Published by Atticus Review
What if Anne Boleyn knew all along? What if she knew well before her mind could think beyond the nursery, before she knew any desire beyond eat, drink, play, sleep.
By day she considers, as babies do, whether a thing is glittery and fun to look at, whether a thing is smooth and slippery, or rough and good to touch. By night she feels the darkness take her, she shakes with chill. She cries for Nurse, who brings a flicker of light, who brings motion and touch and assurance that yes, still here, you are still here. In the morning she will recommence her infant experiments. If I drop this kind of thing, it bounces. If I drop this kind of thing, it smashes to smithereens in a shower of hard light. This kind of thing falls over me, hides me from view. Takes my breath.
Image is taken from Anne Boleyn in the Tower by Edouard Cibot (public domain via Wikimedia Commons); h/t to AR, who chose it to accompany the story on their site.