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Picture stories homecoming 5 comp  

This is a tale as told to me by She.
She was a rubbish whore, a running sore, a piece of shit, a bitch, a witch, a waste of space, a nothing needed nowhere. She was all they said of her but she’d made it back and tenacity was not something they had thought to put on their accusing . So easy to mingle with the crowd, slip through the castle gate. She walked with the people, no one stared or even looked. None of them cared for her, she was not there for them, exiled to the other place she was forgotten. ’Selene,’ she screamed out her name but no one heard, the nowhere place had changed her, now she was just a piece of mist and wind flowing by. She drifted to her rooms, turned into a tawdry brothel with a high rake off for the realm. The officials in their palanquins, the gang masters whipping the slaves to work, the gambling wheels, the abandoned children,the soldiers using a beggar as their bait, home sweet home.
If she could not be known in the light then the night was a different time, the other place had been a hell for her, she had paid dear for its lessons and the sleeping time was an easy path for her to walk. Mist and wind could take any shape she wished it too. She moved through the palace and found her dear mother weighing down a bed with her dogs, she slipped inside. ‘Mummy dear, your ever loving daughter has come home and she’s learnt to play by different rules now. Here let me show you how talented I am,’ and the Queen found herself living, breathing, inside a buried coffin.‘Sweet dreams my dear mama.’ Then to the King with his latest ingenue. ‘Oh wise and noble ruler, be it known your daughter Selene is home, and I have bought you a little present.’ The King was tied to a table with a funnel in his mouth, a never ending stream of drink and offal pouring in.
Then to find the real ruler of the realm. ‘Come in my dear,’ cooed Avarice, golden trinkets trickling through its paws. ‘I’ve been waiting for your visit since you arrived.’
‘You can see me?’
‘Of course, I am not an imbecile, I can see an enemy when she stands before me. A little wine perhaps to celebrate your homecoming.’
‘I don’t think so.’
‘Most probably wise. You know I wanted you dead and done with but your sentimental parents could not find the courage to have it done. So I suggested your holiday away in the other place. I must say I am impressed, you must have crawled through misery to get back here.’
‘Something like.’
‘Quite, so here we are face to face, amuse me Selene, what plans have you in store for me?’
‘You can see me and in turn I can see the monster you truly are, you know I am not really sure.’ Selene moved around the room. ’Don’t you find it stuffy in here do you mind if I open a window. The window was barred but there was enough space, Selene began feeding gold and silver through the gap to smash on the rocks below.
Avarice waddled towards her but Selene laughed, nimbly avoiding the lump.
In frustration Avarice yelled for the guards. ‘Arrest that woman.’
‘What woman your excellency?’
Selene had discovered the jewels and was gleefully tossing fistfuls to the open air.
‘Dolts stand in front of that window, block it.’
Selene locked eyes with Avarice. ‘I never realised what a pleasure it is to see you suffer,’ and she was gone.
Down the forgotten stairs to the place below. Then the bulwark of the ancient door, it would not move. She wrenched, she pulled, she kicked, until she was exhausted. Frustrated she slumped with her back to the door. She had a memory of her nurse bringing her here, did she use a key, she could not recall seeing one. Then she remembered. She stood before the door arms by her side. ‘If I am worthy then I ask to let me pass, if I am unworthy then strike me down. She cringed as she waited, then the old door slowly opened. Selene kissed it as she passed through.
Descending the winding stairs to the huge chasm underneath the castle, a resting place for all her ancestors but also a sea of shifting mist. Selene threw herself in, riding the currents, gaining strength from being part of a many again.
Footsteps down the old steps.
‘I don’t see what we’re coming down here for, no one comes down here.’
‘Shut it, if that thing says we search the whole bleeding place thats what we do.’
‘Gives me the creeps.’
‘Not another bloody word.’
As the soldiers descended the mist silently rose up behind them, they were a lost island in a murky sea. Too late they realised the danger and then the mist engulfed them.
Connecting to her source, all the discarded memories, all the urges that had been hidden, all the fear and fright that had been locked away, all the love that never lived, all the ways that could have been. Selene felt their strength coalesce inside her.
Up in the great hall the banquet was on its fifteenth course, every parasite was fighting for their chance to bite the roasted sacrifice. The money lenders, slave owners, pulled the flesh with greasy hands, the pimps, the drug pushers, the corrupt lawyers and judges rammed it down their gullets. At the head of the table the King and the Queen sat beside the monstrous growth of Avarice who was licking the head of the child, the King had sold his soul to it and with that blood signed away his realm.
Selene had been busy below, conversing with the past, writing runes to the present. Then leading the mist they had freed all the jailed, all the slaves, every servant had been urged to be gone from the castle.
And now the high doors of the great hall were pushed open but there was no person there, just some strands of mist slowly gathering in. Strange for the doors to open but a little bit of mist was no concern, they returned to their guzzling. All except Avarice who’s eyes were transfixed by the sight of the Princess before them.
A quiet voice, a quiet voice but strong, cut through the babble of the feast. ‘You sent me away to the unseen, you wanted to forget me, well I am back and you shall see me now, Gradually a portion of the mist detached itself from the sea,
it thickened, it shaped, and there was mist made Selene, as subtle as a lie, as unbending as the truth.
‘I have been talking with the spirits of our ancestors, you disgust them, they disown you, they have moved away. In this mist you have hidden every foul deed you wished to forget, well remember them now. And with that the mist rose up, it threaded through the people whispering ever lie, every deceit they had hoped forgotten.
‘You have no past, there is no future for you., all you have is now and that I will destroy. She clapped her hands and every mighty stone column that held the castle firm cracked and crumbled, the castle stirred then crashed into the chasm below.
As the dust cleared all that could be seen was a small figure like a statue covered in dust and in the distance a frightened throng of slaves and servants. As Selene moved they all knelt to her.
‘Why do you kneel?’ asked Selene.
‘Your majesty you are our Queen.’
Selene laughed. ‘Oh no my friends its not going to be as easy as that. You think to escape one bondage for another. If I am your Queen then you must obey me. Well I set you free, you must take the hard path of finding your own destiny, you are your own mistress and master now. Think for yourselves for I will not do that for you.’ And with that Selene walked away.

the end