Once upon a time there was a little house at the edge of a village that three sisters name Brenda lived. There was Young Brenda, who was just out of highschool, and hoping to get a degree in Fashion; she had long white legs, and hair so golden that a local band wrote a song about her. The 2nd Brenda was a bit older, she had been divorced from her high school boyfriend who left her for one of his Psychology students, she was working at a clothing store because she had spent most of the marriage as a house wife. The 3rd Brenda was older, her skin was not as elastic as it used to be, but she had learned to accept it and ran a successful web-cam site where men from all over the world paid to see her take off her shirt.
On a mild Friday night in November the girls were getting ready to leave for a party that would take them through the wood, across the foot bridge, around the empty campus of the never-finished Community College, and up the hill to where the man who ran the Butcher Shop lived. It was the party of the year, or so the pamphlet’s said, and with Mars in Retrograde it would have been silly to miss out on an opportunity to get some action- figuratively and metaphorically.
Brenda the 1st had very little make up to put on as her face was as pure, and clean as the skin of an Angel, and although she spent most of the day trying on dresses, she was ready to leave just as the Moon dipped below Wolf Mountain. She bid the other Brenda’s adieu, and with the silk scarf one of her past suiters had bought her from Paris over her shoulders she tap-tap-tapped through the forest path. Upon arriving at the foot bridge she was mildly startled to find a man standing under the lamp at the centre of the bridge.
She called out to him, Hello.
He turned to her as if he had known her his entire life, and called back with great warmth, Hello, to you, too. Come let us exchange pleasantries.
Brenda inched closer to the man, and found his face to be old and yet young depending on where the light fell. She could sense a anxiousness around him, and, thanks of the 2nd Brenda’s many lessons on the callous hearts of men, she approached with caution.
My, what beauty has broken the night, said the man.
Have we made acquaintance before this moment, kind sir, she said.
I believe I would have remembered a visage as lovely as yours, he said. Where is it you are headed in this unseasonably temperate Fall evening?
Now Brenda was confused at this since everyone in their tiny village was invited to the Butcher’s home, and indeed were attending, so, she wondered, how could this someone not be aware?
Why the Butcher is hosting his party, and if you shall excuse me, I should be off, my date will be finding it queer I have not arrived post haste, she said. She then took a step back, and made to circle the stranger whose face seemed to change again to that of a Troll from a child’s book of stories from her childhood.
Stay, he said. Stay and I shall make you happy. Stay and I shall bring you such joys that you will not want for anything. Stay and I shall fill your days with such pleasure that dread will be a foreign concept to you.
Sir, she said, moving around the man as he stepped in her way. Your comments vex me and if you do not wish me to find alarum in your untoward advances you would be wise to let me pass.
Raising his hands in front of his chest as if to warding off a drunk Woodsman, he said, Dear me, that is not a way to speak to a stranger with only the best intentions. I only came here because the village Subreddit mentioned that three of the most beautiful women passed this bridge most days. I wished to espy for myself, and, if luck is present, break bread with one.
The youngest Brenda blushed, and with warmth in her cheeks, she said, Sir, I am ignorant of this reddit you speak of, but yes, my sisters and I traverse these woods, and this bridge, but I am scarcely as beautiful as they. I confess I might be younger in body than they; perhaps, my heart is not asunder like my older sister, and my soul is not as calm as my oldest. I pray you wait for them to come, for they will follow soon- I am not ready for talk of unrequited love, and the responsibilities assumed from a single lover.
The man stepped backwards, away from Young Brenda and lowered his hands. I respect your advice, and wish you a merry evening, he said. I shall await your sisters, and if they are half as lovely as you, I will die happy. Not that I am dying in body, but the wounds I have received from the loss of you, albeit superficial, sting none the less.
Fare the well, young Troll, she said, I can call you that, yes? I am not afraid. The Troll nodded, and turned away and looked up the path from where this Brenda had appeared.
to be continued… (Part 2)