Jul 23 2019
by Dana Wayne

My mother, the queen . . .I came across this yesterday. Something I wrote several years ago as part of a writing prompt. I can easily see my mother as The Queen. Anyway, I thought I'd share it with you today.

Under the Queen's Rules

Sunlight danced across the azure sea that rolled and swayed with the incoming tide. Joggers and morning walkers left their footprints in the sand for others to follow or replace with their own. Sea birds skittered across the water grabbing their morning breakfast where they could. The morning breeze carried the aromatic salt scented air upward toward the cliff overlooking the ocean. 

The Queen watched from the lofty house upon the hill and smiled. The world was a beautiful, peaceful place today. That was not the case at first. There were wars and famine and violence at every corner until The Queen changed things. It was not an easy change at all. People didn’t want to be good or nice to others. They were selfish creatures out for themselves, taking the easy way out versus working for they wanted. Until The Queen came along.

She instituted many rules that must be followed, again with a slow start but an inevitable conclusion. The rules were simple ones and most folks thought them silly. But the fact remained that they were the rules and must be followed or suffer the consequences. And one did not have the option of picking and choosing which rules to follow. For instance, you could not ignore Rule #3 (Family Comes First) in favor of adhering to Rule #11(Listen Before You Speak) and expect to get by. The Queen knew everything, had eyes everywhere, and was quick to react when the rules were broken. 

Punishment for infractions varied depending on severity, but one thing was guaranteed; when caught – and you most definitely would be caught because The Queen knew everything – you paid the price. 

For instance, if you broke Rule #15 Look for The Good In Everyone you had to sit on the floor facing the person you wronged and recite five good things you liked about them. If you complained or did not follow instructions, then you had to find ten good things to say. Several people had to face that gruesome punishment before word got around and Rule #15 was adhered to.

The punishment was a little different for breaking Rule #21 Practice Makes Perfect. For instance, if you left a room in a huff and slammed the door, well, you had to stand there and close that door repeatedly until The Queen was satisfied you knew the proper way to exit a room and close a door respectfully, no matter how angry you were. 

Some rules were easy to follow like Rule #2 Treat Others How You Wish to Be Treated or Rule #6 Treasure Friendship, and of course Rule #5 Love Unconditionally. Others were more difficult like Rule #7 Be Honest; Maintain Your Integrity or Rule #8 Never Be Afraid To Make Mistakes because, let’s face it, people have issues with honesty and making mistakes. But as time rolled on, and people saw the benefits of following The Queens Rules as they came to be known, life just got better. Not perfect, but better. People learned to appreciate what they had and work for what they wanted. They smiled a lot, looked out for their neighbors and learned the importance of Rule #9 Forgive others So that You May be Forgiven.

There were folks to who broke the rules, of course, people are people after all, but The Queen’s justice was quickly and fairly administered. There were never any long drawn out legal battles for Rule #1 was plain – Break The Rules, Accept the Punishment. 

The Queen was not without mercy, though. That’s not to say she would not remember past infractions, because she would. Let's say you broke Rule #18 Don’t Burn Your Bridges and later Rule #19 Keep An Open Mind. If The Queen were feeling especially generous, she might let them slide. But if later broke Rule #17 Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right, well, that was bad. Standing before The Queen then was nothing short of torture in itself for she will simply look at you for the longest time before shaking her head in sorrow at your unworthiness prior to listing in great detail the transgressions for which she will now , unhappily, mete out punishment. By the end, you will be begging for whatever punishment she feels is adequate.

As time marched on, other Queens took over but the rules never changed for all the Queens were of a like mind and firmly believed in the validity and necessity of The Queens Rules.