Around Gray Publishes Presents – Lisa Dugaro – The Identical Children

Once upon a time, the True King and Queen of our Land suffered from infertility, as did the king and queen of our neighboring land. The neighbor’s State Witch had a spell to relieve them of their childlessness, but it would require the cooperation of all four royals. When the spell was fully realized, both Queens gave birth at the same time on the same day to two sets of identical twins each. Each queen had two boys and two girls, and all four boys were identical and all four girls were identical.

Late on the night of the children’s thirteenth birthday, the neighboring king paid a secret visit to our Queen in her rooms. He admitted that he hadn’t believed that the plan would work, but now that it had, there was no need for eight royals where there had been only four before—and there would be no need for two kingdoms now that he had enough progeny to rule the entire land. He revealed that at that very moment our Queen’s children were being killed in the next room.

He vanished. Despite our Queen’s agonizing wailing and screaming, no one heeded her cries to check on the children. She was assured that they were sleeping peacefully in the rooms down the hall. The next day there was no sign of the children or their bodies, just fine silt on the floor of the nursery and a few small pieces of white rock. No DNA samples had yet been taken of the children, and there was nothing left to compare it to anyway. Likewise, there were no other clues leading to the perpetrator of the children’s disappearance. Hearing these things, our Queen’s heart and mind broke.

In time, the neighbor’s children grew up and, after a series of battles against our King’s army, the neighbor-king’s identical boys inherited and shared the rule of the land. Our True King and Queen were deposed and dispatched, our Queen never having regained her sanity.

Her True Highness has never stopped looking for her children, and searches for them to this day, letting nothing, including death, including the passage of hundreds of years, stop her.