There is a myth told about a certain individual who went by the name of George, something that happened many years ago; a story about a certain tree that was “damaged” when he was quite young; a statement made about him not being able to lie about what he’d done.
This particular myth does bring a more-than-usually bemused smile to the Queen of the Realm and there’s a very good reason for that. For, you see, sometimes, the myth leads towards the reality of the Queen’s…
Cherries are something quite important to Tera. It’s not just that she delights in a perfectly-baked cherry pie, though the moans of delight as forks are brought with morsels of wondrous temptation to watering lips are a smile-creating reward. It’s not only that there is a lovely scent of cherry about the Queen as she moves from place to place, the breezes carrying that delectable aroma to tease and enchant the olfactory senses of those nearby.
Even if one was to ignore—though that is nigh impossible—the sight when she bampfs from, or into, view, that scent can be quite strong, almost … mesmerizing. We shan’t even mull over the double, and possibly triple, entendre which comes from the realization that Tera’s personal scent is cherries, that she loves cherry pie, and what the sexual connotations of that well may be … and are. What we shall focus on today is, perhaps, the singular aspect of Tera’s entanglement with cherries, the aspect which brought the Queen of the Realm to become forever entwined with cherries.
Upon the plains of the Realm, beyond the ever moving fields of dreams and the rivers of passion, there are the more wild regions: places which offer both wonder and surprise, places where lust roses have thorns to both snag the unwary and tease the mesmerized. These are flowers that swirl their petals to attract attention and vines to hold fast those whose minds give way.
There are many wonders and delights in this, the Wilds of the Realm: places where one can be lost in one’s own darker needs or brighter passions. The Wilds are not good or evil, but simply are, and, in being so, they exist at the whims of the Realm itself …
… Or, at least, that is what is believed by scholars and learned souls alike. The truth, however, is that there is a focus to the wild which only one has seen.
In the time before there was a Queen with ebon hair and red horns, before she took to the throne and shaped the Realm in her own way, there was a young princess called Tera who was, as a whole, as wild as her ebon mane itself. She was, in fact, every bit as headstrong, or tailstrong. That is a point which many have discussions over—though not often in her presence, for their own good sense reminds them that the Queen still does have her wild side, after all.
From the grounds of the Palace, she could see the Wilds off in the distance, the winds sweeping over the shadows of black and the reds of fire. She’d been looking towards the Wilds for many a year, mulling them over and learning all she could about them.
The knowledge was, at its core, mainly hearsay and suggestion, for few had gone into the Wilds and, of those, to find one who was willing to speak of what happened there was incredibly difficult. As she burned with the red of passion and the black of dominance, there was, to Tera’s mind, a challenge to be faced in front of her.
And she was not one to back away from a challenge.
The manicured lawns and pathways of the Palace soon gave way to trails and forests. Those soon petered out and her way was impeded by the Realm left to turn to its own devices, whims, and aspects as it saw fit. Light of day turned mottled and shadowed as, overhead, the forest canopy overwrote the skies above, turning the air around her thick with sounds and sights that shifted toward things not seen, felt, or heard for ages by the proper Realm.
She paused at the flowers and considered them: bright specks of temptation, their petals shimmering, the winds making their fragrance call to her. They offered themselves, called out to her, murmuring a song of need and want … but they did not hold her desire. Beautiful they were, but that alone wasn’t enough. Her hand passed over the blooms, which nipped at her fingers, calling for her to pick them alone, but they were but the first, and she was not given to impulses alone. Still, they did have their calling, their vines tried to snag upon her ankles, certain they were all she needed. But they did not know her inner fire, could not sate her needs. Still, they planted a seed as the Queen-to-be moved onwards.
The next to appear were the roses, their scent calling out to attract her attention. Where the green of the leaves reflected her eyes, the flame of the red roses caught the notice of the flame of her desire. The lust and heat of the roses entwined with her own passions as viscerally as the sharp thorns bit against her skin. Both heat of need and ache of want battled against the lust and darker passions the roses awoke. Scratching against skin and tangling in her hair and snagging her form, the roses promised to press upon others her judgement. Lust was offered, passions were open to be explored. She need not go any further into the depths of the Wilds, for the roses knew they had all she needed.
But they did not have all the answers, could not fill the ache in her core. Lust was but an aspect of her, after all. But they did leave their colour on the Queen as her passion called for her to look over the next rise, to see what awaited, to answer the call that came from afar. The roses could but view with impudence as she slipped from their hold, just as she had the flowers before. They were part of, not all of, what she sought.
The grove that appeared over the rise was both measured in its wonder and in the secrets it held close. The scent made her smile with its familiarity and mystery, her eyes gathered the reds of her passion, the green of her power, the black of her dominance. All she was, would be, could be, shall be, came from the red cherries, the green leaves, and the black cherries that fought for dominance of this domain.
She noted the strength of the cherry trees, how they arched over her, their branches laden with the fruit they bore. The scent was so very strong and yet so very subtle and she smiled in wonder as the Realm itself, at its most wild, offered the wild-maned red-tail the answer not asked, but always within her. Her fingers brushed against a pair of cherries, considering them. Soft and ripe for the plucking, holding the gift of life and at their core, the seeds of that life to be returned to the soil and made anew.
The trees did not entangle her limbs or block her way. They did not press onto their visitor what they wanted or needed. They simply were whatever she needed them to be, whatever her will chose. The cherries offered their scent to her, to be part of her, not asking for her to be part of them.
She turned to look back the way she’d come and saw the roses wilting, the vines cascading, the flowers turning away. They had seen they’d not been chosen by the one to be, the wild-maned red-tail who was part of the Wilds themselves. It was clear that she’d made her choice, and they would be forgotten once more. But they did not see her smile or the determination in those so-green eyes, the flame in her red horns and tail, or the impossibility to reign in the Wild herself.
Soon after, the Palace Garden had a plot of land set aside for the young Queen-to-be. At its heart was a tall, strong cherry tree, offering its fruit, both black and red. Winding around its trunk, red roses protected the tree, their thorns warning against harming their host, but also offering the promise of the lust they held. Surrounding the base were the flowers, their green vines an intricate bed marking the edge of the Wild, now part and parcel of the Wild one to be Queen even as this bit of the Wild was now part and parcel of the Realm.
The scent of cherry, though, was complex and unmistakable …
… a reflection of the Queen of the Realm’s own soul-deep Wilds.