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I love to write. Sometimes, it's my best source of comfort. Other times, it's my way to expressing my feelings.

I looked at myself in the mirror, disgusted at what I saw. That girl in the silver reflective sheet was a weakling. She didn't belong in this world, this world where cowards were ousted and destroyed. In the council, the King ruled with no one, and if you even dreamed of existing there, you had to be strong. That girl wasn't strong.

She looked haggard. Her eyes were wide and terrified, and her cheeks were flushed. Her lips were pale, and she looked lifeless. She had been traumatised by the council, and now, she looked as if she was going to die.

That will not happen.

I refuse to allow it to happen.

Long ago, this girl had a mask. When she was a child, she loved watching plays. She would follow her Mama to the theatre and sit on her Papa's shoulders, watching the actors speak eloquently. Once, she stole away and hid in the actors' dressing room. They were sad behind, but in front, they were filled with smiles. The little girl was fascinated by the way they could transform their emotions. Once, she accidentally bumped into an old man, and he was so frightening! But she acted like those actors, apologizing sweetly, and he didn't scold her! No, he gave her a mask, saying she would make good use of it.

She did.

Years went by, and the little girl developed that mask into a complex, beautiful porcelain cover, adorned with beads and sequins. No one saw beneath it, no one could...until he appeared.

He managed to strip the girl of the mask. He convinced her that she didn't need to live in a lie, that she could be herself. She used to wear her mask to the balls and parties, but with him, she never did. She fell in love, and the mask came off.

Then, one day, while he was gathering berries for the berry pies he was going to bake, someone shot an arrow. He died immediately, and the girl was heartbroken. She tried to pull her mask on, but it was cracked from disuse. She knew the only way she could live again was to avenge his death.

She poked around through the black market, bribing informants, and flirting with the dukes. Soon, she found out that this man in the council was hunting a deer in that same forest. He had shot by mistake, and he refused to acknowledge his mistake.

That man was the King.

The King trusted no one, and for the girl to get close to him, she had to become the first. But what could she do when she could no longer act. When she tried to bluff her way through, he had thought her insignificant, and mocked her. He scorned her, and insulted her. She had ran away crying.

I groped around and picked up a brush. I threw it at the mirror, relishing the sound of the glass shattering into a million pieces. I turned away from it, and pulled up an ivory gown from my dresser. Of course, I had to act again. That was the only way to get close to the King. Pulling the soft shift on, I picked up the disfigured brush and dragged it through my golden hair. The King was to die. I picked up a large shard of glass and held it near my face, pressing the red paper against my lips.

My mask may be cracked, but I can always repair it. No one will ever know who I am again. The King will regret every scorning me. He was going to take back every insult, and I was going to avenge my beloved's death.

And he wouldnt' even know it's I.

My mask would take care of that.

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