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Title: I am queen of all my sins forgotten
Original, PG, character death
800 words; title from Anne Sexton
Prompt: Fairy tale, the King and his Daughter, It will scare you to your very soul. Angel Heart


Oh, Papa, she thought, you have no idea what you wished for.

.

Once upon a time, there was a princess. She was as pale as snow, as red as blood, as dark as a moonless night. She was a good girl. Always had a smile for the servants, a kind word for the knights, a wave to the commoners as her carriage drove past.

Once upon a time, there was a sorceress. She, too, was pale, was red, was dark. She, too, had a smile for the servants, words for the knights, a flick of the wrist for the commoners.

You don't think I'm talking about different people, do you? Oh, you poor dear.

.

The queen died in childbirth, after a hard pregnancy. Truthfully, though the healer would never say it, she should not have carried a child. What will be will be, the seer murmured, fingers trailing through the water. What will be…

.

The king named her after her mother: Marguerite. He called her Margery.

The seer whispered, Beware the name of the dead; the king did not listen. Of course he didn’t.

Do kings ever listen?

.

Margery was a delightful child. She learned everything a princess should know, ever smiling. She visited the cooks whenever she had a moment, spent a stolen afternoon here and there with the hedgewitch, bowed to the priest’s god when brought to the chapel. She could recite all the saints and throw together a charm to ward off pregnancy before her twelfth summer.

No matter how much time she spent in the sun, her skin never darkened. Though she never painted her lips, they were always ruby. And her hair glinted ebony when any light shone on it. She was a beautiful girl and the king knew she’d be more beautiful still with every passing year.

The king loved his daughter; he married her mother for love. He wanted her to feel the joy he felt the first time he ever saw the queen.

A proclamation was sent throughout the continent and all the eligible sons flocked to their halls.

The king, of course, did not ask his daughter if she wanted to marry. It was her duty and so she would.

.

His name was Cole. He was the younger prince of the great southern isle. He was a good man; he would be a decent Prince Consort, when she ascended the throne. He would never be king, not of her realm.

He was a good man, with one great fault: he accepted things at face value. He would be a good figurehead, one of his friends thought, the overlooked son of a duke. Cole would be a good figurehead, indeed, after his wife the queen died in childbirth and it would be a long eighteen years before the child could inherit the throne.

.

Margery did not love Cole. But she had a duty to the realm.

When she survived the childbirth, the duke’s son tried something else.

.

The poison was drunk by the wrong person and the only child of Queen Marguerite fell down dead.

.

Once upon a time, there was a princess. She was a lovely girl and grew into a lovelier woman. She was fair and she was just and she kept a calm head no matter what befell her. Her father the king died just before her twentieth year, a month after her wedding; it was a terrible accident, when the king’s horse stumbled and the king landed on the stump. (It was planned by a greedy man.) But the king’s daughter, though she cried silently through the funeral procession and the coronation, never made a sound save when she swore to uphold the oaths of her bloodline and serve her realm.

She gave birth to a daughter; the daughter died before her fourth birthday. She miscarried what the seer said would be a son.

Through it all, though she cried, she never made a sound.

But then – the priest could not help her, so she found a witch.

.

You have the potential, Majesty, the witch said. But once you learn, you can never unknow.

Queen Marguerite did not hesitate.

.

The duke’s greedy son had an accident. So did the prince consort. So did all of the courtiers from the great southern isle.

The world is a dangerous place, my dear.

.

Queen Marguerite’s hair is as dark as midnight, her lips red as blood, her skin pale as bone. Where there was once laughter in her heart, there is now only sorrow.

Look into the mirror, child. What do you see? You see a princess, do you not? Of course you do.

Once upon a time, so did she.

.

Oh, Papa, she thought, standing at his grave, apple in hand. Why did you give me the name of the dead?




Title: the hour of the ghost
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters (except for Kat); title from Anne Sexton
Warnings: post-WS
Pairings: Steve/OFC, Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 390
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, I woke up next to him/her wishing they were you



“Her name's Kat, she's really nice,” Natasha said, “really big history buff. Give her a call. You're so lonely, Steve.”

Three months into the search for Bucky, taking a week off to decompress, try to relearn to breathe, sleeping for fourteen hours at a time in Sam's guest bed.

“Have you actually done any living since you woke up?” Natasha said. “It's not healthy, all work and no play. I know.”

Her name's Kat. She's got unnaturally blonde hair, green eyes, a tattoo on her shoulder that peeks from under her dress. Natasha bought them tickets to a ballet, and Steve takes Kat to a nice place after, and they talk about -- well, history, for her. Three years ago for him.

It's so bizarre.

She can’t talk about how she knows Natasha, and Steve doesn’t mention any of – well, anything he’s done since he woke up, except the day-to-day stuff. The museums he’s visited, the sight-seeing he’s done to relearn a city he once knew.

Kat’s really nice, Natasha was right about that. He walks her to her door and she invites him in.

He’s so tired. He’s so lonely. It’s been four years since he touched anyone intimately, so he lets Kat push him onto the bed and tries to turn off everything but pleasure.

He wakes up the next morning to Kat climbing out of the bed and has to close his eyes to keep the tears from falling.

Steve knows he won’t be able to do this again, no matter how lonely it gets.

He gets dressed, thanks Kat for the good time, and goes back to Sam’s house, where he showers till the hot water runs out, and then stands in the cold, shivering as he ignores his memories of the ice.

“So?” Natasha asks when she calls later that day. “How’d it go?”

“Fine,” he says. “But I’m not going out again.”

Four years ago, he woke next to Bucky, curled up with him to stave off the cold. They were on the way to capture Zola.

“We’ve been resting long enough,” he says to Natasha as Sam walks in the door. “We’re getting back to work tomorrow.”

Natasha sighs, “Aye aye, Captain,” and Sam nods.

That night, he dreams of Bucky in their old apartment, flipping through Steve’s sketchbook, grinning at him, bright as anything.




Title: shadowborn
Fandom: Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: none
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 100
Prompt: any, any, A fool can be crowned a King


Only fools want to wear the crown and sit on the throne. Methos has ruled more nations than any other, and he has sat on the throne and been put into history a mere once -- and died when revolution came. He learned.

True power is being behind the throne, whispering into the ear of royalty and commoner alike, sowing seeds and reaping what grows.

No, only fools want the people to see them, to bow at their feet, to cower and worship and rise.

History, after all, is the killing of kings. Who knows that better than the record keeper?




Title: shadows eternal
Original/mythology
Gen, PG, 195 words
Prompt: Any, any, queen of the damned


Once, she had been loved. She was given offerings of fruit and flowers, of songs and music, of dancing. Once, they sacrificed to her those with the greatest potential and her people grew ever more powerful, in the dark.

But then a new god came to their shores, blown in by a warm westward wind.

Why worship the dark when there is light blooming? Why indeed.

But she is not jealous. She does not mourn. When the light fades, the dark still waits, patient. Eternal. For every dawn, there is a dusk – and for every dusk, a dawn.

The new god is greedy. So very young. He burns brightly… and his fire consumes nations, slavers over bloodlines, burns until there is nothing left. And then he moves on, converting the next and the next and the next.

The ground is still fertile. She comes in the night to run her fingers through the ashes; there is still life in the dirt. It needs but a song to begin anew.

Once, they worshipped her with songs. The new god has no time for music.

She is patient. What burns brightly eventually fades away. The shadows always wait.




Title: I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: post-Winter Soldier; talk of torture/violence
Pairings: gen with Steve/Bucky leanings
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 215
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, "The Road Not Taken" -Robert Frost


“Where to next?” Steve asks, opening the map. Bucky’s slouched on the other side of the booth, in a hoodie and gloves, one hand still wrapped around his soda even though it’s mostly just melting ice, now.

“I’ve never been to Australia,” he says, voice softer than it ever was in their first life. There’s a hesitance to him, now, like he’s never sure of what he’s saying or why.

“Me either,” Steve tells him, tucking the map away.

Somewhere new. Somewhere with no blood, no footprints, no echoes in both their minds.

The waitress bustles back with refills and their lunch; Steve thanks her while Bucky looks down at his hands.

Steve wants vengeance, he really does. He wants to look every scientist in the eye, wants to make them burn and hurt and bleed until there’s nothing left but a sack of flesh, and then he wants to go after the politicians, the guards, the agents on the ground – he wants Hydra dead in the dust, and then he wants to grind the bones into powder and salt the earth.

But more than that, he wants Bucky to live.

Bucky eats slowly, savoring each bite. Steve asks him, “What do you know about Australia?”

Bucky smiles at him and says, “You know what a platypus is?”

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
maldeluxx
Jul. 26th, 2014 12:26 pm (UTC)
The princess story was so eerie and chilling, and I loved that :)

I could see Steve being polite and trying, but I think being with Bucky is better, at least here. And Australia sounds good ...and New Zealand is just nearby ;)

I agree with Methos, that it's often much easier to have power by being behind things than being just seen *nods*
tigriswolf
Jul. 27th, 2014 01:45 am (UTC)

Thank you so much!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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tigriswolf
questioning in order to create

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