“Is it wise to disturb her majesty so late in the evening?” The young page asked the guard, his voice shivering.
The guard yawned as pounded on the chamber door. “Course. There’s a reason she’s called the Sleepless Queen, you know.” Almost instantly, the torch lights illuminated the stone hall. The double doors swung open of their own accord, bidding entrance into the King and Queen’s private quarters. Carefully, he stepped inside the room. A question rattled in the child’s head. Why do they call her the sleepless queen?
The Queen sat in a grand canopy bed – wide awake, as her moniker suggested – reading a leatherbound book. Her skin dark and warm like cinnamon. Ears pricked and pointed, a mark of her magical lineage. Rosy pink hair tied into a braid. Beside her, the King snored, his arm slung across her stomach.
“Apologies for disturbing you, your highness.” He bowed.
The book snapped shut. “No apologies needed.” She smiled, beckoning the page to her bedside. With a nervous tremor, he stepped closer and handed her the note. Her amber eyes skimmed the paper. Looking back to the child, her smile returned. Slowly and softly, the Queen climbed out of bed and out of her lover’s embrace. Her satin white nightgown shined in the lantern light. “A beast was seen in the forest. All the kingdoms are on alert.” Her fingers reached for the jagged crystal sitting in the windowsill. The Jagged gem began to glow. A thin silver shield, like a thick fog, covered the entire kingdom. With a resolved nod, her majesty seemed content with the shield protecting their realm.
Bowing again, the boy took a few steps towards the door then stopped. Curiosity clawing at his throat. “Forgive me for asking, but do you have trouble sleeping? Is that why they call you the Sleepless Queen?”
With a light, fluttering laugh, she shook her head. “No, little one. I’m not human like my husband. My kind do not require sleep to survive.” She explained, the gentle tone of her voice soothing like an ocean breeze. A twinkle of adoration in her eyes as she glanced over at the sleeping King. “Though I use the time well. I read. I help maintain the barrier. I protect the King when he rests.” In a playful movement, she grazed his freckles with her thumbs. “Speaking of rest, off to bed with you. Thank you for delivering this message, my good sir, you have done well.” She whispered her praise before shooing him away. The young messenger scampered off. The Sleepless Queen returned to bed, returned to her lover’s side. A book floated into the Queen’s grasp, opening to the page where she left off. “I can tell when you are feigning sleep, dear heart. Unbecoming for a king.”
Enveloping his wife in his arms, he held her in an embrace. Both of them falling into the comfort of closeness. “The Sleepless Queen. Haven’t heard that name in ages.” He hummed into her neck.
Her lips found the crown of his head. “I will gladly take up the title. Being by your side, in the quiet moments, is a blessing in itself.” Waving her fingers, the lanterns dimmed.
“Is there trouble?” The King mumble, drowsiness slowly overcoming him.
“Trouble that can wait until the morning, do not fret.” Golden eyes flicked towards the window, checking the barrier one last time. “If a dragon comes knocking on our walls, we will be protected, to an extent. Go back to sleep, my love. Enjoy the quiet while it lasts.”
“Goodnight, my sleepless Queen.”
I couldn’t get this idea of a queen that does not need to sleep out of my head. And I had no real plot for her to play in. So, I did some freewriting. Let me know what you think.
Stay safe and stay creative.
Write with heart,