The Raven Queen

Every day we wake to a world steeped in conflict and injustice. It remains a part of the human condition that we strive for a better existence, one where want is unknown and peace allows for a clear view of the future. Imagine then, that into this imperfect world there arises a single individual who is capable of taking humanity in a wholly different direction. Consider if you will the tale of Samuel Hamilton, a man of logic who has not yet fallen under the spell of the Raven Queen...


Saturday 10.16am

Aldous
Hey Sam. You off to the game?

Samuel
No. Not this time. Got some work I'll have to catch up on.

Aldous
Too bad. We're playing the Security team this week. Should be good.

Samuel
Sorry to miss it. Just trying to delete some spam emails I've been getting.

Aldous
Charities?

Samuel
No. From the Raven Queen.

Aldous
Strange aren't they.

Samuel
Mostly annoying. The subject lines read like they're personal messages but you know they can't be.

Aldous
Yeah. Probably one of her "Change Agents".

Samuel
I know. Just can't seem to clear them.

Aldous
Have you tried responding to any of them?

Samuel
God no.

Aldous
I opened one of them.

Samuel
What was in it?

Aldous
Notification of a deadline to sign up to the Raven Movement as she calls it.

Samuel
That's a bit forward. From what I've heard it sounds more like a cult than a movement.

Aldous
Strange thing was, when I did open it all the other messages disappeared.

Samuel
Still not going to open any of them.

Aldous
:) I'll let you know how the game went.

Samuel
Thanks.

Aldous
Oh. One other thing. Have you heard from Jefferson lately.

Samuel
No. I think he went off to one of the RQ workshops.

Aldous
He's not thinking of becoming one of her Change Agents is he?

Samuel
No idea. Probably hear from him soon enough.


Saturday 11.06am

Jefferson
Hey Samuel.

Samuel
Hi Jeff. Me and Aldous were only talking about you earlier this morning.

Jefferson
All good I hope. Did you read that latest text from the Raven Queen?

Samuel
No. And I haven't signed up either.

Jefferson
Better hurry. Deadline is 6.30 tonight.

Samuel
But why would I want to?

Jefferson
Come on man. Its better to be a part of the river than just another stone beneath it.

Samuel
What does that mean? Sounds like one of those platitudes you find on a desk calendar.

Jefferson
Its no platitude Sam. Its the future of Humanity itself. Don't you want to be a part of it? Don't you want to be one with her?

Samuel
Tell me Jefferson. What do you know about the Raven Queen? Really?

Jefferson
Does it matter? She's the only one with the answers. Everywhere she goes the world changes.

Samuel
But what do you know about her? She came out of nowhere. As far as I can tell has done nothing, and yet the world is fawning over her.

Jefferson
Sorry Sam. Got a call I have to take. Remember the deadline's 6.30.

Samuel
OK. See you later.


Saturday 11.59am

Grace
Hi Sam. How's your day been?

Samuel
Fine until I got ambushed by Jefferson. He's turned into a real RQ groupie.

Grace
Well you can't blame him. Everything seems to be changing for the better.

Samuel
I'm not so sure. It seems everyone is saying the world is a better place but where's the proof of it? Aren't people still dying from hunger?

Grace
Don't worry about the proof. That's for non-believers to worry about. Heard about the deadline?

Samuel
Jefferson was just trying to sell me on it. He seems to forget I don't have any social media accounts.

Grace
You should get at least one. Do you know almost 65 percent of the world's population now follows the Raven Queen.

Grace
That's more than all top 500 celebrities in the world combined.

Samuel
Where did you read that?

Grace
On her website. She expects by the deadline that will have risen to 87 percent.

Samuel
That's quite a precise forecast.

Grace
But that's the thing Sam. She knows what she's doing. Did you see her latest video?

Samuel
Not yet. Won't they be broadcasting it on the local stations after the deadline?

Grace
Its going to be broadcast everywhere. I can't wait to see her live.

Samuel
Is she coming to Brenton?

Grace
No. Why would she come here?  I'm going to Central City to see her at the arena.

Samuel
Right. Do you have to pay for tickets?

Grace
God yes. Wouldn't just go there for free. Have to help her in any way I can.

Samuel
Have you got a ticket yet?

Grace
Absolutely. Got a reserved seat right at the front.

Samuel
At the Arena? That must have cost a packet.

Grace
Only paid $1600.

Samuel
You're joking. What does it cost in the nosebleeds?

Grace
$1400.

Samuel
Holy cow. That arena can hold more than 80,000 suckers.

Grace
I know. It wasn't enough. They're going to open up the carpark. Should pack in another 40,000 standing.

Grace
The best thing is that they'll be selling her latest book. Signed, with a personal message.

Samuel
And how much will that cost?

Grace
$200. It's an absolute steal.

Samuel
I guess there'll be merchandise as well?

Grace
I hope so. There's some of her personalised clothing line I don't have yet.

Samuel
Grace. Did you ever think that the Raven Queen might be in it for the money?

Grace
No. And don't say that too loudly. I'm your friend but others might not be so tolerant.

Samuel
Sorry Grace. I'll see you on Monday.

Grace
May the Raven Queen extend her solace upon you.

Samuel
Yeah. Thanks for that.


Sunday 9.17am

Aldous
Hey Sam.

Samuel
How'd the game go?

Aldous
Got cancelled. Half the team didn't turn up.

Samuel
Jesus. What happened?

Aldous
Some rally. Most didn't even bother to let us know.

Samuel
Will they be coming back?

Aldous
Not sure. Only good thing was it wasn't only us. The security team forfeited before we even got there.

Aldous
Anyway. You got anything on?

Samuel
Nothing much. You ready for the meeting tomorrow?

Aldous
Yeah. All the janitorial staff'll be there. Electrical as well.

Samuel
Great. We're definitely going to have to cover the new pay deal.

Aldous
Did management change the contracts again?

Samuel
Of course. Looking at cutting back hourly rates by 6 percent across the board.

Aldous
You know staff aren't going to go for that. Everything's hard enough with all this RQ rigmarole.

Samuel
Tell me about it. Grace says she's stumping up 1600 just for an arena show.

Aldous
Holy Moley. Where does a Union Rep get that much spare cash?

Samuel
I couldn't say. Even the Union Head Office is sending donations to the Raven Queen.

Aldous
I hear you. People are showering that witch with money. I heard followers pay 20 percent of their total income to her. And that's millions of people.

Aldous
Does anyone ask where it goes?

Samuel
I have no idea. Makes me wonder what her real game is.

Aldous
Keep this just between us, but a few of us are getting together on Thursday. Talk about what we can do.

Samuel
Where will it be?

Aldous
One place you don't find the Raven Queen's followers these days.

Samuel
Where's that?

Aldous
Public Library on Dorchester. Expecting at least three hundred concerned citizens.

Samuel
300. That's a lot.

Aldous
Want more but any larger gatherings are monitored. The RQ has eyes everywhere.

Samuel
Things have certainly changed.

Aldous
See you Thursday?

Samuel
I'll be there.


Monday 9.44am

Jefferson
Hi Samuel.

Samuel
Hi Jefferson. No I didn't sign up.

Jefferson
Sorry to hear that Sam. Still, you can always sign later.

Samuel
I can?

Jefferson
Sure. The deadline was just a test. Something to separate the true believers from everyone else.

Samuel
What do you mean?

Jefferson
Didn't you watch the telecast?

Samuel
Sorry, I missed it. I was washing my dog.

Jefferson
The Raven Queen spelt it our for everyone. If you are with her all the benefits of her rule will be delivered.

Samuel
And everyone else?

Jefferson
They will be given a personal opportunity to change their minds.

Samuel
You know Jeff, I always considered you an intelligent man. What happened?

Jefferson
What do you mean Sam?

Samuel
How is it that you have become so blind to what is going on here.

Jefferson
I don't know what you mean Sam.

Samuel
Don't worry. If you can't see it now you never will. I've got a meeting to go to.


Monday 10.36am

Aldous
Sam, you out of the office?

Samuel
Just walking over to the meeting. What's up?

Aldous
Find somewhere out of the way.

Samuel
What about the meeting?

Aldous
Been cancelled. Got the word from upstairs.

Samuel
What about the pay deal?

Aldous
Scrubbed. Another company has bought in and put forward a new proposal.

Samuel
So we start all over again?

Aldous
Not this time. The company is a subsidiary of the Raven Movement.

Samuel
And?

Aldous
They'll only negotiate with other signed up members of the Movement.

Aldous
Apparently we're not trustworthy enough.

Samuel
For God sake. What do we do now?

Aldous
Nothing until everything's a bit clearer.

Aldous
Go home and I'll give you a call in the morning.


Tuesday 3.33am

TRQ
Hello Samuel. Sorry to bother you so early in the morning.

Samuel
Who is this?

TRQ
The Raven Queen.

Samuel
No its not. You're just some flunky.

TRQ
Aren't you at least intrigued that I might be.

Samuel
Why on earth would I care?

TRQ
Well. To start I don't just text anybody on this planet. At this moment however, I have chosen to text you.

Samuel
What do you want?

TRQ
I'm here to make you a proposition you can't refuse.

Samuel
You sound like a gangster.

TRQ
:) No, not a gangster. More, a negotiator. Thing is I want you.

Samuel
Well I'm not interested.

TRQ
But you should be.

Samuel
Why?

TRQ
Because very soon I am going to be the only game in town.

Samuel
What do you mean?

TRQ
Haven't you noticed that everything's changing.

Samuel
The only thing I've noticed is that you're getting richer.

TRQ
True. Half of what I do is purely for the money, but there are other things as well.

Samuel
Like what?

TRQ
Power, Control, World Peace through Blind Obedience. To name just a few.

Samuel
Why are you telling me this? Aren't you afraid I'll tell everyone.

TRQ
Don't worry about that. I'm just a simple country girl, but one with a lot of new friends. You try and you will simply disappear.

Samuel
So you're a Dictator as well.

TRQ
Hope to be. By the end of the week a combined sitting of the United Nations General Assembly is going to vote me in as Secretary-General.

TRQ
Within the month I will be the Raven Queen. For real.

Samuel
What do you want from me?

TRQ
Don't be too alarmed Samuel. I'm always looking for people like you. Good organisers. Natural leaders. Not too gullible.

Samuel
I will never work for you.

TRQ
That's what they all say, but only for a short while.

TRQ
Would it surprise you that the Raven Queen was once a child?

Samuel
Logic would dictate so.

TRQ
Well I found out early that I had a gift. One that has been mine alone for a very long time.

TRQ
Get me near any group of people and they are mine. Forever.

Samuel
You drug them?

TRQ
No. Something about pheromones that I secrete through my skin. Its quite contagious apparently.

TRQ
Changes brain chemistry. Induces absolute obedience and control. The perfect accessory for a megalomaniac like myself.

Samuel
This is all fascinating but what do you want from me?

TRQ
I want you to join me. This little berg needs new leadership and I want you as my number one puppet here.

Samuel
Why?

TRQ
Both Grace and Jefferson have recommended you. They're both a bit dim but I trust their judgement.

Samuel
You can go to Hell. You are a Dictator and a Fraud. Why would I want to work for you?

TRQ
Because very soon you won't feel that way. Very soon you are going to love me.

Samuel
No I'm not.

TRQ
Still in bed?

Samuel
Yes. Have you been watching me?

TRQ
Perhaps.

TRQ
Still got that weird looking mailbox out the front. The one with the dolphin on top?

Samuel
Yes.

TRQ
Great. Answer your door.


Wednesday 3.16pm

Aldous
Hey Samuel. Got some good news.

Samuel
Hi Aldous. What's happened?

Aldous
New company's come good. We'll be starting negotiations within the week.

Samuel
That's a relief. Just reading through those emails from the Raven Queen.

Aldous
What. You're answering her emails now?

Samuel
Its strange isn't it. I don't know how I could have been so wrong about her.

Aldous
What are you talking about?

Samuel
Don't you feel the change in the world?

Aldous
What?

Samuel
The change. The peace she has brought to us all.

Aldous
For God sake. What's happened to you?

Samuel
Nothing. Can I ask Aldous. Are you still at home?

Aldous
Yeah. Just helping with the kids.

Samuel
May the Raven Queen bring solace to your household. Answer your door.

THE END

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