It was dinner time when Derek and I ran back to the palace, hand in hand, my once clean white and green frock torn in a few places and streaked with dirt and water. Derek was equally a mess. Boss was the first one to see us when we slipped in through the gold and ruby doors. He smiled and shook his head and pointed toward the throne room, meaning that was where our mothers were. The pages standing at the doors to the throne room laughed when they saw us, and pushed open the silver door, revealing the bright red carpet on the white marble floor that led to the red and gold thrones. Mother was sitting in her throne, looking every inch a queen, like she always did. Verlaine was standing beside her, laughing when she saw us, and Gwen was perched on the edge of father’s old throne. Nirvana was nowhere in sight, which made me sigh with relief.
“It seems that you two had fun,” mother said with a laugh.
I nodded. “Derek and I were racing and playing by the pond.”
Verlaine smiled and tried to hide it behind an olive skinned hand.
Gwen shook her head. “Mother, I believe I shall go visit Seth.”
“Just be sure to be back at sunset, I don’t want you staying too late and staying at his house, I know how you use your gift sometimes, Gwen.”
Gwen blushed for a moment and shook her head. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, mother.”
Mother smiled. “I’m sure you don’t, Gwen.”
“You’re not going to go see Seth, Gwen. You’re not going to be seeing anyone,” said Nirvana’s voice, but Nirvana was nowhere in the room. “I’m tired of you abusing your gift to hurt me, Gwen. You’ve done it too many times, and Seth is crossing the line. You know how I feel about him.”
Gwen looked around, and not finding Nirvana, she looked down at her white hand. “I honestly thought you’d know that Seth actually has feelings for me, not you.”
“Only because you made him think he did,” Nirvana hissed as she appeared in front of me. “And since you use your beauty and your gift to take things away from me, I shall take something away from you.” She smiled and her eyes turned fiery hazel-green. “You enjoy your beauty so much, let it be yours forever. You shall be a stone statue so that all men may see your great beauty, but never again will you feel their affections.” Nirvana glared at Gwen, who tried to run, but was slowly turning into stone. Finally, she was a stone statue, just as Nirvana had said.
Mother looked in shock at Nirvana and Gwen. “Nirvana, was this necessary? Did Gwen make you that mad that you had to turn her to a statue?”
Nirvana looked from Gwen to mother. “I...I…must go,” she said weakly, as if she couldn’t believe what she had done. Nirvana’s form rippled like water, then disappeared. She was gone, and I had a statue for a sister. I was suddenly aware of every eye in the throne room on me.
Derek bowed. “Crown Princess Alyessia.”
Mother nodded. “Since a statue cannot rule, and neither can a daughter who turned her sister to a statue, you are the only one left to be queen.”