Wonderland No More: The Teacup Conspiracy
The Queen of Hearts
She doesn’t look like the pictures in that book.
Perhaps she did at one time. Perhaps she broke out of that body like a butterfly tearing itself free from a chrysalis.
Or a snake cracking out of an egg.
She is tall. She is beautiful, and she is awful.
She is a queen, her hair black and lustrous, her lips sparkling red as pigeon’s blood, her crown flashing with rubies.
Few see her nowadays, except from a distance.
Pray you only see her from a distance.
No one’s quite certain at what point things changed.
“Off with his head!” Had always been her favorite phrase, throwing out capital punishment like rice at a wedding. But the king had always been there to pardon the condemned, to give them a little pep talk and send them on their way.
No one’s sure what happened, really. Slowly the land grew darker. The prisons filled, and the list of crimes grew. Card soldiers were more numerous, and the City of Hope, at the foothills of the Castle of Hearts, became dangerous. By the time the executions started, there was no one who would dare raise an objection.
Particularly after what she did to the king.