December 20, 2018

FAIRY TALE FLASH - The Kiss by Carol J. Douglas

As the snow falls outside, you will
claim your bride under the mistletoe...

Baldur had almost given up hope. A single white berry remained on the mistletoe branch hanging above the doorway in the castle. His mother, the goddess Frigg, had promised him that on the occasion of his 21st birthday, he would claim his future bride with a kiss under the mistletoe. He had never doubted his mother, but now as the festivities were winding down, he feared that her promise would not come to pass. The tale was told often enough. Her tears had saved his life when the enemy shot an arrow made of mistletoe into his heart. But when Frigg had wept over him and her tears fell upon the arrow, they became white berries and touched his heart bringing it leaping back to life.
“My son lives,” cried Frigg kissing Baldur, “I vow to bless the mistletoe and promise a kiss to all who stand beneath it. True love will be found. But with each kiss a berry will be plucked from the branch until it is bare and any magic will cease.”
“I promise you Baldur, that when you celebrate your 21st birthday as the snow falls outside, you will claim your bride under the mistletoe.”
The party began with many comely young maidens in attendance. Much ale was drunk and many a lady warmed herself by the fire before stepping a little farther until she was just under the mistletoe. But each time Baldur saw one step beneath the mistletoe, another young man approached her more quickly and stole a kiss plucking the berry. They walked off together laughing in delight.
Staring glumly at the lone berry on the branch, Baldur noticed a shadow coming closer. His heart leapt, until he became aware that an elderly woman was walking slowly toward the mistletoe. She reached her destination and stood, leaning heavily on her cane.
“Alas,” she cried, “will no one come and kiss this withered cheek? I do not seek romance, only comfort for I have lost my beloved son and am deeply grieved.”
The men in attendance either looked away or pretended not to hear. But Baldur was moved by compassion. He recalled how his own mother had told him of her great sorrow when she had believed he was dead.
“Old woman,” he said striding to her side, “I offer you comfort in the name of my own mother.”   And with that he bent down and kissed her wrinkled cheek.
Suddenly, a beautiful maiden was looking into his eyes. She wrapped her arms around him and said, “I was told by a goddess that I would find my husband when he could see beyond youth and beauty and offer compassion to one who is grieving.”

With that she kissed Baldur fully on the lips. He was overjoyed and knew that he had found his beloved wife as he plucked the last berry from the mistletoe branch.

Carol J. Douglas writes from her home in Dublin, Ohio. She enjoys writing in many genres. Most of her published works are in Romance, Nonfiction and Children's poetry and stories. She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Woman's World Magazine, and Guardian Angel Kids ezine as well as other publications. Carol has always enjoyed Mythology and Classic Ancient Tales.  

Cover: Amanda Bergloff

Cover Model: Emelia Douglas


Unknown said...

I love my cousin! Lovely story

Enchanted Conversation said...

I agree. It's a perfect story for this holiday season!

Sawie said...

Wonderful holiday story!!
I love the romance of the mistletoe!

Jeff Douglas said...


Anonymous said...

Wow! This truly is a fairy tale that will be told in my family's house as part of a new Christmas tradition. I thought the writing was excellent and the lovely model not only fits in with the story, but she really captures the essences of otherworldly and divine beauty! Can't wait to read what else you have!

Brooke said...

My new favorite fairy tale!

Anonymous said...

I needed this lovely story in my life years ago! Great writing.

Anonymous said...

Very nice.

Jessica said...

A great lesson for the Christmas season, and a sweet read to boot.

Pamela said...

Lovely tale, and perfect use of the maiden as hag conceit! I never knew the "lore" of the mistletoe, although it hangs in our doorway year-round :)

Anonymous said...

Great little story! Makes me wish I had some mistletoe! (And I'd never heard of plucking the white berries. Now I know.)