“You look so pretty Empress Garnet.” They always tell me that as they apply my makeup and change me into clothes my husband picked out for me. They never though talk about my eyepatch. The makeup is so heavy and too much and my hair looks ridiculous. The clothes are always something that’s to flashy and too hard to walk in. They all follow his orders except one.
When all the servants walk out my “tea servant” stays back. She laughs at me and so do I. She helps me undress and takes off my makeup. Redoing my hair to come out with one pin. I apply lighter makeup that can come off in a second with one wipe of a towel. The servant gives me back the dark red and white dress now with layers cut off. She replaces the heavy jewelry with jewelry made to look like it but it’s all fake.
“Garnet you look much better now.”
“Of course but I‘m worried Splatter if they’re involving all the kingdoms then how will the other kingdoms look the now weak and fragile Empress.” I look at myself in the mirror. I've grown humble in my eyes but deep inside the monster roams ready to break free.
“But you’re not weak or fragile.”
“Of course we know that and so did my husband that’s why he always tries to control me. I think he thinks I’m not like how I used to be but he’s very far from the truth.”
“Don’t worry Garnet one day you’ll be able to show all the kingdoms that you’re the same.”
“Do you think the Free Kingdom will be there?” I ask looking at my eye patch in the mirror.
“Maybe but they don’t consider themselves a kingdom. Do you know what you’re husband is going to be wearing?”
“Of course I do. The royal yukata with the dragon made from blood thread and yet I have to wear this uncomfortable dress.”
The Roots Kingdom
“Yes.” I look at my brother. He usually never calls me that when we’re alone. My brother actually usually never talks. He just sits in a room most of the time hunched over a table.
I don't know why he does this but he just does. He's been like this for a year. I miss my loud brother who had a fun time running the kingdom now I do a lot of the work because he's always pushing it off.
“Sister we have to wear proper clothes when we go to the surface as it will not be as hot as it is down here.”
“Ah yes I was going to discuss that with you. I had the servants pack our bags and pick out our clothes. The clothes are in your room.”
“Thank you for telling me.” He gets up and goes to his room.
He never says thank you. Nor start conversations. What's gotten into him? Maybe he'll talk since he's being more open.
The Monster Kingdom
I sit on the table tweaking my device to make it smaller and more efficient.
I'm so focused that when I hear the door slam close I jump in my seat. I look behind me and see Lavender stands at the door way.
“A letter arrived for you today. You get these a lot. If you don't mind me asking who is it from?”
“The person I love with all my heart.” Kitty says as she takes the letter from Lavander.
“I didn't know you had a lover. Well anyway I are you getting ready to go?”
“Yes I'm just working on my machine.”
“It looks like it got smaller.”
“Smaller but better. It works two times better than before and is now half as light.” Kitty picks up the device and starts to fiddle with it once again. “When Master Widow sees the outcome she'll be very pleased with my work.”
“I bet she will.” Lavender smiles at Kitty softly.
Impressing Widow is not an easy task.
The Free Kingdom
We arrive at the meeting location. It's where all the kingdoms meet and is owned by nobody.
I look over at Leilah she's covered in scratches she always fights to hard. Looking over at Mic he looks calm. He's always calm but I'm a ball of nerves right now.
What if they don't give us the kids back and more importantly but I don't like thinking about it what would we do if Leilah dies?
We sit in the trees waiting for others to join and they do. Slowly they all come to the center. The Blood Kingdom first. The Roots Kingdom second and finally the Monster Kingdom of course fashionably late.
Then they appear. There are three of them, they are all about the same height and wear dark black coats over their bodies. The one who stands in the very front speaks.
“Welcome to the our little game called Run the World. Who will run the world at the end of this game? We’ll see.” They say and walk into an arena. “Follow us.” The leader of the group says.
The three groups walk into the large arena area and Leilah jumps down from the tree.
“Come on we must follow.”
We jump down and follow after her.
“Free goes from the North, Monster from the South, Roots from the East and Blood from the West.”
We go into the different sections. It’s a big dome. When we all get inside the doors close. Leilah doesn’t question it but the Blood Emperor does.
“What is the meaning of this?”
“You thought you would be sacrificing one person, well we lied. All of you are going to be fighting. Think of it like this three lives. Once there is one winner the games will be over, Then the winner can leave and claim the world as their own.”
Leilah looks to us. “Kit, Mic are you willing to risk your life with me.”
“Of course.” Mic says and I nod my head in agreement. To die for our village would be our greatest achievement.
We step up to the pedestal in front of us and take the cloth that lays on top. It’s white. We tie them to our wrist.
I look around as the Blood Kingdom picks up dark red cloth. Monster Kingdom picks up purple. The Root Kingdom picks up brown.
Are they doing a color thing? The Free Kingdom loves color and everything has a meaning to it.
Brown is the start to life and means growth. It's basically home roots.
Dark red is danger and war. Though of course it means blood and love.
Purple is royalty, wisdom and magic.
White is innocence. Is a pure color but it can easily be stained.
I get it. Each color is supposed to not represent the kingdom but rather what the most powerful person must do to unlock their powers.
The person in the Root Kingdom has to go to there roots and come face to face with their family.
The person in Blood Kingdom must spill their or others blood to unleash the war in their mind. Love hangs in the balance though.
The person in the Monster Kingdom must face that they aren’t everything. They have to be wiser and unleash a power they kept secret.
The person in Free Kingdom must soil their soul. They must break it and stain it black.
Though the question is who. Who's the one out of the three that will be left standing. Of course this ribbon is for one person. They already thought of who they would like to win. That's why they wear black. They are the creators of pain and sin. Their souls are black and can’t be cleaned.
The monsters won’t even come near this dome. I can’t feel them. Usually they come at night but you can still sense them. I can’t sense anything.
“Let the games begin.” The voice booms in the dome.
A door on the floor opens with a set of clicks and then air releases violently. Leilah goes first then Mic follows shortly after. I turn back to look at the dome before stepping down.
Who runs the world?