Saturday 22 June 2013

'RumpleFrogHood' by Nettie Thomson

“Would you like to play a game?” he asks, swirling the whisky in his glass.
“That depends,” she says, twirling her long hair around her finger and glancing out the window.
“It’s not too difficult. All you have to do is guess something.”
She arches an eyebrow. “What? The number of sweets in the jar? The number of hairs on my head? How much you have in the bank?”
He smiles. “Much easier than that, my dear.”
She unfolds toned legs and holds his gaze. “Ok, I’ll bite. But first, what’s in it for me?”
“What do you desire?”
She looks out the window and hesitates for no more than a heartbeat. “Oh, you know, glass slippers, golden carriage, three wishes. Or how about my freedom?”
He puts down his glass and stands, making an exaggerated bow. “Whatever my lady desires.”
“What must I guess then?”
“Naught but my true name.”
She frowns, confused. “Your true name?”
“Indeed,” he said. If you can guess my real name, I guarantee your freedom.”
“So it isn’t Brian then?”
He laughs. “I never reveal my true identity to the women who visit me here.”
She chews her bottom lip, “Is it Brad?”
He shakes his head.
“No, not Aiden,” he smiles.
She stands up and walks seductively to stand before him. “So, it’s not Brad and it’s not Aiden. Hmm, in that case it must be…” She traces his jaw with a scarlet-tipped finger and kisses him, hard and deep.
She whispers something into his ear and laughs as she watches him turn green and drop to the floor with a loud ribbet. On her way out of his penthouse she throws her red-hooded cloak over her arm and closes the door behind her.
“Mummy was right,” she thinks. “Life really isn’t like a fairy tale."


2024 Wigleaf Longlisting

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