A Curious Woman

In Fiction on March 26, 2013 at 10:40 pm

test roll #3

A Curious Woman

Pietro Barbino shuffled quietly into the Duke’s great room and, finding it empty, smiled and turned to leave.

“Stay, Pietro,” a voice said, and a slender figure appeared in the doorway at the end of the room. It was the duchess, in a crimson silk gown that brushed the tops of her bare feet and clung tightly to her breasts.

“Cosimo and the men are returning from their hunt,” she said, walking. Her toes made soft noises on the marble as she came. “But by some lucky accident they have been delayed. I have you to myself.”

The duchess smiled and knelt.

“My lady?” Pietro stammered. “Do you need a jester at this hour?”

Eleanora’s soft white skin, her eyes—and her lips—were exactly aligned with Pietro’s. He could smell sweet wine on her breath.

“I may,” she giggled.

Pietro felt himself redden (among other things) and noticed, then, the way the dress had slipped from the duchess’ shoulder, carelessly, exposing the smooth curve of her ivory skin—

But suddenly the door crashed open and Eleanora’s gentle laughter was broken.

“There’s my fool!” Cosimo roared. “Speaking most improperly to my own wife!”

In tow were half a dozen men in riding raiment. They took up a chorus of laughter at the Duke’s prompting.

“Tell me, dwarf,” Cosimo said, eyeing Pietro with a sly smirk, “is everything short about you? Do you think she’d even feel it?”

The duchess stood and pulled her gown back over her shoulder. The men had brought the cold inside.


Cosimo, cosimo,” the duke japed. “You know you’ve wondered, woman, don’t deny it.”

The duke removed a flask and took a long, violent pull.

“Yes, Pietro, she has. She confessed it to me. She is a curious woman, Pietro. And you will indulge her curiosity. Now.”

The men roared with laughter and Pietro began to shake—as much from shame as from rage.

“Go on, fool,” Cosimo growled. “Give us a laugh.”

This story is my response to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge: Lucky.

You may recognize good old Pietro from a few of my stories. I didn’t expect that I would be bringing him back after the last one, but I decided it was time for a little something more—something to help explain what he ends up doing to Cosimo later on. This is something of a prequel, then, and goes first in the sequence:

A Curious Woman // The Root // Pietro Barbino // The Black Fool // Original Sin

If you liked it, click through to the other ones and see what happens next (I really like Pietro, so I want you all to like him, too). And, of course, as always, head on over to Trifecta to read the rest of this week’s stories.

  1. Oh wow. I didn’t see that one coming. This is really good. Very well-written and engaging. Great job, Brian.

  2. This is a great write – You convey the meanness, the humiliation so well.

  3. I love Pietro, and I do remember him from your previous entries. This is terrific, well-written, well drawn scene.

  4. Great story – great scene.

  5. Belittlement (if you will pardon the pun) nice read Brain.

  6. I was pulled right along with Pietro through it all, and am now rocking in a fetal position in the corner. Great read!

  7. Poor Pietro ): I don’t think he’s the only fool in this story…

  8. I think we’re beginning to understand Pietro much better, Brian – keep feeding us bit of his story occasionally!

  9. How horribly cruel the Duke is & the lady is no better!Loved the word play & the way you drew the scenes Brian-an excellent job & I hope Pietro gets his revenge in the end:-)Looking forward to reading more of the story.

  10. Oh, I was so pleased to see these characters return! I love the way this is piecing together.

  11. […] A Curious Woman // The Root // Pietro Barbino // The Black Fool // Original Sin […]

  12. […] A Curious Woman // The Root // Pietro Barbino // The Black Fool // Original Sin […]

  13. […] A Curious Woman // The Root // Pietro Barbino // The Black Fool // Original Sin […]

  14. […] A Curious Woman // The Root // Pietro Barbino // The Black Fool // Original Sin […]

  15. […] A Curious Woman // The Root // Pietro Barbino // The Black Fool // Original Sin // Man and Beast […]

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