Title: Dark Days Author: Elizabeth Wilde (star_)
Rating: PG Genre: vignette, drama Summary: The Queen does not tolerate weakness.
Disclaimer: Sadly, I don t own the 10th Kingdom or any of the characters from it. This is done for fun only.
Distribution: anyone who already archives my fic, anyone who asks, .net/wilde (my site)
Completed: April 11, 2009

There were days when she felt close to something, some memory that lingered just beyond the edges of her consciousness. On those days she felt weak. It was like being sick only nothing made her feel better. She shied away purposefully from those feelings, but they persisted. The Queen never knew when they would strike, but they always troubled her.

As much as possible, she avoided even the guards on the days when that weakness came upon her. The people deserved to see her as a ruler. Some of them denied the she was good enough to rule, of course, but she paid that no mind. The Queen knew that there was no room for goodness in a ruler. The people never understood all that must be done to keep control of a kingdom, all the dark little decisions that built an empire.

She smiled. It would turn their stomachs. But she knew. She accepted. She had always understood the necessity of difficult decisions, had understood even before-

It would NOT be one of those days. The Queen tipped her chin up and set her face into a mask of determination. Lesser men and women might fall apart in such surroundings, but she would persevere. Even hidden away in the bowels of the jail, she would find her way to the light of freedom.

The Queen smiled to herself. Heaven help the rest of them when she did.