Al and The Brat

You all know it:

The man who indulged in

Everything he could get his yellowing nails on.

From bread to cheese

To Meat to women.

The story of the robber

-who couldn't help but to sour under the honesty of the common

-normal

-bustling

-adoring

-self centered

-strange

-smiling

-mask bearing sinners

With a pinned-on smile.

The man who shied from contact with the fortunate,

But changed when he stumbled upon an heiress.

From moldy bread to dinner tables.

That fairy tale

 

Of the girl who was shoved, bullied, pressed against the glass of her own glimmering eyes.

Pressured by her predator of a parent to do better.  

Pain to perfection.

Always do better.

'Bs aren't good enough.'

A belt smack against her curdled frame.

Red welts dripping

-pulsing

-aching

-burning

With blood.

From punching bag to hunter’s wife.

That fairy tale

 

Of the spoiled princess who desired all she could get her polished fingertips on.

"Mine."

Of the girl who indulged in all she demanded and was offered.

From drink to attention to love to men.

“Mine.”

Who couldn't help but to yearn for what she never knew.

Who yearned for someone to desire with all her fingers and helpful flick of her wrist.

Who found it in a criminal.

That fairy tale

 

Once upon a place, time, and a hundred-dollar bill

There was a young princess who loved her mother with all her heart.

She stood beside her father in room 12 of the east wing,

The concubine’s quarters.

She knew all too well, at the gentle age of twelve,

That her father would remarry and return once more to the incense filled

Master bedroom.

Every corner of the bed draped in thin frames and blood red lips.

Just last week she had heard muffled groaning coming from the door,

And a proclamation of love, and devotion

A crescendo of whispering and moaning

-then the room went silent and she scurried off.

The marriage was a week from her mother’s funeral.

The new woman knew her place,

Mousey brown hair and a ditzy smile,

Pinned to her father’s side.

As the years passed by,

She grew harder to appease.

She demanded that the concubines be removed- No.

Not banished.

Burned. At. The. Stake.

And the foolish king did it, tears hidden in the folds of his eyes.

Anything for his little princess.

She demanded that she have a zoo of her own.

And the foolish king had it made, a forced smile crinkling the edges of his eyes.

Anything for his darling child.

She grew bored, and asked for a husband.

The fool scrambled in his frantic search for a prince to suit her…

TASTES.

Anything to keep her from leaving him as her mother had.

Her searing green emeralds of eyes kept him awake at night,

And he would not let her leave,

Not even if it meant he could get a full night’s rest.

For she was the last thing he had of her mother.

She had everything else of her mother’s burned along with her.

Days passed.

Weeks passed.

Months passed.

The bratty princess grew bored.

So, she ran away, hoping to find her destined love herself.

Into smoggy, clogged, blocked, cramped, dirty, filthy, disgusting, corrupted marketplaces,

With a veil around her mouth, as if blocking out the impurities of the common

-normal

-bustling

-adoring

-self centered

-strange

-smiling

-mask bearing sinners

With a pinned-on smile.

And a clenched fist tucked in her side.

Curves enough to suit a snake

-in the grass,

Awaiting a moment to strike.

Until she was shoved aside by a boy clutching an apple to his chest.

 

Al was never one for heroics.

At least, not the heroics that warranted thanks, or gratitude.

His heroics were more of the free-lancing type, if you could call it that.

He relieved the bakers of excess bread,

Relieved wives of heavy weight bearing jewels,

Relieved the occasional noble of his life.

But what does it matter?

Heroics are heroics, right?

Of course, only he seemed to see it that way.

Take heed of the monkey companion he carried with him, for he hated to be dismissed.

Al hated having an empty stomach,

But he wasn’t all too worried.

If worst came to worst he could easily snatch a fellow beggar from the curb and make a visit to his favorite butcher.

Who prepared and delivered his meals without costing Al a single penny.

His foul-baboon was the first to go, when he couldn't catch a break.

 

Al was hungry, yes.

Hungry enough to engorge himself with the shameless concubines who danced for money, in more ways than one.

He hungered for their touch and ached for their bodies, until a small boy tipped him off his feet,

Literally, mind you.

Al wasn’t all too pleased, until he noticed the lovely specimen that lay at his feet, collapsed from the heat.

Al would have requested her…

Services

-had he not have been so hungry. So, so starving.

He scooped her into his arms and let a glimpse of the monster within show.

Just enough that the market-goers moved aside when he bolted.

Just enough that the butcher didn’t ask any questions when he laid the bratty princess in disguise on the slab.

Just enough that he didn’t mind waiting for his meal to be delivered on a silver-

Sorry. On a rusty platter.

Al was no longer hungry,

And he lived happily ever after.

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