The mist twirled prettily, occasionally getting its skirts caught and having to linger there accordingly, before darting back to resume its position as leader of the dance. It never fully breached the entrance of Westminster Abbey, but it still caused cloaks and children to be drawn closer. Secrets were of a lighter tread, intertwining in amongst the bodies adorned with startling scarlet and dissonant purples, as they twisted and conjured the necessary relish for their ritual: paranoia. Eyes flitted in all directions, circling and swooping down on the carcasses of enemies, yet if any pair became stuck on another, they were knocked off their perch swiftly with the aid of the canon of glances shooting forward.
She arrived under a cloth of gold that flickered in the gloom of the day, twinkling like the eyes of a fraud who could taste the touch of coin. The pale, translucent glow of her skin was in fact of a concoction of festering venom- yet that wouldn't be what would make her body rot and her soul expire. Pearls and stones embellished her head from where they had been wrenched from the gummy, slime-slathered depths of oysters or consumed by the thrashing flames of the Earth's inferno, regarding the event with the austere viewpoint of the only certainty in life is change. Violent change if applicable.
Snorts of laughter and vindictive smirks met her arrival, shoving their way into the procession. Zooming around her clenched jaw and pulsing pregnant belly, they made their presence no secret, before ricocheting off of buttresses and stained glass windows to fragment, thus multiplying by the second. One particular raucous chortle reverberated inside a mead belly, before being let loose like an onager aimed at the head of a brand that had discontinued a favourite chocolate bar. Despite the onslaught, her head remained high, presiding over her straight back and contributing to the assured strides that showed that she knew- everyone knew- her dreams were now a reality.
Her tread, past the foundation stone and onward up the aisle, was a scrawl of a signature on her own death warrant. Mountains had been swept away, cast aside, for the tide of the king's yearning, ever-expanding love, which had seen England become not only physically, but ecclesiastically adrift from Europe. Rome had been the epicentre of the tremors of change. Yet what could a change in the tide- the king's disappointment, his resentment -mean for her? She had been the muse, the inspiration, for this cataclysmic cave-in of relations after all. Unfortunately the muse can never live up to expectation; the muse can never be the perfection projected upon it. It can never survive the cold light of morning or the cold light of marriage either.
Her mind rejected the humiliating, blush-inducing sting of the crowd. It decided instead to reflect upon the uncomfortable ride from Greenwich and this mantra of complaint stayed with her, embedding into her core- just as her fingernails clenched into her palm- as the crown was fitted onto her head and the sceptre was thrust into her clammy paws. Mass, though no longer required, was done and said and all the while her head was spinning at a speed most would wish their washing machines could achieve.
‘Queen Anne, when thou shalt bear a new son of the king’s blood, there shall be a golden world unto thy people.'
The words of the Archbishop jarred her out of her own tumultuous mind, as she rose to face the clamour of snarling courtiers, detesting her for her ambition, simply as they had failed at what she had succeeded in. They were her people now. They would obey. They would kneel to her, even if she had to break their knees first. In that moment she allowed the terror to breach her barriers, resulting in one rib-rattling shake. She wondered if the boy inside her, nestled within her protective layer of blood and flesh, had felt that as well. Did he know too what he was to become? Then a treacherous thought- a wisp of a half-formed nuance- hit her square in the chest and threatened to cause the bile resting in her throat to be released to shame her further. What if she wasn't carrying a son? What if she wasn't carrying the heir?