Flower was up to her old tricks. She twirled about in her dungeon couture. It had taken her eleven months to go mad while imprisoned behind the ancient sea wall. The wailing of the other prisoners had finally worn her down. Her sanity snapped like a rubber band stretched too thin.
Every day when the sun rose she danced across her ten foot by ten foot cell. Her body remembered the movements. It remembered the feel of the shining blue dress her fairy god mother had made for her from the tired old rags she had spent most of her life wearing.
But her mind. Her mind had long since forgotten that beautiful starry night when she had fallen in love with a prince and sealed her fate. There was no happily ever after for her. Or for any of the other girls who had fallen in love with the prince of the realm. The guards had caught Flower the moment the spell had worn off. They had imprisoned her at the orders of the King’s Widow.
She once was called the Queen and loved by all. The day the King died in a hunting accident was the day the realm was plunged into darkness. A Mystic from a faraway land came to sit beside the King’s Widow. He whispered to her about royal balls and girls coming to steal her only son. Soon the balls became a sacrifice for the sanity of the realm. If the King’s Widow was allowed her menagerie of merchant’s daughters and scullery maids, then she spent her time with them. The realm was left to its own devices. The inhabitants of the realm felt it was a fair trade to be free of the darkness that had hung over them all when the King died. The daughters did not think so and neither did their fathers. The King’s Widow would peek in on them yearly exactly one hour before the next ball was set to begin. The imprisoned girls would be in a frenzy as the King’s Widow looked in on each one of them. She held a pair of baby shoes clutched in her hands. The King’s Widow reached the second to last cell of the row and looked in on Flower. Flower smiled and her eyes shone brightly in the dim moonlight. She laughed maniacally and delivered her message at last. “Make way for the Mystic!”
The queen shivered and fled the dungeon. The Mystic was waiting for her at the stable. He smiled widely at her. “Good Evening my Queen. Are you ready to join your menagerie? It’s taken 12 years to gather enough power, but now none will stand in my way.” He used a spell to knock her unconscious and dressed her in the rags of a scullery maid. He waited three hours and then delivered her to the guards at the dungeon. The guards opened the thirteenth cell. No one had thought this debacle would go on this long. It was the last cell that had been built. The Mystic smiled at the men and gave them a gold coin each. “Be warned. This last one thinks she is the King’s Widow. I hope to put an end to this pageant once and for all. I speak with her majesty tonight and pray to the moon that this is the last soul imprisoned in this wretched place.” The guards smiled and nodded. They watched him leave. Once he was well out of sight, they released the twelve girls and put them in wagons bound for a convent in the next realm. Hopefully the poor souls would find peace. But there would be no peace in the realm. Tonight, the revolution would begin.
The prompts for this short story:
make way for the mystic
Copyright 2019 Klaudia Grady