Devil Devil

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Devil, devil
Clever devil, devil
How quickly they do sell their souls
For the feast and the promise of gold
But devil that won’t be me

The newest, shiniest Councilwoman of Bravo stared at herself in the looking glass House had given her for Clintymas and wondered when she had gotten so old.

“How many men have you enthralled today?” Cyrus’ whisper floated through her memories. “If you ever show up looking significantly younger I will know there is some poor, unfortunate soul out there missing their heart.”

Rajah snorted, pressed her fingers to her blood-red lips, prodding the soft flesh with scrutiny. She was not the girl she once was, that slip of a child dancing and stealing wallets as smoothly as she’d stolen hearts throughout the Palazzo. No, now she played a game with higher stakes and the stress was writing itself onto her face.

Hearts were easy to steal. But could she steal power?

Steal time? Steal a town?

Or three?

Devil, devil
Bones of metal metal
You torture saints with a single glance
Make them think they ever stood a chance

Do not try me devil, devil
Cannot buy me devil, devil
You won’t make a fool of me oh no
What makes you so special special
to think i would ever settle
For that devious dance between you and me devil devil

The decorations were placed, and all the players were in their spots. Queen of Hearts Day was beginning.

Rajah smiled at Dandy over the stack of paperwork. The matchmakers had done their duty, and now Lady Luck had only to pass her blessing over their handiwork.

Lady with Layabout. Forest-Dweller with Freedom-Fighter. These 50-odd envelopes held so much promise… Rajah ran her hands over the stacks reverently, imagining the possibilities. Whether each couple ended in laughter or in tears, the Queen of Hearts would get her due. And for a lucky few…

Rajah’s grin broadened as she caressed the creamy paper. For a lucky few, these carefully handwritten invitations held the promise of something more satisfying than Romance.

Revenge.

Rebel, rebel call me rebel, rebel
I walk the plank, not a tear in my eye
I won’t go down your blushing bride
Under the water i’ll be sharpening my knife

Do not try me devil, devil
Cannot buy me devil, devil
You won’t make a fool of me oh no
What makes you so special special
to think i would ever settle
For that devious dance between you and me devil devil

In the Dance, balance is everything. Two steps forward, lure them in. One step back, entice with the hips. Glance over the shoulder to see if they follow.

But when they get close, retreat! Quick spin back! Soothe the sting with a smile. Keep them just out of reach. How many went to run only to find feet entangled, arms ensnared?

Rajah laid her traps with care. Serrated nooses, hanging in a row. They saw the rope and smiled, mistaking constriction for commitment. She smiled guilelessly and guided them forward, off the ledge. Sweet Suffocation.

Slavery was illegal, but Marriage…

You take the shape of
Everything that I’m drawn to
You take the shape of
Everything that I’m drawn to
But your eyes
Are dead and red
Red as rust

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