For the beginning of this tale, I begin with a few questions. And I want you to answer them with truth, not with the assumption that your answer has to be the same as mine. Now, would a man run back into a burning building for the sheer love of it? Would a man stand before a car, compact with velocity, just to stop it from passing? Or if given the chance, would a man go to the moon, knowing well that there, he would suffocate? So why; why would Culliver love his Duchess, who beats him, and hurts him verbally and mentally, who tells him what a poor worker he is and who hates him with all the hate she could possibly fester within her small and fragile body?
The situation has caused me to tell his story, for it is a sad story, with happy times similar to how life is; but life is never truly happy, neither is any one man. But for Culliver, being one year over his final "teen" year, and having an occupation of being the Duchess's personal assistant, he is rather happy. Ovilia, Duchess of the Castle DuBois that stands tall over an early Baltimore, stands at the edge of the castle with the deadest grass in front of her covering an old ground. This was normal for the young 19 year old; her mind like a pool in the summer, always full and busy.
Minutes ago, she had ordered a light lemonade and demanded that the lemon be removed of its seeds, squeezed into a cup lightly, then placed on the rim of the cup for the fantasy of her being on an island somewhere beyond the Pacific. Culliver loved his Duchess, and he was well accustomed to her demands and her small, but important details that reigned consequences if not followed. Downstairs, in a stone kitchen, filled with anything and everything the Duchess could ever want or need, he grabbed a cup, gently removed the seeds without damaging the lemon, squeezed its juices into the cup along with some sugar and water, then placed it on the rim of the tall glass. He picked up a platter from one of the cupboards and grabbed a folded cloth and placed it on the platter along with the lemonade.
Culliver raced up the cement spiral stairs, fixed his shirt that he put on specifically to impress her, pushed his dark hair away from his blue eyes, and walked out onto the deck with his master. She almost immediately complained about how long it took him to prepare such a simple drink, to which he replied:
"There were a lot of seeds Duchess. I thought you'd be upset if I hadn't taken them all out."
"No matter. I've grown away from the taste of lemonade," she waved her hand without looking in his direction. "I have a question."
Culliver looked into the lemonade, then set it down beside him.
"Then hopefully I have an answer."
"Is my hair appropriate for tonight? You're used to seeing whores and harlots, are you not? Do they look anything like this?" She turned in her large dress and posed subtly.
He was reluctant to answer such a question, but with the opportunity to compliment his love, whom he loved so much, the reluctance quickly diminished.
"You look none like the whores m'lady. Your hair is the finest in all of Baltimore, I assure you."
"Are you lying?" Her eyes became less gentle as wrinkles grew between her eyebrows. "I haven't had it done you little shit, and you say it's the finest. Go, go before I have your throat cut!"
Before his bronze haired, fine faced, thin figured, sweet scented, unaging Duchess, Culliver quickly grabbed the lemonade and went off. When he arrived back to the kitchen, his good friend and fellow assistant, Goddard, was washing dishes with a small chuckle beneath his beard.
"What're you laughing about?" Culliver dumped the glass into the sink and placed the platter on the counter.
"You let her bark at you like a dog Culli. When's it gonna stop?"
Goddard was a chubby Irish, with a well built orange beard that hung from his chin like an ornament from a tree. It was hard to tell when he was serious or when he was joking, for his lips were always hidden behind the hair.
"Oh don't you worry. One day, when she is tired of ruling this castle, I'll sweep her off her feet and she'll be mine!" Culliver boasted.
"A Duchess and a servant? Like a Princess and a frog, yea'? Ha!"
"Quit your foolin'. Like you've someone to admire."
"Oh I do. She's a nice thick built girl. You'll see her ta'night at the ball you will. Such big tits you'll see," he snickered.
Culliver shoved him away with a kind laugh, but a false laugh. He respected woman, and of all women, respected the Duchess. He paid little attention to her body. His eyes, whenever he saw her, would lock onto her high cheek bones, or her pink lips that looked beautifully swollen, or her eyes that made her personality seem opposite to what it was. Goddard did not understand their love. In fact, no one but Culliver understood it, and in life, sometimes that's all that matters. As long as you understand what you love and are willing to pursue it vigorously.