“Queen Ermilintrude is an ogre.”
“Queen Ermilintrude is the worst.”
“Queen Ermilintrude is heartless. Indeed, she has no heart at all.”
Queen Ermilintrude knew the rumors. She saw how people looked away from her in hatred and fear. For who could love someone with no heart? Who could trust her? Who could be her confidante or her friend?
“Queen Ermilintrude isn’t even human.”
“Queen Ermilintrude is a demon. No, she is worse than a demon. Whatever that may be, that is what she is.”
“Queen Ermilintrude is a soul stealer. She will steal your soul if you stare at her too long. Don’t look at her. Don’t talk to her. When she talks to you, stare straight at the floor.”
It was all nonsense, of course. For Queen Ermilintrude did indeed have a heart just the same as everyone else. It simply wasn’t inside her body.
There was a man who kept her heart for her. He kept it safe. He protected it. And when the time came, he would give his heart to her.