After the queen executed her prisoners, she had them put on display outside the gates, as a warning to others who would attack her.
But rather than hang them from the wall and letting them rot, she had the skeletons stripped and staked in the ground like scarecrows. She ordered her gardeners to scatter carefully chosen seeds at their feet.
In the spring, stems climbed up her enemies’ spines, and wildflowers blossomed among their ribs. Butterflies landed delicately in their empty mouths and eye sockets.
“Just because we are terrible, does not mean we cannot also be beautiful,” she said.

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