“Mr Gulliver says you look beautiful today, Mummy.” Mr Gulliver is my little Susannah’s imaginary friend, the latest in a long line. I’m not sure I like him as much as I liked the twins, Molly and Jane, they were such sweethearts – as far as figments of the imagination go. Molly and Jane, they sat at the table like good little girls, even if Susannah would constantly chastise Jane for chewing with her mouth open. There’s nothing abnormal about having imaginary friends, Dr Lievre has assured us, especially for a girl as lonely as poor Susannah. Being a princess can be a lonely life for one so young, and with no suitable children in the kingdom for her to play with she needs to create her own friends. It is the sign of “a robust imagination.”
I found her in the Corvis Wing, the crumbling symbol of ancient pomp and majesty where her father sits with diplomats in peaceful battle. I found her lurking in the throne room, her normally bright eyes dull, staring disinterestedly at her father.
“Mr Gulliver says you look pretty all the time, but he thinks you look prettier than usual today.” She’s trying to change the subject, trying to distract me as I sweep her into my arms, casting an apologetic glance at the King and begging his forgiveness. He is a good man, kind and understanding. He is a good man, but he doesn’t tolerate disobedience.
Susannah whispers, her words muttered under her breath. She seems so heavy, a pacific resistance offered against my anger. My Susannah, growing up – is it any wonder that she has become rebellious. Dr Lievre has said that as she enters puberty her imaginary friends will disappear.
I lean down toward her, struggling to make out the bitter whispers. Words drift fluidly into comprehension.
“Mr Gulliver says he wants to hold you down and ravish you, Mummy. He wants to crush you beneath his weight. He says he’ll harvest while you’re sleeping…”
Written for this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge (crush: to reduce to particles by pounding or grinding <crush rock>) and the Three Word Wednesday prompts Battle, Fluid and Harvest. I saw the image above on last weekend’s io9 Concept Art Writing Prompt and I just had to use it…
Comments and criticism always welcome!