The ticking of the clock in the corner,
The fretting of a little Margaret, not wanting to go to bed.
Her older sister shushing her, the Queen Mother ushering them off.
And you sit there, in your chair, eyeing a carton of cigarettes as if it were the devil itself,
A yellowed sheet of parchment, the typed script slashed open with the bloody tip of a scarlet pen, lies on the desk before you.
Such power there is, in the written word.
And as you think of this, you realize that you've never pondered such before.
Of course, there was no need for you to ponder such.
It was entirely unnecessary.
All your life, you've never had to depend on yourself, never had to rely on yourself.
All your life, you had the luxury of hiding in the shadows of your brother and father.
You knew from the start that you'd never be King; that you could live out the rest of your life in peace and quiet, indulging yourself in the serenity of private life.
Being made a monarch, that was more a horror than an indulgence, but you simply chuckled at the idea, dismissing it as a nightmare that would never come true.
But alas, even you must now admit that the luxuries you once possessed have now slipped from your clutches and you have, in effect, been thrown to the wolves.
If, those wolves were in fact, a hungry, expectant audience of helpless, hopeless citizens, looking to you for guidance in this… this time of trial.
But they see it in your eyes, and their faces fall, and you feel it deep in the creases of your heart,
That overwhelming sense of despair; that sickening, nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach,
That in this darkest hour, you have been let down by the one you were hoping, praying, and believing would lead you out of the filth, out of the fire and madness, into the light of a new day.
The shattering of glass, the fury of writhing flames, the shrill howls of your people as they run to their bomb shelters.
The hollow stomping of jackboots, the gnashing snap of Swastikas in the wind, like serpents.
You can feel it deep within the marrow of your bones, the black cloud that is slowly consuming this earth within which you live, a portion of it, which you rule.
Like a plague, it desecrates and mutilates and murders, leaving civilizations such as yours, once laced with grandeur and power, lifeless shells, shadows of what they once were.
Of what they were always supposed to be.
Rain drops clatter against the windows, the fire flickers in the hearth.
The music echoing softly from the turntable stops with a sudden click.
You are now fully immersed in the dark, heavy silence of so many emotions, you can hardly comprehend what they are.
And only the tiniest squick of confidence, barely hanging by a thread, threatening to be severed completely.
The paper is now clutched tightly within your clutch, your knuckles paling as you exert the force of your feelings into that damned writhing monster, that demon that will forever haunt you, that –
That worthless, lifeless, inanimate piece of parchment.
How could something so useless and meaningless inflict so much torture upon you?
How could you let it defeat you?
You are better.
You know in your soul you are.
It simply took its merry time in allowing you to realize it.
That object which has tormented you for so long,
You will, someday, overtake its power.
You will win back its respect.
You are the King.
It is your subject.
It will vow its allegiance to you.
With a sudden rasp, the fire dies and you are left in darkness, silence.
But now, a new music has begun to echo throughout the room.
Alas, its song is not so happy.
It is a cacophony of man-made machines.
It is the haunting shriek of an air-raid alarm.
With a sigh, as if this is all second-nature to you now,
So the Germans have come again.
Will they ever relent?