Better Than Ruling the World


Xena's Little Bi(a)tch




I cannot believe I did not recommend one of Julia Goldman's (aka Xena's Little Bitch) stories before.  In the same breath, I can't believe mauve is considered an acceptable color for toilet paper.  Really now.  Stop and think about it; can you imagine walking in the bathroom, sitting down to do your business, whistling a mindless tune of some sort (Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance" for those curious in the crowd), reaching for toilet paper and… it's mauve.  Mauve. 


There was a moment of stunned disbelief there, I must tell you that.  I mean - god - mauve!  Not white, oh no.  Not even white with some stupid floral accent in light blue, or maybe with "You're Thirty Now" printed in bright red letters across each separate sheet.  Nu-huh.  Mauve.  I guess gay men must have a big in with Charmin these days. 


But, I'll move on now.  (Mauve!  Mauve, I tell ya!) 


So, yes, there was a bit of shock to get over there, but I was fine after a moment or two.  And just as I thought nothing could surprise and discombobulate me as much that day, what do I realize?  I have no recommendation of Ms Bitch's story on my site.  Not one.  That's when I started getting a bit worried.  I mean, they always say that things come in threes, right?  So there I was, two shocking revelations in the span of a minute - what'll be the third?  Am I to realize that I'm actually straight?  Will it turn out that George Dubbya Jr actually has a functioning brain?  The Earth is a giant marshmallow puff stuck on the end of a long cosmic stick, getting ready for the alien "scary stories night" by the bonfire?


What, what?


Instead of waiting to find out, I decided to break the vicious cycle by writing a recommendation and therefore canceling the need for the Third Revelation.  And no, not just because the little voices said so. 


Anyway, back to Xena's L. Bitch.  Wonderful, wonderful story.  Xena: Warrior Princess as we know her does not exist.  She did do a bit of slashing and hacking in her young age, did get a big boat and get some honest pirating in, but she never fell for Ceasar's wiles.  Nope, instead, this Xena remained on the high seas doing what she likes to do best, fishing and plundering. 


That is, until she gets a subtle hint that the young, twelve-year old girl she saved from the slavers should be kept on her ship instead of turned away.  Until the young, pre-pubescent blonde thing manages to wrap the Menace of the Mediterranean around her pinky finger.  Until the young thing grows up a bit and takes Xena's heart with her as she leaves for the Athenian Academy of the Bards.


I loved this story on so many levels I can't even name them all.  The writing is very good, but I do have to say that the strongest point of the story is the fresh look on the would-be Conqueror.  You will get definite "star cross'd lovers" vibes from this one, without the teenage suicide pact.  There is a wonderful bit of realism threaded throughout the story, as you find yourself stopping and thinking, "But, she's only thirteen!"  And that's the important thing.  You stop.  And you think.  And you like this story even more.


Go read this one, read it again if you already did.  I promise you'll like the innocent Xena - that is, as innocent as Xena can be.  After the show ender, I think we can all appreciate a less bloody version of our heroines's lives.  I sure as hell did.


And while you're at it, thank Xena's Little Bitch.  What?  What do you mean, "Which one?"  How many little bitches can Xena have?!… Oh… 


Better Than Ruling the World