Thursday, 20 December 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012 -

The Apothecary's Daughter

by Lucy Appleby
Published: Dec 20, 2012
Words: 9,906
Category: general
Orientation: M/F
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Yasmina was the adopted daughter of the town apothecary and his wife. She was found as a child, wandering the bleak moors on the edge of the wild wood in the cool mists of mystic autumn, her long copper hair blending with the red gold of the fallen leaves, her pitiful cries carried on the back of the north wind.

The apothecary had roamed far and wide seeking out a secret herb for his medicinal preparation. On hearing the child's cries, he ventured closer and found her amongst the gorse and heather, barefoot and shivering, clad only in a thin shift. She held out her arms, and he picked her up and wrapped her small cold body in the warm folds of his cloak. Then, setting her before him on his horse he took her back to the town, where he raised her as his own daughter. Wishing to do the right thing by the child, he later married a woman of the town, so that Yasmina could enjoy all the benefits of two loving parents.

As the years passed, the child teetered on the brink of adolescence and grew into a beautiful young woman. Her body was lithe and strong and comely, her copper hair waved in abundance below her waist, and she had almond-shaped eyes of a vibrant green that sparked with the hue of emeralds when she smiled, which was often. But she was different, somehow, from her peers. There was an unconventional wildness about her, a hint of feyness. She would often sit by the bank of the stream, a glazed and dreamy look on her face, as though she were somewhere else.

And as Yasmina grew older and more beautiful, her stepmother became increasingly jealous and resentful, not only because of her step daughter's looks and blithe spirit, but for the high regard in which her father held her. Consequently, she took every opportunity to taunt and scold the girl for her slothfulness. Indeed, she would find fault with anything that Yasmina did, and took to beating the girl with a leather strap.

One day she deliberately spilt the churn of milk all over the kitchen floor, then stormed out to find Yasmina.

"Yasmina? Get in the house, now."

"What's wrong, stepmother?"

"You know full well what's wrong, wicked girl. The milk is wasted."

Yasmina surveyed the mess on the stone flags of the kitchen floor.

"I will clear it up, stepmother, but it was not I who spilled the milk."

"You lying bitch! Who else would it be? Your father is busy working in the apothecary shop. You shall be thrashed for your insolence."

Yasmina's green eyes brimmed full of tears as the strap lashed down heavily across her bottom, causing angry looking red welts.

"Get it cleaned up at once. Then bring me some bread and cheese, and a jug of wine."

Yasmina obeyed silently, trying to ignore the persistent pain in her burning bottom.