༄The Queen's Thief
My dearest Elsa,
You are the bane of my existence.
Without prevarication, I confess to the lap of God that I have spent many nights trying to smother you in your sleep. There would be other nights where I would find myself stroking the cheek of your precious countenance, and I would half believe that I loved you, but your monstrosities are irreversible, and your wickedness is unforgivable. I have remarked that you may as well die long before your coronation, but that is because you have been dead since you were born; like a wraith wandering the earth's plane, you only pretend to be alive.
Even now, you are still ― as when I last dismissed you ― sickeningly frail and anemic upon your own doing. The bones protruding through your back remind me of bat wings, and it appalls me to watch the way you've starved yourself for the sake of garnering my sympathy. This morning you placed lilacs on your mother's grave and proceeded to hug your sister's tombstone like a wailing banshee ― albeit with little more sincerity than a stage player who knew her spectator was watching from the window of his study. Vituperating gossips about how bloodless your veins are have been rife for eighty miles, yet only two accounts have darkened my view of you. The first was the very difficult and deadly pregnancy your mother had to weather; the second is the murder you have committed on your own sister.
I know your mother would tell you that you were born like a mid-summer blizzard ― a supernatural child with more beauty than I, or any man, could swallow without choking. In reality, children of sorcery were mutilated, burned, and buried between the walls of the castle after they were born, but we did not have enough courage to slit your throat. Your handsomeness was far too seducing ― far too angelic and etheral to think of as monstrous ― and it was this that saved you from being killed by our own two hands. Secrecy became our armor ― our one sword and shield against the dragons of our court ― and so we protected your body from being dragged through the streets by ceasing to trumpet your anomalies at all.
Your ailing mother, who was all but a thistle of a woman, was horrified by your unutterable existence, but I tolerated your birth defects for longer than what was reasonable. Due to a series of misleading serendipities, you appeared to me as nothing more than a doe through the first half of your childhood ― a little girl no taller than the rock trolls painted in the children's books, and I was convinced that, although you were this knobby-kneed, thumb-sucking taboo of some damnable sort, your divining was from the angels themselves.
It was only out in the real world where I was forced to recognize your farcical oddness as my descendant. Nothing in Arendelle more frequently incurred animadversion than your celestial, though noticeably dissimilar features. Your hair and skin attracted a beehive of superstitious speculators, and with a stroke of even further irony, you became a subject of scandalous, small-town uproar because of the notorious princes and kings willing to prostitute themselves to you. I did not betroth you to anyone because of your wizardry, but men were still on their knees whoring to the spell of "true love." They insisted that you had an "unnatural power" over them, and would further have over them when you were of marriageable age. As if you were Helen of Troy, the Archbishop of Arendelle pressed forth to title you the most beautiful girl in the world, but the fluorescent light that emitted from your hair dirtied his thoughts with unspeakable depravity.
Once fatuously swept up by my own infatuation, I too made the error of putting too much emphasis on your heart-stopping visage, though your glow dimmed when your sister came into the world, ultimately exposing every black hole that lied underneath your star-studded pulchritude. It is true that we celebrated too openly about Anna being born a normal child, and perhaps it was also true that her name was never assassinated by the noxious scandalmongers the way yours was, but there was no excuse for the level you took your anguish to. As your father, I thought you merely wanted so much of the world that you turned all that energy in on yourself when you didn't know what to do with it, but I would find you and your sister scuffling on the floor every evening over possessions she allegedly took and/or dangled over you ― if not treasures you claimed to be myself and your deteriorating mother. My observations told me you loved your sister more than you loved yourself, yet one explosive argument was enough for you to lose control and turn your wounded feelings into a weapon.
When the funeral date, which I long dreaded, was finalized on the morning of your sister's death, the loving dream I entertained so blindly was replaced by months of hatred for a daughter I had vowed to protect. I, in my own munificent right, had played a fool for you by going out to war with several slanderers, only to be unhorsed by none other than your own moral collapse. From that point on, everything was, "I feel; I feel; I feel." I couldn't see past my tears, much less your own. I didn't care about you ― what you felt ― what you had to explain ― what tears you had to cry ― what public attacks you had to suffer ― what illnesses you underwent. That was my Anna ― my little sunburst. You crushed the one seed of normalcy I had, the one ray of sunshine in a lifetime of cold, and proceeded to crush another after her death.
The haunting bloom of December ― as you, Elsa, have asked so much of ― was the month your mother died with our third unborn child.
My possible daughter.
My unnamed son.
...My few weeks of happiness.
This was it, I'd tremble. My chance to properly remake you. To overwrite you. This was why the denouncement of a successful birth shattered me. Her womb, corrupted by your icy embryo, could not host a third fetus. However, my mind stayed fevered in the dream, quickly undermining the signs that my child's mother would die. It was all he-say, as far as I was concerned. "Give this a chance," I'd push. "They're wrong." But her health declined; my mind englutted ignorance, and another funeral was arranged.
It was then I realized, without painting my own chimerical delusions over you, that there was nothing magical or sacred in your blood cells. You were as every bit materialized from maggots and feces as the charred sorceresses hanging from my nooses. There was no question as to the facts that were indeed the facts: a witch is a loveless monster, and I both feared and hated the demon that skittered between those ivory bones beneath your pretty flesh.
I have dreamt about mutilating, burning, and burying that pale body between the walls of this castle for ten nights. My life has spiraled down into a bottomless pit of rage, misery, and pacing in my bedroom alone as I contemplate over how much hostility there is trapped inside my very own conscience. Whenever I am by myself in my study, and hear your insolent little feet puttering down the halls, something in me would rise up like Satan himself, and then just as well depart my body after your footsteps faded. This persistent hunger and lust to kill you keeps me all day and all night tearing handkerchiefs between my hands.
Please know that I have been as good a father as I could be to you; I have never spoken of love, never created any sentimental illusion, and treat our whole transaction as another mucousy symptom of sovereign duty. Although I can not bear to crown a monster on my throne, I am comforted by the inevitability of Arendelle beheading you before the thing can even graze your scalp. My own father has been quoted saying that I may as well die with you, because I have been dead since you were born...but tolerating you as my firstborn is not the only way to commit suicide.
In an ideal world, we can choose our children. We can choose how we react to our children. Alas, the world isn't ideal, and with God not half as happy in heaven, we never witness those unconditional feelings outside of folklore.
Without prevarication, I confess to the lap of God that I will miss the days when stroking the cheek of your precious countenance was enough. In which you have reached the end of this letter, you shall seek in vain for any relic of sympathy or affection in my address. As I shut the world out of my lungs, I am ready to die before I could ever grow to love you.
~ To my daughter, Princess Elsa
(❖) King Agdar
( Frozen | Tangled AU )
Timeline: Middle Ages
Main cast: Elsa | Eugene | Hans
*~cover image by onlyoneking_12
This is not a canon rendition of Tangled and Frozen or its characters; we have taken the deuteragonists and placed them on a new topography that comprises of dark AU portrayals, so they and their worlds have been relandscaped. The nature of Queen Elsa's powers are also redefined by this composition.
Like The Quivering Pens, the kingdom of Arendelle has its own fantasy regime. Despite this fantasy-invented society, many customs and/or belief systems will be loosely appropriated from Norwegian, Danish, German, and English culture, such as names, languages, events, and/or places.
~❅ ~ Inspired by/based on, "The Queen's Thief" by Megan Whalen Turner.