author’s note: this poem has elements of magic (entirely attributed to evil in the poem) that serve as metaphors in the story. What those metaphors are…is entirely up to you to interpret. But this story is meant to outline the journey from abuse, heartbreak, and trials to understanding and redemption.
She walked a path for miles
a path of brick and stone
tree limbs bending downwards
green leaves overgrown
Along the path she met a Lad
His eyes were cloudy grey
His hair was red and brown,
Yet glinted golden in the day
They linked arms and began to walk,
new love bubbling from their easy talk,
Easier and easier they began to be,
Walking over mountains and valleys,
and along the pale shores of the sea.
Within his eyes Girl saw her life,
And he promised with words that he would stay
So with fingers entwined like wanton vines,
They cast their doubts away.
One day on Girl’s hand,
Lad placed a glass band
that sparkled with his love
And with eyes wet and smiles wide,
The promised Groom and promised Bride
Both thanked God above.
But as years flit by, as dragonflies do,
the Girl began to doubt,
For as much as he was there with her
She began to feel without,
Girl felt love like burning fire
but began to fear her young Lad’s ire.
He said with words he loved her much,
And would never leave her side,
But often swatted away her touch,
And became defensive of his pride.
The path became no longer smooth,
It jutted rock and stone,
And though their discomfort she tried to soothe
Lad’s confidence was thrown.
He stumbled over root and stone,
Due to attention little paid,
When stifled by vines overgrown,
Refused the young Girl’s aid,
At last, for fear, there came a day,
When Lad’s color began to abate
His eyes and hair, his skin so fair,
Met the mirthless bite of fate.
For Lad lost hope,
and could not cope
with Girl or path no more,
And through the trees, he spied a space
And left through it like a door.
Girl cried tears bittersweet
For she knew she could not follow,
And though in her chest, her heart still beat
She knew within was hollow.
Girl felt a cold, thin vice,
upon her cold, thin hand
And looked upon with grief
At Lad’s still-sparkling band.
Girl continued on the rocky trail,
But often sat to weep,
Whispering his name brought no avail,
and memory’s wounds were deep.
But her grief was woven
with a stronger thread than she,
One night it drew an evil coven,
Of curious witches three.
Cackling, they asked her,
“What hath befallen thee?”
Girl jumped and walked much faster
So frightened now was she,
“We know the burden of your heart!”
Called the three magicians,
“Fear us not, let us help you,
For we are but mere physicians.”
But Girl kept her stride
And said “I have no money, nor trust for witches.”
And the witches, cackling, gleefully replied
“We offer only aid and have no use for riches.”
Girl then stopped and turned to face the Three,
For her heart was but pain and anguish,
And an end she could not see.
“What aid you offer, O stalking witches?
And what your price, then, if not riches?”
The witches laughed with victorious glee,
And at our Girl did smile,
“We wish to end your suffering,
And bring back your Lad a while.”
“Lad?” Girl cried, “How can you know?
Lad, who hath hurt me so?”
“My dear sweet Girl, your tale we know,
It hath been spun, so long ago.
It is an age-old tale, timeless and grand,
Our price, sweet Girl, is your sparkling band.”
Girl thought she felt a warning in her heart
Though Lad was no longer there with her,
With the band she should not part,
“Your band, my dear, is what we seek,
If it is Lad that you desire,
For the path does not favor the weak,
And companion-less made dire.”
Girl felt a pull inside her soul,
And Lad came to her mind,
His smile that had made her whole,
A love impossible to find.
“A question, witches, if ask I may,
before I give my band away?”
The witches looked at the sparkling ring
with hunger in their eyes,
“My dear, sweet girl, ask anything,
Anything that rests your mind.”
“What use have you of this sparkling treasure?
It is but mere memory,
It has no value beyond its measure,
For its meaning is known only to me.”
“Worry not of these things!
It is that which we require.
Forget your sentiments of that ring!
And we will bring you the one whom you desire!”
So with care she slipped the band away,
Off her cold, thin hand,
She gripped it, shining, in her palms a moment,
then gave away her band.
But the wind blew then,
a cold, strong, gust
That blew the band to the rocky ground,
and shattered it to dust.
Horrified and terrified, Girl began to retreat,
But the witches gathered around her,
And with vines tied her hands and feet
“I cannot explain this! Let me go!”
Cried the Girl, fighting against the biting vines,
“I cannot explain it! I do not know!”
But the witches cared not for Girl’s cries and pleas,
they tightened the bonds and pinned her body
to the trunk of a leafless tree.
“Liar! Traitor! Deceptive thing!
We want the band, or you’ll dearly pay!
Repair that sparkling, shining ring,
Or we’ll cut your Lad’s head away!”
“It was a gift of mere glass,
No value had it, but sentiment!
I cannot repair the shattered thing,
You must accept its detriment!”
The witches gathered to consider this fact,
The band was gone, shattered to dust,
But the girl was whole and young and brave,
To claim her youth, kill her they must!
The witches, seething, drew a long knife,
Crooked and forked, and dripping dark red,
“If you wish to save Lad, you’ll pay with your life!
“Either pay with your blood, or we take his head.”
Girl trembled in fear against the tree,
And shutting her eyes she tried to see,
One last, precious memory…
End of Chapter One.