• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 09
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One Step, Two Step

I covered my face with my hair but they blindfolded me anyway. To make it easier, they say.
Come to us, we’ll make you our queen.
With this life I’d lived, how could I resist? When you’ve been bred for greatness and raised in squalor, power is something you ache for. A nameless disease of the bones, burrowing deep and leaving you full of holes.
They lead me down the surf, the sand rough under my bare feet, the ocean breathing raggedly in my ears. The wind whips my hair as the first shock of cold water touches my toes and I gasp.
Come now, not long now.
The water wraps my skirt around my ankles, the tang of salt burning in my nose.
One step, two step, don’t stop, let it swallow you whole.
Within the dark behind my eyes I see myself rightfully enthroned, benevolent and wise. They told me they’d been waiting for me, waiting for a long time. They tell me it is why I have always had beautiful dreams of drowning.
The waves run questing hands up and down my hips, my stomach, ever climbing, ever wandering.
Almost there, almost ready, almost queen.
The cold soaks up to my neck, leaving me weightless, licking salt from my lips.
One step, two step, don’t stop now!
“No! Angie, don’t!”
Come to us, be our queen.
The water burns as I breathe it in.