Skylar was sitting at her dining room table sipping from a teacup when she heard a knock at her door.
She glanced at the clock beside her and thought sourly, who'd be up at this hour?
But she got up nevertheless; opened the door to find her friend on her threshold.
"Anne? What's the matter?"
Her friend entered the house and threw her coat on Skylar's couch by the door. Anne plopped down and sighed. "What do you think happened?"
Skylar went into her tiny kitchen and poured her friend a cup of warm tea. She handed it to her and sat beside her.
Anne peered inside. "You didn't bewitch this or anything, did you?"
"No, Anne. And I wouldn't bewitch you. You're my friend." Skylar sat back. "So, who started it?"
"My dad." Anne snarled. "He started yelling at me and slapping me around, telling me he wished he had a son. Of course, my uncle kept egging him on."
Skylar cocked her head. "Was it another drunken rage?"
Anne nodded and swallowed her tea in one gulp. "Enough about him. I came to talk about something else."
Skylar watched her friend as she waited for her to continue. She noticed black circles under her eyes, and Skylar frowned slightly.
"Did you need another face mask or something?"
Anne scowled over at her. "Very funny, Sky. But no, it's something else. I . . . I want to be a queen."
"Ok. There's a lot of grey area in that request." Skylar got to her feet. "I could just do this,-" she snapped her fingers, and a girl appeared beside her wearing a lovely gown.
The other girl appeared stupefied. "Where am I? Where's my palace?"
"-And boom, you'd be a queen. Where in the world did you get that idea from, anyway?" Skylar asked, snapping her fingers again, making the girl disappear.
Anne glanced at her. "You know how I've always said that I wanted to be more powerful than my father and uncle?" Skylar nodded, and Anne continued. "I've come to ask you to make me King Henry's queen."
Skylar opened her mouth to protest, but Anne cut her off.
"Please? You said that you'd use your magic to help me. I'm asking you for your help." Anne said. She took Skylar's warm hands in her cold ones and squeezed. "I . . . I want to show my father and uncle that I am capable of something. Becoming something."
Skylar shook her head. "Anne, you don't understand-"
"No." Anne snapped. "You don't."
Anne pulled her hands away. "You don't know how it feels to be talked down on your entire life. You've never had to deal with the screaming, the hitting, the beatings." Anne whispered. "You told me that if I ever needed your magic. I could ask. I'm asking you to help me."
"You're right, I did tell you I'd use my magic to help you. But this is crazy! I can't make you queen. King Henry is still married to Isabell."
Anne twirled her cup. "Then you'll have to deal with her, won't you?"
"Deal with her? You want me to kill her?"
Skylar looked at her friend waiting for her to smile and tell her she was joking. But Anne's expression was dark.
"Goddess help me, you're serious." Skylar retorted.
"Tomorrow, the king is throwing a ball, and everyone in town is invited. Hopefully, you've taken care of the queen before the end of the ball."
Skylar gaped at her. "And how'd you expect me to do that, Anne?"
"Get her alone. Slip something into her drink, damn it, sky, I don't know!" Anne snatched up her coat and threw open the door. "Figure something out, Sky."
Anne opened her mouth to say something else, but she shook her head and slammed the door behind her.
Skylar sat on the couch for a few minutes shocked at her friend's proposal. She couldn't believe Anne would ask her to do such a thing.
She jumped up from the couch and threw up in the sink.
The next evening, Anne appeared at her doorstep wearing a light blue princess-styled gown.
"How do you like it? Took me a month to save up for it." Anne pushed past Sklyar and stalked into the kitchen. "So, have you decided to help me?"
After staying up all night fighting with herself, Skylar decided to help.
Skylar nodded, and Anne beamed.
"Well, I brought outfits for you," Anne said. "BRYAN!"
Skylar's front door was thrown open, and a man stumbled in hauling multiple bags.
Anne held up her hand. "There's no need to thank me. I brought them so you could choose which to wear for the ball."
Sklar raised her eyebrows and glanced at her friend, she knew what kind of dresses she would have bought.
Anne knew that Skylar hated revealing clothes, but that didn't stop her from trying to get her into them.
"Anne, you know how I feel about those types of clothing," Skylar complained, taking some of the bags from Bryan.
"Did you even look at them first, before lamenting to me?"
Skylar pulled out a short dark green dress, that seemed to sparkle every time she moved it. She glanced at Anne. "Really?"
"Goddess help me," Anne growled. "Move."
Anne dug through the bags until she came across a floor-length sea green gown with a slit down the side.
Skylar folded her arms.
"Come on! It matches your eyes." Anne rolled her eyes. "For Pete's sake, Sky. You're going to a ball." She tossed the dress at her. "Go put that on. I'll give you the shoes when you come out."
Bryan dropped the other bags onto the couch. "Is that tea? May I have some?"
Skylar threw the dress over her shoulder, and as she poured the tea she noticed Bryan glancing at Anne out the corner of his eye.
His crush on her was blatant to Skylar.
Before heading off to the bathroom, Skylar handed Bryan his cup of tea and went to change.
She emerged five minutes later with her arms folded, and a scowl on her face.
Anne gasped. "Look at that, Bryan! I made a great choice in the color!" she smirked. "What's up with that face?"
"That is a nice color." Bryan agreed.
"Wonderful, and now that that's out the way, would you mind putting all these bags in Skylar's room?" Anne reached into her purse and pulled out a handful of coins.
When he left the room, Anne whispered. "So have you made a spell or something?"
Skylar pulled her purse from the back of a chair at the table and pulled out a vial of clear liquid.
Anne scowled. "It looks like water."
"It'll be undetectable. You can smell it or anything." Skylar slipped it back into her purse. "I'll do like you said, slip it into her drink."
Anne nodded. "Alright."
Bryan entered the room again. "All finished, miss."
"Wonderful." Anne beamed. "Alert my driver that we are ready to head to the palace, please."
Bryan nods and left the house.
Anne fluffed out her skirts. "Come. Stick to the plan."
Skylar threw her purse over her shoulder and followed Anne outside to the carriage.
After traveling on the dusty road for twenty minutes, they arrived at the palace.
The palace was behind a tall wall that was guarded throughout the day.
Anne's driver dropped them off at the entrance to the palace. Bryan was getting ready to climb out with Skylar and Anne, but Anne shook her head.
"I'll be alright, Bryan. I'm with my friend."
Bryan glanced over at Skylar and looked ready to protest, but he nodded his head and climbed back into the carriage.
Once the carriage left, the two girls went into the palace.
A maid greeted them at the entrance and handed each of them a ticket. Skylar barely had time to admire the tall white columns, glittering chandelier, or the shiny marble floor before the maid whisked them away to the ballroom.
Men and women were already in the middle of the room, dancing to upbeat music in the background. The king and queen were sitting in their golden chairs watching the couples dance.
The queen was wearing a lovely golden gown. It was long and fell to the floor in a heap.
Skylar had met the queen on a couple of occasions to give her remedies and potions she made to help her look young.
The king was wearing an outfit similar to that color.
Anne turned towards her friend and pointed toward the drinks. "I'm going to go start a conversation with that handsome fellow over there."
Before Skylar could protest, Anne walked away, leaving her alone.
Skylar glanced over at the queen again and thought that this was a horrendous idea.
But it was too late to turn back now.
When the queen turned her head in her direction she waved, and the queen's face lit up.
She got up from her seat and hurried over towards her, nearly tripping over her dress.
"Hello!" the queen said when she reached her. "Skylar, right?"
"I must thank you for the elixir you gave me last week, it was wonderful!" the queen glanced over at the king who was conversing with other women. "Would it be possible to create another elixir? Perhaps by tomorrow?"
Skylar looked over at Anne and saw her slowly jerk her head toward the exit.
"Of course! Shall we talk a promenade?" Skylar murmured. "I need to know what ingredients you need in the elixir and how much of it you'll need."
The queen nodded and gestured toward one of the waiters and took two cups with red liquid inside.
"Well, we can walk around the gardens then."
The queen led her toward the exit and took her behind the castle to the large gardens.
"So, about the elixir," Skylar said. "Are the ingredients from the last elixir fine, or do I need to change some things?"
The queen took a sip of the drink. "Well, I guess the one problem that I had with the elixir was the smell."
Skylar nodded and tried to listen, but her mind was foggy.
Why am I doing this?
Should I be doing this?
Will I get killed?
A soft touch on her shoulder startled her and she turned toward the queen.
"Are you alright?" the queen asked. "There's a bench where we can sit. Come."
When she sat down, the queen's eyebrows went up. "Skylar? Are you sure you're alright? You look pale."
"I guess I'm a little dizzy."
The queen placed her cup down on the bench. "Let me go fetch a maid to bring you some medicine."
"No, your majesty that's not necessary."
"Please. I insist. After all, you've done for me." the queen shook her head. Then turned and walked towards the palace, her dress following her in a trail.
Skylar reached into her purse and pulled out the clear liquid. Before she knew what she was doing, she poured two drops of it into the queen's cup.
By the time the queen returned, she had mixed the liquid in with her finger.
"Here you are then, dear. Ah, yes. For the elixir, could you perhaps add some fruit?" the queen picked up her cup and sat. "It'll help with the smell, and because I love fruit."
Skylar nods. "Of course."
The queen took a sip from the cup. The reaction was instant. "Wonderful . . ." the queen faltered and dropped her cup.
"Your majesty? Is everything alright?"
The queen's skin was turning blue, and her eyes were wide and bloodshot. She took her last breath and fell forward off the bench, landing face first into a bush of roses.
Skylar turned away, feeling acrimony rise in her throat. "HELP! HELP! HELP!"
Two guards who were standing at the exit raced toward her.
"Miss, what"s-" the first guard stopped in his tracks when he saw the queen.
The second one crouched beside her and rolled her off the bush. "Holy shit!"
Skylar turned towards the queen. Her skin was still blue, but her eyes were clouded, and her mouth was open with her tongue hanging out.
"S-she's dead?" the first guard stammered. "How?" he turned towards Skylar.
"I'm not sure. We were out here having a conversation, and I went to get her a drink, when I came back she was like this."
The lie came quickly and easily on her tongue, and she hated herself for it.
The first guard rubbed the back of his neck. "How will we explain this to the king?"
"Explain what to me?"
The guard jumped a foot into the air and slowly turned around. "Your-your majesty."
The king folded his arms. "What's going on here?" he glanced at Skylar. "Is this young lady causing disruption?"
"Quite the opposite actually, your majesty. You see, she was screaming for help, and then we . . ."
The king growled. "Spit it out, boy!"
"We. . ." the guard swallowed. "We found the queen, and she's-"
The king shoved the guard to the side and spotted his wife on the sidewalk. He crouched down next to the second guard.
"How did this happen?" the king wailed. "How?"
Skylar shook her head. "I . . . I don't know, your majesty."
Skylar looked up and saw Anne in the crowd with a smirk on her face.
This is all my fault.
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I have turned this short story into a novel. You can find it on Webnovel!!!! It's not called Dangerous thirst. It's Princesses scar.