Beyond Her Ramparts

She throws the walls up around herself higher than her eyes can see. They erase the open sky, and she disappears into forever. She is infinite, a story, walls without end. Walls deep and dense like forests, stony and unyielding like caves. They hold her transfixed, keep her safe from outside worlds, far below and deep within. These walls do not crack, do not allow for anyone’s entry, or escape. Impregnable. Incurious. Unfeeling. Nothing can reach her in this tower, where no windows or doors exist. How free she is, entrapped here, hidden away from everything that would do her harm.

She waits. Not for the beast raging beyond her ramparts seeking its way back in, but for the boy, the beautiful boy still yet to come. He will be gifted by the faeries, as she was when she was a child. The gift of charm. The gift of brilliance. The gift of love. These gifts will he have and other gifts besides but on those she is too broken to dwell. Her face contorts from once-blushing maiden to a mad woman in the throes of anguish as she remembers why. As her eyes fall towards her engorged belly, swollen with the child of the beast.

She had thought her walls impregnable but a hard kick from the child inside her proves that she was wrong. She is strong, but so is this child, and so is his will. From the first time he came to her – a false face with false sentiments and sweeping gestures that promised happily ever after – she had wanted this. Until she recognized his hatred for her, realized that he saw her as nothing more than a thing with which to please himself, tearing at her again and again and again, until neither of them knew the person who was left.

Her heart beats hard and slow as her eyes travel up the wall before her. It is a poisoned apple her heart, each beat nourishing and embittered. All she had ever wanted was to be devoured by someone who could love her, not break through her barriers and leave her disfigured with his flesh and blood inside her body. But the child brings change, and the boy won’t need to cut a path through thorns to awaken her. Because he is the way, because he is the door, when she walks out through him, she’ll come home.

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