The Liberation of Louise was inspired by a framed antique print of Queen Louise of Prussia that hung in my bedroom as a child and has travelled with me throughout the years, from East Coast to West, before finally being freed from her frame just before I moved to Italy.

The much-loved historical woman was celebrated for her grace, kindness, and ability to cool the tempers of even the most hot-headed rulers, including Napoleon. Her death at 34 rendered her an immortal beauty and portrait of the ideal wife and mother. Nowhere, however, is her spirit spoken of, or her fiercest, most secret desires—if she was allowed to have any. So in a moment of impulse, I cut her out and freed her for the day. She now presides over my altar, as both companion and reminder.

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EMILY LINSTROM is an American writer and artist residing in Italy. Her work has been featured in a number of publications, including Three Rooms Press, Nailed Magazine, A Women’s Thing, The Wisdom Daily, CLASH Media, and Carve Magazine. She was the first prize recipient of Pulp Literature Press's 2015 The Raven short story contest, and is a regular contributor for Sabat Magazine. You can view her work at: and follow her adventures on Instagram @betterlatethan_em.