Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Weight of Her Crown

She slouched in her throne, bored. It had been ten years since she returned from the mortal world, to take her place as Warrior Queen. Her mother had vanished battling demons from the 16th Hell, and it was believed she would not come back, or if she did, she would be damned and unfit to rule. Either way, her daughter had been recalled from her mission to the mortal world and placed upon the throne.

And that is where she sat, every day. At first, she tried running drills with the Valkyrie troops, but her generals were more than capable of that, and had begun to resent her interference. She kept herself busy touring her realm for a while. She hiked the Impenetrable Forest, climbed the Infinite Mountains and flew through the Deserts of Fire. She visited the farms, the libraries and the breeding caves. There were no men in her realm, so they replenished their number using a complex method of cloning.

She sighed. No men. She'd grown accustomed to them during her stay in the mortal world, particularly those men who'd been her comrades. Strong men. Flying men. Men who ran faster than light, wore magic rings or had made themselves superior to mortals through science. She knew them all, and had come to admire them, even desire them.

Well, one of them at least. He too had come from another world, though he'd been raised among them. He was the greatest of her costumed brethren, known and beloved throughout the world. She closed her eyes, remembering the way the fabric of his costume stretched over his great barrel chest, the way his cape fell across his broad shoulders, his easy smile and his bright beautiful blue eyes. She inhaled through her nose, remembering the smell of him after a battle, and smiled. She remembered one night, long ago, after a mission with their comrades in space. They'd been separated from the others, marooned on a lonely asteroid. It had been cold that night, even for such as they. He offered her his cape, and she offered to share. Their lips had come close, it had nearly happened...

But no. He'd been in love with another. A mortal woman. She clenched her fist and grit her teeth to think of it. Frail mortal thing, she thought. Too weak to bear his child, or even the fullness of his passion. In an unguarded moment, he had told her how difficult and restrained their lovemaking would be, as he could never lose himself completely in the moment. He was so cautious around mortals, so concerned he might hurt them. His woman most of all.

She closed her eyes, leaning back against the throne. Her body ached with desire and longing. As Queen, she could take any woman to her bed that she wished, and indeed, had spent many nights in the arms of Persephone, her handmaiden. But there was something... lacking. The others did not feel this lack, and there was a time when she had not either. Until the mortal world, with its strong, hard and virile men. Until... him.


The voice of her handmaiden roused her from her reverie. "Yes, Persephone?"

"Are you well, Majesty?" Concern was evident in the young woman's voice. "You seem... distraught."

"No, Persephone," she said. "Merely lost in thought."


A silence fell between them.

"Was there something else, Persephone?"

The girl blushed, bowing her head. "No, Majesty. It is just..." She bit her lip. "It... has been long since you warmed my bed, and the nights have been... cold." Persephone looked up at her Queen, hope brimming in her eyes.

"I am sorry, Persephone," she said gently, "I have been distracted of late."

"If you find me inadequate in some way..."

"No dearest," she hastened to assure the girl. "No. The fault is not yours. It lies with me. There is one that I long for, but am divided from forever, and I..."

A thought struck her then. Why should she be? Magic had always been a weakness of his, and a strength of hers. It would be child's play to bind his heart to her. She was no longer part of the mortal world, no longer lived by their laws, their codes of conduct.

She stood, belting on her great two-handed broadsword. She should have done this long ago. "Summon my generals, and tell them to assemble a raiding party."

"A raiding party, Majesty?"

"Yes. We travel to the mortal world." She smiled, fire blazing in her eyes.

"They have something I want."


akropp said...


yo, i dig your stories man. keep it up.

rAsp said...

Good one!

Awesome stories all.

Perhaps you'll need to create another collection (in addition to "Robots & Psychopaths"). Maybe something like "Homemade Religions & Other Fantasies"

Lisa said...

another home run!

although...I don't see this one ending well, as forcing someone to love you never really works...

Hope-So said...

Will there be more added to this one? I was totally sucked in...

Kat said...

I love it!

Chris said...

Thanks all! I was pretty happy with this one too.

Hope, I think I will write a follow up to this one (a first here at SF), though it will be from a different perspective.

akropp and rasp... welcome and thanks for the kind words!

Chris said...

Oh, and that's an excellent idea, rasp! I love that title!