by joey aristophanes



The Protestants are just revolting... she thought, then added, with a tiny smile, ... as usual.

Why did they have to be so... difficult, she wondered. It wasnt as if they were being asked to do something utterly outrageous. Still the same God, last time she checked. Same churches. Same Bible... well, more or less. But even there the differences were minor, hardly worth noting. She simply did not understand their recalcitrance in the matter.

Perhaps they didnt like the concept of a pope? That was very possible she herself wasnt exactly wild about the old man either. And yet that too should make no difference whatsoever in whatever these peasants thought their relationship with God might be. The pope, when you cut through it all, was just another layer of leadership... and certainly these people should understand that. Clearly they needed more leadership, not less. And it was obvious that they needed the intercession of the saints: after all, praying directly to God? Expecting a response? How... laughable. That made almost as much sense as any one of them coming into her throne room and asking for a boon. How utterly audacious an idea!

And all this nonsense about liturgies in Latin. There was a very good reason for conducting services in a language no one but the priests themselves could speak. She pondered for a moment... well, obviously there must be, because the Holy Mother Church had decided it, and that was that. It, after all, was closer to God than she, so obviously it must know better than she. She might have been Queen of all England and the Isles of the British Kingdom, but she too had her limits. Why could the Protestants not accept and embrace theirs as well? Especially since theirs would be all the more... well, obvious.

No matter. If the Protestants could not accept that this was all for the best, she would have to punish them... like any good parent punishes a wayward child. And if it took the armies of the crown inflicting that punishment, well, they really had no one else but themselves to blame. After all, she had tried to warn them. Perhaps next time they would know better... assuming the Afterlife afforded them the opportunity, anyway.

She sat at her table and sighed, then noticed the goblet on the silver tray at her side, with a note: The Queen's bartender created this and wants to name it after you. She took a sip. Not... unpleasant she decided. She wasnt sure if the juice of the tomato was poisonous or not her scientists seemed divided on the issue but the vodka certainly gave it a bloody good aftertaste. By the time she'd finished it, she was feeling quite... chipper about the whole thing. She raised the goblet and considered. This is why I get to be Queen and not any of them, she decided. Bloody good Mary gets wonderful things named after her. What do the Protestants get? Protesting? she giggled to herself. She picked up a quill, dipped it in ink, and wrote on the message sheet:

Her Majesty approves. The Royal Bartender may call it the Bloody Good Mary. She reached to replace the quill; in doing so, her sleeve scraped the parchment, not completely obliterating the word "good". She looked at the mess and decided, He'll know it was supposed to be there. Honestly, Mary, no point in losing your head over that. Leave that to the Protestants...



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