“Princess, you must pay attention” The tutor demanded, standing so close that her woody perfume assaulted me from all directions, I stifled a massive yawn and straightened up my back, rolling my shoulders, I put on a look of respectful disdain, as I had practised after following Her Majesty around the palace a few days ago.
“Ms Yansho, I am to be the ruler of this tribe in a few years, the only thing I must do is listen to my mother, and you are not her” I smiled politely, gathering my books to leave, I was more than ready to escape to my room and change into pants. As by order of the Queen the Princess must always look the part, but as far as I was concerned that didn’t extend to my private chambers which alone were roughly twice the size of my former house. A young servant boy came rushing into the room, his eyes wet with tears that had yet to escape, his breath was ragged and his eyes automatically locked onto mine.
“Princess, there is an emergency with your mother, the Queen” He paused, breathing, and I felt as though my heart stopped immediately. “You must come immediately” He bowed before rushing out, to call attention to the rest of the tribe; any medical emergency revolving around any Royal family member had to be announced to the general public just in case something happened and a midnight coronation occurred.
I gathered my skirts, wishing for not the first time that looking like a Princess meant wearing clothes that one could run in “But Princess’ do not run” the Queen would insist as she glided across the room in a single motion where I could hardly handle walking in high heels. As I walked into the room my eyes took in the woman who was now lying in her massive bed that was at least half the size of my own room, she looked older now and it seemed as though more of her hair had turned silver than when I had first met her.
“Princess?” She called as I crept closer to the bed, trying to keep the noise to a minimum. “Come sit. I must speak with you.” Slowly, but somehow with the grace of an ageless ballerina the Queen moved to sit up, motioning to a spot at the end of the bed which I daintily sat. “Princess, I am dying, and you will soon be Queen.” I opened my mouth to object, as if denying the fact would make her life last longer, but she held up her hand – a motion that could quiet crowds of trolls and continued to speak. “There is a war coming to this tribe, and you must act in my position as Queen to do all you can to avoid it, and I do mean, do everything that is possible to avoid a war. We would not survive it.” She nodded to herself, silently, staring into the space in-front of her, as if she could see something – and suddenly I didn’t doubt that she could see glimpses of the future – it had been known as a trait passed down through Queens since a century ago. “As your coronation present, I have a gift for you, take my hand.”
The request was more of a demand and I meekly placed my palm on top of hers and closed my eyes, and I felt my hand warm up and I had to suppress a gasp as images of possible futures filtered through my head, the ending image was simply bodies laid out on the floor covered with sheets, as the vision grew and my whole mind filled with bodies, even my own was laid down, a crown askew on my head. My hand was by my side when my eyes refocused on my mother, her eyes all knowing. “This is the gift past down from generations of Queens to the next. Now you know what will happen, how are you going to fix it?” With that I was dismissed, and I knew I wasn’t going to sleep that night, what, with the whole Troll society going to be dead if I didn’t choose the right outcome.