To Save A Monster — the Shutter Speech

half timbered Insights unspoken flickr

Photo credit: Insights Unspoken

This dark-browed shutter does its dole too nice
As oft I shielded from admiring eyes
The spiteful sun scorns every notch and slice
To foul-forbid me its much paler prize

How quick the step from tip to barrow be
All undeserved strife and cruel terms
My cousin leapt the gap so prettily
Now he eats open air while I taste worms

His plan is built of feeble flower prose
More apt to lure a milkweed maid to bed
He dares to hold me here, though nature knows
My blood cannot be jailed like villains’ bred

Those who screamed and stormed, I’ll teach full fear
Growl and rear these talons to their task
What sniv’ling saps to not see utter clear
My majesty doth shine through any mask

Escape I could into yon wilderness
And yet, such claws are weak at catching prey
These jagged teeth not trained in rending flesh
A savage growl does not a hunter make

A pampered prison’s closer to my need
Shall I then favor cousin kind with trust
Yes, let him hark to his heroic deed
But open these bale bars to light, I must

Word count: 190. This was originally inspired by this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt, so even though it’s horribly late and a little over the word count, I’ll give Priceless Joy big thanks!   See the original photo prompt below, and click here to see the other stories.

Yes, this is part of that “bards play” I am writing in bits and pieces.  This happens in the first act, when our protagonist has been turned into a monster, then rescued and hidden away by her far-cousin (who loves her). This early on she clearly (I hope!) has not learned her lesson yet and is still very much a self-centered diva.  By opening the shutters at the end of this speech, the villagers see her, ruining his plan to protect her by pretending “the monster” is dead.  See another of her speeches, this one from the last act, here: To Save a Monster.

Photo © TJ Paris


17 thoughts on “To Save A Monster — the Shutter Speech

    • Yes indeed, so glad that came across. Although your comment makes me realize I didn’t describe the speaker, who is a female taenassar (child of the ruler and heir to the throne) who was quite pretty before she was cursed into taking the form of a hideous monster.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you live in a patriarchal culture, it’s natural to see power and confidence and aristocratic manner as being masculine. But this particular culture is resolutely gender neutral, so they would find the idea of her being masculine to be meaningless. That said, this character does think more highly and more haughtily about her noble birth than many of her peers.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow! Bowled over by your poetry, Joy. Again, you’ve demonstrated how thoroughly you’re acquainted with Eneana – and how much poetry you must have studied to make yours so good! This is astonishing to me, as I’ve had a go before and failed miserably. Wonderful stuff

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Millie! The discipline and order of the rhythm and rhyme really do appeal to me, and I enjoy the challenge of making it sound just archaic enough while still making sense. Problem is, it takes substantially more time, which is something I suddenly have very little of.


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