One for sorrow
The girl with the jet black hair was young, thirteen? Fourteen? It didn’t matter that much to the troops of the invading English, she was spoils of war. Not a trophy to be taken home, just another Welsh cunt to be used, abused, and re-used until they moved on.
She’d been tending the sheep when the three soldiers, out looking for farms to rob, came across her. She’d been left in a little side-valley with the sheep in the hope the bastardiaid Saesneg wouldn’t find them. But these three did. Still, the villagers thought, at least they left the sheep. She was dragged back half way and then they drew lots for her. They fucked her once, twice, three times and then carried on to the camp where she was passed round. In all this she cried and spoke not a word.
By the end, when the camp moved on to terrorise another part of the Principality she was like an experienced and ravaged whore (though not a whore since they got paid). She had been available for two weeks and all who wanted young cunt had taken advantage. She had sucked cock and vomited, she had been fucked as her menstrual blood flowed, and she had been prised open and fucked up the arse painfully and damagingly. It would take weeks to recover physically and a lifetime wasn’t long enough to recover mentally. One thing also that never recovered was her hair. It turned white overnight, all except for a broad black streak at the back. She reminded people of the magpies that attacked the young lambs (actually it was the afterbirth they were eating, but people were ignorant, and magpies were far too clever to be trusted). When she finally got back, her village rejected her; some cruelly suggested she had enjoyed it, her father just thought she was unmarriageable now – he was also pissed off because he had been planning to take the bitch’s cherry soon himself. It wasn’t that unusual when they all shared the one room. The mother would often welcome the man taking an interest in his teenage daughters as it gave her a rest. Dafydd had had five daughters before having a son by one of them, he was a lucky fucker; as well as being a grandfather and a father to a couple of his children. It was rumoured he had taken his granddaughter/daughters virginity too, but he died when she was 11 and surely even he was that much of a bastard? But the girl’s father was less lucky, she was a mess and no-one but a crude soldier would want to stick his prick anywhere near her; she was probably cursed with the soldier’s disease anyway people said (this at least was one curse they hadn’t actually visited upon her). The village was no real loss, but it was all she had, she found a cave in the hillside and crouched in it, and tried to find ways of losing her curse; because she was pregnant.
She tried bathing naked in the mountain pool, sitting until she couldn’t feel her body, blue with cold. Her belly continued to grow. Her body diverted all the food it could to the growing child within, a natural process of trying to preserve life. She begged for food from passing travellers.
She hit herself in her stomach, jumped from high rocks, took poisonous plants to vomit for two days. Still the belly grew. Life fights hard to survive.
She drew the line at the suggestion from Old Mother Jones, the girl had gone to her late one night, pleading to be helped to rid herself of the life within that was kicking now. The woman knew that any abortion would be awful at such a late stage; the child would be born moving, living but unable to survive. She felt the stomach and looked at the girl, saying nothing. Then she produced the stick; offering to poke it up until the baby fell out. The girl blanched and shook her head. She would take any potion, but nothing, NOTHING, would ever go into her cunt again. And so the girl went back to her cave still heavily pregnant, from that moment on she accepted her fate and began to love the life within. Perhaps this was in time, the growth settled, kicked less, felt accepted now, and was more contented. And two months later she gave birth to the twins that the old woman had felt in her womb. At the end the woman had toiled up to the cave to help the birth, but was hardly needed, the girl coped, she had grown harder, stronger in her isolation. She bore the pain resolutely and loved the babies immediately. She never lost the deep sorry etched on her face but now it was smoothed a little by a mother’s joy.
Two for joy
The village do-gooders, interferers and religious purity specialists decided that the best thing would be to march up to the cave straight away and dispatch the cursed infants that brought shame to their community. The old priest led the way. They were met by a girl holding her stomach and standing painfully at the entrance holding a stick. Mother Jones had warned her and she stood guard. No-one, would take her children. She was the ferocious she-cat at bay and would die protecting her young. The rational, moral majority retreated in disorder.
From that moment on the outcast began to be drawn back in. Food would be left anonymously at the entrance to her cave; even little clothes for the two babies. Mothers saw the mother love in the girl and empathised. The two were twins, but not identical; a boy – Tristram – and a girl – Tristesse. Yet their names belied their nature, for they were both naturally happy children. The insults from the other children seemed to cause them little pain, the cold water to wash in made them strong, not sick.
Children could be cruel, but also had no hidden agendas; they would throw insults one minute and happily play the next. The two children of the woman with the magpie hair were pulled into the games and their uncomplaining, happy natures endeared them to the children of the village. From there the adults began to find their polite, friendliness impossible to resent.
One day she woke to hammering outside, three young men were building and extension to her cave. The two children were ‘helping’ and these three young men, not the natural constituency for young children, were won over by the cheerful, happy, smiles. Even when the hit their fingers and cried (because they weren’t unnaturally emotionless), they would soon cheer up with a kiss and a cuddle. The girl, the mother, found her icy heart beginning to melt a little more. These boys were not the soldiers, they weren’t evil. In time she realised even the bastards who had used her so cruelly were simply following a destiny that had been mapped out for them; she never quite got as far as forgiving them, but she found the pain lessened as the bitterness melted.
The leant-to made the cave more weatherproof, they did not have to retreat into the dark when it rained hard; and it rained hard often in Wales.
The great and the good in the village – the priest, the merchant, the medicine man, the farmers – still opposed the girl. She was a symbol of their own failure; Wales had failed to stop the invasion, every effort to stand up to their bigger neighbour had been a failure. Only the lower classes with their cowardly hit and run tactics had had any real success, but that had just resulted in community punishments; which meant the poor attacked and the rich got punished. These people who had more to lose started to cooperate to stop the attacks. They did not want this girl and her brood, a reminder of their failure; but the others started to accept her again; she did not impose herself but the two children couldn’t help it, they just naturally became part of the weft and weave of the little society. They inherited versions of their mother’s two-tone hair, the girl was born with jet black hair with a white streak, the boy had unnaturally white hair for a child, with that black flash at the back. When they were small, dressed in whatever was available, that was the way to tell them apart; but as they grew they developed differently, and their looks followed their characters in facets of the same, but clearly different.
Even when someone suggested she could move into the hovel beside the smithy, she refused, she was not ready to return to the village that had rejected her. By this time some of the poor were giving her bits of work. The ‘elite’ never came round, but the woman who barely had enough sewing work to keep herself few nevertheless passed some pieces to the girl to do. The family with three sheep asked her to spin the fleeces (and she did it well); other work was passed on. She grew food in the soil around the cave. People saw she was willing to help herself and that made them willing to help her more.
Three for a girl
The old priest had died, people hardly noticed the difference, his cold, hard, inflexible body seemed not that different to the way he was in life. The new priest came and brightened the mood of the village with some love and forgiveness of sins.
Tristesse vanished one day when she was five; her mother went frantic, and the village finally all came together to look for the girl who had won many-a-heart. Eventually they found her high up the hill, cuddling a newborn lamb whose mother had died. She explained that she couldn’t carry it, and she knew it would die of cold on its own so she sat with it and cuddled it knowing that people would come looking for her.
The lamb became a sheep and always remembered the girl. Whenever she came close to that flock, one sheep would separate from the others and wander over to say hello.
.... There is more of this story ...