The Princess inspects her knives before she leaves her home. The one she keeps in her boot is dull, and she takes the time to sharpen it. You can’t be too careful at the edge of the woods.
When the Princess approaches the candy-colored house, music drifts through the windows. The woman the Princess wants to see works in her garden, thrusting the spade into to soil, a pile of lilies waiting nearby.
“Hello, Cordelia,” the Princess says from the gate. She doesn’t enter without being asked.
Cordelia, frail and fair, nods, but she doesn’t stop the rhythm of digging holes in the earth.
“Your garden is beautiful as always,” the Princess says. The garden is always beautiful. The flowers there never stop blooming, even in winter.
“I know why you’re shadowing me, Princess. I’ve nothing to say about the Prince.”
“You were the last to see him alive.”
“You were the first to see him dead,” Cordelia says. “And I’ve never had blood on my hands.”
The Princess looks away, and Cordelia stops her work. She walks over to the Princess. She reaches up and pulls a strand of hair from the Princess’ neck.
The Princess flinches. “You’re not innocent, Cordelia.”
“I only said I don’t have blood on my hands.”
“You don’t know anything about my hands.” The Princess resists pulling back on her hair.
“I know when I dream my hands are clean.” The flowers around Cordelia are bright.
The Princess doesn’t know where she wants to look, but she forces herself to look at Cordelia.”That’s because when you dream nothing but lies.” She holds Cordelia’s gaze. “And you were the first person to see the Prince dead. You and I both know it.”
Cordelia laughed. “There’s so much you don’t know, Princess. The Prince was right about you.”
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