The Self-Proclaimed Queen

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Chapter 1

Dancing, something that always calmed me down. When I was feeling sad or frustrated, I went downstairs, into the ballroom where I danced for as long as my feet could endure. The walls were covered with mirrors so I could see my reflection in it. I always find that funny, a vampire seeing herself in a mirror. Truly astonishing. The humongous poles that were decorated with many antique details went all the way up to the ceiling that was graced with portraits and landscapes that were painted by artists many years ago. Sadly, there was no music to dance to so I just hummed my way through my agony. I don’t know for how long was I in the ballroom dancing until a sudden voice broke my concentration.

‘Your majesty, there you are.’ I swiftly turned to a weeping voice that entered the ballroom. It’s one of the servants, Minerva.

‘What is it, Minerva?’

‘It’s about your father, he’s gone.’ I almost fainted but Minerva’s calm hands reached me before I fell.

‘No! That can’t be true! You are lying!’

‘Calm down my queen.’ She laid my head on her chest and wrapped her arms around me.

‘Why? Why him?’

‘All of us must go one day, I guess that his candle just burned out too soon.’

Memory, memory is what they say something that can either build us up to do better and achieve greater or something that can tear us into pieces and bring us down. I guess the second option works more for me. Five years have passed but every night I experience the same dream. My father dying and Minerva coming to inform me about it.

‘Your majesty is everything alright? I heard you scream.’ One of the servants came into my bedroom.

‘Yes, yes, I am fine, go back to sleep. I just had a bad dream that’s all.’ She left, leaving me alone in my misery. I still remember what he told me before he died. He said promise me that you will protect this castle with your heart and to never leave this place until the moment is right.

Being stuck at such a place that everything reminds me of him is not easy, at least I am left to grieve with the other servants, which are by the way all females. Quite frankly I don’t know why my father hasn’t hired any male servants? Cause they don’t serve well, I still remember what he told me. They will serve you poorly at the table but greatly in your chamber.

I don’t know why but my father never trusted me when I was around boys, maybe he was afraid that I will turn them into vampires, or maybe he was just worried that if they date me they will run away and spread rumors once they find out what I truly am.

Morning is my favorite part of the day, not because of all the sun but because the feast is at its freshest and juiciest.

‘What do you feel like having today, your majesty?’ Layla asked gently, as she always does.

‘A vegetable soup would be nice for a starter.’

‘As you wish, your majesty.’

I never quite got used to being a vampire and still eating normal food. Even though my mother made terrible soups it still tasted better than the soups that I got here which I was pretending to like. At least they were decent enough in making meats and salads.

‘Your majesty, you look a bit pale today, are you feeling alright?’ One of the knights asked me, I believe his name is Liam.

‘Yes, I am feeling quite good today. Thank you for asking Liam, that is very thoughtful of you.’

‘Please forgive me your majesty, but my name is Joshua.’ I looked at him startled. Trying to evoke embarrassment in myself or to at least manage to blush. It didn’t work, as usual.

‘Oh, is that so? Oh, well, pardon me.’ I titter.

‘It’s alright your majesty, I should better get going now. Anything that you would like for me to bring you from the market?’

‘Oh no, nothing at all. I mean with a castle this big I have more than I need. Thank you, Joshua.’

‘As you wish, your majesty.’ He bowed and went outside along with the other knights. I was getting exhausted out of listening to them treating me like royalty. My father always told me to behave like they were beneath me and to not bring myself to their level. I guess the hierarchy was more important to him than the human emotions.

As much as I hated such a way of thinking it helped me made a shield that was needed to protect me from my secret. The delusion that people of this island were living in, blindly believing that I was some sort of nobility, all originated from the money that my father had paid the people who could make an influence and spread the rumors amongst the people.

He told me that he was doing that mainly to protect me. By making people believe that I was their long-lost queen will make them protect me at any cost as long as they don’t find out what I truly am.

‘Your majesty, I have some news that I would like to inform you on.’ A pesky voice occurred behind me while I was patiently waiting for my soup to arrive. It was Nick, one of the pirates that were on the ship when we first sailed onto this mysterious island. Sadly, not many of them remained within the castle, some of them got married, some of them went to explore more and some of them just disappeared in the plain sight and I never heard of them again.

‘Sure, what is it, Nick?’

‘People are causing riots in the city.’


‘I was thinking maybe if you give a speech, something motivational, you could calm them down or stop them from continuing.’ An opportunity to leave this damned place just occurred and I won’t let it go to waste. I don’t remember the last time I went outside.

‘That is a great idea, Nick. We will go to the city right away.’

‘Your majesty what about your breakfast?’ One of the servants proposed but I humbly ignored the offer and went upstairs to my bedroom to get ready.

I enter my bedroom, closing the mahogany door behind me. Velvet rug and white curtains look mesmerizing from my perspective. A wooden bed that is made of dark oak and a chest that went along with it stand in front of my bed. A vanity table that is decorated with such design that resembles a vine which is also made of wood, gives an enchanted appearance to my bedroom.

I walk across to my wardrobe to get a warm coat and a dark red dress that compliments my body shape. I decide to not look modest and get some baroque heels that would go well with my dress. A warm, fuzzy hat that will complete the look and white leather gloves. I made my way out but something stops me in the hallway. A mirror. I spent a minute looking at myself, looking at what I have become. A fake aristocrat. A liar. I almost made myself cry but then I remember that I will never be able to cry again. Such absurdity, I tell myself.

It is so unfair that at the times when you don’t wanna cry and you want to appear strong, it’s the time when you break down easily, but at the times when you really wanna let it all out, you can’t.

‘Your majesty?’ I sudden voice woke me up from the oblivion that I was slowly falling into. I turn around to see who that might be. It’s Layla, she must have been concerned. Probably wondering what took me so long to get ready.

‘Yes, Layla?’ I respond back, trying to sound dignified.

‘I took a liberty and I packed your soup into a box. Now you can eat it on your way.’ Even though it was such a thoughtful act I couldn’t force a smile out. Even the slightest thought of eating that liquid made my stomach shiver. I might as well feed the poor with it.

‘You shouldn’t have.’ Really, you shouldn’t.

‘But I must. I simply can’t let you leave the castle with an empty stomach.’

‘I’ll be fine. If I was hungry I would have eaten something before.’

‘Well, you can eat it on your way now.’

‘Thank you, Layla, but I must go before the carriage leaves without me.’

‘Of course! Sorry for holding you for so long, your majesty.’ I force a fake smile, finally, and she goes away, leaving me alone in the hallway with a soup in my hand. I looked down at it, disgusted.

‘Your majesty, the carriage is ready and waiting for you!’ Nick occurred from the distance.

‘I’m coming!’ I yell back at him.

We are in the carriage, on our way to the city to deliver my speech. I never believed that speeches can make such a powerful effect on the people that it will make them stop whatever they were doing. What I’m representing is fake hope, a symbol of peace and a numb figure who just serves a purpose to tame people down. Moments passed and none of us managed to mumble any words. I looked through the window, getting lost in immense landscapes. First, we went through a forest then farms and then finally I can see the outlines of the city with a couple of miniatures building and cottages along with a one lonely clock tower that stood out from the rest.

‘It is a wonderful day to be outside, don’t you think so?’

‘I certainly do, your majesty.’

‘Oh, stop it with the royalty act. You know well who am I and where I come from.’

‘I do. But again, I already got used to calling you like that. If I start calling you by your name again someone can hear me and reveal your well-hidden secret to the broader public.’

‘I’m not afraid of them you know.’

‘You should.’

‘Why? They can’t do anything to me.’

‘Yes, but they can spread the information to someone who can.’ He looked with a gaze so powerful that I immediately understood what he meant.

We entered the gates of the city. What I thought that I will see ended up being completely opposite. I imagined a riot happening with people trying to either burn things down or do a public sacrifice. I guess my wild imagination took the best of me. What really happened looked nothing more than a peaceful looking ambient. Some people were silently sitting on the benches while some spoke to each other and some were just walking peacefully with their children.

‘What’s that?’ I turned to Nick who looked equally confused as I am.

‘I guess that something already happened.’

‘Already? So, we’re late?’

‘I guess so. But we should still go and see what’s happening.’ We opened the doors of the carriage after it stopped in the town center. As soon as I got out of the carriage people immediately stopped and looked at me. Their eyes wide, like they have never seen me before. I knew that cannot be true. My father used to take me to the city almost every second weekend. We used to go for a walk and get to know people who lived in the city. Even though our attempts to make friends ended up failing miserably that has never stopped us from trying. One elderly looking woman approached me from behind but Nick immediately stopped her by pulling his sword out.

‘Nick, that is unnecessary,’ she looked terrified but eager to tell me something. Nick put his sword down and I approached her. ‘What is your name?’

‘Adelaide, your majesty,’ she bowed, making me feel uncomfortable, ‘I need to tell you something, it’s urgent.’ She pulled my hand making me lean closer to her mouth.

‘They are coming for you. They already left.’

‘What? Who are they and where are they heading?’

‘Your castle, they will kill each one of you.’ I tried to resist it but her grip was holding me tightly. She was too strong. For a human. I noticed her eyes going black and blood starting to drip from her mouth. It’s happening. I’m getting hungry, but I must control myself. I cannot let those people know what I really am.

‘Let her go this instance!’ Nick tried to push her away from me but she was like a statue. This is a trap, I told myself but why? How?

‘I’m warning you! Leave the queen alone!’ Nick shouted.

A self-proclaimed queen is never a true queen!’ Her voice sounding robotic, like she’s being possessed. ’A dawn will rise but a queen will fall, the serenity will remain but the truth will unfold.

Nick cuts her hand that was holding me off first and then her head. On my surprise, no one reacted to what happened. But again, it was punishable to insult a queen in any way but to psychically harm her is punishable by death.

‘We need to go back before they do something!’ I quickly tell Nick.

‘Let’s go, Gabriella!’ Nick grabbed my hand and rushed me into the carriage. As we are leaving I see some people gathering around the beheaded Adelaide. I turn to Nick who looks at me with a worried gaze.

‘What do you think she meant when she said that?’

‘Said what?’

‘A dawn will rise but a queen will fall, the serenity will remain but the truth will unfold. What could that possibly mean?’

‘I don’t know, but something tells me that you will soon find out.’

‘I don’t get it, Nick. One moment she looked perfectly fine, an innocent elderly woman who just wanted to tell me something, and the next she full on went crazy.’ I look through the window again blankly staring at the outlines of the city and hoping that nothing happened to my castle and the people in it. But again, who can be sure about that?

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