Love. Trust. Betrayal.

Love. Trust. Betrayal.

“Your Highness, your son wanted to kill you and take over the kingdom.,”  I pleaded, looking up at the Queen seated high on her throne.  I was down on my knees in the huge courtroom, flanked by two gun toting guards.

“And so you killed him?” thundered the Queen.

“Your Highness, he tried to molest me…”

“How dare you say that, you wretched woman?  My son can’t even hurt a fly.”

Yeah, I thought.  A spoilt brat with all the vices in the world.  This mother’s love was truly blind. 

My survival instincts prodded me to persist.  “I have proof…”

“Don’t waste my time!  Guards, put her in the dungeon.  She will be executed at sunrise tomorrow.”

“Wait, Your Highness.  Please.. see.. I have been your trusted personal assistant for 20 years.  My family has served yours for generations.  You yourself have said that “Trust” is our family name.  At least for that, I should have my say.”  I desperately pulled at my last straw of hope.

The Queen stayed silent.  I continued, “You know I gave up the thought of marriage long ago, because I wanted to spend my life serving you.  There’s no one to cry for me if I’m gone.  But who will serve you the way I did?  Who else can you trust?”

“Okay, what proof do you have?”  The Queen appeared to relent.

“Gun.  Plans.  I’ve kept them safe in the vault.  Let me bring them here.”  I replied, sending up a silent prayer.

“Okay.  Not that it’ll help you, though.”

I was escorted to the huge vault by the guards.  The vast wealth of the royal palace was stored there.  The place was protected by thick, soundproof and fireproof walls, alarms, security cameras and dozens of armed guards trained to shoot anyone within a few metres of the vault.  I sighed.  The archaic laws in this tiny, poverty-stricken island kingdom were in complete contrast to its technological advancements.

The entrance was a twelve-inch-thick metal door which  opened after you entered a complex set of combination codes.  This was followed by biometric access, which was provided only to three persons – the Queen, the Prince and me.  This effectively meant that no fourth person could enter the vault.

I worked my way through the codes.  The door swung open.  I then pressed my index finger on the bulletproof glass door inside, apparently at a random place.  Only three persons knew it wasn’t a random place, but a precise point that functioned as a hidden biometric reader.  

The glass door opened and I stepped in.  

The next instant, the guards closed the doors behind me and switched off the lights.

***

I was stunned, even though I knew it wasn’t completely unexpected. 

Yet, I decided to steel myself and fight till the end.  With the airconditioning turned off, I had to open a tiny vent, located high on the side wall of the room, so that I had a spartan air supply.

I then groped my way through the familiar passages, till I reached the little cupboard at the other end.  This was where I’d stashed away the handgun and the sketches of the courtroom.  The wily prince had elaborately planned the operation.  But alas, I’d killed him.

I opened the cupboard and took the shiny new weapon in my hands.  It was manufactured in the royal factory and was  more advanced than similar weapons in bigger countries. 

A sudden wave of frustration passed through me.  My inner strength had exhausted itself.  I sank to the floor in despair.

***

I do not know when I dozed off and for how long.  

I woke suddenly, when the lights came on.  I was covered in sweat.  My breathing was laboured.  My instincts told me that something was up.

I walked up to the glass door.  To my surprise, I could see the outer door open.  There was no one there.

I placed my finger on the glass to open it.  Simultaneously, a finger was placed on it from the other end.  I stood impassively.  I knew.

The door opened and I found myself face to face with the Queen.

She smiled.  “You are all I have now.  I’ve decided to give you a chance.”

I replied in a steely tone, “And I’ve decided to take it.”

Even as the Queen looked on, puzzled, I aimed the handgun at her and fired.  

A lifelong ambition was fulfilled.  I was now the Queen.
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Archie Iyer
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