Gold and platinum balusters with encrusted diamonds sparkled like bioluminescent creatures. The king and queen stood at the top of the stairs and walked with elegance and precision. They journeyed down the spiral case with as much splendor and care as befitting royalty. Their black skin shone against the white garments that covered their bodies. The queen showed honey brown skin and donned a full length gown. She displayed relaxed, flowing blonde hair. The king’s skin showed medium brown and he sported short locks with a pristine mess dress uniform. Once they reached the bottom of the stairs, a gaggle of photogs snapped pictures with flashes lighting up like bottle rockets. They made their way to the grand ballroom stage where everyone in attendance shot to their feet. “The Star-Spangled Banner” played from the live orchestra. This was America.
After the dinner, the royal couple walked amongst the guests. The king swigged champagne out of a golden gramophone statuette from a mantlepiece. Who the hell would say anything to him? He was the king. The two of them returned to their room.
“I’m sick of it,” the king said.
“I am, too. We had our own lives away from all of this nonsense. Now, we have to contend with the most scrutiny that could’ve never matched our former careers. We should be in Lower Slower Delaware.”
“Didn’t we put this whole King and Queen of America to bed in the 18th century?”
“I thought so. But the people pushed for it. This is the land of King of Kings and Lord of Lords and King or Rock, Pop, Rap... Queen of Soul, Princess of R&B…. And there are, of course, those who want to romanticize the idea of kings and queens in Africa. What about all of the other people? They were either subjects or slaves. It’s an obsession with the whole monarchy idea that should never have reached these shores. Why in hell did we go through with it?”
The king came to the queen’s side as she brushed her hair in the mirror. She smelled of cocoa butter and vanilla.
“I know. I know. We let the flashing lights and the increased fame go to our heads. I mean, we were just supposed to live out our days as private citizens in the public eye that was already blinding. But we could handle it. This... this is out of control. I didn’t even earn these medals.”
The queen rolled up her hair. “Monikers like ‘king’ and ‘queen’ should be reserved for countries outside of the United States. When did we become like other nations? How low did we stoop to get to the place where we are now?”
The king moved nearer to his bride.
“We’ve got to orchestrate a coup,” he said.
“In a manner of speaking...”
The queen’s brows furrowed. “Baby, I don’t think that this has to get messy.”
“Then it’s not a coup.”
“It's a takeover of our own monarchy. We’re going to set this country back on the course that the Founders had envisioned.”
The queen took a beat. “I’ve got it. I’ll simply say that we relinquish our roles. We will not be installing any new kings or queens in America. This whole experiment was a fiasco. You’re right. The Brits busied themselves with the Spanish and the French during the Revolutionary War and allowed the burgeoning United States to do its own thing, really. And the closest that we’ve ever come to royalty was with the Camelot era. And we all know how that went.”
“Of course, my ki-...darling.”
“I just have to send a few messages and we’ll be set.”
The once king and queen sent out photos online and captions reading, “It’s all over. The crowns have fallen.” News sites picked up on this spread the messages across the country, then the world.
They literally had. Both king and queen removed their platinum and diamond hardware and let them tink against the ground like two ice cubes clinking against a glass. The ex-king grabbed the ex-queen’s hand and led her to the deluxe town car waiting for them outside.
“Johannson, takes us to Lewes, Delaware.”
“Right away, sir.”