She pressed so hard, his vision was blurred and blood squirted out of one of them drenching her clothes.
As loud as he screamed, so did she. Like a lunatic, a tigress, a beast. He recoiled. His servants and guards helped him off the tower because he was bleeding out and couldn’t get down himself.
Rapunzel was sure she would die after this. Lashed and hung. She became resigned and was ready to die for what she believed.
Hours became days. Days became weeks and weeks turned into months until finally, she heard Cirilla call to her one morning.
With dignified, braveness she peered out of the window into full view. Cirilla motioned for Rapunzel to drop her hair so she could climb up the tower.
She did as she was told expecting the worse and was left in wonder when she listened to the old woman.
Cirila explained how the sheriff lost an eye and debated for days if he should kill her or let her live. In the end, he understood she was already suffering a delectable punishment he was proudly happy of. It caused him great pleasure to deny her everything he thought was valuable in life.
The difference as he saw it now was, he would never again grace her with his presence. She would have contact with no one except once a year when Cirilla was allowed to taunt her with a new, magnificent dress. A dress she would not be able to wear outside the tower and no one would ever see. A dress to add to her closet and the torture of her locked-up, insane reality. A reminder of the outside world.
Cirilla, although the sheriff slave; being the good woman that she was, did not fully follow his instructions. She liked the girl. In her eyes, she’d done nothing wrong but love once and defend herself when an abusive man came to take advantage of her. She would have done the same. At least she would have tried. She respected the fact that Rapunzel rather die, than be abused by a man who was comfortable taking advantage of others.
“You will know it is I by the words I speak,” she carefully explained.
“I will cue you by saying, Rapunzel, Rapunzel. Let down your hair. Unless the person below says these words, you shall not show your face through the window let alone drop your hair. No one can ever know I come up to visit more than once a year. Understood?"
"As you remember," Cirila continued. "I am to tie the basket of food to your hair and leave without a word," she noted.
Rapunzel was relieved. Waiting to know her fate had been excruciatingly difficult. Marrying and being touched by the sheriff would be a far worse punishment than anything she could think of. Death was better than a life with him. So living isolated in a tower was not as bad as it seemed.
Now, she just went through the motions. Like a tired, unilateral golem. Every day she cried. Every day, she thought about her dead lover. Every day, she prayed for revenge.
Languidly she rubbed her eyes and heavily sighed when she remembered today was her birthday. For this special day; besides her monthly provision and the stupid dress, Cirilla brought her special foods. Usually wonderful, sugary treats she savored into oblivion.
She placed them in a large mocuck then tied the basket to her hair. Rapunzel lifted it by looping her locks to a metal hook outside her window and pulled it through. She’d learn to ration and eat the food that spoiled first. It was sufficient. She always had enough until the next month rolled around and Cirilla came back to feed her.
Today was that day. The one day she was lucky enough to lay her eyes upon someone other than her thin, disheveled self.
She took an aromatic, warm bath. Brushed her long silky hair until it lustered and stained her lips crimson. Finally, she wore the dress she’d been gifted the year before and waited.