Tale #16: The Man Who Made Himself A Wife

There was a man who was incredibly lonely. Having reached the age of 39 without ever knowing love, he decided to use his talents as a carpenter and carve himself a wife. He worked tirelessly for over a year until one day he looked at what he had made and realised there was nothing more he could do.

“You’re perfect,” he said.

“But you’re not,” she replied. “Frankly, you’re a right old mess.”

And she took the tools from his hands and began to make improvements.

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Notes:

1. From November 2014
2. This was inspired by The Loves Of Lady Purple by Angela Carter (from Fireworks: Nine Profane Pieces, published in 1974)
3. And of course by my tremendous loneliness too

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Tale #15: (fragment)

There was a woman who lived in the woods. Perhaps I should I tell you she was beautiful, the most beautiful in the world, an earthbound goddess lost among us waiting to be saved? Or that she was hideous, ugly and deformed, beset by disabilities and disfigurements that her pure heart would overcome?

But the truth was that she was plain, like everyone except the few. Plain, and hated for it.

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Notes:

1. I’m not sure when exactly this is from
2. It was taken from a longer piece that didn’t really work and stayed half unwritten for years in a notebook
3. But the latest it would have been written is sometime in 2015

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Tale #14: The Jealous Lord

There was a lord who fell in love with a married woman. The lord put out her husband’s eyes, for surely she would not love a man who could not see her beauty, but still love him she did. The lord then cut off her husband’s ears, for surely she would not love a man who did not listen to her, but still love him she did. The lord then cut off her husband’s tongue, for she surely would not love a man who would not tell her he loved her, but still love him she did.

Finally the lord cut out her husband’s heart, for surely she would not love a man who was dead. But still love him she did, now more than ever.

And the lord never did win her love.

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Notes:

1. Written on July 13th, 2013

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Tale #13: God, The Devil, And The Man Upon The Road

There walked a man upon the road, carrying with him a basket of bread and fruit. God and the Devil saw him, and together they had a wager to see which one of them could convince the man to give away his evening meal.

So God came to the man, and the man looked at God but saw only a poor girl wearing rags and covered in dirt. God said to the man, “May I eat of your bread and fruit, for I have none of my own?”

And the man said back to God, “Why do you not have any of your own?”

God said, “I have given away all that I have and all that I have made, and now have nothing left of my own.”

To which the man replied, “Then I shall give you nothing. You cannot expect others to compensate you for your lack of planning and foresight. I have earned this fruit with the hardship of my labours. So why should I give up that which I have worked so hard for to reward you and the frivolous nature of your ways?”

And the man went on his way and left God behind.

The man came then upon the Devil, and the man looked at the Devil and there saw before him a lord in all his finery. The Devil said to the man, “May I eat of your bread and fruit, for I have none of my own?”

And the man said back to the devil, “Why do you not have any of your own?”

The Devil said, “My men and I have been working all day harvesting our crops from far and wide across the land. I have had it sent ahead to the place that I call home, and a great feast awaits me there, in the great halls of my abode. But alas it is further from here than I imagined and I shall not reach home tonight.”

To which the man replied, “Then I shall give you this food of mine. Your hard work deserves reward, and no-one can fully legislate for bad luck and bad timing.”

And the man gave the Devil his basket of bread and fruit and went on his way, and the Devil went with him.

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Notes:

1. Written May 2014

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Tale #12: The Old Woman Who Lived In The Woods

There was an old woman who lived in the woods.

“Are you a witch?” asked the crow.

“I am, my dear,” she said, and the crow cawed and shared with her its breakfast.

“Are you a witch?” asked the cat.

“I am, my dear,” she said, and the cat purred and shared with her its lunch.

“Are you a witch?’ asked the priest.

“I am, my dear,” she said, and the priest fell silent and kept for himself his dinner.

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Notes:

1. Written on August 9th, 2014

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