Artifact #312, from the Archives of the Stewards

[From the Archives of the Stewards]

Artifact #312 *

“My darling Children.

In the absence of a beginning, there is an After(which cannot be helped)and there is a Before(which is better anyway). In between(struggling to find breath), the Night-Dreamer soothes my hands that’ve cramped from sulfuring a cabinet’s rusty latches. Within these cabinets are plates fashioned by my other hands(my older hands, my hands from the Before). In the After, Jesters spin these plates on hand-sticks(made from my Bones)for the entertainment of children (you, my children) playing in the sun. I’ll glimpse you from beneath the basement stair, straining to touch your feet. Feet of iron and of tyranny, of sun and of clouds, of wind and of stone, my heart timed to your tantrumic marching. With night-time voices, tell the other children your mother’s stories. With brutal feet, kill them when they question how such stories are to be told.”

* Attributed to the Queen, though there is no evidence to support this

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