The nightmare had begun as usual. I sat upon my throne, feeling as hard and cold as the marble slab that pressed against my back, and gazing regally out across the mass of people kneeling before me. My ebony tresses were swept up and pinned in a heap of intricate braids on top of my head. My chalky cheeks painted with silver glitter, eyelids with purple powder, and lips with blood red stain. The tips of my elegantly manicured fingernails peeked out from the long sleeves of my robe. The royal purple-and-silver kimono was splayed out in front of me, covering my legs and falling past my toes, seven feet of softly rustling silk. The crown of silver inlaid with jade dug painfully into my tender scalp.
Only when the horde of onlookers rose from their prostrate positions and began to jeer mockingly did I realize that the precious metal roses of my headpiece had grown thorns, and that they were slowly working their way down, creeping past my ears and whispering evil promises that only I could hear. I winced inwardly as the thorns dug deeper. Rivulets of blood began to flow down my temple, streaming past my cheeks and pooling by my neck. The jeering grew louder.
“All hail the new queen!”