Roses, Briars, Blood: Part 5

Roses, Briars, Blood

My dark version of Briar Rose continues…

To Stream Audio, Press the button below:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

To Download Click the Title Below. MP3 is 12.46 minutes

Roses, Briars, Blood: Part Five

That same day, the King was banqueting with the King from Across the River discussing preparations for the marriage  of Princess Mirabelle and Prince Agramant. The dowry was to be most magnificent. Apart from her jewels, pearls, precious stones and fabrics, the Princess would bring two hundred thousand gold pieces, paid in ten yearly installments of ten thousand each, secured by the rents of the towns and villages of the kingdom.

“And,” the King smiled as if he enjoyed a private joke,”She will also bring with her, a priceless collection of gloves created by the great Milanese artisan, Sebastiano.”

“Oh,” said the King from Across the River. “I would enjoy seeing that!”

Prince Agramant sipped his wine, smiling with his perfect teeth, his dark eyes flashing. “When shall I meet the Princess? I have been told she is very beautiful. Is she more beautiful than the fair Lady I saw looking down from a high balcony as we entered the castle? Surely no one could be more exquisite than that! Could it have been the Princess that I saw?”

The Prince looked abstracted and pushed his glossy hair back form his face, sighing.

The two Kings laughed together, raising their eyebrows at the Prince. They looked, one at the other, about to speak, and then froze when they caught each others’ eyes. Then they burst out laughing once again.

The King wasn’t sure how he felt about the eagerness of the Prince to see his daughter. Mirabelle was his little girl, after all. With that thought in mind, he quaffed his wine and looked daggers at the Prince over his goblet. The Prince continued to smile to himself as if he had no idea of the implications.

“Tomorrow you shall see her for the first time. At the grand ball,” the King finally said to break the silence. “In the meantime, I have a small gift for you. Here.”

The King dangled a silver locket in front of the Prince as if daring him to accept it. The Prince grabbed it playfully and opened it up with a loud laugh. Then he grew quiet and said,

“But it is that same exquisite Lady I saw on the balcony. Her very likeness! And what is this under the cover of the locket, but a skein of her golden hair!”

The Prince looked mesmerized causing the King to laugh nervously, glancing form the tail of his eye at the King from Across the River who looked soberly down at his plate lost in thought.

“Well,” said the King, Princess Mirabelle’s father. “My Miniaturist is a genius. He has captured my daughter’s likeness exactly. I am glad she does not disappoint you, young man.”

The Prince leaned toward the King, barely containing his excitement. “ Such beauty could never disappoint! Did you know that her beauty is sung by the troubadours who have taken their songs from our Kingdom Across the River, all the way to Paris, and now they shall return here to sing of the beauty of the Princess Mirabelle for the wedding. They say her hands shine like silver, her face is as pure as exquisitely carved ivory, and her hair hangs like sheets of iridescent gold. Now I know it is true. How lucky I am!” the Prince cried looking at his father with fire in his eyes. “Let me see her at once!”

“You must wait, Agramant,” said the King from Across the River, watching the King’s reaction from the tail of his eye. “A gentleman must not be too hasty. Perhaps we shall go hawking in the morning while the Princess prepares for the ball tomorrow night. Work off a little steam, as it were.”

“Yes,” said the King. “I would like that, We have a fine forest here full of game. The young Prince may as well get used to hunting in it straight away. You will meet my sons today, if that is any consolation.”

The two Kings and the Prince crashed their goblets together, and drank healths to each other, while the acrobats turned cartwheels, walked on their hands, or sprung circles in the air, and the Court minstrels sang songs about the wonders of true love.


When the Princess arrived at the top of the stairs, she stepped onto a a landing with a long gallery, that looked down over what once must have been a palatial ballroom, now under layers of dust. The sound of the singing, and the bells, drew her to a partly opened door where the glow of firelight shone through.  The Princess passed through the door into a vast bedchamber with high ceilings and tall windows, and standing before the hearth in the light cast by the fire, was a tall, dark lady with a spindle in her hand. From her other hand dangled a bobbin that whirled round and around, faster and faster, as she sang the name of Mirabelle. The sound of silvery bells scintillated in the air, invisible, and the floor slightly trembled with gongs, causing the long shadow of the lady to waver over it like a flame.

“Who are you?” asked Princess Mirabelle, entranced by the mysterious presence of the beautiful woman who vaguely reminded her of a figure in a recurring dream.

“Come closer and I will tell you,” said the lady, spinning the bobbin round and round.

“What is that?” asked Princess Mirabelle, for she had never seen a spindle before.

“Come closer and I will show it you,” the lady said.

The Princess, suspecting no harm, did as she was told.

“Do you like the sheen of the silken thread?” the lady asked, holding the spindle up before the Princess’s eyes. “I have been spinning it for a long, long time. It is the softest and strongest thread in the land. First, I spun the copper thread, then the silver. Now, I spin the gold. Look closer. It is made more beautiful with hair-like strands of red and black mixed in.”

The Princess put her face very close to the spindle. “It is lovely,” she said.

“Here, hold it for yourself. Try pulling the silk and see how fine it is. It is like your hair,” the lady said smiling with admiration. “Perhaps you will enjoy the magic of spinning.”

As the Princess grasped the spindle, she put her finger over the very top. It was sharp! It cut her!

“Ah!” the Princess cried out, watching her finger blossom with a stream of sudden blood. She looked at the woman, pleading for help. “The room is spinning! Oh my,” she cried as she fell to the floor and blacked out.

“How dreadful,” said the Sorceress. “How very dreadful.”

A strange, heavy reflecting cloud fell over the Palace so that the day darkened to twilight, and snow began to fall. There were bells ringing, close, yet far away, increasing the silence with their sound as of waves crashing on a distant shore. The servants moved slowly around the table as if they walked in their sleep. The acrobats paused in their contortions, and the minstrels fell down in a picturesque pile of hat feathers, cloaks and mandolins.

The Prince struggled to stay awake, but when he saw the heads of his father and the King nodding, he, too, surrendered to sleep. And as he slipped into darkness, he dreamed he was falling down a deep well into a tangle of blood red roses. As he fell into them, they bore his body up on a nest of thorns, and there he rested, gazing up at a small circle of winter sky. Crows flew over it, black flapping against the white clouds. Snow was falling on the roses that grew up the inside walls of the well, turning them white. The Prince was dimly aware of the face of a dark woman looking down at him from the circle of sky, before he slipped away into oblivion.

*******

If they had been awake, the King’s subjects would have see a heresy: the Sorceress, with the sleeping Princess at her side, flying through the air towards the forest. She landed on the parapet of her Castle, and carried the Princess into a high tower where a luxurious bed, draped in pale satin brocade, awaited its royal occupant.

The Sorceress placed the Princess so that her shimmering hair streamed over the pillows, her shining hands were folded over her breast, and her feet were pointed delicately. Then she wrapped her in gauzy spells, and lucid dreams, spinning a magic cage around her so that no other sorceries could get in.

“One-hundred years is but a day in my world,” said the Sorceress. “The time will soon pass, and then where will you be?”

But the nine ladies of the woods  were listening by means of their long ear horns, and they knew their spell was being undermined by the clever Sorceress.

“All we can do is make the one-hundred years pass as in mortal time, and this we shall do by wrapping the tower around with briar roses. It will take the roses one-hundred years to reach the top of the tower. Thus, the spell shall dissolve when the Sorceress is no more. The roses shall also serve to keep the Princess in the perpetual summer of youth, and prevent the Sorceress’s winter of age touching her.”


To be continued….

Click here for Part 6: Roses, Briars, Blood:Part 6

Comments are always welcome!

Roses, Briars, Blood is in 11 parts:

Roses, Briars, Blood: Part 11: Finis

11 thoughts on “Roses, Briars, Blood: Part 5

  1. THAT WAS UNEXPECTED AGAIN, I THOUGHT THE BANQUET IN THE FIRST PART WAS KIND OF HIKARIOUS I HAD TO LAUGH I DON TKNOW WHY. I THINK IT IS BECAUSE OF THE KING BECAUSE HE S MORE VULNERABLE, AND CHILDISH, WHEREAS THE PRINCE IS A LITTLE BIT BORING CAUSE HE SEEMS TO SURE OF HIMSELF, HE IS A LITTLE BIT LIKE MARBLE. I ENJOYED THE FACT THAT WHEN YOU READ YOU DON TSPOT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO KINGS, THEY ARE BOTH OF DIFFERENT WORLDS THEY SEEM TO MERGE. BUT I D SAY THE FATHER OF MIRABELLE IS MORE LIKE OPENING HIS HEART TO THE FAIRY REALM, BECAUSE OF HIS ATTITUDE ESPECIALLY WITH THE DAGGERS IN HIS EYES, HE SEEMS NOT CONVINCED AT ALL BUT MORE LIKE PLAYING ALL THE WAY THROUGH. YOU CAN ALSO FEEL THAT HE HAS RELINQUISHED HIS GRIP ON HIS DAUGHTER AND THAT SOMETHING SEEMS TO ENTER HIS HEART ABOUT WHAT SHE REALLY IS. IT ACTUALLY SEEMS SHE OPENS IT.HE IS ALMOST BALANCED IN HIS ATTITUDE WITH HER AND ALMOST SEEMS TO REGRET TO LET HER GO IN AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE. THE OTHER KING SEEMS MORE LIKE A BANKER. WHEN I READ THE PRINCE S NAME, IT ALWAYS COMES OUT AS ADAMANT.THE KING JUST REALLY WANTS TO HAVE FUN.HE IS ALITTLE BIT FOOLISH. I LIKE A LOT THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PRINCESS.
    WHEN SHE GOES DOWN THE TUNNEL YOU HAVE THE IMPRESSION THAT IT IS A TUNNEL THAT STARTS IN THIS WORLD AND FINISHES IN ANOTHER AS IT GETS LONGER. THERE IS ALOT OF SPINNING AND IT REMINDS YOU OF THE PEOPLE DANCING DOWN THE HALL, SO SPINNING IS A DANCE TOO. THE FUNNY THING ABOUT THE WITCH IS WHEN SHE REPEATS HOW VERY DREADFUL AND THE SECOND TIME YOU THINK HER HEAD IS SPINNING AS WELL, AND THAT SHE IS ALMOST GOING TO SUCCUMB TO HER OWN MAGIC, SHE IS ALMOST ON THE VERGE OF A PARODY OF INSANITY, AS IF THE PRINCESS HAD THE MAGIC OF SPINNING MORE IN HERTHAN SHE THOUGHT.MAGIC OF SPINNING IS VERY NICE TO THE EAR. I THINK THE SNOW FALLING IS VERY ROMANTIC, YOU CAN HEAR IT FALLING COVERING EVERYTHING LIKE WHEN YOU GO TO BED AND MOTHER NATURE WHISPERS YOU ALAST FAIRY TALE IN YOUR EARS BEFORE YOU GO TO SLEEP.THE ATOMOSPHERE IS VERY SOFT AND SOOTHING AND ENTRANCING. THE ROSES DON T REALLY CATCH THE EYE CAUSE YOU FEEL THEY ARE GOING TO BE IMPORTANT IN SPRING. SO I WONDER IF THE KING IS BEING INITIATED TO REALLY BE WORTHY OF THE PRINCESS AS HE DOESN T REALLY UNDERSTAND THE SPIRIT OF BEAUTY AND FAIRY.EVRYTHING SEEMS TURNED TO ICE, BUT IT IS ICE THAT IS SHINY AND THROUGH WICH YOU CAN SEE AND THE WALLS AND CORRIDORS LOOK EASIER TO WALK THROUGH.BUT IT IS SLIPPERY, SO YOU GET THE IMPRESSION OF GETTING LULLED INTO ANOTHER DIMENSION LIKE A FEATHER.THE SORCERESS GETS STRANGER THOUGH AND SEEMS UNSURE, IT IS LIKE SHE IS GOING TO FAINT INTO WAKEFULNESS WHEN SHE DISPOSES OF THE PRINCESS ON THE BED. I LIKE THE WAY SHE DOES IT CAUSE IT IS LIKE SHE LIES HER DOWN LIKE YOU D PUT A RIVER IN THE LANDSCAPE, BECAUSE IT LOKKS GOOD THERE AND SOMETHING IS MISSING. SHE SEEMS A LITTLE BIT TAKEN ABACK, BY THE BEAUTY SHE HAS WITHIN HERSELF AND THAT SHE IS UNAWARE OF. SO SHE IS NOT REALLY THAT IMMUNE TO HER SPINNING, AS IT KIND OF BRINGS OUT A CERTAIN NATURAL BEAUTY SHE HAS IN HER, AS IF LOOKING AT HERSELF IN AMIRROR, BUT REFUSING TO ACKNOWLEDGE IT.THAT MAKES THE PRINCESS VERY POWERFUL IN MY EYES AS SHE DOESN TDO ANYTHING AND THE WORLD IS SPINNING AROUND HER ANYWAY. IT IS VERY PURE, AND THIS PURITY REALLY SEEMS TO BE HER PROTECTION BUT ALSO POSSIBILITY FOR THE SORCERESS TO SEE THROUGH HER OWN ILLUSION.IT S A LITTLE BIT LIKE THE MEETING OF THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON AND THE BRIGHT SIDE OF THE MOON, AND THEY ARE LEARNING TO SPIN TOGETHER. AND I AM QUITE SURPRISED BY THE LADIES OF THE WOODS, THE TAIL ACTUALLY SEEMED RATHER DETACHED FROM THE THE SORCERESS BUT IT SEEMS THAT THEY ARE FINDING A WAY THROUGH THE WOODS. I LOVE THE EAR HORNS, IT S REALLY COOL.BEFORE READING I THOUGHT SEEING THE KING IN FRONT OF A DOOR AND DISLODGING A STONE FRON THE GROUND TO TAKE A KEY BENEATH IT BUT INSTEAD OF OPENING THE DOOR WITH IT HE SWALLOWS THE KEY AND THE ENTERS THE ROOM WHEN I FINISHED READING.I REALLY LOVE ALL THE SNOW AND THE WHITE AND ALL THE ICE. THIS PART SEEMS TO REPRESENT THE OPENING OF A ROSE AN EACH PETAL IS ONE OF ITS PARTS, AT THE END IT CLOSES AGAIN CAUSE EVERYBODY GOES TO SLEEP EVEN THE SORCERESS RELAXES AND THE NINE LADIES KNOW WHAT THEY HAVE TO DO. SO THE ROSE CLOSES ONCE MORE LIKE THE CURTAIN THAT FALLS AT THE END OF THE PLAY. BY OPENING WHAT SEEMED TO SORTED IN YOUR STORY SEEMS TO SEPERATE AGAIN AND WIDENS THE GATES AND THE REALM OF THE STORY, SO NOTHING IS DONE. EVERYBODY SEEMS ISOLATED AGAIN, AND THE WORLD FROZE.I WOULDN TSAY THAT IT IS CONFUSING, BUT ID SAY THAT IT BROADENS THE IMAGINATION BY DESTROYING ALL CLICHES, KEEPS THE READERS HEART FLOWING AS HE CANNOT PUT HIS HAND ON A MOONSHINE LIKE THIS STORY. HE NEEDS TO LET HIMSELF FLOAT ON IT UNTIL THE MOON IS ONE WITH HIM. I FEEL ALSO A LOT CLOSER TO THE MOON THIS TIME NOT BEING ON A BOAT ANYMORE BUT MORE LIKE LIFTED BY A MOONSHINE PIERCING MY HEART, AND LETTING MYSELF BEING DRAGGED AND DEVOURED INTO ITS MOUTH IF I RESIST OR IN ITS ARMS IF I LET GO OF ALL JUDGEMENTS, SO I THINK IT IS REALLY NICE. THEN YOU CAN SEE THE STORY AS WHOLE LIKE THE MOON LOOKS AT THE WORLD BENEATH WITH ONE EYE.THE BOAT OBVIOUSLY DOESN T WAIT FOR ME BUT KEEPS SAILING TOWARDS THE HORIZON, UNABLE TO DISAPEAR FROM MY SIGHT, BUT STILL THE DROP OF BLOOD THAT SHOULD COME OUT OF MY PIERCED HEART AT THE CONTACT OF THE NIGHT AND STARS QUICKLY TRANSFORMS INTO A DROP OF SILVER ICE FREEZING AND CLOSING BACK THE WOUND ON SITE. SO THIS PART IS HURTING ABIT IN THE WAY THAT THE ICE WANTS TO BE OVERCOME THROUGH THE MOTHER GIVING BIRTH, WHICH IS MAKING THE MOON PREGNANT AND ACCEPTED AND FULFILLED. SO I LKED IT ALOT, CAUSE EVEN ME IT WANTS TO MAKE ME BROKE THE ICE EVEN IF IT HURTS A BIT. BUT MYSELF BEING IMPALED ON A MOONSHINE, NOT BEING ABLE TO GLIDE BACKWARDS OTHERWISE I D BE CUT IN HALF, I FEEL BETTER TRYING TO STAY WHOLE, SO THAT MY HEAD DOESN TLOOK LIKE THE TAIL OF A FISH, EVENTHOUGH IT IS USEFUL IF I FALL IN THE SEA BENEATH. I D LOOK LIKE A SWIMMING X RUNE WHERE EVERYHTING IS THE SAME, OR LIKE TWO TONGUYES OF A SNAKE SEWWED TOGETHER BACK TO BACK, NEVER KNOWING WHICH DIRECTION TO GO AND SPINNING MYSELF UNTIL BODY AND MY SOUL GETS RIPPED APART.

  2. THE PICTURE OF THE PRINCESS IS COOL CAUSE IT LOOKS BETWEEN ASHES AND SNOW AND READY TO CRUBLE EVENTHOUGH THE ROSES SEEM TO BE WELL ALIVE AND FRESH.

  3. AND IT MAKES ME THINK THAT EVERYTHING IS SLOWING DOWN TO THE RYTHM OF THE SNOW BEFORE A NEW CYCLE BEGINS, EVERYBODY SEEMS TO BE CRYSTALISING IN THEIR OWN PRISON, IT S A POWERFUL DEATH THAT FOLLOWS THE CYCLE OF NATURE AND WERE PATIENCE AND WAITING IS EQUIRED OF EVERYONE IN ORDER FOR THE ICE TO BE BROKEN. IT S LIKE A SNOWFLAKE AND I GUESS A SNOWFLAKE IS A WHITE ROSE, AND IT IS ALSO A LABYRITH WHERE YOU TAKE TIME TO FIND YOUR WAY IN THE REALM OF THE MOON.

  4. TO TASTE THE ROSE MAKES IT MELT, MMMH! IT S REALLY REALLY COOL STUFF THIS TALE IT REALLY AWAKENS YOU AFTER A LONG SLEEP, AND IREALLY WANT TO TASTE THE ROSE

  5. AND ALSO WHEN SHE PRICKS HER FINGER IT IS LIKE SHE AWAKENS TO WOMENHOOD, SO AFTER THAT SLEEP SH E LL PROBABLY KIND AWAKENS WHAT WAS DORMANT IN EVERYONE, AND ALSO I FEEL THAT THIS WHAT THE WITCH DIDN T EXPECT AS THE BLOOD BLOSSOMS FROM HER WOUND. IT IS LIKE THE WOUND IS SO BEAUTIFUL THAT IT ACTUALLY CARRIES IN ITSELF THE END OF HER SPELL THROUGH THE BLOSSOMING AND HEALING OF HER OWN WOUND.IT IS A WHOLE EROTIC ATMOSPHERE THAT SHOWS THAT SEX IS DEATH AND REBIRTH.IT IS REALLY JUST FLOATING LIKE THE VEIL OF THE PRINCESS IN THE WOODS THAT GETS CAUGHT ON A BRANCH UNTIL IT IS RELEASED AGAIN BY THE WIND

  6. Hi there! I discovered your page on aol. I’m just in the process of starting a blog and wondered how you found the WordPress platform to install.Anyway, great blog and ill def be visiting again! cheers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge