Once there was a queen who refused to rule. She would not uphold the
laws, collect taxes, or control her vast army. Some believed it was a
matter of principle: she had come to realize that no person is above
another. Others muttered that it was because she was a woman, weak and
unfit to rule. Still others believed she had fallen under the control
of a sorcerer sent by a rival king in the west. Whatever the cause, the
land fell into limbo. Small laws were broken but the general order was
maintained by the prefects and constables of each province, and the
people waited to see what would become of them.
Maxim Loskutoff is from Montana. He has stories in or coming from The Southern Review, Hobart, Willow Springs and others.