If you're doing any of these prompts, please link me to them. I'd love to see what people are up to.
Some people have asked that I do text prompts, so from now on there'll be two to choose from
Today's image is from Fuco Ueda
and the other option is
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun
a line from Funeral Blues (W. H. Auden)On the Altar of Arabelle
The damn thing was always precocious, and naturally, spoiled by her position as the Eater. Something had to be done. It wasn't as if she was safe under any one person's control. Especially not *hers*, Prince Embick told himself.
When the royal couple finally declared their divorce (Scandal! Horror! The populace had been confused and angry and ultimately bitter at this failure of their perfect romance) and all the properties and duties divided between them, like chips on a land-board, there was still the problem of Arabelle.
"She's mine, of course. It goes without saying." The Queen held out her hand, and one of her thousand maids darted forward with a pen, a second with paper, a third crouched before her as a writing desk.
Prince Embick the third coughed delicately into one fist, and darted a glance at his company of stockinged lawyers. The first nodded. "Perhaps," said the Prince, after the glance had gone on a second too long, "once." He cleared his throat, swallowed, and dropped his hands to his sides, as if suddenly aware of how it made him look. "It has, however, been brought to my attention, by various parties - who, I must insist, are not prejudiced in any way-"
"Oh dear Godsclaw, Embick, get to the point." She stabbed her pen down, hard enough to make the bowed girl squeak. "I have things to do."
Embick spluttered, then ran his thin hands down over the front of his embroidered frock coat. "Very well. The point. Yes, ahem, I shall get to it."
"This century." The Queen didn't look up from her writing. Her fingers flew across the page, the black feather bobbing with each punctuated squeak.
"Arabelle was in fact, given to me -"
"She was not!"
He continued, speaking louder, over the Queen's protests. "Given to me, I might add, by the very Poisoner himself." He smiled. A smug little fattening of his mouth.
The Queen flicked her quill over to the nearest maid, who caught it, tossed the paper to another, who began to blow earnestly on the drying ink, and kicked the writing desk. "Off with you," she said. The girl brushed tears from her face and ran off to join the others.
Embick shuffled backwards as the Queen stalked toward him. "He's my poisoner, you idiot. Therefore, any gifts he gives, are in fact, also mine." She narrowed her eyes. "or do you think that if you don't have the Eater, that I might," she drew back slightly, widening her eyes in mock surprise. "poison you? At the very dinner table, perhaps?"
"Well." He flushed. "It hadn't occured to me as such-"
"Take her." The Queen turned away and clicked her fingers for the maids to come scurrying. The one who had been drying the letter, folded it neatly into thirds and at a nod from her mistress, pressed the writing paper into Embick's hands.
He glanced down. A Deed of Transfer. "What?" said the Prince, to his once-consort's retreating back. "J-just like that?"
There was no answer. The last of the maids left, dipping a brief (far-too-brief, to the Prince's mind) curtsey as she shut the door softly behind her.
Embick looked down at the tall child sprawled in the altar-throne. "Well then," he said. A warm glow of satisfaction went through him, all the way to his very toes. With the royal Eater now his, there was no chance that he could actually be poisoned at the dinner table, as it were.
"You're too late," said the child, kicking one stockinged foot against the black wood of the altar-throne.
Unnerved by her sudden proclamation, Embick shuddered. "What do you mean?"
"I could Eat every morsel put before you," she said, still slamming her heel against the wood, fingers twirling through the ribbons in her hair, "and it would make not a lick of difference."
"Is that so?" He pulled himself taller, not wanting Arabelle to see just how much she flustered him. "And why is that, pray tell?"
"Come closer and I'll tell you." She grinned, an oddly adult look on her round face. "We don't want them hearing how she tricked you now, do we?"
A glance at the lawyers in their powdered wigs and baby blue vestments, and Embick could see how they were leaning forward, despite the studious expression of disinterest they cultivated.
He crossed the space, and kneeled next to the throne. Her right leg was flung over one armrest, and there were pie-stains on her frock.
"Closer," she said.
"Just tell me." He was beginning to grow more than irritated, especially since it now seemed that his charming ex-wife had tricked him again, just like she always did. Just as she'd tricked him into marrying her in the first place. He sighed and leaned close enough to her that any whisper between them would always be secret.
"Good," said Arabelle.
And ate him.