I dreamt I was a queen poisoned by loves hand, but it was only a role in a grand production, of which I had no say, and yet the blood and bile tasted real.
Before I left the death marked banquet where my subjects and friends entreat me stay I held each of them tenderly to my breast, a solemn goodbye. I would not wither and writhe before their eyes as a spectacle and a farce in hallowed death, instead I retreat to the belly of the castle in the wings, only inviting my newly crowned king to stay with me, whom had just the scene before murdered my true king and master whom I loved dear, and by whose hand I knew the elixir brewed. Yet still tender affection I held for both the actor who played him and for his part, but not enough to spare him witness to what he had wrought. Like a wounded animal I retreated as I felt my stomach lining begin to dissolve.
Just before the fated goblet scene, backstage between my lovers death and mine, we had talked of the sado-masochistic ecstasies of religion, the self abasement of the Catholics, the zealous fire of the baptists. My vengeful soon to be king, or at least the actor playing him, looked at me with such blood thirsty lust as we spoke. I could neither advert my gaze or rebuke him for I understood how our fates were linked and it was in my part to submit both as actor and grieving queen. I was enamored with him and our linked demise, how could I not feel affection and love for someone so central in my life? As the hunter and the hunted; I could feel him licking his chops against my skin as our eyes locked. A moment of give and take. His third to be wife-upon-my-death approached me all hair of mermaid and remarked upon how fierce I seemed in my velvet head, she entreated me to visit them, and teased me with her tales of hostages for sport. We laughed and made merry, this was only a scene change to the main event, backstage at the water cooler, nothing to be thought of. Yet I could feel my time running out as surely as so could she.
When he had murdered my true king it had been after careful cunning and consideration with his true wife, a beautiful and severe sight all dressed in rich red, but her performance was too affected. She kept touching her face and biting her lower lip in such a grandiose show of concern no one could much believe her she cared one way or the other who lived or died. Yet it was this caring that drove her to madness and a quiet death off stage announced by some unnamed messenger boy. A necessary device to urge the murderous king to ally with the young prince, wronged and exiled from his betrothed bride whom the subjects adored. With his fair golden locks shining the way forward no one would see the black heart and cold piercing eyes actually spurring the charge. I watched this scene unfold from the back of the audience with one of the stage hands obsessing about how to best market this tragedy to the paying masses, I helped her take photos of the charming prince, invite them with news of his recent engagement I offered, everyone loves a romance.
Thus began the final act in darkness. I concealed in the wings where I could see nothing. Calling to my love and true king with all my heart, warning him of the fated surprise hid behind the rocks, but it was dark and the storm raged loud, he could not hear me because the play was written thus, but I cried with all my heart anyways. When the deed was done I wept and held the bloodied blade to my chest refusing to return it to the company to be washed and used in the next scene. I wanted to preserve it as the hallowed sacred object that it was, savoring the last drops of my beloved heart. They granted my pathetic wish “we always have another” the stage hand assured me. My fellow players looked on contemptuously and amused as tears stung my eyes and a painful lump welled in my throat.
Fate hung about me closely everywhere I turned. There was very little I could do on or off stage that was not per-ordained. I accepted this with quiet grace and mostly kept to myself, never liking it but not resisting. I played truly from the heart. The love I felt was true, the good byes I said were lasting, my feelings for my vengeful king were both conflicted and tender, my affection for the players and stage hands sincere, I drank knowingly of the poisoned goblet playing my part willingly in my death.