December 30, 2013
Hearts -Tuesday the seventh of January-the Queen's Palace- 20 years of Silence

“Bring her to me. I will see for myself if she is really a Speaker or not.”
I watched as Her Majesty, the Queen Marie, motioned to the guards who had just described to the Queen and all of her royal court about the girl that they had brought to The Queen's dungeons earlier that morning, complete with derogatory hand motions saying how worthless and horrible her existence was. Their jurisdiction stated that the girl was a Speaker- one of us who had escaped the treatment that took all of our voices away at birth.

I almost felt pity for the girl. The Queen could be merciless to those who had angered her.

A few minutes later the guards dragged in a small girl, probably around the age of fifteen who looked more like she had been in Her Majesty's dungeons for months instead of a few measly hours.

The girl had bruises all along her face, legs, and arms- a sign of a struggle when they guards had captured her- and she had scrapes across her knees from when the guards had dragged her along the cobblestone floors of the palace.

The guards dumped her on the ground before The Queen, forcing the girl into a kneeling position of respect to the Queen.

The girl whimpered softly, but that didn't mean anything here. Everyone could make small noises like hums, whimpers, and sighs, but no one could speak.
“Speak” Queen Marie mimed. Her blond wig bouncing, threatening to topple over. Her maids had piled it all in a large cone shape on the top of her head, it spiraled up a good foot before they had stopped.

The girl looked up from her position on the floor. She looked scared and lonely- innocent almost.
Her mouth parted as if to speak, but it couldn't be possible. Not in this world. Not at this time.

“She is looking for you.”
I had no doubt that when the young girl's voice rasped out of her tiny throat, every person in this courtroom jumped in surprise. It had been twenty years since anyone had spoken in the Palace of Hearts.

The girl stared at Her Majesty with big, dark brown eyes as if Her Majesty had just murdered a puppy. I faintly saw a flash of pity swarm the girl’s gaze as well. Her dark brown hair was tangled and pooled on the floor next to her knees.

Her Majesty stared at the girl with pure horror. An expression I had never seen appear on The Queen’s face before, even during my ten years of servitude as her squire.

I had to wonder who this “she” was that had angered her Majesty so much.

“Kill her.” The words were mimed in a vicious, shaking movement of the queen's hands, which was barely noticed over the startled hum of the room that emanated the rest of the Queen’s court.

Within seconds Her Majesty's guards were advancing toward the girl, and with one quick swipe of a sword, her head was rolling on the floor.

And the room went silent.

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