My palanquin becomes a tiny peasant fishing vessel thrown between the ocean of red and gold cloth and the hundreds of thousands of glossy heads of hair.
Class segregations abandoned, the forbidden city became an open wound, the mysterious painted faces of the the many hundreds and thousands of men and women of the royal line and aristocracy, the half brothers and sisters to the late emperor, been bled out onto the hard cobbled streets.
Each strike on the drum is a deafening blow.
The ground rumbles and trembles beneath them, the poles of the palanquin groan and creek as they sway side to side. The countless paper lanterns that hung outside, do summersaults in the cold breeze, as if the stars themselves had relinquished their positions in the havens to light her way.
Through the rich gauze material light infiltrates through.
Flames burn in the middle of the October night, scorching, it throws shadows dancing across, the city walls, monstrous figures mocking peoples movements.
Pain had flared early on that day, and it had spread rapidly like wild fire, and still hours later it still ate away. Her neck and arms aching under the weight of the ceremonial crown, it surged underneath her skin as her legs and back felt cold and stiff with the ordeal of maintaining perfect posture that nobody was there to bear witness to.
I can feel the night air breathing around me.
Perspiration beaded on her brow she could hear the crowd outside, yet she could register nothing distinctively, all the individual voices and commotions had melded together into an unholy and undesirable buzzing, as if she sat in a cocoon inside the heart of a hornets' nest. There was electricity in the air it sparked round her and left her skin cold and prickled.
Her fingers intertwined, her hands clasped round each other with the force of a steel clamp, she was delirious, her vision swam and her thoughts entangled themselves into a sort of rose bush inside of her head, the lights burned her eyes and confused her, she was intoxicated from the rich gaudy colours and the tightness in her chest that crushed the air from her lungs.
The sense of dread washed over her continuously that night like a tide retreating back, but never too far or for too long before making its presence, known once more.
This is wrong. Take it back, take everything back I don't want it, I shouldn't be here.
But yet the simple fact remained that she was, the crown rested on her head and the fate of the empire, on her shoulders. The cool silk encasing her weary, lithe frame began to itch like a swarm of fire ants burrowed deep inside, she could feel their legs making their way up her body, it burnt like a brand. Her sobs where drowned out by the chaos ensuing around her choked by the hot heaviness in her throat.
The new era for the nation had began.