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Poisoned Chalice?

I watched her do it. A metal canister, a clear liquid, a silver spoon to mix it in, to ensure it looks as though the reddish purple wine in my goblet hasn't been tampered with.

Later, at the banquet, robes swirling in colours ruby and turquoise, I tilt it towards me and sniff delicately. Nothing, save the fresh whiff of grapes. A sigh escapes me, or rather the lump in my throat. Of course. Scentless, along with colourless and tasteless, no doubt. The best poisons always are.

My options are clear: drink or don't drink. Her gaze bores into me from across the hall. I lift my head to stare back, and her eyes widen. I try to communicate that I saw. I hope she understands.

The golden circlet resting in my hair weighs on me, my neck stiff and cramping from too much time underneath. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, indeed. Wearily, I swirl my wine. If it is not wine, it will be sword or arrow or wild horse. I will die on my terms, no one else's. When I raise my goblet again, I swallow every drop.

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7 February 2015