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Cut Up Queen – Story Excerpt

So here’s a first look at the first draft of a fantasy/fairy-tale story that I created based off a poem I wrote after finding a anime picture of a girl with shaggy hair, and a missing eye. A bit creepy, I know, but I am a fan of Tim Burton and so…this is a story that I think he might like….maybe. 

     Once upon a time, in a land far from what we know, atop a mountain covered beautifully in crystal white snow, lived a woman who cried so much that her tears added to the salty water in the Pi-ep’i stream below. Every day she would sit on her throne, cold and alone, pieces of her wilted black heart in her hands. She was young and once beautiful. Since then, there was nothing but sorrow and small flecks of an incandescent glow. A bandage was wrapped around her left eye. It is said it became so bruised by her tears that it lost sight and she could only face her fate with one eye. Her skin was as pale as the fallen ice from the sky and her hair grew shaggy and wild down her bare back and past her exposed shoulders. No one understood why a woman, with bones so frail and a body so lean lived atop the Zhuang-Di Mountains, but it was her home.

Although she hadn’t been born into royalty, she was known as the Cut-Up Queen.  

 Long ago, the despicable Yunaka royal family once lived in mountain-top palace and presided over the river valley Kingdom. Villagers, angered by the Yunaka rule, ran the royal family out of town and the palace was abandoned. Then one night a very young girl named Pai and her equally young lover named Shu journeyed to the Kuang-Di Mountains to visit the temple devoted to the spirit AiKoi, who presided over eternal love. The winds that night were unkind to them and drove them into the sanctuary of the palace walls. Through out the night, the winds grew colder and more callous. One night became two, and soon the pair was stranded in the old palace with not enough to eat.

Being the noble hearted young man that he was, Shu offered to venture beyond the palace walls, and out into the unknown in search of food. Pai begged her lover not to, even though she grew very weak from hunger. One the third night of their stay at the palace, while Pai visited into the land of dreams, Shu snuck away from his love’s embrace and vanished into the dark of night.

 

The next morning Pai awoke to find that her lover had not returned and she waited for him until dawn. Still, he did not return. She resigned herself to the belief that the spirit AiKoi, whom they had come to see, had taken him. Pai rummaged the palace for all she could find to barter with the spirit for her lover. Some of the abandoned chambers had chests filled with gold, rubies, emeralds and ivory. And there was an indoor garden with bamboo shoots, stretching up high to ceiling, and rose vines creeping whimsically along the walls. There was also lily pond in the center of the room with water dark as night yet cool as spring filled with magnolias and lotus buds. Pai stuffed as many of the treasures she found that would hold in the pockets of her robes and trudged her way through the treacherous snow, to the temple.

 Once there, Pai called for the spirit AiKoi to appear. After moments of prayer, the spirit, dressed in long satin robes of garnet and amethyst with twinkling like diamonds appeared before Pai. Pai prayed to the spirit to know where her beloved was but all AiKoi could say was “He is in a place, from which he can not return.” Pai begged and begged for the spirit to take her gifts, but she denied her. “I am sorry Pai, but I can not bring your precious Shu back,” said the spirit.

 Furious that she could not have Shu back in life, Pai took the ceremonial dagger from the alter on which AiKoi stood, and cut out pieces of her own heart hoping that they would meet in death. That is when the spirit AiKoi said to Pai that she and her love would not meet in the same spirit world if she died of a broken heart. Pai cried and cried begging for her darling Shu to return to her.

AiKoi, saddened by this display of heartache placed and offered Pai a choice as she lay dying. Instead of Pai being sent to a different spirit world, Pai would remain in the same state that she was that night- with her broken bits of heart in her hand- until she found a love again to make her complete. Pai was angered at the thought of having another man take Shu’s place but AiKoi said upon the spell’s completion, Pai would be reunited with her love. Pai quickly agreed and took the bits of her heart through the bitter cold back to the palace, where she went to the throne room and sat, with her broken heart in her hand. 

2 comments on “Cut Up Queen – Story Excerpt

  1. I like how the tone is that of an old story or fable… very nice. If I may make one suggestion, though, I would make, “Although she hadn’t been born into royalty, she was known as the Cut-Up Queen,” less wordy. Assuming the Cut-Up Queen (which I absolutely love the imagery of, by the way) is something somewhat important, the wordiness of the line makes her introduction seem insignificant. Maybe try something like, “She was known as the Cut-Up Queen.” or “They called her the Cut-Up Queen.”

    • Thanks for the comment and for letting me know you enjoyed at least some of it! This is an old draft, so some of this has been changed already, but I’ll definitely go back and edit with your comment in mind!

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