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Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date. For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now. The Conversion of St. Monocarp "Why are you doing this to me? With her face upside-down, she looked unfamiliar; but, oddly, less unusual. He cried from his withered little heart: "I love you!
What had she done? Tender-heartedness had always been her worst fault, she believed, and a wish to shorten the little man's suffering had impelled a butcher's cut. His lifeblood was supposed to have dribbled away neatly into the brazier of aromatic herbs burning beneath him while she completed the enchantment. But he was jerking, gurgling, spraying blood everywhere -- even on her gown, the horrid freak! Was there still time?
She dropped the sword clanging and hurled herself ponderously at the stairs. She pounded upward on legs as strong, and on ankles a good deal thicker, than those of her father the graf's staunchest warriors. Fumbling among the weighty keys at the girdle often compared in length and strength to a catapult-sling, she alternately beseeched the Blessed Virgin and damned her for an obstinate Jewess until she found the right one and burst into the room, blasting out most of the tallow candles that ringed the waxen form of Brother Monocarp.
By the balls of the Apostles, he was beautiful! In dizzying contrast to the coarse brutes whose red faces forever puked andguffawed around her, he was fine and smooth and white as a peeled willow. His hair was not yellow straw, it was the sunlit silk of the barley; his eyes were not blue stones at the bottom of a cold brook, they were the sky on that one summer day she recalled from her fifth year when she had lisped, "Mummy, where is the fog?
They were still warm, and this recalled her to her purpose. She recited with fervor the words that the wise woman of the woods had taught her. Through an embrasure in the thick wall, she kept her eyes fixed on the moon that oozed light onto the pine-tops like juice from a squashed totool. She thought of Willi, dangling in the room below. Did his lifeblood still flow? The little bastard, it had damned well better! Unless she counted her father, whose intimate interest had cooled once she had erupted into full womanhood, Little Willi was the only man who had ever loved her.
She was acutely aware of the fine shades that debarred her from beauty. Her jaw, perhaps, was her least attractive feature, for it had never stopped growing. Its growth had spread her large, square teeth until anyone foolhardy enough to try it could have inserted the tip of an index finger between any two of them.
This drew attention to her second-least attractive feature, a narrowness of the temples that squeezed her tiny eyes together in a squint. She hoarded slights and could sob bitterly over any one White shadow nasty stories them. Poor Siegfried, for instance, later fallen from her father's banquet-table to die in the grip of a long fit that had hammered his heels against the back of his head, had been overheard to say that she had less nose than an old corpse, and that it sickened him to stare into nostrils like gaping grave-pits.
And Gunther, tragically cut down in the prime of his vaunting heroism by some unknown coward who had waylaid him and stamped his spine to the consistency of fingernail-parings, had unfavorably compared her generous mouth to an old sow's pudendum, bristles and all.
Even her good points were cursed blessings of an evil fairy. Her hair was unparalleled in its golden voluminousness, and it served to conceal less attractive features including ears like the oaken lids of the castle's cisterns, to quote Adolf, later attacked in the forest by a werewolf who had sorcerously induced him to strip to his skin and pile his armor neatly aside before tearing him limb from limb ; but she would sometimes trip over this glorious hair, forcing her to show the temper that even she had to admit was more pungent than sweet.
Her eyebrows were fortunately fine as spiderwebs, and this drew notice from their thickness, their union over her nominal nose, and the fact that they could writhe like a convulsing caterpillar when her face, in the grip of any emotion, blotched red. Most often remarked upon with favor, even fervor, were her ponderous breasts and yard-wide buttocks, and in their cups the warriors sometimes used to grope for them, most often -- but not always -- recoiling in terror when she showed no great displeasure.
Her tutors of love had been men too drunk to teach her anything beyond the variety of belches, snores and farts a sot can trumpet. Some never gave any woman this lesson again, for she would exact justice from inept teachers with the selfsame pair of scissors that Delilah had used to shear Samson, purchased from and blessed by Pope John XII himself on her late mother's pilgrimage to Rome.
But Little Willi, dying in the room below -- common, yes, crookbacked, yes, ugly, White shadow nasty stories, no taller than her knees, yes, yes, yes! But he had loved her, he had worshipped her, and even when passably sober, he had lusted for her. She forced her mind firmly back to the long incantation, noting that the moon, unnoticed, had risen a full handspan above the endless forest. It now appeared decidedly green, and the mad chorus of shrieks and howls that hailed it could not be ascribed to wolves alone.
Willi had his faults. First and foremost was his hideous ugliness. Although her nausea might have been intensified by the quantities of beer she was pleased to put away each night, she would sometimes vomit at the sight and feel of him clinging to her like an enormous spider when she woke, nor were his charms enhanced by his daily being hurled to the stone floor beside her bed. Neither was he especially virile.
It often took her far more time to raise his crooked little member than to lay it. But unlike other lovers, he was eager to please her by any means whatever, and he most often did. Monocarp, the holy hermit, could not have spurned her advances more vehemently if she were a toad he had discovered in his penitential meals of thistles mashed with charcoal and horse-dung. The Christ-crazed cockroach had not just spurned them, he had denounced her as a monster of carnality, another Jezebel, a second Salome! Those ladies had undoubtedly been burning in hell for a long time now, but they'd gotten some fun out of their sins.
Jezebel would never have suffered the fumbling fingers and feeble tongue of a gibbous runt. She guessed that Salome had done more than dance for Herod, and whatever his monstrous faults might have been, they surely hadn't included a penis as soft and smelly as a dog's turd, but nowhere near so big. Friedegunde's sins were a frumpish, hand-me-down gown whose train of punishments was borne along behind her by capering imps of loathing and regret. She lowered her eyes from the disconcerting moon, which now lapped her tower with lurid tongues of fire, to gaze upon the holy man.
Once he had succumbed to the potion, accepted in its foulness as the special penance he constantly sought, she had stripped him of his coarse outer garment, horse-hair shirt and girdle of briers, and bathed him lovingly. She had found nothing to displease her except his filth; even by the exacting standards of the day, it was no less than heroic. When Christ came back in five years, as everyone believed He would, she would ask Him what pleasure He derived from seeing His servants wallow in dirt and pain and self-denial.
He would tell her to go to hell, of course, but she expected He would anyway, as did most everyone else. As the Millennium approached, she observed a growth of universal desperation. Her father had taken a squeaking poppet called Flosshilde to wife, and his mighty men were so quick to reach for their weapons nowadays that they hardly dared speak to one another. The incantation neared its end. She recited with passion, White shadow nasty stories she had seen no effect beyond the curious behavior of the moon and of the putative wolves.
But now a wind rose below her, White shadow nasty stories it sounded more as if all the ancient dead of her glorious tribe had arisen to groan hollowly of those few sins they had neglected to commit or failed to imagine.
The remaining candles streamed in the breeze like banners, and those that had ly died spontaneously ignited. As the last word was spoken, the eyes of the saintly hermit snapped open almost audibly. It was a very long time before the exuberantly young and long-repressed man remembered to ask any vexing questions, and by that time she could respond only with murmurous vaporings.
He had the look of a man who has misplaced something -- his wits, Friedegunde believed -- but can't recall what. My dwarf! Where is he, that Willi?
I haven't laughed in days. Remember--" he could scarcely continue, he was now laughing so hard--"remember how we used to toss him from the battlements and catch him? Remember the look on his horrible face when we failed?
Someone seize that eunuch and castrate him! She improvised: "The Apostle Hermann said that he who harms a priest shall be beloved of the Bulgars. At least twenty of them, he said, and without any lard. Brother Monocarp's lip trembled, but he knew better than to say a word. Under the table, her strong hand clasped him in an intimate threat. While she was combing it? And while I held her down in the hearthfire she bit my foot, and I thoughtlessly took Our Blessed Savior's name in vain.
The see of Willi's mind had boiled against his twisted little body; the juices of Brother Monocarp's body had boiled against his twisted little mind.
Now both brews had combined in one glorious bath for her senses. Neither Jezebel nor Salome had known a man like the one who mounted her whenever he saw her and left her whimpering. She grew slim enough to squeeze frontward through most doors. Her red blotches glowed. That she was always very sore in several ways seemed no price at all to pay. It's not mine, do you understand? I feel like a fish playing at bird.White shadow nasty stories
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