by Sandra Cormier
The palace was once pink; now it was red.
Pink like the Princess’s sari, glittering like her diamond earrings.
Niya had often graced the covers of magazines, posing with heads of state and polo champions. Now she pressed her bejeweled hand against the glass of her prison while flames reflected the rage of some faceless entity that no longer believed in royalty.
Smoke, the color of Niya’s eye shadow, curled around the magazine covers which her daughter had lovingly framed and arranged along Niya’s bedroom wall.
Her daughter had treasured the pictures almost as much as her pony drawing which had likely already turned to ashes along with her school books and toys.
Her adopted son – her heir – was away at school and would never see his video game collection turn to molten lumps of plastic.
Niya’s almond eyes glittered with tears, which evaporated almost instantly in the dry air. Tears of sadness but not remorse. Tears of love but not guilt.
She heard sirens in the distance. Soon, flashing red lights tore through the gates, like eyes seeking out the flames.
She pressed harder on the glass. It buckled.
Someone loves me, she thought as her pink sari sailed behind her like a comet’s tail.
The palace had once been pink, but now it was red.