Tower and Pedestal
Tell me a story, she said, wide awake with want in her big eyes.
So I sat down by her on the edge of her crazy quilt. Held her fat little hands, smoothed those crazy golden curls, and told her about the princess in the tower.
Princess in a tower, hiding safe from that bad world, thank you very much, alone with the birds in the roof and the light dropping onto the treetops and everything laid out below her. And the dragon, coiled around the round walls, one eye open, pulling her long soft belly tight around the sandstone blocks, with her orange eye watching.
Princess in a tower, peeping down with eyes wondering and wide at the prince below, ya-hooing back and forward on his dirty-white horse, waving that sword around like he doesn’t know what to do with it. Posing and talking smack, adoring and wanting. Never mind those princes, I said, never fall for a prince, baby girl.
And I kissed her goodnight and drew her curtains against the warm summer dark and left my baby to sleep. And then what did I do? I glided down every one of those circling stairs, remembering hard and trailing my fingers over the worn wood rail ‘til I reached the bottom all dizzy and stopped myself firm.
Princess from the tower, looking up to her prince - it’s no way to do things, I say out loud, stern. Princes, they're well and good, but what's a prince but a man on a pillar? Those pedestals so high they'd make anyone giddy enough to fall. Enough of the princes. Enough of the princess. Enough of pedestals, towers and dragons. One day, baby girl won’t need them.
For once I flex my neglected creative muscles! This was written mostly on the bus and unseen by any calming influence in its current form, so be gentle if it's incomprehensible :)
Why is it that everything we've been discussing just leaches into everything else? We talk about gender roles, about feminism and about flirting. It has to come out somewhere. This isn't my fault.
Also I'd better mention, since I caused consternation with my first draft, that no character in this story is me. I have similar views about pedestals though. Unhealthy things.