Saturday, February 9, 2008

Short story Saturday

Alrighty, then. Here is the first installment of Short Story Saturday. The new Mac is here, and, perhaps sometime this weekend every kink will get worked out and I will be posting from there! :)

A long time ago, in the land of Bordeaux, there lived three sisters.

Morganna, the eldest, was a bossy wench, full of Shiraz, most of the time. She lived for tormenting her younger sisters, and the people of Australia. Secretly, she had this dream to actually shove her sisters into wine barrels, and have them SENT to Australia, so that she could get the ultimate joy of tormenting everything at once. It was high on her list of priorities. When Morganna walked around Grenache, the capital of Bordeaux, dogs and children would run and hide, and the grown ups that couldn't hide would avert their gaze, and try not to think of how evil she really was.

The middle sister, Catriona, was only a little less evil than Morganna. She was more subtle in her ways of torment, and did not, at all costs, wish to be shipped to Australia in a wine cask. However, she was partial to the idea of shipping her sisters to Argentina,and she didn't have a shipping preference. However, she was the laziest of the three sisters, and never really made any attempt to get them shipped away.
She had her eye on the local Vintner's son, because he made an excellent Merlot. Adam was not interested in her at all, however, but he forced himself to be attentive, because he found out, (the hard way)that if he didn't, she snuck out at night, and poisoned his grapes. I should mention that Catriona is both vindictive, and devious in nature.
The third sister, and the apple of her parents eye, was Mellissande. She was a spoiled little thing, always getting what she wanted, when she wanted it. (you thought she'd be the nice one, huh? Wrong). Mellissande hated her older sisters, because they were in the way of her fully inheriting the family castle. She also, interestingly enough, hated Germany, and all it's inhabitants. Riesling gave her a rash, and she could never wrap her lips around the word "gewurztraminer". And that pissed her off.
The parents realized that their small castle in Bordeaux was not big enough for their daughters, and that their only hope was to marry them off. They had an idea of whom they wanted Morganna to marry, Prince Albert of Cannes, and sent missives almost daily imploring him to take her. Prince Albert wanted out of Cannes, however, and refused to marry Morganna unless he could come and live with them, in Bordeaux.
They didn't care much who married Catriona, except they refused to consider whom she wanted to marry, namely, Adam. They were fans of his Merlot, and were afraid she would spoil his grapes. (they were right). So, reluctantly, they persued other matches for her, as well, and, just for the fun of it, all of the men they approached were from Argentina. As Catriona was a beautiful girl, the Argentinian Men kept sending barrels of Malbec to the castle, and those were well received, indeed.
Mellissande was a different matter, altogether, though. They wanted only the best for her, because, it was not quite a secret that once the other two sisters were gone, they were going to give the entire household and monies over to Mellissande. So her husband had to be specially chosen. Numerous men had stepped forward, to ask for her hand, yet all were refused.
One day, a messanger from the far away land of California arrived, bearing fruit, nuts, granola, and lots of wine.
"Surely this wine from California cannot compare to ours" opined the parents. "Oh, no chance" opined Mellissande. "It will be horrid" opined Catriona, and Morganna? Simply turned her small nose up at the glass offered her, and flounced away. Adam, who was present trying to prevent Catriona from poisoning his grapes again, sipped cautiously at the Pinot Noir offered. "Excellent" he thought, but wisely, kept that thought to himself. One by one, the others all took a cautionary sip. They all liked it, but none of them wished to admit it. The parents began to study the California stranger in their midst. "Who are you?" the father finally asked.
"I am Prince Napa" he announced grandly. Eyes flying open, Mellissande choked slightly on the almond she'd been nibbling on. "Prince?" she said? Suddenly, Prince Napa was surrounded by all three sisters, (for Morganna did not flounce completely away)whom were all trying to talk to him at once. Seeing this, Adam silently wished the man well, picked up the remains of the Pinot Noir bottle, and made his way out the door to his true lady love, a common girl named Gamay.
Soon, the girls grew tired of trying to talk over one another, and commenced to slapping at each other. Horrified, their parents ordered them to cease and desist. But to no avail. They had to call in the guards and have the three of them forcibly separated.
Angrily, their father shook his fist at his eldest two daughters. "You better not have ruined Mellissande's chance to marry this fine man from the Republic of California!" he exclaimed.
"Who say's I wish to marry Mellissande?" asked Prince Napa drily raising an eyebrow. "Tis true, I came here with the notion of marrying one of your daughters. I just do not know which one it will be."
"Surely, you would choose Mellissande!" cried her mother, hugging her baby to her.
"Yes, choose me!" echoed Mellissande, wanting Prince Napa only because her sisters seemed to want him, as well.
"I will set each of you a task to complete. Before you accept the task, however, you must realize there will be a DIRE consequence if you fail to complete it. You will have but one chance at the task. If you do not wish a task, say it now, and you are excused" said Prince Napa, looking at the three sisters. "Whomever finishes first, and to my satisfaction, shall be my wife."
"Hmmph! I can accomplish any task you set for me" huffed Morganna. "I accept your challenge".
"Fine. In the northernmost tower, you will find a large barrel of grapes from my homeland. I wish you to go and peel me a perfect grape. When you are done, bring it to me," commanded Prince Napa.
Away went Morganna, grin on her face, certain she would have the perfect peeled grape before her sisters could even receive their challenges.
"I, too would accept your challenge" announced Catriona, boldly.
"Fine. In the Southernmost tower you will find an oaken barrel used in my land to store our world famed Chardonnay. Clean the tub free of wine stain. When you are done, bring it to me", commanded Prince Napa. Chorteling, she left to complete her task. She knew just the right recipe to remove wine stain from oaken barrels, she'd been doing it her entire life. She was sure she could complete her task before her sisters returned.
Not one to be left out, Mellissande spoke from her mothers arms. "And what task would you assign to me, fine prince?"
"Oh, your task is the most important" reassured Prince Napa. In the Easternmost tower, you will also find a tub of grapes from my homeland. I wish you to squeeze me a glass of grape juice, without any seeds in it. When you are done, bring it to me" he commanded yet again. Smirking at the ease of the task he gave her, Mellissande sailed from the room. As the third sister left to her task, Prince Napa sat down wearily at the table nearby, and awaited the three maidens.
Scarcely an hour later, Morganna sailed into the room, triumphant, with a small golden dish in her hand. Dipping into a curtsy, she handed the dish to Prince Napa. "Your grape, my prince".
Lifting the cover, Prince Napa sighed. Under the lid, rested a whole, unpeeled grape.
"You have failed" he said, sorrow in his eyes.
"Nay! Twas peeled! It was I..."
Before she could finish her statement, Morganna froze. Eyes wide with horror, she seemed to shrink, and sprout wings to match her dress at the same time. Her ears became elongated, and her hand rose to her chest, unbidden. In no time at all, a small statue of Morganna in her eternal pose rested at Prince Napa's feet.
Hearing her mother gasp, Prince Napa reminded her "I warned the consequence would be dire." Worrying her lower lip, the mother joined him at the table, to await her other two daughters.
Next through the door was, of course, Catriona. Behind her, a servant bearing the oaken barrel. Making her curtsy, Catriona smiled largely, showing her dimples. "Your clean barrel, milord".
Approaching the barrel, the prince frowned. "You have failed" he announced, yet again.
"No!" shrieked Catriona, as she turned on the man who brought in the barrel. "You idiot! You used the wrong mixture!". As soon as the words left her mouth, she too, shrank, and took on her wings, green, to match her gown. Her ears, however, did not grow.
Pale, now, the father of the three girls approached Prince Napa. "I will give you all I own to spare my baby" he said, quietly.
"Nay, she accepted her destiny" answered Prince Napa, picking up Morganna, then Catriona, and placing them on the table.
Time stretched to twilight, when, at last, Mellissande came in, bearing a silver tankard.
"The task was so easy I made you a full tankard" she announced, gleefully noting her sisters were nowhere to be seen. Belatedly, she offered a curtsy.
Taking the tankard, Prince Napa took a sip of the juice. At her feet, he spat a grape seed.
"You have failed" he intoned.
"No! Not my last baby!" shrieked her mother as she fainted away dead to the floor. Bowing his head, the girls father muttered an oath, and moved away. As the other two had, Mellissande shrank, and grew her wings. In her hands, she forever clutched a fall of grapes.
Bending down to retrieve the third sister, Prince Napa sighed. Turning toward's their father, he said "it seems my princess is not to be of your household. Your daughters were not pure of heart, therefore, could not complete their task. There is one, lone female in this region pure enough of heart. And she will be be my bride."
At this announcement, Adam returned to the hall, with his love, Gamay, and another. Putting an arm around her, Prince Napa announced "This is Gamay's sister, Chablis. She will be my bride". At his words, Chablis handed him a perfectly peeled grape, a cup of grape juice, and a clean wine barrel. Within moments, they were bound for the republic of California, taking with them the three sisters whom were not pure of heart. The heartbroken parents adopted Adam within a short period of time, and in their Merlot haze, soon forgot the pain of losing their daughters.
Years passed, and Prince Napa and his Princess Chablis are long gone. Rumor has it, though, that the three sisters have been passed down generation to generation, as a warning, and reminder, to remain pure of heart.


sybil law said...

I think I am going to call you an enabler, because you've made me very, very thirsty!
However, I enjoyed the story!

holly said...

that was delightful! no thirst here, i don't drink wine.

had the tale been of the amaretto twins, it might be a very different saturday morning for me. ..

Anonymous said...

Did you find that delete key - not hte backspace key - on that Mac? You know the one that deletes the character tot he right?


mielikki said...

Syb-you can't tell that I had some good wine this week, can you?

Holly. Amaretto twins. Hmmm. There is always next Saturday

Jef- the Mac isn't even online, as of yet, and I have not been able to play with it much, but I will be in search of the elusive delete key.

DaddyKaos said...

Delightful, though I can do without the Chablis.