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Queen Anthea

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The little Princess Stephanie dropped the red ant into the vibrant nest of black ants. The mass of black ants turned on the solitary red ant and within seconds had torn it to pieces. Her eyes lit up and she smiled to herself.

She walked around the large expanse of garden, before she came to a beautiful butterfly perched on a leaf. She crept slowly to it and cupped her hands around the insect. She returned to the nest and dropped the butterfly into the swarming mass of ants. The ants overwhelmed the butterfly and devoured the poor thing with their strong jaws.

This went on for a few days before the little Princess became bored of this, so she decided to follow the ants, so she laid down on the grass and observed the ants. She was fascinated at how industriousness the ants were – rushing around collecting food and materials for the nest.

Any approaching invader, like another insect, would bring an organised army out from the nest to confront it. The massed ranks of ants, were like pictures she had seen of Roman armies, they were all in file and marched on the invading insect, united in one solid defensive wall. They did not stop marching and attacked with the ferocity of Genghis Khan’s Mongol army or Barbarian Visigoths ransacking Rome. She had to study all this history of preceding Empires by her over-bearing mother in direct competition and defiance of the King who was grooming his only son to be future King.

“You will be Queen one day daughter, I have seen a prophesy in my sleep,” Queen Alessandra said.

“But I am a girl, and girls don’t become Queens,” the little Princess said.

“You have to be strong, our people need uniting, otherwise we will be crushed by the many different peoples that live over our borders. Your father is happy to invite them into his palace and spoil them with food and wine, but he does not realise that they are planning for the day when they all come together and invade us.”

The little Princess thought of the ants and how any intruders, who were not like them, were destroyed, and how they formed together in a strong army to repel any invaders.

“Stop thinking Stephanie, you are always staring vacantly into emptiness, get out of my sight!” and the little girl ran up the marble staircase to her room.

In her room, she took hold of a glass vessel and peered inside it. There were dozens of ants running around, trying to get out. The glass magnified them and she would stare at them for hours and was fascinated by their appearance. They looked like some ancient Greek warriors with their hard shell-like covering that was like a shield and their long antennae which were like javelins, and their lean bodies that were perfect for fighting and chasing down the enemy.

As Princess Stephanie grew older, she never lost her obsession with ants, observing their working habits, their society, mating habits and survival techniques.

One day, her father the King and her brother, returned home after another one of their feasts where they paid homage to the peoples that were not like them. This time they both smelt of scent that she had never detected before. She waited until they were both asleep and crept into their bedrooms where she slit their throats.

The now sick Queen, poisoned by the King, many did say, was not in any fit state to govern. Therefore, Princess Stephanie became Queen of her kingdom residing over many subjects.

The first thing she did after she was sworn in by the Chief Minister was to change her name to Queen Anthea.

“All fertile young women, who are still to marry and have children, I want rounded up and brought to the palace.”

“Yes Mam,” her chief of staff said.

So all young women under a certain age were brought to the palace, and the Queen stood on her balcony looking at every single women that came in and making notes of the most beautiful and the leanest.

“These are perfect, this is what we need, one of these will produce our next generation of workers and soldiers. Now go and round up all the most strongest and virile of the men so to mate with our chosen lady.”

All the women were locked away in one large room, with many beds, but they were given the best food and waited on for their every whim.

The most beautiful one was chosen and she was made the chief female who would procreate with the most beautiful of the men and she would produce the next generation of workers and soldiers.

“She will be our chief female, we can’t call her a Queen because I am Queen, please bring her in so I can meet her,” the Queen said to her chief of staff.

The young woman came in.

“Please sit, what is your name?”

“Anastasia, my lady,” the beautiful young women said.

“It is similar to mine.”

The young women had piercing dark eyes that were quite mesmerising, the Queen had to look away.

“Please give Anastasia her own room, and everything she needs,” the Queen said to her chief of staff, “you can go now.”

“Thank you my lady,” and Anastasia walked out.

Over the next few years Queen Anthea built her kingdom based on the ant colony she had observed. Everyone lived together in one big city underground, where everyone had a job to do and everyone had a plentiful supply of food, and people lived and socialised in communal chambers. Everyone was happy, and invaders to the city were severely dealt with by a united and strong army.

Anastasia gave birth too many strong workers and soldiers. She too became very popular with the people and often clashed with the Queen over how best to run the Kingdom.

One day, Anastasia convinced the army and the people that Queen Anthea was pernicious to the Kingdom and the survival of the people, so she had her arrested on trumped-up charges. In the court many lies were told and she had the Queen murdered for treason – the charge was that the Queen was getting too-friendly with the people over the border.

Anastasia became Queen and ruled with much ruthlessness. Anyone speaking out against the Queen was rounded up by the soldiers and clubbed to death in front of the watching people.

She ordered her strong army into neighbouring countries and murdered, raped and pillaged. All the loot and power she wanted only for herself and her chosen few. She had a massive castle built, which also housed her army, on top of a mighty hill, far away from her subjects. Her subjects were just left in the city and they had to fend for themselves, and soon they all became very poor and starving.

The workers from the city were still expected to forage for food and plough and plant crops in the fields, but the soldiers would come down randomly and take all the food for themselves, and when the workers tried to complain they were ruthlessly beaten and sometimes killed.

This went on for many, many years. The Queen and her hangers-on became richer and richer, and the workers became poorer and poorer.

Eventually word reached the Queen, that the workers were not happy because they were poor and did not have much food. By this time the Queen, now advanced in her years, softened slightly, and so she appointed a Prime Minister whose job was to keep the workers happy. The Prime Minister appointed a government and each person in the government was responsible for a department, for example: health, education, defence etc.

These were just figureheads who peddled lies and propaganda about how well the Kingdom was doing and that all the workers now lived more prosperous lives under Queen Anastasia than when they lived under Queen Anthea. And that,

The Kingdom was now a stronger and more secure place to live because the army had dealt with the many different tribes over our borders who worshipped a different God and who wanted to change our way of living”.

The old city was knocked down, and people were moved to cheaply-made homes which soon fell into disrepair. Soon these houses became shanty towns, because people did not have the means and resources to repair their homes.

What Queen Anastasia was not aware of was that a great underground movement was on the rise. It bought the workers together and argued that they should all unite and fight against the brutal regime of the Queen that forced people to live in slums and work like slaves for pittance, barely enough money for them to feed their families, while the Queen and her government, and many hangers-on, were living in luxury. They received massive payments which were taken out of the people’s taxes, while the majority of the citizens were very poor and could not afford decent health or education.

The underground movement, which was led by Gustave Pavlova, spread their message into neighbouring countries which were once ravaged by Queen Anastasia’s army, and soon the movement had many people that were willing to fight and bring down the brutal regime of the Queen.

The two armies met one day on the battlefield and Queen Anastasia’s army was destroyed and all her soldiers were killed. The Queen tried to escape with a few of her loyal subjects but was captured and imprisoned.

Gustave took over power of the Kingdom and he set about making the Kingdom a fairer and compassionate place for all its citizens. Everyone was entitled to free health and education and the workers’ wages were increased and all the slums were knocked down and replaced by new houses. The result was that people lived a better life and were more happy, and more importantly, throughout the Kingdom and bordering countries everyone lived together in peace and harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

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