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Rhiannon and Pywll, In Space

Rhiannon and Pwyll, In Space
© 2014 Jodi Lee, all rights reserved
Written for Terrible Minds Flash Fiction Challenge
Fairy Tales, Remixed

Once upon a future time, there was a beautiful princess named Rhiannon, who lived on the enchanted space ship Arberth. Her mother had died years before, and her father – an aged and wizened man – knew it was time to find her a husband. He looked far and wide, and finally found the perfect man for his daughter.

Gwawl, captain of the ship Nosta, was a dark and twisted man. He and his crew ravaged the seven sectors, driving many good folks into an early grave, or worse. Since he was a fair-looking man and had the riches to lure someone like Rhiannon’s father into his lies, her fate was sealed. When she finally met her husband – to – be, she was appalled. She could see past his fancy clothes and quick smile; she could see the darkness in his eyes.

She decided to set him four tasks before she would set a date to marry him. Gwyl agreed, only because his crew and the people of Arberth were watching. This gave her time to seek out the young man she’d fallen in love with as a child.

The moment Gwawl disembarked, Rhiannon geared up and left Arberth using her shiny white shuttle, the Night Mare. She cruised the sectors searching for one she could love and trust, knowing as she traveled that Gwyl was not long behind her.

One night, while docking at a station in the mid-atmos above the beautiful blue and green planet Cymru, Rhiannon caught the attention a man who was a startling vision. Hair of gold and a smile that brought dimples to his cheeks and a spark to his very blue eyes, Pwyll Dyfed was stunned by the beautiful girl before him. He tried to call out to her to find out her name, but she seemed to always stay just one step ahead of him in the crowd. Finally, after circling the market twice, he found her boarding her shuttle. Try as he would, he could not catch up to her, even though she was still only idling along.

Finally, he spied the little shuttle on his radar, at a full stop near the asteroid Clud. Gwawl the rogue owned the asteroid, and was notorious for using tracking beams to trap wayward travellers on his rock. Pwyll received an SOS from the Night Mare, a short message explaining who she was and why she was leading him to this place.

Pwyll took his own shuttle and a few of his men and landed on the asteroid, some distance away from the small settlement where Rhiannon was being held. Dressed in a wedding outfit, she was even more beautiful than he had ever imagined, and he immediately stepped forward, declaring his intentions to marry her.

Gwawl was amused by the younger, obviously softer, man. “And just how do you think you’ll be taking her from me, when I have her father’s consent, and,” he laughed, “I am much more man than you!?”

“Easily. Hand to hand, to the death. Or… are you afraid?” Pwyll smiled, and a fleeting chill ran down Gwawl’s spine.

“Fine! When do you want to die?”

“Many years from now, in my bed, with Rhiannon beside me.”

“Now it is, then. Prepare yourself, boy, you’re going to have your pieces pulled through your nose!” Gwawl rose from his seat and charged at Pwyll, who stepped aside at the last moment.

Raising his sword and bringing it down across Gwawl’s back broadsided, Pwyll delivered the finest of insults – a spanking. “Naughty boys get spanked, Gwawl, and you have been such a naughty boy.”

When the older man had recovered his stance, he again charged at Pwyll, to no avail. This time, Pwyll merely stuck his foot out, tripping the lumbering oaf. The crowd cheered, though they were secretly hoping Gwawl would be the victor. They were, after all, his people.

Sadly for Gwawl, this was not to be. As he attempted to push himself to his knees, Pwyll landed on his back, digging a knee into his spine. He grunted, and shoved, and still, he could not rise. Pwyll run a finger over the base of Gwawl’s neck, then reached underneath, grabbing his chin. Pulling his head up, Pwyll slowly dug his fingers into the fleshy part of the neck, grasping and pulling at the sinewy tendons and vessels he found there. Blood gushed out over his fingers, and still he dug through the flesh. Finally, he found the lower part of Gwawl’s tongue, and pulled it through, ripping it from its rooting in the mouth.

Finished with that, Pwyll then grasped the other man’s lower jaw, and wrenched it from side to side, side to side, until SNAP! The joints broke and he tore it loose from the flesh anchoring.

Gwawl gurgled once, and died.

Pwyll freed Rhiannon, and they were married right there, right then, the horrific, bloody mess of Gwawl on the floor behind them.