Posted on: August 29th, 2010 Princess

By Jeremy C. Shipp

Melody tells me that we need to talk. But of course she’s already talking, so what she really means is that she needs to talk harder.

“Well?” she says.

I nod, like the bobble-headed caricature I’ve become, and I ask her please may I use the bathroom. For emphasis, I point to my crotch.

And in turn, she points to her wrist.

What she means is that I can go, but I’d better not spend more than fifteen minutes avoiding her. In the bathroom, an hour can fly by in a minute. Sometimes, I sit on the toilet, drinking a glass of water while I’m pissing. I pretend the water is flowing through me, and I pretend I’m more of a river than a desert.

After I turn away from Melody, I consider running away, all the way to heaven. But I’m a coward, after all, so I only make it partway there.

In the attic, the Princess makes me promise after promise.

“I’m a virgin and a whore,” she says.

“I’ll give you a night you’ll never forget,” she says.

“I’ll always keep you smiling,” she says.

She leads me over to my father’s mirror. And instead of seeing myself, I see her Kingdom.

“I love you,” she says.

And in turn, I say, “I love you, too.”

What I mean is that I don’t love who she is, but I love who she isn’t.

“Are you ready?” she says.

I nod, and she takes me by the hand, squeezing me a little too hard. I pretend that I don’t notice.

And I jump.

The moment I pass through the mirror, I see the future I’m throwing away. I see a therapist in a Charlie Brown sweater. I see Melody holding my hand after we make love. I see my son with his arms around me at the hospital, and he’s comforting me, even though he’s the one dying. I see Melody smiling for the first time since the funeral. I see millions of mundane miracles.

And after all this, I change my mind, of course. But it’s too late now. This is a one way mirror.

In the Kingdom, the Princess makes good on her promises.

She gives me her virginity, the way she gave her virginity to thousands before me. Of course, by now she’s oozing with mystical STDs, so within minutes of our climax, my penis transmogrifies into a moldy pink potato and falls off.

Later, the Princess finishes me off by tattooing an everlasting smirk on my face.

In the Kingdom, a year feels like a century.

Sometimes, I stand on the stage, juggling my memories while I’m grinning my stupid red grin. I pretend that the voices are laughing with me, and I pretend I’m more of a clown than a joke.

I laugh so hard it hurts.

Filed under: bad-ass, stories

37 Responses to “Princess”

  1. Noni Says:
    August 29th, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Amazing.

  2. Noni Says:
    August 29th, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Amazing.

  3. Marilyn Says:
    August 30th, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Brilliant!

  4. Marilyn Says:
    August 30th, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Brilliant!

  5. Sandra Odell Says:
    August 30th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    A powerful piece about choices. Thank you!

  6. Sandra Odell Says:
    August 30th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    A powerful piece about choices. Thank you!

  7. Winter boot Says:
    September 2nd, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Wonderful, good saying and very vivid expression, i truly like your opinion about that.I gotta say very good and quite persuasive.

  8. Winter boot Says:
    September 2nd, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Wonderful, good saying and very vivid expression, i truly like your opinion about that.I gotta say very good and quite persuasive.

  9. Marisa Birns Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 4:24 am

    A pow to the gut story! And there’s a clown. :)

  10. Marisa Birns Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 4:24 am

    A pow to the gut story! And there’s a clown. :)

  11. Jim Bronyaur Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 4:32 am

    My, oh my, what a great story. I kept getting pushed and pulled in different directions.

    Awesome… just awesome.

    Jim

  12. Jim Bronyaur Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 4:32 am

    My, oh my, what a great story. I kept getting pushed and pulled in different directions.

    Awesome… just awesome.

    Jim

  13. pegjet Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 10:53 am

    The shimmer is always shinier on the other side of the glass. Yeah, and another clown. Cool.

  14. pegjet Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 10:53 am

    The shimmer is always shinier on the other side of the glass. Yeah, and another clown. Cool.

  15. Julie Achterhoff Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 10:58 am

    You have such a gift for telling short stories. All mine end up long old books! lol

  16. Julie Achterhoff Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 10:58 am

    You have such a gift for telling short stories. All mine end up long old books! lol

  17. Skylos Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Ouch. You’re mean. Very effective shortshort!

  18. Skylos Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Ouch. You’re mean. Very effective shortshort!

  19. Maria Kelly Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Great story, Jeremy. I love how you show that the unknown is always more attractive, until we know it, then it’s not so great after all. But by then the choice has been made and we have to live with the consequences, even a dried-up pink-potato penis!! :)

  20. Maria Kelly Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Great story, Jeremy. I love how you show that the unknown is always more attractive, until we know it, then it’s not so great after all. But by then the choice has been made and we have to live with the consequences, even a dried-up pink-potato penis!! :)

  21. Danielle La Paglia Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Excellent story, Jeremy. Too often we find the grass really isn’t any greener on the other side.

  22. Danielle La Paglia Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Excellent story, Jeremy. Too often we find the grass really isn’t any greener on the other side.

  23. SF Signal: Free Fiction for 9/4/10 Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    [...] "The Dangerous Dimension" by L. Ron Hubbard@Suvudu: "The Literomancer" by Ken Liu@brain harvest: " Princess" by Jeremy C. Shipp@Weird Tales: "Mr. Nine and the Gentleman Ghost" by Aidan Doyle@StrangeHorizons: [...]

  24. SF Signal: Free Fiction for 9/4/10 Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    [...] "The Dangerous Dimension" by L. Ron Hubbard@Suvudu: "The Literomancer" by Ken Liu@brain harvest: " Princess" by Jeremy C. Shipp@Weird Tales: "Mr. Nine and the Gentleman Ghost" by Aidan Doyle@StrangeHorizons: [...]

  25. Eric J. Krause Says:
    September 5th, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Very cool story. Great description throughout. The unknown may hold the promise of great adventure, but sometimes the predictable is really quite a good life.

  26. Eric J. Krause Says:
    September 5th, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Very cool story. Great description throughout. The unknown may hold the promise of great adventure, but sometimes the predictable is really quite a good life.

  27. M Pax Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Touching and provocative. I enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing.

  28. M Pax Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Touching and provocative. I enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing.

  29. D / DM Says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 8:55 am

    This story changed my life. I’m staying away from beautiful mirror princesses forever.

    Although…

  30. D / DM Says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 8:55 am

    This story changed my life. I’m staying away from beautiful mirror princesses forever.

    Although…

  31. Rachel Blackbirdsong Says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Interesting take on Alice in Wonderland. I love the part about him looking at what his life could be with all the mundane miracles.

  32. Rachel Blackbirdsong Says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Interesting take on Alice in Wonderland. I love the part about him looking at what his life could be with all the mundane miracles.

  33. Lesley Says:
    November 22nd, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I am liking this guy. Alot.

  34. Lady in Red Says:
    December 28th, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Beautiful style… so simple and has such an impact!

  35. Free Fiction for 9/4/10 - SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog Says:
    January 7th, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    [...] harvest: “ Princess” by Jeremy C. [...]

  36. The DIS Says:
    January 21st, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Always good stories from Mr. Shipp

  37. A Free Short Horror story: Princess | Kindle Reads for Free Says:
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    [...] Princess├é┬áBy Jeremy C. Shipp · · · ◊ ◊ ◊ · · · Kindle Reads for FreeStreet of Two Doors February 12, 2012Product Description […] adminHello Readers February 12, 2012Novelspot Authors Talk about their Free Books Hundreds of authors temporarily offer their books for free. You can see them on Facebook and Twitter and Linked in, talking about their books, and offering them to readers for free, just like the product demonstrators at Costco and Sams standing in the stores with baskets of goodies […] admin Search for: [...]