5. Maiden

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The Maiden in question, is not a Virgin, nor a Bride, nor a Princess, she’s a young woman who’s educated herself, developed herself, and followed the path to where she was drawn, into her field, her vocation, her personal realm. She is full of all the potential, to be lover, wife, mother, or any number of vocations, in any number of combinations. All is possible. This is that first, precipitous moment, that first step that sets everything in motion. Of course it can be taken back, or the future course can be altered, however, at the moment when it’s the first such occasion, it is poised with every potential. The step comes down, and all that potential collapses into every subsequent action. Quite an accomplishment in such a mundane motion.

Step to.

So the Maiden is quite the desirable member of the community. Problem is, as you can imagine, her suitors number among the most maladroit, gauche bumpkins she had ever had the displeasure to grow up with. She was educated by her parents, and any number of travellers who passed through. Her parents sat her down at the public house, and she would ply travellers with endless questions about where they were from, what their lives were like. And many of them were happy to open up, to tell tales, to spin stories and weave yarns. And she grew up with this adult, free-flowing narration of significant moments (of course the ales helped), which paled in comparison to anecdotal lessons and out-dated books for children. It didn’t stop her peers (at least in age) from seeking her hands with offers of dowry (you see?). The whole thing would have been amusing if it hadn’t been so sad. One fellow gave her a bouquet of lettuce. It was so sweet. The lettuce was gorgeous. He’d grown it just for me. So sad. That fellow is a genius, and there is a woman for him that will revere the green of his thumb. It wasn’t the Maiden, and he might never realize it.

So it went. Naturally, as you can imagine, as she aged, and her questions at the public house became flirtations, her parents, who were getting tired of accompanying her all the time, had at first delegated chaperones to keep a discreet watch on the Maiden, and then the whole thing was abandoned, because they realized, she was a clever girl, or woman at this point, and was in a room full of familiar folks.

But still, it never happened, for years and years. All those stories, but behind it all, the rush to succumb to biological urges. And then, a letter arrived for her, which had never happened before. A letter that confessed to being shy, smitten, and hopeful. Asking for a meeting, by the well.

What could go wrong?

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