By Rosa De Martinis (’22)
The Scene: The betrayer of the queen has been brought before her after his departure and exile. He has been caught defying the decree. He stands before the queen in hopes of a second chance and for appeal. The queen sits in front of him, reminding him of the terms. She speaks with burning rage, disappointment and grace. She is filled with brokenness and disgust.
You, member of the weak and wind, are henceforth exiled from where I dwell and all I touch. Your words are now inaudible when you speak. Your branches are cut from my vines.
The law is permanent just as the ink is in my skin.
(Pauses. Still sitting on the throne she leans in the betrayer’s direction directly looking at him with burning eyes.)
I am a woman of my word, don’t you remember? Has time diluted your memory? My sharp tongue is warranted for the crimes you have committed.
(holds up one finger for each crime)
Anarchy! Deceit! Exploitment! Betrayal! Treason’s price is what you’re paying. I heard you plotting behind the walls of your cowardice. Ranting about your freedom and plans to assault. You demanded and ye received it.
Not even Virgil can guide you now! You must face your banishment alone.
Look around you! Your acres of land stand mighty! Isn’t this exactly what you described?
Isn’t it marvelous? Do not wear dissatisfaction. This was created by your hands!
(Walks towards him)
I am unaware of how you shall prosper. How will you grow anything when the soil is of no use? Perhaps, if you tend to it, you may have fruit. You inspired, advocated, for your own dethroning. Yet, after your wish was granted, I find you here! Lingering on the outskirts of my kingdom. You stand before me helpless and guilty even after the decree was stated. You were aware of the conditions and consequences of your behavior. Once you are outcasted, there is no point of return; It is impossible to come back.
(In disbelief, enraged)
But you dare ask for pity?! Why should I feel sorry for you? You are a victim of your own undoing. I am not to blame. I simply obeyed your request. It is too late, foolish one! The wishes and chances you had are the only ones you’ll get!
I am not capable of retracting what I did. It is not my fault you do not like the results.
The day of your betrayal was the day the sun went down for you within my heart. Compassion no longer lives here and neither do you.
(Face to Face)
Let it be known, from now until I return to the Earth, I am the sovereign ruler only.
This is what has to be done for my entity and for the land of the just. Your position has been stripped evermore. You shall not have access to me or the one who takes your former place.
Therefore your eyes won’t have the opportunity to cast vile curses.
All of this is coming to pass.
I proclaim this from the roots of my hair to the soles of my feet.
I shall see to it you pay your debt.
Whatever you give into your life, you will get.
You will live to be centuries old in isolation and in the cold.
And may the lessons I taught haunt you and grant you wisdom.
(Looks to guards)
Get him out of my sight.