A/N: Very short little drabble arguing the Evil Queen's case, in a way. Written on a whim in sociology when the professor mentioned something about 'solitary confinement'. By the way, for those of you reading Awakened, it WILL be finished, I promise. I'm just not really sure WHEN. I've written part of Chapter 3, so just hang in there with me.
Perhaps she was insane to begin with. In fact, it was a very good possiblity that she had been insane for years. After all, she had tried to drown her own daughter before she even came to the Fourth Kingdom. She had willingly followed an evil queen down a corrupt path of power. She had given up her identity for that power. She had killed for that power. That was reason enough to lock her away in a bleak little prison cell with no human contact except when she was allowed a parole hearing. For the first five years, she had no company at all, until her plea for a canine companion had finally been heard. But then, why should they feel bad about her loneliness? After all, she had murdered the queen, wiled her way into the king's affections, then murdered him, as well. Why should she be granted any luxuries?
By the law, her punishment had been just. By the law, she had gotten exactly what she deserved.
But who's to say that the law is always right?
What if, instead of putting her into solitary confinement, the law had made an attempt at rehabilitating her? What if, instead of driving her further into madness, they had tried to rescue the shreds of her sanity and weave them back together? She probably would never have been well enough to be released back into society, but at least she could have lived out her days as a human being instead of an animal in a cage. She could have gotten help for her mental instability instead of being shut away. Shut in that room with it's one tiny window, too high to really see out of, while she waited desperately for summer sunlight to break through. Through that window drifted the screams of the tortured in cages outside while the vultures picked through the bars at them and the stench of rotting flesh baking in the sun. Day after day, year after year, she lived in a one room hell on a hard cot, devoid of color except for the faded splendor of her garments, the auburn of her hair, and the light in her own hallucinations. Isn't that enough to cause anyone to plunge further into the abyss of insanity?
So, who should really be held accountable for the death and destruction that followed her escape? An already sick woman who had been put through much more than even a healthy mind could possibly bear? Or the 'wise' council of law who had shut her away out of spite and revenge?
It makes one question just who the real criminal is.