You wander towards the swings, half-hidden and hanging from the bushiest, most widespread tree, filling up the canopy above. The light wind ruffles across your hair pleasantly, and blows it back slightly, wafting the crunchy leaves down too. There are gleaming red apples hanging down from the branches above; you lick your lips, but suddenly notice the ladies.
They are sitting on the leftmost and rightmost swings. One, the plumpest, with long black hair to her waist, dramatic makeup and deep, dark eyes is sitting on the swing that has red creepers winding constantly upwards to the trees, and scarlet thorns protruding around the ropes holding the swings up. The lady’s dress is the darkest of blues placed carefully on the seat of crimson flowers, and atop her head sits a crown of bronze, dainty but distorted as though it has been melted by fire.
The other woman is dressed in white, with a frothy waterfall of blinding platinum hair pouring down from her golden, glistening crown, and splashing across to the green winding ropes, where it is tangled upwards with the swing ropes. White flowers dot around the ropes too, and the second lady seems to be sitting on a mesh of them.
You shiver slightly when you realise that the eyes of both have been following you round the clearing. You even clear your throat, and suddenly, instead of the ladies sitting motionless (aside from their eyes) on the swings, they start to move forward and backward, alternating so that your eyes get very dizzy from watching them.
Suddenly, the women are all words. You cannot even discern who is saying which lines.
“Come, sit down.”
“Have some tea.”
“Where is the tea?”
“Yes, where? Oh, dear, don’t have any tea. There isn’t any tea!”
“Well, we saved you a swing-”
“Oh, yes, so great of you to be here-”
“Sit down. Sit down-”
“We must get on-”
The tempo of their words becomes quicker and quicker. Your head starts to ache.
“Stop!” you finally yell.
The grove becomes painfully silent. The pretty white queen surveys you with bright blue eyes.
“Please sit down,” she gestures to the swing beside her, and speaks with a dainty, powdered voice that you couldn’t have picked out from the mess of words previously.
You hesitantly sit down on the middle swing, a plain green swing. As you sit, sky-coloured, triangular flowers, the same colour as your clothes, spiral up the ropes towards the tree, and the seat underneath you spreads with a sapphire hue.
“You are here for you royalty lessons,” the other queen remarks, in a loud, yet pompous and booming, posh voice, ignoring your wonder at the wonderful swings.
“But, I don't want ‘royalty lessons’,” you say.
“Tough.” She barks back, “It’s the only way you’ll be getting out of this forest.”
“Now,” says the dainty queen, “What would you like to study first? Arithmetic, Botanical Science, or Elocution?”
She begins to swing again as you groan.