It was the last fairy’s gift. They cut it off
immediately, while the baby screamed,
but it was back the next day, twitching
and curly. By the time she was of age to
appear at court, bustles and farthingales
had become de rigeur. An advantageous
alliance that could not be repudiated;
a magnificent wedding to the crown
prince—a hunchback. She was warned
to wear voluminous nightgowns, to lie
on her back, always undress in the dark.
But the royal bedroom was blazing with
a hundred candles, a thousand mirrors.
Her new husband slowly removed both
of their clothes, speaking softly to her
in the language she did not yet know.
When she was naked he kissed her,
smiling. Then he turned his back
to show her his unfolding wings.

©2009 F.J. Bergmann

“Tail” first appeared in Mythic Delirium #24

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Tail by Kelli Hoppmann
©2012 Kelli Hoppmann