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Queen of the World
She hums under her breath, a standard little hum to break the stifling silence. It is only she and her sister in the room, and the girl is sick of silence. Silence means she can hear her thoughts, and her thoughts are wild. She thinks of crackling thunder, she thinks of fire, she thinks of an alternate life where she is alone.
The word itself sounded so awful on her tongue. Yet it would be so wonderful to be alone, without her sister and her mother around to bother her. But they could be nice company if they wanted to be.
She’s stopped humming. It’s silent. Silence that was sickening, suffocating. She taps her foot. She begins to hum again, until her sister looks up from her book. She reads about Courageous Princes and Beautiful Princesses. Her sister sighs, because she is Not Pretty Enough and Too Short, and this makes her exasperated easily. She sighs because while other girls have pretty dresses and dolls, she is stuck with her weird sister. So she sighs and traces the Courageous Prince’s picture.
The girl is irritated with the melancholy groans of her sister, and stands up. Something is going to happen, she can feel it. It’s in her gut and it sings in every cell in her body. It’s something great and wonderful, and it’s going to happen soon.
Her sister calls her absurd, her little kid sister who believes in fairies. Sit down, shut up, she sneers. The girl finds that her annoyance at her sister is growing to an almost violent level, so she walks out.
Outside, it’s alive. The girl breathes it all in: the colors, the sound, the rustling, shuffling, the fresh air.
It’s going to happen. She’s sure of it.
But what exactly is it?
Hm. Well. She’ll find out. She’ll know. She’s been chosen, she has to know.
She takes the familiar path and sits down by the lake, kicking her feet absently. The grass is wet and cold against her back. There are no ducks swimming in the lake today, and there are no little tadpoles, either.
She stops kicking her feet and tries to listen for the birdsong. All she hears is the bothersome buzzing of the bees, and she winces and shifts away until it fades.
It’s quiet again, now.
Her thoughts come creeping back, and the Wonderful Thing flourishes to include fantastic dreams of glory. A small smile works itself to her face. In a world similar to her sister’s novels, she is Queen of the World.
But only for a moment – she hears her name being called, frantically, and her sister crying.
It’s a woman approaching. She is tall, with silver hair pulled back sharply.
It’s her mother.
Her mother’s voice is tired. Her sister’s red face, like a fat little tomato, appears behind her mother’s skirt.
The girl doesn’t move. This is her realm, her game, her vision. It’s all hers. And now they’re taking her to their world. That means their rules, their ideas, and the other people who just don’t understand.
Her mother’s hands are in fists, and she isn’t yelling, but the words are sharper than the kitchen knives. The girl remembers, solemnly, a time when she pricked herself on those.
“Come on. Give me your hand.” She speaks in the way one would speak to an infant, and the girl runs runs runs runs away.
She sits down and cries after what seems like miles, and she isn’t the chosen one, just the problem child.