Tag Archives: poetry

Flash Fiction: The Holly & The Ivy

A portrait of a young Tudor era woman

Portrait of a Young Woman thought to be Catherine Howard, Met Museum, NYC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It will be different with me, she thinks as he presses her down to her knees. Silk rustles as she bends like a young rose on a fragile stem. He smiles, and she takes heart. He is gentle with her now, this great man, larger than life, with hands like paws and a mind like jagged trap. He will be different with me.

Green groweth the holly,
So doth the ivy.
Though winter blasts blow never so high,
Green groweth the holly.

He removes her wedding gown and she bows before him. He is already undressed. His vast, bear-like body, once wrapped in velvet and fur, fills her vision like the sun. She shivers. His fingers, so gentle with the outer casing of her gown, bite into her skin. He wants her, she knows. He has told her as much. He has written and told her so.

As the holly groweth green
And never changeth hue,
So I am, ever hath been,
Unto my lady true.

He is impatient and entitled as he grips her head. She opens her mouth and complies. She is no prudish Catholic, but neither is she a whore. Her cousin was a whore, an incestuous whore. She betrayed him and lost her head, spilled her blood all over the block, red as the holly he wrote about. Red blood on a dark green dress.

As the holly groweth green
With ivy all alone
When flowers cannot be seen
And greenwood leaves be gone,

There will be no blood with me, she thinks. I will keep his love. I will keep it evergreen. He grips her head harder, guiding her mouth as she sucks his cock with a skill that she learned as a girl. That skill would not betray her. That skill, and the gift of a pliant throat and an equally pliant nature, will keep me queen, she thinks.

Now unto my lady
Promise to her I make,
From all other only
To her I me betake.

Her eyes stream as his cock batters the back of her throat. She feels the bulk of his body tense. He’s getting close. She wills herself slack and feels the drool dripping down her chin onto her pretty white breasts. When he comes, he comes like an animal, grunting and thrusting into her mouth as if she were a thing. I will be his cherished thing, she thinks, gagging on his spend.

Adieu, mine own lady,
Adieu, my special
Who hath my heart truly
Be sure, and ever shall.

He tastes overly sweet, and beneath that a bitterness that makes her gag again, but she swallows and swallows and swallows. Then she smiles as she knows he wants her too, and lavishly licks her lips. I will do what I must do, she thinks. I will survive the love of this man.

Post Script: 

The italicized poem is called “Green Groweth the Holly” by Henry VIII. The lady whom it addresses is unknown but, for the sake of this piece, I imagined it to be his ill-fated 5th wife, Catherine Howard, cousin to Anne Boleyn and the second of his six wives to be accused of treason and beheaded.

The story was inspired by “The Holly and the Ivy” – a traditional Christmas carol and one of the prompts in Exhibit A‘s Awesome Christmas Erotica Meme. A new song title goes up every day between now and Christmas so click here to catch the prompts and participate (you should!). And click here to see who else is making merry this December.