Hi, my lovely readers! Just a quick note to say the song Amárrame by Mon Laferte is the inspiration for this story, 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 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 deep through her nose, she let the air in her lungs escape through her parted, dry lips.
The minutes ticked, and she searched for newness hoping to uncover new sounds. Hungry she listened, yet, there were none. Birds never chirped, but the wind howled. The air smelled clean, but there was no sun. Reality set in, and she lay motionless with nothing to look forward to.
She would be happy to get a day like today if her life was different or if she was someone else. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Outside of the wind, it was eerily silent. Disappointment consumed her, and once again, Rapunzel 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. At the time, her heart had been full of hopes and dreams for the future. It was a day like any other before it. Where dawn turned to morning, morning turned to noon, and noon turned to twilight. When dusk fell, she tiptoed to the double-hung window in her bedroom and let her lover in. Lovingly they kissed and laughed, unable to keep their hands off one another. Removing their garments, one piece at a time, they left them puddled on the floor.
She recalled they spoke about running away and getting married one day, when morning came, he would take her face in his hands and kiss every inch of it, pressing his lips over her eyes, nose, and mouth. Then, he would climb out the bedroom window.
One forenoon, in particular, the town’s guards waited outside her home to apprehend him. The sheriff, who was a vile, horny man, desired her as his bride. For months he watched Rapunzel. Jealous of their love, he staked her house when he heard she had a suitor. Stealthing himself in dark, silk threads, he waited outside her home, camouflaged by the night skies, to confirm the rumors.
Peeping through the window, he saw the young lovers. Their bodies, entangled in lust. He envied how carefree and happy they were. It enraged him. Hungrily he watched them ardently consume one-another and pleasured himself. Unsatisfied, he came back every night to feed his hateful soul.
The sheriff’s desire grew. Wanting her for himself, he strategized a sinister plan to rid himself of her lover. So he took them to a grand tribunal, and they were found guilty of fornication. Her lover, condemned to death.
As part of her punishment, Rapunzel witnessed his hanging and watched him die. Her ghost-like-self faced the gallows, but she refused to open her eyes. She also refused to cry. Not because of her lover; her being was shredding inside for him, but to not give the sheriff the satisfaction of her pain.
Cuffed and shackled, they took her to face the depraved man one last time. With great arrogance and a sense of entitlement, he sat facing her. His eyes focused on her great beauty. His body hungry for hers, and it was visible below his garb.
The shameless sheriff felt no guilt for what he had done. Through veiled eyes, he gawked down at her. At that moment, she knew she’d entered a nightmare. A dark, bottomless abyss she had fallen into and would not be able to leave. Sick to her stomach, Rapunzel took a few deep, shaky breaths hoping the queasy feelings would pass.
Minimizing her existence, with an air of grandeur, the sheriff circled her a few times. His fingers slithered across her bare shoulders and back as he ogled her body, making her feel small and unworthy. DIzzy, her breathing hitched, and her heart thumped frantically against her chest.
“I will fully pardon you ...” His voice, a notch too high for anyone’s liking, yet she had no option but to listen.“If you accept my hand in marriage.”
Turning, the mad sheriff stood millimeters from her face. His hand clamped to her jaw, holding her head steady. His index finger and thumb crushing her chin. She squirmed, but his fingers applied more pressure. Next, his lips crashed on hers. Bumping his lips with her teeth, he drew blood from the impact.
His tongue licked at her mouth. His foul breath revolted her to the core and provoked the taste of bile to come up in her throat. With white, pressed lips, her inhalations grew heavy through her nose. She shook like a leaf. The trembling of her body caused her to convulse and hit her head on the marble tiles.
“NO!” Violently screaming, Rapunzel swayed her head and vomited at his feet.
Enraged and considering it a punishable offense, his hand crossed her face with great force, leaving a tinge of red on her left cheek. Then he sentenced her to a life of solitude and imprisonment in a secluded tower.
"When you change your mind, I might consider taking you as a courtesan,” he said sheepishly. “Until then, you can replay and suffer your lover’s death alone, until the day you died!”
Erased from history, Rapunzel would never be seen, love, or be loved ever again.
Immersed in scorn, she dreamed of retribution one day. Revenge on an old, hateful piece-of-shit of a man, who for an instant, believed his opinion was above what she wanted. No man should have that right. No person should think of themselves above another. She had no idea how, but someday, it would come to be.
As the years passed, the days did not become any easier. In the beginning, the sheriff went to see her once a month. He was convinced she wouldn’t be able to take the solitude and fall into his arms. But that was not the case. Rapunzel consistently refused him.
Six months passed, and the sheriff visited her once every three months. The following year he showed up scarcely twice.
Towering above her, he raised his fist. “You will have me!”
Launching forward, he pinned her body to the floor. Squirming, she flared her arms and kicked her legs hysterically. His hands roamed her body, touching her intimately through the fabric of her dress, pulling it up. Rapunzel kicked him between the legs, and an agonizing scream pushed through his lungs.
Lunging towards him, she shoved her fingers into his eye-sockets, pressing with force. The Sheriff’s vision blurred, and blood squirted out of both of them, drenching her clothes.
He shrieked, and so did she. Like a lunatic. A tigress. A beast.
Bleeding out, he recoiled. His servants helped him off the tower, and Rapunzel knew she would be punished after such brazen offense. Plausibly, lashed, and hung. But the hours became days. The days became weeks, and the weeks became months until Cirilla came calling.
With dignified braveness, she gazed out the window and into full view. Cirilla motioned Rapunzel to drop her hair, so she did as she was told, expecting the worse.
Cirilla told her, after what happened, the sheriff lost an eye. For days he debated if he should kill or let her live. After much pondering, he understood Rapunzel was already suffering a delectable punishment he was proud and satisfied with. It caused him great pleasure to deny her everything he thought to be valuable.
He would never grace her with his presence, and except for Cirilla, no one would contact her. Once a year, on her birthday, Cirilla was allowed to taunt her with a new, magnificent dress. A dress she could have but would not be able to wear, and no one would see. A dress to add to her collection and a torturous remembrance of her insane reality. A reminder, of the outside world.
Cirilla, although the sheriff’s slave, was a good woman. She liked the girl. In her eyes, she’d done nothing wrong but love, and defend herself when an abusive man tried to take advantage of her. She would have done the same. At least, she would have tried. She respected, Rapunzel rather die than be abused.
“I will shout, Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair. This is how you will know it is me. 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 see you. Understood? I can’t tie a basket of food to your hair and leave without a word. I refuse to do that to you.
Rapunzel relaxed. Waiting to know her fate had been excruciating and difficult. Marrying or being touched by the sheriff a far worst punishment than anything he could bestow on her. Death was better than a life with him, she concluded. Isolation was not as bad as it seemed.
There wasn’t a day she did not think about her dead lover. Every day she cried. Every day she prayed for revenge.
Reminded it was her birthday, Rapunzel rubbed her eyes and groaned. Cirilla would soon arrive with an expensive gown and amazing, sugary treats she stores inside a large mocuck, placed inside a basket, and tied to her hair. Rapunzel would lift it by looping it to a metal hook outside her window and then pull it through.
With a sigh, she retrieved for an aromatic bath, brushed her hair until it lustered, and stained her lips crimson. Lastly, she draped the gown she’d been gifted the year before over her body and waited.