Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fiona's Apple (A Story of Complaint)

It is related that long ago there was a certain shy young man who had been tricked and disappointed by women many times in his life.   To guard his heart he determined to study the ways of woman, to make a career of learning and cataloging her deceits and becoming a learned academic on the subject.  So it was he attended a university where courses of this kind were taught and studied hard and filled notebooks with his theories, secure in the knowledge that no woman would get the better of him ever again.
     After graduating from his studies, he left the university for home, traveling in a fine dog cart pulled by a horse with a fine bridle.  In the cart he arranged  his venerable books and notebooks and as he passed the time traveling on the country road he imagined the consulting agency he would set up and over time acquire some modest wealth and some manly fame for his hard earned sagacity.
    As the evening drew on, and the air became thick with shadows he stopped at the home of a local garlic farmer and was invited to spend the night.  The farmer was a simple man who felt honored to have a man of learning at his table.  The young man chattered on over dinner and explained his studies.  The old farmer was much impressed by his learning, and because he was newly married asked many questions about the ways of women.  He lit his pipe and let the young man talk.
   "I have," said the young man, "attained a level of sophistication in my understanding of the psychology of the female mind.  Women are treacherous and scheming. Their emotional histrionics will waste your time with distraction from the higher intellectual pursuits natural to the male sex.  Don’t tell me about women, I am a trained expert on women and I’m convinced God put the seemingly weaker sex on the earth to plague the minds of honest men and waste their resources of both time and money and especially of essential bodily fluids.”
    “Essential bodily fluids?” said the farmer, much amazed.
    “Essential bodily fluids.  Drained for the regeneration of their own life force and you may well believe your wife will live longer than you on account of it.”
    "That's rather a hard thing," said the farmer.  "Don’t you think its a bit hard?"
    "The mind of woman is essentially simple," said the young man.  “It is formed like the mind of a monkey.  It is composed of simple appetite and must be dominated.  Once tamed and made docile they may become a nominally suitable companion for a man.  Providing you are watchful of your essential bodily fluids."
    “You know,”  said the farmer, puffing  anxiously at his pipe "now that you mention it, I think she has not quite played square with me, you know."
    "And how do you mean?" said the young scholar.
    "I often spend a few days away from home, bringing the garlic harvest to market, buying seed and so on.  We have young farmhands here, and who know what happens when a man is away?”
    As it happened in those days young women were often married away to prosperous men to enhance the property of their fathers and the farmer's wife was especially beautiful.  She was half the farmer's age and had yet bore him no son, though she was broad hipped and deep breasted and as perfectly made for the provocation of essential bodily fluids as any woman could be, yet her womb was as fruitless as a rock.
    "Let me ask you, sir, are your essential bodily fluids regularly drained by the habitual predations of your younger wife?”
    “Not as often as I might wish,” sighed the farmer. 
    “Well, then you may live the longer for it.”
    “I grant you women are very clever about getting what they want,” said the farmer,  “even if their minds are like a monkey's as you say.  I do think my wife as clever as any, and I'd bet my farm against your cart and horse she could give you quite a turn in spite of your learning."
    "Did you say you'd wager your farm against my cart she couldn’t trick me?"
    "I did."
    "I'll take you up on that."
    The farmer held out his hand and they shook on it. 
    The next day the farmer packed up his own wagon with garlic and rode off to town to sell it.  He was hardly out of sight when the young woman called to the young man from the top of the stairs.  "Come up and have breakfast with me," she said is a cheerful voice and waved him up with her hand.  "I'm all alone and I can’t eat breakfast by myself.  Come have some tea and talk to me."
    The young man thought it would be rude to refuse and as he climbed the stair  he clearly saw the poking of her nipples against the fabric of her house dress and hesitated.  He realized with a gasp, she was not wearing undergarments, only a simple dress of thin cotton.  She stood in the doorway of the room and gave him a forlorn look.  As he approached she stepped aside and let him pass.  He saw her glance nervously up and down the hall and close the door.  She locked it quietly and they were alone.
   "Are you hungry?"  She indicated a bowl of fruit and bread on a small table next to the huge deep feather bed.  "No?"
   The scholar’s throat went dry.  He shook his head. 
   "My name is Fiona," said the woman.
   "My name is Karl," said the young man.
   "Would you like something to eat with me?"  Instead of offering food, she reached over, took a corner of the blanket and turned it down, exposing a soft pink sheet.  "Let me be frank with you," she said.  "My husband is a good man and I love him well enough and would not leave him.  But he comes in from the field at night reeking of garlic and I hardly bear to be near him.  And then he falls asleep with his pipe and almost never lies with me because he’s so tired.  I would like to give him a strong son to give his farm to, but he'll never get me with child, and soon I'll be too old and dried up inside to sprout a babe.  He would rather lie before the fire with his pipe than between my legs and our marriage sheets.  Isn't that sad?"
    "That's very sad," said the young scholar staring at the rising nubs of her breasts.
    Fiona reached over and picked an apple from the basket.  She tossed it on the bare sheet by the pillow and looked at him feverishly.  "Would you like to share an apple with me?"
    "I - ?"
    Fiona took hold of her house dress and with a sudden flourish pulled it over her head and tossed it on the bed.  Beneath, as he had guessed, she was nude.  Her thighs were lush and thick with a deep delta of dark hair between.  Her breasts were round and full with long pink nipples that seemed to stare up at him stiffly.
    He stepped towards her and clasped her in his arms.
    "Help!" she screamed  "Help!  Help!  Help me!"
    He let go of her instantly and ran for the door but the door was firmly locked.  Fiona stuck her head out the window and screamed to the farmhands "Help me!  Run!  Help me!"
    She threw her dress on and said "Quick!  Stretch out on the floor and close your eyes!  Hurry!"
    He hesitated but already heavy boots where clattering up the stairs.  He threw himself on the floor and closed his eyes.  He felt her hands grab at his lips, her fingers pulling his jaws wide apart and suddenly she stuffed the apple in his mouth.     "Don’t move," she said.
    He lay with his eyes closed and heard her fumble at the door and open it.  Suddenly the room seemed to be filled with large men.
    "It’s all my fault!  I was telling our guest a funny joke and he was laughing so hard the apple stuck in his throat!  Help him!  He's choking to death!  Do something!  Hurry!”
    "I know what will get it out, stand him up." said one of the farm hands.     A huge arm grabbed him by the waist and hoisted him up.  He held his breath and thrashed his hands around for show.
    Balling his fist, the farm hand struck the student such a mighty blow in the belly the apple went flying out the window.  Karl gasped and turned blue and his eyes rolled back in his head.  They laid him out on the bed, moaning, and  congratulated themselves all around and finally left to have a beer.
    When they were alone she wiped his face and chest with a wet towel.  "Well," she said "Did you ever read about that in any of your fine books?"

    When the farmer returned that night the guest was gone.  His wife presented him with the fine cart and horse and bridle and told him of how she’d won them.  He was so proud of her cleverness, he pushed her down into the hay and they tussled lustily till morning as he filled her again and again with his essential bodily fluids, and nine months later she bore them a strong squalling baby boy.
    Karl walked with his heavy books, poorer but wiser and spent the night under a bridge where he built a fire.  He fed the fire with the heap of books and notebooks which in his eyes were all they were good for.
    “Women,” he muttered to the flames.


  1. Oh dear. Where did _this_ come from, Garce?

    Definitely in the classic fairy tale style, though. But honestly, we're not so bad!

  2. Hi Lisabet!


    Now comes the fun part -
    The story as performance art.

    This isn;t the original story i tried to write which wasa story about a man trapped by bureaucracy. But I had too many problems with that story so I put this one together at the last minute. And then as I was typing it from my notebook it occurred to me - who is my audience? Women mostly, free spirited women. Are they going to like this story or will they grumble? I don't like to make readers grumble, especially after the time I said something here that got me flamed by a couple dozen women writers who are probably still convinced I'm a jerk. On the other hand - the theme is complaint and now the audience can participate too.

    Hey! I'm half way through Bangkok Noir and I love it. Its a very compelling, atmospheric book. Its definitely one of the best you've ever written and I'm so glad I bought it. I'm at the part where Ajarn's bar got shut down. It does give the reader a feeling of how things work in that part of the world.


  3. One more thing - of women aren't so bad! I love women. You know that.


  4. Your teaser in ERWA's Parlor worked. Good advertising, Garce. As for the story, well, I have to admit I was clenching my teeth at the beginning and wanted to do some serious dope-slapping on Karl the Arrogant. I was thinking, "WTF?" Well, in this day and age, what woman wouldn't? But you done good... he got his comeuppance and I think you were just as happy about that as I was.

    I think it's good storytelling when when an author can convince you that they might believe something he/she does *not* believe. It's like a talented and and lovable actor playing the part of a particularly nasty villain and making you hate the character.

    Thanks for a good read, Garce.

    Rose ;-)

  5. I think it's really funny that men spend so much time wondering what women want. It's because they are so damn simple: a warm place to come in. End of story.

    Despite the whole not-being-able-to pee-in-the-woods-easily thing, I would never trade my parts for yours! Two words: multiple orgasms.

    And any time anyone says they "understand" a group of people as diverse as half the world's population, ignore them.

  6. Hi Rose!

    Welcome back! Thank you for reading well and I agree with what you say about actors and writers. Sometimes when you see a performance or read a story you can feel if the actor or writer is having a lot of fun, or not. This was fun to write.


  7. Hi Fiona!

    See how I keep using your name in stories? It's such a nice sounding name

    Funny you should say that what women want is "a warm place to come in." I would say that's also what men want, but maybe not in the way that you mean . . .

    Along with the double orgasms women also have the potential to experience pregnancy and childbirth. Men can;t visualize that, carrying a small human being around inside you symbiotically, day and night for several months and feeling it alive and active. What an amazing thing that must be to have a constant companion to life that way.


  8. Good for the heroine of your story.