Norah

United States

18 | she/they | hypothetical astronaut | ekphrastic poet | haunted house

Message to Readers

You can't keep me away. Anyways this is about Rhiannon, Celtic goddess of fertility, dreams, magic, horses, and the moon. I did not find inspiration in the Fleetwood Mac song, but had to put in the title, because come on. I don't really think that this is a fair characterization of the goddess, but aren't all pagan deities a little one-dimensional? I put a horse in there. Plus I think I made her seem really hot, so you're very welcome Ms. Rhiannon.

ring like a bell through the night

March 31, 2020

FREE WRITING

8
Rhiannon’s fingertips are dyed black. She sits, legs on either side of a bar stool, the ends of her mud-stained skirts touching the floorboards. You’ve never met a woman like this before. She slams down her drink and coin, gambles on nothing, laughs like thunder, and wins like her life depends on it.

“Gentlemen,” she says, when it’s almost morning, and quite a few men want to win their money back, “it has been a pleasure.” As she grabs her riding cloak from the back of her chair the room bursts into a mix of inebriated cheers and boos.

She laughs, and bows as she leaves, her hair hiding her smile. 

You follow her out of the bar, almost against your will. Her muddy white dress, the golden rings on her fingers, the way she could capture an entire room with her eyes, just her eyes, darker than the river rocks, it hooked you like you were a fish on a line. 

Her horse is waiting for her, grey and patient. You note that the famed Rhiannon does not in fact ride bareback as she straddles her mare by hooking a foot in a stirrup. Then she looks you directly in the eye. 

“You,” she says, “stop hiding like a small child. Tell me what you want.”

You look between her on her horse, illuminated in the misty morning light, and the tavern you left. 

“You won’t want to test my patience,” she says, her voice steady and dangerous as deep currents. 

“I don’t know why I followed you,” you manage to say, terrified suddenly of your own voice. “I’ll be going.” 

“You will not,” she says. “Come.” 

And so you do, as if against your will. She meets you, sliding off her mare, smiling something less pleasant and more like she’s used to getting what she wants. She looks you up and down, then unbuttons your jacket. 

You inhale and look up out of the stable and into the unforgiving face of the sky, purple and oppressive, as she feels in the pockets inside your coat. 

“There,” she says, and produces a stone from an interior pocket you have no recollection of putting there. “My little unwitting messenger, that wasn’t so hard now was it.” 

Your head is fogged with various indiscreet emotions and a tinge of panic. “No.” 

“Good. Now I have something for you, sweet messenger.” She slides a ring off her callused fingers and places it back in your jacket pocket.

While she buttons you up again she says, “Now, you will deliver this to my husband within the next fortnight, and be careful not to let him kill you when he gets it. It’s a terrible habit.” She smiles at you like you’ve just shared an inside jock, and pats the place where she’s put this ring, done with your buttons. 

You nod, shakily, and don’t bother asking how you will know who or where her husband is. The morning sun is beginning to make Rhiannon’s hair look golden-red.
 
She looks almost sad as she puts her hands on either side of your face and kisses you on the forehead. 

Then she is gone. 

You blink, and have no memory of where you are or how you got there. 

Print

See History
  • March 31, 2020 - 10:13am (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

3 Comments
  • Anha

    rhiannon rhiannon rhiannon, i'm morally obliged to spread the word of our lord and saviour, patron saint of big dick wlw energy
    https://bit.ly/34qYVbw


    8 months ago
  • loveletterstosappho

    gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous
    small note: i think you have a typo at "she smiles at you like you've just shared an inside jock" but it doesn't really matter


    8 months ago
  • N.

    thank you so much for entering! :)


    8 months ago