Author : J.R. Blackwell, Staff Writer

The royal family is property of The People, and it is The People who determine our fate. When I was eight The People voted to marry brother off to the King of an ore rich moon. He sits now, on a throne of onyx, beside his silent King. When I was ten, the people voted again and my sister was married to two Princes, who each rule half a planet. She lives on the equator, a buckle between the two halves of the world. All of my siblings were bound, earth royal blood, to alien worlds, to distant colonies. Royalty to Royalty. Crown to Crown. We marry so that we do not make war. Blood of violence or blood to bind, there is no peace without blood.

I, the youngest soul, the little Princess all grown, I was left on Earth, to read in the castle libraries, to cut ribbons in ceremonies, to attend dinners. I did nothing but wait, wait until, wait because, wait to be, just wait, biding time, treading time. Oh but then we discovered The World, a life form so large that it covers a planet, all but the poles, a King if there ever was one. The World is a plant, a person, a planet, it grows under two suns, links, stirs, blood as water, skin is green to receive the suns that rotate around their planet , whose million eyes are black like deep ocean water.

On my wedding day I wear a dress, newly made, woven of animal skins, soft against my own flesh. I step on the planet, the bride, a virgin to this space, this world, and the life there is rich – too much oxygen, and I am light headed. You will grow used to it, they say, before they leave me to be wedded to this world. You will grow used to it, they say, before they leave me to be wedded to this world.

I am lighter here. Lighter and light headed, I can step on my husband, my wife, this worlds rich gifts, it’s limbs. I sleep when I am tired, when I am hungry; there is ever fruit and nuts to satisfy me. I need only imagine my hunger, and there is food. My dress begins to shred. It is well made, but after a month, perhaps longer, the sleeves are gone, and the hem is shredded.

I am becoming wild, untamed. The suns never set, but take turns shining in the sky. I am unhinged, a wild thing, a tree animal. My shoes are long ago memories. I cannot remember when the ground was not soft leaves, when the weather was ever imperfect. It rains, and the leaves hurry to cover me, I walk under waterfalls and the water is sweet. The world is my lover, it hastens to care for me. I lay on the soft leaves of my lover, my own, limbs sinking into The World, covered, nearly consumed, and stare up at the two suns ready to receive their light.

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