The Queen was troubled. Dressed in her shimmering silver finery, she wore a frown and furrowed brows, long fingernails tapping an impatient tattoo on the arm of her extravagant throne. Her messenger was late.
She knew that he bore important, urgent news, but his journey had taken far longer than she had expected. She feared the worst, knowing that many of her enemies lurked in the villages and woodlands on the fringes of her kingdom. If they had recognised him, they would have killed him for sure.
A squawk woke her from her reverie, and the Queen sighed deeply at the sight of her raven swooping through the grand palace doors. He alighted daintily on her crystal sceptre, ruffling his wings and cocking his head, beady black eyes fixed on the piercing blue irises of his mistress.
“So?” she breathed.
The raven cawed and crowed a succinct response. The Queen’s stony expression burned with fiery anger before melting into a smug smile. The pretender she sought was still alive, but the raven had discovered her carefully concealed hiding place whilst remaining himself undetected. It was now up to the Queen to put an end to the furtive uprising amongst her disloyal subjects, to succeed where her guards and armies had failed.
She waved a bejewelled hand over the raven perched on her sceptre, and in an instant the bird shrunk, metalized into a dark silver brooch that the Queen pinned to her gown’s lapel. She rose from the throne and swept to her chambers, briefly catching her reflection in the bedroom mirror. Her flawless skin and gleaming coal-black hair professed her unparalleled beauty; but the silver crown resting upon her head had never looked so precarious. It was time for action. The Queen swiftly approached the small yet ornate wooden chest on her dresser, inserting her raven brooch into the matching keyhole. The box clicked open, revealing a miniature silver crossbow bearing an arrowhead in the shape of a raven’s beak. She knew that the dark enchantments placed upon the arrow would see it fly true, unstoppable. She needed only to get close enough to her quarry.
If all went to plan, before the end of the night, her late husband’s illegitimate daughter would never again see the light of day.
Bloodlust on her mind, the Queen wrapped herself in a black feathered cloak and hurried out into the winter night.
Emma H, age 26, 18/07/2017
Today’s story comes courtesy of Sue Vincent’s #writephoto – Messenger photo prompt; click the link below if you want to get involved! Thank you Sue for another imagination-piquing picture.
My story nods towards the fairy-tales of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty whilst focusing on the POV of the evil queen/enchantress figure. I hope you enjoyed! 🙂