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Shadows, Lies and the Twisted Truth

Shadows, Lies and the Twisted Truth
Chloe Pick

The Queen walked through her court. The night was lit by lanterns hanging from the crumbling stone arches. Courtiers and servants bowed as she walked past them. Her guards held swords ripped from museums and forged from spray-painted metal. They were those who had been first to respond.

Everyone in that castle had been ready when society had collapsed, when riots broke out in the street. This court was full of executioners, spies and soldiers. And with every scar that they wore as a trophy, they now served their queen. She was the face of their new hopes. She was the new world. And was willing to slaughter anyone who stood in her way.

As she took to her throne, she looked over her court, her army, and realised that they could stab her in the back at any moment. The breath that caught in her throat with that realisation was her sole sign of vulnerability. It cut through deafening silence of that court watching her, waiting for a mistake they could use to climb into a better position.

She was going to rule with a thousand gunshots. She could never trust anyone, could never share her power with anyone. Fear would be her greatest ally. Fear would whisper words of doubt in her people’s ears. Fear of what she could be capable of. Fear of the woman in the stories passed around the fire, of the ghost stories late at night. Fear of all that pain she could unleash upon the world. And she would stand strong, fearful of someone seeing through the façade of those lies.

The lies that no one could share the truth of. Where the bodies were hidden. Who had received the bribes.

The queen of shadows, lies and the twisted truth would run the world from the ruins of all she had destroyed. She would lead a world where she was invulnerable.