Allegiance

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

They called her Allegiance.

Contract and insurance, she was. Revered and guarded, both.

So well revered and so well guarded, in fact, that with time she became almost forgotten and had turned more a symbol than a soul. She sometimes wondered if she was in that way not too dissimilar to many of her kind through time, even if they had been so for far shorter spans.

Women often were made ornamental. Used as symbolic pawns, utilized as cementers of allegiances, then blamed for those that broke.

It helped her feel less lonely, knowing that even in her immortal isolation she was still in some way a member of a community of others who’d been perched into positions, as she was, without much of a choice. Possessions and producers, keepers of the continuity of power, serfdom and thrones.

They called her Allegiance.

And she sat in her fortified tower, aware of the two rows of guards: One row looking out against any who may get it in their minds to sabotage, the other row looking in against any indication that she may get it in hers to leave.

They needn’t have worried. At least not about her.

There was enough of misery without adding heads to spikes in any kind of rebellion, where those most likely to be harmed were those least likely to have been given part in the decision.

She accepted her place. A figurehead to keep the heads of others firmly on their shoulders and their children’s hearts safer from the sorrows of orphanage and war.

So she stayed.

As centuries passed, those who’d placed her there took less care with guarding her and the promises she’d represented. The tower crumbled. The guards played cards and drank and slept and grew lazy, and she took comfort in knowing that at least this meant they weren’t in battle. Even if she shivered, windowless, her walls crumbling all around.

Perhaps, she thought, as winds whistled and the stories of her had become lore printed onto metal plaques for tourists to ignore, it was all as it should be.

Perhaps one day there will not be a need.

Perhaps one day allegiances will be built-in, rather than built-up and set with guarded fences that time and lassitude and apathy were certain to erode.

Till then, Allegiance waited.

For the moment, the ruins of her tower stood.

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

 

 

13 thoughts on “Allegiance

    • Thanks, Urban … ๐Ÿ™‚ (or do you prefer “Spaceman”?) – yes, it is a sad thing to need to hold on to being a part of a community – any community – in order to not feel totally alone. And yet, it can be a comfort, and that matters, too. I’ve worked with children who’d had very difficult lives, but were comforted by knowing they weren’t the only ones in their circumstances (e.g. abandoned at an orphanage or born addicted to substances or suffering with a particular disability, etc.). It is perhaps not a community one would choose to belong to, but then again, we often do not choose our communities (or at least not some of them) and yet are part of them, at least for a time.
      Here’s to this community of writers. A chosen one. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Na’ama

      Liked by 1 person

  1. An amazing piece, Na’ama.
    “There was enough of misery without adding heads to spikes in any kind of rebellion, where those most likely to be harmed were those least likely to have been given part in the decision…”

    Liked by 1 person

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