TITLE: The Shoemaker's Daughter
GENRE: YA Retelling
Retelling of the twelve dancing princesses. The oldest princess has come to give the soldier a goblet of wine.
She pulled her fingers back to be certain his did not touch hers.
“You say you’re a Samson,” she challenged.
“You are the Delilah aren’t you?”
The abrasion of his words made her flinch. He saw her as she had been in the library. Yet in that moment the firmness returned. Her eyes fixed upon the goblet.
Hesitation would cause suspicion. Without thought, he took a gulp. Immediately he was gagging in realization that he was killing himself. He spit, wiping his sleeve across his mouth. With horror, he looked at the princess. He had spewed all over her. Liquid dribbled down her face like tears. He knew she was not crying although her chin trembled. Ignoring his impulse, he stiffly offered a handkerchief. She jerked away from him.
He couldn’t restrain himself, despite her fury. He was beside her, grasping her shoulder and wiping her face as one would a messy toddler, gently pushing her hair back as he wiped it dry. She didn’t struggle but stood rigid. He traced the contours of her face with the handkerchief. He had been intent on his task but now done, he looked at her. He sensed her breath, the rise and fall of her shoulders, felt her warmth. He released her. She fell away from him, backing into the princesses who had gathered, drawn to the commotion.
Now he felt fresh humiliation. He’d made a spectacle in front of so many. This was not the place for emotion. That was dangerous.