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The Queen’s Thief Appreciation Week 
Day Four (May 11) - Favorite Object

Inside the case was a dueling pistol, a king’s weapon, wheel-locked, chased in gold. Eddis had seen it earlier that day. When Sounis lifted it out and tipped his head over the locking mechanism, she knew he was reading the letters inscribed there: Onea realia. “The queen made me.”
     Sounis thanked the queen prettily, years of training providing the appropriate words. As he went to replace the pistol in the box, he paused. There was a tab to lift the bottom of the box and clearly room to store something underneath. Keeping the gun in his hand, he reached with the other, but Gen forestalled him, holding the inset bottom of the box down with a single finger.
     “You have heard my queen’s advice. My gift is below. Would you wait to see it until you have decided what you will do with hers?”

Megan Whalen Turner, A Conspiracy of Kings

“Stop, Marina. It’s okay. You brought me here. It’s—I can’t even describe it. It’s amazing in there.”

The only thing that would make it better was if you were here, with me.

I pause, the next sentence catching in my throat. Even now, when I have nothing to lose, I can’t seem to tell her.  Marina, I love you. I miss you. I wish you were here.  

Looking down at my chest, I’m surprised I’m not feeling any pain.  The blue light of the Loralite is spreading outwards from where the wound to my heart was.  Instead, it feels warm, even though it’s breaking my body apart.

I try to conceal the blooming alarm blossoming within me with a smile. No! Not yet! I need more time!

 Luckily, Marina is braver than I. “Can I kiss you?” she asks, a relieved smile—a real smile—spreading across her tear-streaked face.

 I grin, a blush rushing up my cheeks as I continue to disintegrate. “I really wish you would.” Please hurry, before I go.

 Still smiling, Marina grabs the sides of my face and pulls me in close, kissing me passionately. Her lips are warm and soft, just like I always dreamed they would be. My heart flutters in my chest, and it beats so fast I’m afraid it’ll burst free.  No! It’s too soon!

 Caught in the heat of the moment, I almost forgot what else is going on while Marina and I have out little make-out session.

 Struggling against the pull, I put all my remaining energy into futilely trying to break free of the string that’s dragging me into the afterlife. The breaking apart of my cells leaves me with a tingly feeling, but it’s nothing compared to the feeling in my skin whenever my hand brushes Marina’s. It’s a sensation I long to feel again, but never will.

 Crying out a little, Marina reaches out to grab me as I disappear completely. I open my mouth to shout, to tell her one last thing before I go forever, leaving her behind.

 Marina, I-

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~

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Photo taken by Mikko Lagerstedt