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   Chapter 17 No.17

The WeatherMaker - Prince of Light By Lady Lilium Characters: 5041

Updated: 2018-07-10 12:02


She was huffing and puffing by the time she at last reached her room several floors above. She opened the door, standing in the doorway hesitant for a moment as she saw her handmaiden waiting obediently for her, head bowed and hands together before her. The fire in her room was already lit and the room had been tidied. Everything that had been broken inside it had either been fixed or replaced altogether.

Although she kept it hidden, Miranda was prone to episodes of uncontrollable anger. She never hurt anyone other than herself; she had never laid a hand on her handmaiden, though she had every right. And if it wasn't uncontrollable anger she suffered, it was profound misery and despair.

That is why she cut herself.

On more than one occasion, and more often in recent days, Miranda would be reduced to a bawling wreck curled up on the floor. Her handmaiden would hold her and try her best to comfort her. For what little good her efforts were.

'Are you alright Clara?' Miranda asked her handmaiden offhandedly.

'Yes my mistress' Clara bowed obediently.

'Look at me when you're talking to me' Miranda sighed wearily, stepping into the room and letting the door swing shut behind her. 'Gods above, some might think I beat you' she huffed, throwing her wig and gloves upon the dresser and slumping back in the chair.

'I'm sorry your majesty…' Clara began meeting her gaze now, 'but I have some news you're not going to like.'

'Out with it then' Miranda droned.

'The council are holding a meeting now in the palace. They are waiting for your arrival to begin.'

'Here?' Miranda asked. 'In the palace?'

'Yes. They came to your room to find you. I've been here the whole time…so…I spoke to them in your stead.'

'I thought they were supposed to hold their meetings in the council office where they belong' Miranda grumbled.

'They say they need to be closer to the palace now that the king is dead' Clara replied meekly.

Miranda's eye twitched in annoyance at that.

'Tell me' the queen said to her handmaiden, 'is it in my right to have them all hanged?'

'I'm afraid not. There are too many among them who are powerful, rich…have the support of the people. If something were to happen…well…' she shrugged. 'They would know it was you. You'd be hanged for sure, and they wouldn't waste their time about it. I doubt you would even get a trial, and the people wouldn't support you. Not without their king to back you up.'

'Is that all it boils down to?' Miranda tilted her

head, staring at her own reflection in the mirror upon the dresser. 'Without my husband I am nothing? Hu.' She clicked her fingers at Clara. 'Get me a drink.'

Clara hurried off, returning seconds later with a bottle of whisky.

'Do you think they would really hang me if I tried to kill any of them?' Miranda asked her handmaiden carelessly, unscrewing the bottle.

'It's almost a certainty' Clara replied. '…Sorry…'

'Maybe it wouldn't be so bad' Miranda said, lifting the bottle to her lips and drinking deeply.

'You shouldn't say things like that' Clara spoke softly.

'Why? It's how I feel.'

'But what about your sons?'

'What about them?' Miranda asked, leaning further back in her chair and resting her feet upon the dresser before her in a very unladylike fashion.

'Well…don't you love them at all?'

Miranda's eyes grew distant, as she allowed her vision to slip out of focus.

'I feel nothing for them' she answered after a time. 'They are good boys…but…' she lowered her head, resting the bottle on her lap. 'I never wanted them in the first place…'

A heavy silence fell between them. The only sound that could be heard was the crackle of the fire in the hearth.

It was warm in the room, there were no windows here; too much draft came into the rooms from them. Miranda remembered her old room before she moved to this one, the room she shared with her husband before he got sick. It was a large room, empty and cold. Miranda would often wake several times in the night because of a terrible chill that ran though her body. Any other couple would have snuggled together. But Miranda felt no love for her husband. She never had, not ever.

'It's horrible being queen' Miranda said to Clara after a time. She laughed suddenly, turning her eyes onto Clara. 'Do you know what I would give to switch places with you? I would give my own children if I could, and more. I would give the palace itself if it belonged to me.'

Clara only watched her silently as she spoke, her eyes wide.

'You're so beautiful' Miranda said suddenly to her handmaiden leaning towards her, taking in every feature. 'Tell me, have you ever been with a man?'

Clara blushed furiously at this.

'I…' she began. 'I mean…yes…once…'

'Did you like it?'

'What?'

'You heard me' Miranda replied shortly. 'Who was he? Or gods forbid she?'

Clara blushed further at this.

'I'm going to assume it was a he' Miranda continued, sitting back in her chair. 'Was he good? Did he make you happy?'

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