jacqueline & maixent
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Posted: Jan 20 2015, 02:17 AM
Jacqueline Victoria Monroe
in between being young and being right you were my versailles at night
determined — shrewd — volatile — strong-willed — regal
she's never been the biggest fan of cats
Your mental image of her is as bright and vibrant as ever. She's older than you, but not by much. She floats when others walk. Her fingers are long and slender, her hair a rich, thick blonde that you're sure is magic because people don't have a naturally thick, blonde hair. Everything she does is a work of art, whether it's setting down a tea cup, having a conversation (her voice is always quiet, soft spoken, as though she might disturb a baby bird if she speaks too loud), or greeting members of the peasantry. She's like a porcelain doll, pale and perfect and breakable. She is everything you are not and everything you hate. You grow up and stare at your knobby knees and knuckles, your clumsy gait because you grow too tall (much taller than her) for your brain to keep up with your body, your script that is messy at best and illegible at worst, and you wonder what went wrong with you. You're a scrapper, constantly pushing the buttons of everyone around you and completely willing to punch anyone who dare much fun of your much too frizzy hair.
But you know not all is as it seems, always, but really, when she ascends the throne, you're the least surprised of a land of those who saw it coming from the moment she was born. You would say it was written in the stars that it would happen, if you believed in astrology. She's too nice, at least at first, and you resent her for it. You're the younger, you're not nearly as graceful or tactful, why in Wonderland would anyone put you on the throne when there's a much more perfect candidate? It's the only justification that keeps you from seeking out any one of Wonderland's more elusive, terrifying creatures — the jabberwocky or the jub-jub bird or even the cheshire cat, in a more desperate spiral of ruthlessness one night — that would gladly take her as a midnight snack.
You two are friends. You grew up together, had the same tutors, ate at the same table, but you're the ugly duckling in comparison. Even the Duchess, ugly as she may be, had more decorum than you (but that never stopped you from keeping a running commentary going on the sheer size of her nose). She probably knows you'd rather your places were swapped, but she promises that she'll never talk work with you, only personal matters, like how one of the knights has taken a fancy to her or what color scheme the upcoming summer ball should be (red, always red, she's the queen of hearts, you reason to her). You try to swallow your contempt and be supportive. If you were a shred more vindictive, you'd plot a way to get her off the throne and follow through on it, instead of merely entertaining the fantasies in your mind.
But something happens, and slowly, she shows signs of breaking. The first time she raises her voice, you're shocked she's capable of speaking so loud. Everyone stops; time stands still for a heartbeat as the dining staff swallows what's just happened. It was the beginning of the end for her, you later realize. But at the time, as she begins to snap at people who make mistakes and lets her footsteps fall harder on the stone floors as though she was constantly annoyed, you saw an opportunity. There was a crack in the armor she had so long kept polished so brightly. And cracks mean opportunities for the lesser folk. It was one of the few things your father bothered to teach you as a kid.
You sit up straight at dinner. You begin reading anything you can get your hands on and hire a personal adviser to catch you up on the ins and outs of Wonderland politics you hadn't been fully paying attention to before. You keep your strong tongue but sharpen it into a fine point, teaching yourself to swear less and drag more. Your personal adviser suggests maybe starting to cover your shoulders more; you promptly ignore him and debut at that year's summer event with an entirely sleeveless dress. She's pissed that you're being so blatantly provocative; you tell her, quite politely, where to shove it. You pluck your eyebrows, soften your smile, and keep your chin high Your transformation is dramatic, like a caterpillar to a butterfly on fast forward, and everyone important notices, especially as she develops a taste for blood, going so far as to have the castle turned a red color to remind everyone who resides there. You may have bloomed later than her, but it's just in time.
Alice arrives in a whirl of questions and curiosity and humanity, and you know this is it. For so long, things had been the same that while the Queen was happy to keep perpetuating the status quo as she crept to the edge of sanity, that Alice poses the biggest threat yet. She's too different for the Queen to handle, and the Queen's reaction to Alice blowing down the whole house of cards, a newer and still shaky reform of the Queen's, nails the lid on the coffin for her and busts the door wide open for you. Beheadings now occur multiple times a day; in the time between Alice's first arrival to her death, the Queen's penchant for getting rid of anyone who even looked in Alice's direction, save a few key players, knocks Wonderland's population down to a half of what it used to be. Of who's left, you continue to win over your favorites, having more tea then you'd rather in your entire life. But in the resulting revolution, the mundane conversation and too hot tea proves useful.
The death of Alice Liddell is the one event you'll never forget. It gives you the chance to move in and claim what you'd always wanted your whole life. Because humans die so much quicker than Wonderlanders, it's a shock to everyone when she passes. The Queen holds a memorial service, minus Alice's corpse, and nearly all of Wonderland turns out to commemorate her. There's unrest, however, as rumors swirl of how she died. But in her happiness of being rid of what she saw was a major problem, she fails to notice how much of Alice's world is being brought back into Wonderland. You do, though, and it worries you. As Wonderland loses her magic, you begin to worry about the future, thoughts unfamiliar to someone whose whole life is doing the things unhappy royals do, like quietly setting the stage for a coup.
It never comes to that. War breaks out in Wonderland for reasons you weren't paying attention to. For a place that moves so slowly, it felt like revolution came overnight. Those you had talked to, schmoozed up, and kissed ass for turned out much more proactive than you (you, who worry too much about making the right move because Alice forbid you revert back to the person you were) and simply sped things up. It's silent and lethal; the streets run thick with blood. Skirmishes and fights break out on occasion, but you know Wonderland is too smart for war as humans know it. She finally has her breakdown and you're there for it. Her insanity smells like success. In your mind, there's a picture of you, tattered white dress smeared with dirt and red, standing above it all. When she begins ranting and raving about how awful Alice Liddell was, you calmly step in and have someone take her to be evaluated. When the Court medical practitioner comes back, declaring her unfit to rule, all eyes turn towards you. You have to contain a smile. You're the next in line, after all.
The coronation takes place in a small room, only a few people gathered. Outside the castle walls, a Cat weaves dark riddles of death while a Rabbit contemplates the effects of human life force on Wonderland. Nobody knows you're the new Queen until a few days later, when you make an official proclamation that a proverbial ceasefire is effective from that moment on, lest everyone find out what you have in store for those who do not cooperate. Your coronation isn't surprising to anyone who's met you, but the timing is questioned by a few. Whatever. You ignore them and focus on hiring a team of advisers, because even though you're intelligent and fully capable of making decisions, thinking out all possibilities of a situation is exhausting. And something in your gut is telling you to conserve your energy.
He shows up amidst the influx of new royal advisers and you take to him instantly. There's something to be said for finding someone who matches you on every level that's important. He's smart and witty with just enough dark humor to make even your toughest of facades crack while everyone else stands around, uncomfortable as hell. When he returns the affection, you know this is it. Friendships and relationships were never really your thing — solitude has proven over and over to be nothing but beneficial to you — but he opens the door to a new world, where it's possible to love without losing your reputation as cool and sharp but favorable when needed, or your sense of self as someone who's never needed anyone to achieve her goals.
You're not a fan of London by any stretch of the imagination, though you understand it has its uses — particularly the humans. Alice certainly had an effect on Wonderland, and ever since she left, you've noticed the lack of magic. It's when people start taking human forms that you decide it's a problem. Through a series of meetings with the White Rabbit, you learn there is, in fact, a relationship between visiting London, humans, and magic, it just can't be fully explained at the moment. Concerned for the future of Wonderland and her inhabitants, you order the shut down of every possible entrance to London, with a quiet understanding that the White Rabbit will keep a small, unknown rabbit hole open for royal use.
It comes down to kidnapping humans, which is fine with you. Anything to get to the truth. You set up a section of guest housing for them and, more publicly, start the Card Deck up again, handing some of the leadership over to the newly crowned King to keep everyone busy. You find yourself fascinated with the entire project, so much so that you don't notice it's caught the attention of the Cheshire Cat, who shows up one day, as dark and intimidating as the day Alice Liddell died. Full of questions and just this side of prying too much, you share as much as he, dead set on not telling him too much. He figures it out anyway, several meetings later, his smile still troublingly wide for someone in a human skin suit. He hints at wanting a handful or two of his own humans; you don't deny him this. You're not sure of his relationship with the old Queen, but you aren't about take on the Cheshire Cat alone. No, you need time to build up an army.
It starts quietly. It's not a power struggle and you're convinced it's some kind of head trip, but you can't pin down exactly what it is. It's definitely a game and if anything, it'll keep your mind busy as you attempt to sort out how to fix Wonderland. The humans are proving to be useful but not the entire solution. It's troubling but endlessly fascinating. You hand over full control of the Card Deck to the King and let him open it up to anyone who wishes an audience with him to try to get in. This back-and-forth with the Cheshire Cat is going to take all of your attention and you're ready to go, creating a chessboard for you and the Cat. It's time to prove that the tiara on your head and the title on your shoulders deserves to be there.
asya — 18 — gmt -5 — pm/skype — eleanor, fintan, payton
Posted: Feb 16 2015, 10:06 AM
Welcome to the site! I can't even begin to tell you how much I love Jaq, and the way you fit the original Queen into her application too! I really enjoyed seeing the breakdown of the former Queen and how Jaq worked her way up until she took the throne. Brilliantly done, and an excellent debut for your darling! Can't wait to see her take this world by the reins and get down to it <3