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Scars

By Alanah Ellsworth

Drama / Fantasy

Prologue

PROLOGUE

The wicked younger sister was banished permanently in the moon, never to be seen or heard from again.

Once upon a time, there was the Earth and the Moon. On the Moon, there was a small country named Luna. A colony of mutated humans, it has prospered without war for hundreds of years. The Lunar people were a strange civilization, one where the citizens could manipulate and control the minds of others at their whims. They called this their 'glamour': the ability to twist and alter the bioelectricity of any human being.

(control them, yes, control them all, they are your pawns you are the queen)

This power made them a savage and cruel people, most abusing it to use to their advantage. They were despised and hated by the Earthen people for this very reason, and were forbidden by law to ever set foot on Earthen soil without authorization. The Lunars felt the same way about the Earthen, believing that they were weak and stupid due to their constant wars and conflicts. The Lunars never had uprisings and riots, the royal family using their extremely powerful and persuasive glamour to keep their people in check.

(you are queen you rule your wish is their command)

The current reigning queen of Luna was, at the same time, both a respected and resented figure. Seemingly cold, cruel and heartless, she was the very image of physical perfection. Beautiful beyond words and always poised and graceful, she was sharp, intelligent and deceptive, never hesitating to manipulate others to get her way. Her face was always an emotionless mask, only showing the rare signs of anger, annoyance or amusement.

However, everyone knew that this was only an illusion, that the queen didn't really look like she made herself appear. No one knew what she really looked like and frankly, no one cared. It was normal on Luna to use one's glamour to make themselves look different. In fact, it was hard for Lunars to not use it without suffering drastic health problems such as madness and hallucinations.

(wear a mask, never let them see you, the real you)

Although the queen was extremely powerful, she still had one major weakness: mirrors. Mirrors were her greatest fear. Not the Earthen, not the shells—Lunars born without glamour, and not even the idea of rebellion. It was mirrors. Such a simple but influential thing. She hated them and feared them. She had all of them removed from her palace as soon as she came to power, never wanting to look at another one of the cursed things again. Most Earthen thought it was silly, believing it just to be another part of the twisted Lunar culture. Their glamour could not fool mirrors, therefore they were considered annoying and revolting. To present a Lunar with a mirror would be the same as delivering a slap to the face for no good reason.

(keep your power never let it slip they'll hate you)

Most of her subjects thought it was just about their queen's vanity, that she could not stand to look anything less than stunning. Seeing her true reflection would disgust her and make her lose hold on her glamour, showing her true features. It was considered normal for Lunars to make themselves look more beautiful than they really were, to look more aesthetically attractive.

(You're ugly so ugly no one will ever want you you're hideous)

No one knew the real reason why the Lunar queen feared mirrors so much. It was not about vanity, for she could look at herself in a mirror for hours and still manage to keep up the illusion. She just couldn't help it: the words 'conceal, don't let them see' were ingrained in her mind permanently, forced there for years by her deceptive, cruel and manipulative family. She could not take it down even if she wanted to, afraid of the judgement and ridicule that she would receive if she let her guard down for even a second. They had made her believe that looking different was one of her greatest weaknesses, and that the people would hate her for it. They had her convinced that she was ugly, that no one would ever see past her face. That she was worthless and pathetic, horrible and ignorant.

(don't slip don't go they'll all laugh at you)

No, it was not at all about vanity. When she was younger, she actually considered herself to be quite beautiful, with her wavy auburn hair and her dark onyx eyes. In fact, she still would be if it weren't for the dozens and dozens of scars that lined her face and body. Scars caused not by accidents and attacks, but inflicted by her own family. Her childhood was nothing but an endless beating, both physical and emotional.

(you deserved it you know you did you sorry excuse for royalty)

She couldn't stand to look at herself because the memories were just too painful to bear. Whenever she even caught a glimpse of her true reflection she had to fight back the urge to break down and have a full out panic attack. Every scar, every gash reminded her of those endless nights begging for help that would never come. Taunts and insults and pranks with no limit and unimaginable cruelty. Tears shed until there were none left. Tortured to the point of both physical and emotional numbness. A lifetime of loneliness and hatred, being ridiculed everywhere she went. Even those who were most loyal to her had caused her pain, had ignored her pleas and cries, had never considered for even a moment that all she wanted was a friend, someone to just stop and listen.

(no never no one cares about you you're so worthless)

No one knows who the queen really is. Even her head thaumaturge, Sybil Mira, who had been her sister's lapdog since they were children, did not know the whole story. She had been part of what happened in the daylight, when the castle was up and everyone was awake. She had been the one to deliver the punches, which were nothing compared to what the queen's sister and parents would do at night behind closed doors, when everyone was safe in their beds. They were monsters, the things of nightmares. The poor girl had no greater fear than of them and what they were capable of, especially her sister's legendary glamour.

(you're so weak you pathetic snivelling child you stupid stupid girl)

She could also never forget the night she became a monster herself. She had killed a person that night, and although that person was evil beyond recognition, it did not excuse what she had done. She had been living with the guilt ever since, prominent burn scars on her left cheek as a constant reminder. Although she could not see them, she felt the disfigurements every time she rubbed her hand against her face, the shrivelled skin sticking out with its rippled texture.

(see I told you you're ugly you'll never be pretty you'll never be one of us)

Her heart had been ravaged until nothing remained but a dark, barren stone, and she became a statue: stiff, emotionless and unfeeling. Her life had been filled with nothing but despair. The one small ray of sunshine that she had found had been ripped away from her in the cruellest way possible. Her little princess, her darling Selene. Gone. Dead. For thirteen years she had been plagued by nightmares of the fires, the screams, her sister's cruel smile lit up by the haunting flames. The way she looked at her as she held up a box of matches in her hand, waving it in front of the queen's face as if daring her to attack. The last mocking, guttural, hacking laugh as she was burnt alive, pushed into the fire by the rage-crazed queen.

The last soft whimpers of a little girl crying out for her mother, her protector, the one who couldn't save her. The child that the heartbroken queen thought that she would never see again.

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