She wakes, from a sweet dreamed sleep of wretched plans coming to their fruitful conclusion, to the sound of her hand maiden placing a goblet full of sweet, red morning wine and a steaming bowl of breakfast meal on her night stand.
"Come, Ms. Dayra, eat and drink and break your fast, for today you meet your suitors, and possibly, god and goddess be merciful, your new husband and king. So get up off your lazy posterior, your public awaits your arrival with heavy heads and hearts."
"I'm sure they do. But I'll move at my own accord, and of my own personal pace. I will soon be your queen and ruler. I will make the laws and pay your wages."
"Thankfully, this shall never be true, for I am leaving this black and cursed kingdom in a fortnight, so your whining does naught to me. I just hope my talisman protects me from any hex you may cast upon my unwilling head."
"Wait until tonight you frightened rat of a woman. No talisman can guard you against my power." Dayra whispers under her breath a short incantation to prevent her deathly-frightened maid from running before her real fun begins.
SheDayra eats and drinks slowly, removes her sleeping wear and puts on her fine, blood-red silk robes, and, in a sloth-like fashion to, leaveing time for thought, makes her way through the dark and drafty halls, down the cracking staircases, and into the once splendid meeting hall. No matter how hard the servants scrubbed, the original shine of the jewel- incrusted ornaments decorating the room would not return, nor would the glint of the golden throwns and wall framing. Few felt at ease in this lack- luster room but Dayra and her male servant Contivold, whom she had found in the forest surrounding the burning kingdom of Protigia after she defeated them. He was in the form of a donkeyHis form was that of a donkey, but even a spell to change the shape of a being cannot change the spirit that it possesses, and his was still human. She felt this right away, and felt he was a cruel hearted thing, but chained him up before the transformation any ways. After the interrogation she put him through was finished, she brought him to Frost, unlocked the chains, undid the knots, returned him to his former self, and appointed him her personal she felt a human presence in the inane beast, and He helped her kill the meek, worthless father she never wanted, and to befall her mother to a deadly disease that would kill her only when Dayra thought fit., whichWhen you ask? would Onlybe after she gave up the thrown early to her only daughter, of course,. for Dayra could not rightfully claim the thrown unless her mother agreed to it. SheQueen Fresia, her mom, was to tell no one of this, or Dayra would keep her barely alive, mute and motionless except for the sound of her breath and the rise and fall of her chest. She'd be moved back and forth from across from Dayra's bed, so she could watch all her sexual exploitations, to the upper balconies of the meeting hall so she could watch her ruin the kingdom that took so long to build into it's greatness fall into it's own destruction. Such threats of torture kept her mouth shut. Her eyes were constantly weeping at night, thinking of how she could have gone wrong. Knowing of this, her handmaids said nothing, for they feared Dayra was behind it, and had no courage at all to risk themselves for their kingdom. Queen Fresia (her mom) taught Dayra all she knew, and taught her how to use it for good. "Walking down the trail of white magick, you will find it very arduous, and excrutiatinglyexcruciatingly long. Walking down the trail of black magick, you will find it brief and gentle." She had said. "I have chosen the white path, and my journey has not yet ended, but when I reach it, my goal will be ever so much more enjoyed then if I had chosen the black path. On your journey, keep in mind the rule of three, and that black magick will always come back to haunt you. The side affects will be worse then what the original spell cast did." Dayra has very little patience, and only listened to a short excerpt of that speech, the first part about how long the white path is, and how short the black path is. If she had listened to the warning, perhaps Frost would still be a lovely and enjoyable place to live.
Reaching the meeting hall, she sees heavy heads seated atop of the shoulders of people with equally as heavy hearts. She happily seats her dainty rear-end on her well cushioned, black velvet and gold thrown. Her mother sits in a wobbly old wooden chair on the other side of the king's thrown. Contivold, as always, stands straight as a board next to Dayra and leaves the king's thrown empty.
"Knights, nobles, and upper-class of Frost, I welcome you." Those frosty lips curl into her trademark smirk "As you know, I am searching for a man to be king and husband to me. A man to share my bed and impregnate me with a child. This man will not be judged on the content of their character, or the store of knowledge that may or may not fill their brain. No, none of this will matter. What will matter is if he has a handsome face, and if he can look those eyes of his into mine without flinching. I'm sure there's someone out there up to the challenge. Any takers? I see you all shy away. Why? Am I grotesque? Do I have warts? What? What is it?" She knows very well why they turn their heads, but teasing the frightened has always been one of her favorite hobbies. Alas, Dayra begins to turn around and head back to her chambers, but catches a glimpse of a picturesque young man walking boldly through the middle of the crowd, creating a large part, for the people of Frost discourage new people, especially ones with a frightening aura such as his. His hair was as black as his heart; his face is demonic, yet handsome. His deep-set, jade-green eyes could pierce the most valiant of hearts. His attire was ripped to shreds, as if he has been in a melee.
"I am Sir Charles, a noble man of Protigia, the kingdom you destroyed. From when I first set eyes on you I knew I must have you. That you were the only one on earth whose heart is as black as my own. Take my hand in marriage so we can bestow our wrath on the meek, and defeat the world."
She is too aghast to speak. Dayra, the one who has incited fear into the hearts of thousands, is to shocked to speak!
As soon as she regains her dreadful poise, Dayra responds in as curt a matter as she was addressed in. "Are you always so blunt? You are handsome, well built, and sinister. What else could I want in a man? We shall be married tomorrow evening. You may stay in the vacant room in the west wing; my servant Contivold will show you the way." A glimmer of spite for his master and this new comer flickers in Contivold's eyes, but is quickly gone after he is frightened to the core by Dayra's glare. "An outfit will be provided for the wedding, suiting your measurements, if you are so willing to be measured tonight." She starts up again "Otherwise, get settled in, put away whatever stuff you may have, clean yourself, and meet me for supper. For the rest of you" Dayra looks to the crowd of people in front of her "You shall all witness the wedding. I want you here tomorrow evening, in your finest clothing. Any one who does not attend will be hung, decapitated, or poisoned. Is that clear?You may leave nowBe away with you, I'm growing nauseous from your sight"
"I love the way you thinkI knew I'd meet my match one day." Sir Charles boldly states as he watches his soon to be bride storm down the hallway to her room. He is in love, in a foul, sinister love.

"A man could go blind staring at a women's backside for to long, especially that one. Come with me, I will show you to your temporary quarters, for I guess after the wedding tomorrow you will want to share her bed, since you so fervently lust for her." A hint of jealousy stung in Contivold's words. He had never found a true partner, although this was the second time he has been in love. "A handsome young man has yet again fouled my plans. Shall I sit quietly and watch it happen? I didn't last time, and I was put into the shape of a jackass. How humiliating that was, pretending to be in love with a female donkey so I would not be killed. Sit and suffer, or struggle and die knowing I tried? Should I risk being shaped into another wild beast? But that was against a weaker adversary. I would be tortured for my troubles. I think it best if I let them be." whispers of his secret contemplation escape his lips as he leads Sir Charles through the drafty corridors. Thankfully, his voice is barely audible, and Sir Charles hears nothing of them.
The crowd disperses through the exits. Dayra orderssends her mother to a lower, long unused chamber of the castle, and locks her in a room, that is never opened again. Two hand maidens stand guard: one who has been in the kingdom of Frost since birth, one who newly arrived. The wedding goes off without a hitch, and with only two missing, a mother and child. They try to flee in vain. The mother is hung in the gallows, the baby is poisoned. The rest of the population of Frost is enslaved (including her Dayra's handmaiden), and the knights become Dayra's amoral army.

And so the story begins

For: Crynom; Kingdom of Htrae

Tina Corbaley
English 1st