Briar Rosey

Once upon a time in a scratchy bramble bush outside the stone walls and behind an orchard there played a two year-old girl who her parents called Rosey. Just two nights before Rosey was being held by her mother ( a king and queen) and father, passed back and forth, when two ariyas stood up and announced their wishes for Rosey, one being a long life, the other being enduring health, and bestowed upon the girl these two things. But the other lady, more like a wandered traveler carrying beans, spices wrapped up in different colored faded yarn and a scratchy brush patch of cardinal colored saffron, got up on the table drunk and walked the perimeter of it in green pointed ballet shoes with silver saches at their points. She professed that she would do everything in her power to make it so Rosey would fall into a deep deep sleep after getting drunk with a forty-two year old soothsayer after she pricked her finger from a broken gold pin that he’d stolen and stuck from a ripped purple piece of his violet velvet lapel. And she screamed, the mother did, thinking of all this.
But Rosey got into trouble in the mean time. She was always outside searching for her future and waiting for it to happen and staying out too long in the rivers, dodging the crocodiles in the moat, switching swords with her father’s best fencing partner, and going unidentified often times as a boy, to dinner with her hair cropped short using scissors stolen from the seamstress who’s posture made her look old and crippled from bending over her spinning spool too long every day.
But one day Rosey thought her dream was about to come true. She saw a man in the distance with black sweaty hair, a matted short pony, and broken bottles clanging to the sides of his saddle that he’d collected and strung their with cut shreds of tin and thick green spinning spool. Rosey was transfixed. She’d found her mate. She purred to him when he drew nearer asking of her where she could find him some water. She ran inside the stone castle wall’s Dutch kitchen and brought him spring water poured into a tin barrel meant for baking breads and stirring batter. He drank thirstily. Having heard her tale told over and over to her by her mother’s helper, Rosey saw that the man had a green bottle of distilled red liquor that he’d laid out on the blanket in the corner, for where he now slept. Wanting to speed up her fate Rosey grabbed for the bottle of wine, tore the cork off with her front broken tooth and drank heartily till she couldn’t swallow anymore. She saw the gold pin on his violet velvet coat that held fifteen azalea petals long past their bloom and engaged her finger in it till it bled and bled and bled. She felt herself drifting and she grinned happily as she felt the gypsy’s fortune take over.
Ten years later however Rosey slept in the far room at the end of the hall from her parent’s bedroom where every morning they perpetually splashed her face with cold water to try and wake her. They tried other things too like boys. They asked almost any man near the parameter of the castle to come and kiss their daughter so that she’d wake up from her terrible sleep, yet no soothsayers. There had to be another way to get their daughter to stop snoring. She was driving everyone crazy. One day, however, Rose’s lady-in-waiting was ringing out an old rag when she saw a young man tending to his pony by letting him drink from their ponds small stream. The lady noticed the bottles on the man’s horse and she took the bangle that he had stitched to his front pocket as a sign that he was a gypsy’s son. The lady-in-waiting soon begged the man to come up to the castle so that he could kiss the sleeping girl and wake her up out of this trance which had had her parents pacing up and down the cracked marble and ragged red rugged hall for years and years now. So he did. And he kissed her and sure enough Rosey woke up and saw the man of her dreams but of course he was ten years older, forty-two. And he was perfect. He quickly dragged her out of bed and she stumbled to feel her feet against the floor again because she hadn’t for so long and then she whisked past her parents who were still pacing the hall and smiled and waved as she fled down the stairs. Though her parents felt it was the most anti-climatic ending Rosey ran away to a nomadic cave full of old and young and odd rural non-speaking, mute dwellers of the Alborz and Zagroz mountains where she tirelessly told fortunes all the day long to weary hungry travelers on foot with turbans on their heads, but then spirit in their faiths when they left her home in the cheery, rosey cave next to her husband the old soothsayer.

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