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Successor

”More tea?”

Small pudgy hands lifted a miniature teapot and titled it with inquiry at a stuffed doll with fine strings of blonde hair. The pot was set down abruptly.

”Yes, please.” The doll was shook to show its approval and provided with a shrill voice by the person who held her.

”Okay, then.”

The doll was set onto a small chair while the girl busily poured tea into the cup. She glanced at the doll for a second and then up at the ceiling trance-like, still pouring the tea. In an instant she withdrew her left hand from the table and dropped the pot onto the carpeted floor with a yelp.

She bit her lower lip in an attempt not to cry, but her eyes were already tearing. She shivered as she looked at the mess on the tiny circular table, the carpet, and the ugly splotches of brown on the doll. There were several knocks on the door, and then a creak when no one answered.

”Princess Mint!”

The girl turned to face one of many maids of East Heaven, as she shoved two of her fingers in her mouth and watched the brunette maid slowly drop her hands from her face to her sides and broke into a run towards her.

”Show me your hand.”

The princess hesitantly pulled her fingers from her mouth and showed her palm to the concerned individual. She noticed the woman breathe out a sigh of relief.

“Thank god. Your skin is so beautiful, it’d be horrible if you were to have a burn scar.”

The maid kneeled down and picked up the teapot and placed it on the table as she talked to the princess. Mint said nothing, and solemnly picked up her doll from the seat taking no heed of the ramblings of the low class servant.

”…Don’t tell anyone.”

The maid who was busily chattering to her self and scrubbing the floor assertively looked up from what she was doing. Her mouth parted slightly as if to let out a sound but only managed a small breath that shortly turned to strangled gasp when a small hand encircled around her throat.

”You heard me. Don’t tell anyone. Not nanny Amalia. Not mommy. Especially not gramps…”

The girl paused catching a breath.

”No one.”

The young maid nodded, breathing as heavily at the girl with bright red hair. Her eyes were watering, projecting an illusion of a pheonix made by the young girl's red locks.Then suddenly, she felt the pressure on her neck decrease and she coughed. She continued to look into the pretty tear stained face of the redhead, while she removed her apron, stood up and then placed it onto the table, her hands atop it, feeling the fluid sink into every fiber of the fabric.

”I guess I’ll be taking the heat for this. Doesn't matter since I'm always in trouble anyway-oh!"

Princess Mint still shocked by the servant’s past action instinctively tightened her grip on her doll as two dark pools of brown gawked at the toy. She swallowed and spoke slowly.

”This is Hlynn. She was a present from my father.”

The brunette slowly drew a hand toward the doll and stroked its hair.

”She’s beautiful. She must be very important to you. Say, why don’t you let me clean her up? After I finish all of this first, of course.”

The princess glanced down on the floor as she contemplated, quite hesitantly, whether to let the young maid take possession of the doll. Then, she nodded slowly, and presented the doll to the brunette, head bent into a bow.

Maybe you should go spend time with you mother. This mess here will be our little secret,” said the maid with a wink.

”You really think I can see her?” asked Mint excitedly, head shooting up, eyes glistening.

”I’m sure she wants to see you.”

The redhead dashed towards the door in a hurry and before leaving she turned back to the maid.

”I’m a little bothered. We have a secret and I don’t even know your name.”

”Call me Nanaea.”

Mint nodded, and skipped off. In pure innocent bliss, she roamed the castle halls, to her mistake, in negligence. Before she knew it, she was knocked back and there were noises of some shattering plates. Mint picked her self up from the floor and attempted to help but the burly woman driving the cart of plates stopped her.

”Don’t touch those! Go on and hurry along.”

Mint nodded mutely and ran past the cart and woman but not without hitting her leg across the cold hard metal of the cart. She ended up in the dining hall where her mother stood, a hand over a protruding stomach, talking to Gramps.

”Mommy!”

The woman turned, her ginger hair flying, greeting her child with a radiant smile.

”Mint!”

She ran towards her daughter, much to the objection of the elder man and gave her daughter a full hug, as full as she could give, with her bulging stomach.

“Mommy your belly’s---“

The queen broke the hug and bent down to look into her daughter’s bright brown eyes.

”This is your little sister,” she crooned in a melodic voice, laying Mint’s hand on her stomach.

At first, the princess was surprised by the little jolt she felt, but she eventually put her hand back and continued to feel the new life within the queen.

”She’ll be coming soon.”

”Soon? I can’t wait to meet her.”

Gramps watched the scene unfold before him somewhat disinterestedly.

Like the queen said, three days later, the child arrived into the world. Mint was confined to her room and unable to see her. On this particular day she was supposed to spend time with her mother, outside of castle grounds having a picnic, along with her father. But just as they were on their way to meet him, her mother doubled up in pain, and everything happened so fast. There were loud yells and almost every castle staff just pushing past her. That’s what she remembered the most, hands shoving her aside, voices telling her she was unable to see her mother.

Princess Mint took refuge in her bed from all of the chaos happening outside, eyes occasionally peering from her covers and darting around the room. Her bedroom door swung open, and her lights were flicked on much to the irritation of her eyes.

”Princess Mint?”

“Nanaea…? What’s going on? My mommy she’s-“

”Don’t worry princess, it’ll be all right. I’m unable to be there too, so we can spend time together.”

Mint nodded happily, her pigtails bouncing jovially. The two sat down on the bed, immersed in conversations about memories, dreams, thoughts. Often their innocent conversations sidetracked over to their dislike of the burly head-maid Amalia. Much to their dislike, she was the first staff to burst into the door, abruptly stopping Mint mid sentence of some joke about Amalia maybe being a man. The woman had literally dragged the redhead out of her room and practically thrown her into the room her mother was holding a small baby with little tufts of red hair.

”Mommy!”

She turned to face Mint, an exhausted but still gorgeous smile on her face.

”This is Maya. She’s your little sister.”

”Maya.”

The baby’s wide eyes found their way on to Mint.

”She’s cute.”

The ginger haired woman giggled.

”She’ll be following in your footsteps. After all you’re the successor.”

Mint nodded, a prideful, arrogant look on her face. She has heard such a comment made by her father many a times before. She loved to hear it. The thought of having people bow down and praise her, calling her queen, and giving her compliments was quite indescribable. She always wanted to be like her mother, a beautiful queen, loved by her people.

There was a coughing and an old man in purple robes appeared at the door.

”Now, now, princess Mint, visiting hour’s over.”

The queen nodded to Mint, and not wanting to upset her weary looking mother, Mint quietly exited the room. She decided to stay at the door, listening in and peeping through the crack. She heard her mother coughing, and there were a lot of complicated things she was hearing she had no idea about. But she clearly understood ‘next in line’ and it was linked with her name, which meant she would be queen, and now they were discussing something about Maya. By that time, her mother hadhanded the newborn child to Gramps and lowered herself into the bed.

Despite looking weak, she spoke powerfully and unwaveringly.

”Since Mint inherits the kingdom, Maya will inherit….”

Mint heard nothing more. She had broken into a run when she heard footsteps behind her.

The next day Mint had woken up, and yawned contentedly. Surely since the queen was no longer with child she’d be able to spend time with her and perhaps bring Maya as well. When she left her room, she shivered, feeling a full blast of gloominess. Instantly and without reason, she felt miserable. She didn’t know why, until she entered the throne room unnoticed. There she saw her father with a group of consultants. Most she didn’t know. Her father was carrying his new child, the only joyful being in the castle, “eating” her hand, and occasionally yelping out happily in her bubble of ignorance.

”The funeral… it should be held from the kingdom to the town plaza.”

Mint listened with interest. She liked funerals. Funerals were a solemn tradition, but it was one she was required to wear something beautiful that the town girls wouldn’t have and often would be envied for. She liked being in the center of the crowd, all eyes on her, looking beautiful, intelligent and important.

”My queen loved her people and she them. I think she’d like them to see her one last time as well.”

Mint’s eyes widened in pure horror. Her mother…? She denied every word, every feeling… But she knew it was true. Her mother was gone for good. She snuck out of the room quietly, and from then, with determination she constructed her long-term plan to become queen.


All That Glitters Is Cold 2 Fanfic Competition
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