It was bad enough that the prince had to see Freawine’s father making his wild drunken boasts. But he believed them! How long would it be before the dreamy but intimidating prince discovered Freawine couldn't really spin straw into gold—or that this "girl" was really a boy?
Freawine sat looking at the mounds of straw all around him in the tiny room. Panic rose to his throat like a choking hand. What to do? Only two options came to mind—he could continue to curse his braggart father as he had done for the last quarter of an hour or so, or he could begin to think what his new life might be like without his head.
Rather short, he imagined.
Freawine found it a challenge to think clearly when his life was about to come to an abrupt end. The cold gray stones around him stood impassively silent, like the guards who lounged outside the door. No one was going to rescue him. Still, he found it pleasant to picture a handsome knight charging up the road to the castle, his valiant steed’s hooves clattering across the cobblestones of the courtyard, then rushing up the stairs to this little room at the top of the tower and sweeping Freawine away to safety. Followed by a very hot and sweaty session of delightful indulgence, of course.
He twisted one of his long locks and sighed again. If he were a real girl this would never have happened. His life had been nothing but secrets and lies—now the price had come due.
If only his father had not made that stupid boast in the tavern yard! If only the prince had not been passing by with his entourage of noble ladies and gentlemen, falcons on their wrists and laughter on their lips. If only the prince had not taken it into his head to make a grand offer--and an ominous threat.
If wishes were horses, his mother would have said, then we would all ride with the nobles to the fair.
At the moment, Freawine preferred to imagine that wishes might be doves that could carry him far from this tower room and his troubles.
Interesting twist on Rumpelstiltskin! Short and cute M/M with a fairy tale twist. I don't want to give anything away, but imagine the prince's surprise when he discovers Frea is a boy! Perfect for reading when you have about an hour to spare.
C. Margery Kempe is a writer of erotic romance distinguished by its humour, intelligence and fearless sensual pleasures. Her stories range from contemporary thrillers to medieval era fairy tales. An English professor by day, she also writes on medieval literature, film, creative writing and New Media, as well as humor, drama, mainstream and genre fiction under her real name, noir as Graham Wynd and non-explicit romance as Kit Marlowe. She’s a weekly blogger at Lady Smut on Fridays.
Writing erotica has a lot more acceptance now than it did in the past, but there are still a lot of hurdles we’ve yet to leap. It might be ‘acceptable’ but it’s often far from admired. Like its sister genre, romance, it is often dismissed because of its largely female audience and creators, because something that’s ‘only’ for women isn’t ‘universal’ – yeah, right.
It’s surprising that even in the mainstream there’s still a discomfort linking women and desire. Libby Brooks, writing in The Guardian about the collection In Bed With… that features big name writers who nonetheless write under pseudonyms, notes:
It’s a weary truism that it remains taboo for women to talk publicly about what turns them on. Another of the contributors, Joan Smith, says she has been fielding scandalised callers demanding to know why a feminist such as herself would even countenance writing erotica. For all the jocular gloss, the media’s imperative to identify Lette’s writers carries an unpleasant undercurrent of the scarlet letter.
Why is women’s desire such a powerful thing that it must be hedged around with such careful language and subterfuge? I suspect a large part of that comes from its mysteriousness. The physiological questions about female desire remain puzzles to researchers who find it impossible to sort out the overlap between impulses from the body and those from culture. In a New York Times Magazine piece, Dr. Meredith Chivers, who has spent long years working to understand the workings of female sexuality, continues to find it a perplexing problem:
“So many cultures have quite strict codes governing female sexuality,” she said. “If that sexuality is relatively passive, then why so many rules to control it? Why is it so frightening?” There was the implication, in her words, that she might never illuminate her subject because she could not even see it, that the data she and her colleagues collect might be deceptive, might represent only the creations of culture, and that her interpretations might be leading away from underlying truth. There was the intimation that, at its core, women’s sexuality might not be passive at all. There was the chance that the long history of fear might have buried the nature of women’s lust too deeply to unearth, to view.
That fear is still with us. It affects us in ways we can’t always realise or understand. But taking up the task of writing our desires is a positive step. The more we take control and own our erotic imaginings, the more that fear and negativity will fall away.