It was sudden, of course, as are all major detours on life’s roads. One day, I was presenting flowers to winners of small town beauty contests and posing with over-large scissors to cut ribbons on openings of new chain stores in other small towns. The next day, I was sporting a crown and purple robe. My beloved older brother, dear Henry, had fallen to his death from the castle’s highest tower.
“Fallen,” everyone asked? And when I say “everyone,” I mean every citizen of the realm. I knew of the talk, of course, the wisps of accusations muttered by the uneducated, the great unwashed. But I was nowhere near the castle that day. I was, in fact, at the celebration of the opening of the latest Starbucks. Who could have imagined that I was becoming the head of state, at the exact moment that I was sipping a Tall Double Latte , whipped and with a splash of chocolate flakes?
The photographer marked the moment, snapping a perfect shot of me with the slight moustache. It was that picture which was flashed all over the world, again and again. And it will be that photograph, not the one of the next day, that would become my hallmark. The Whipped Cream Queen I would be dubbed. Some would just call me Dairy Queen. Silly, really. Trite. Perfectly unbecoming the new Queen of the World.
I knew the basics, of course. The five Cambridges had been trained well, as a set, really, on what to expect if the world were suddenly, truly, our oyster. What I didn’t know was the nitty-gritty. Having thought my role before was laden with tedium, I was shocked at the level of bureaucracy I now had to face, day in and day out. So many things to worry about.
What could I possibly do first? I thought of the only one I truly trusted, the only oracle I ever consulted, the only one I ever conspired with. My first decision? One that should have been so difficult to make? It was surprisingly easy. I ordered his death, of course. He went willingly, accepting with great courage the label he would wear eternally: Henry’s murderer. Not once did he implicate me. He protected me until the bitter end. He truly was less of a Killer of Kings. He was more a Maker of Queens.
[A 10-minute writing exercise for this week’s Sunday Scribblings prompt. Pondering the prompt, I knew there were too many things I would want to do first. I knew I would never be able to choose just one. This exercise will have to do. It truly serves the purpose of convincing me that I would surely never want to rule the world.]