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Janet Sue Terry

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Autumn Rose McVenom
By Janet Sue Terry
Sunday, February 16, 2003

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Shamed by my actions, and having learned a harsh lesson, I rode away without saying goodbye.

The story and picture of the Queen of Vandora was created and copyrighted by Janet Sue Terry, and may not be reproduced in any

"Vandora...even the name pleases me. I am Autumn Rose McVenom, the Queen of Vandora. Commonly known to my closest friends as, Queen Venom."

My story is not so unique, although to me it is. I was born the eldest of two girls. My younger sister Vanella and I were spoiled shamelessly by our parents. I can't remember when I first became aware that someday I would don the crown and rule Vandora. It seems as though I always knew...

My childhood was a pleasant one. I spent long hours wandering through the castle exploring, and finding quaint little hide aways.

Soon after my sixth birthday my parents took me on a trip. Four days later we came to spend some time in another realm. The castle was twice as large as my home. I met the King and Queen and their six year old son Remington. We became fast friends immediately. For days we ran through the halls of the great structure giggling and playing childish games. We had a special place in a tree house that the gardner had built for Remington. Within its walls we could overlook the private royal garden. Most afternoons we shared our tea and biscuits together, sitting cross legged on the floor watching our parents socialize below us.

Perhaps a week passed before we were dressed in robes, and crowns with sparkling gems, and taken to a great ball. From the throne seated beside our parents we held hands and watched the regally clothed guests sway to the music and sip sparkling tumblers of wine. Many candles illuminated the night and it was a very grandiose affair.

The highlight of the evening is when Remington and I were brought forward and betrothed. It was a solemn moment. There were papers that both parents signed, and then great rejoicing began in earnest, and Remington and I were taken back to the nursery, for it was well past our bed time.

I did not fully understand the serious nature of the great event.

However, my parents explained that I was to someday marry Prince Remington, and our two realms would become one. It was the Prince in the end who took my hand and made me realize that something wonderful had happened. He said; "Now you belong to me...and we will always be together ... "

After the engagement my parents went home, and left me with Remington. Six months later Prince Remington returned to Vandora with me. This became the norm. We were always together. Either at his home or mine. We were close, and enjoyed one another's company.

However, the year I turned fourteen, a new stable boy came to work in the royal barns and things began to change.

Raven Blackwing, fifteen years old, was dark in appearance and temperment too. He was moody and brooding, but extremely handsome. He intriqued me, and although I could sense the violence in his nature. I eventually began to sneak out of the great house at night to meet him. Beneath the moon, stretched out on stacks of hay, we lay starring up at the stars, and discussing everything under the sun which interested us.

Around this time Prince Remington began his miltary training with the Royal Knights, while I was recruited to learn all the intricate skills it took to run a castle and a kingdom. But it bored me, and I soon threw a tantrum and demanded to be allowed to take miltary training with the my fiancee. As always I got my way and was able to spar and fence with Remington. It was a wonderful time, spending my days with Remington and stealing out of the castle at night to be with Raven Blackwing.

I was flirting with danger and it excited me. What thrilled me even more was that Raven Blackwing had become my lover, and I longed to spend more time with him. To satisfy this craving I ran away with him one stormy summer night. We fled on our horses for parts unknown and for about three weeks I was happy. But then for the first time in my life I was hungry.

Shamed by my actions, and having learned a harsh lesson, I rode away without goodbye. I was unskilled at any worthwhile occupation for no one had ever dreamed that I would need to find work.

In a small town miles and miles away from Vandora, I came across a group of warriors heading to a small realm to the north. It was rumored that any man or woman who could handle a weapon was being employed to protect the village from the dragons and wild monsters. I impulsively rode along with them.

I became known simply as `Venom,' for I did not wish to disclose my true identity. My life began to revolve around a small quaint inn on the edge of town, where a friend would kill you in your bed for your gold.

You could trust no one. However, I had food and shelter, and I slept with a knife in my hand.

I missed Vandora with all my heart, and wished fervently that I could go home again. But my shame kept me away.

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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 2/18/2003
i like this

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