• Once, many eons ago, there was a beautiful queen and her king. For many years, they both prayed for a sweet, fair child of their own; an heir to take the throne before their times came to pass. Finally their wish came true. The queen became pregnant with their first, and soon to be only, child. The queen walked through the thick, caressing blanket of snow as the snowflakes fell in their soft, innocent dance in the supple gust of the wind. She raised her dark hazel eyes to the branches of the trees, their black, bony fingers holding the form of a raven.

    The creature’s haunting gold eyes met the queen’s before its dark beak bent to the beast’s side and began to n** at its own tender flesh under the ebony feathers. The creature emitted a loud squawk as the beak pierced its own skin, three drops of thick, scarlet liquid dripped from the bird’s flesh. The life juices tainted the purity of the snow as the majestic creature took flight, dropping a single feather by the stained snow. The queen closed her eyes after witnessing such a spectacle, placing her hands on her protruding belly. “I wish...I wish for a child to be white as the new snow, untainted and pure as the first snowfall of winter. I wish for her lips to be as crimson as freshly spilt blood...I also wish for her hair to be as onyx as the feathers of the raven.

    Three months later, the king and queen were blessed with a child, a baby girl. The infant had a beautiful face that could only be matched by the seven archangels in the Heavens where she came from. The girl was granted the features that her mother asked for, skin as white as fresh snow, lips as crimson as spilt blood, and a tuft of hair as black as the wings of a raven. The baby looked up at her mother with a pair of golden eyes, gurgling quietly as the tiny fingers clung to her wet nightgown. Her mother however, didn’t respond to her precious child. The child that she and her husband prayed night and day for was the cause of her demise. Fresh blood stained her pallid nightdress and the white silk sheets underneath her, the queen’s once intense eyes stared blankly up at the wooden planks of the ceiling.

    Fifteen years after the queen’s untimely passing, her precious infant had grown up into a beautiful young woman. Her long onyx hair fell to her petite waist, complementing her perfect pale skin and ruby lips. Her father had re-married to a young widower, a woman who bore no children of her own. The girl however, bore no feelings other than loathing for this new stranger encroaching on her territory. This new woman was trying to steal her father away from her and to change the way of life that she knew since her mother passed away shortly after her birth

    The new queen saw very little of her new stepdaughter. When the unfortunate woman did see the child, the girl's only response was to spit in her face or yell a vast assortment of profanities at the woman. Her many attempts to become closer to the girl all became intimate failures, even after being nothing but kind to the teenager.

    “Please...We can work this out...I know you think that you don’t like me and you think that I’m stealing your father away from you...I assure you though, I would never do such a thing to you or your father. Please, just give me a chance.” The woman whispered, holding her hand out to the princess.

    The young princess looked at the woman’s slender hand with a look of pure disgust, as though her skin was contaminated with a type of deadly germ. Her cold amber eyes bore into the woman’s warm jade ones, as if trying to reach into the queen’s soul and squeeze every once of life out of the delicate shadow.

    “No. I will never accept you and you will never belong here,” She hissed. “I will make your very existence a living example of the type of torture that I want you to endure. I want you to see you suffer both physically and mentally; I want to see you cringe in fear as nightmares overtake your dreams. I want to see you squirm and writhe in pain as needles and shards of glass pierce and cut your skin. I want to watch and hear you scream as every last piece of your mind loses every last strand of sanity you possess so that you are only left with your darkest memories and your deepest nightmares.” An ample, ominous grin formed on the girl’s lips as insane fire burned in her amber eyes.

    The queen’s already pallid face paled even further before she backed away from the young girl, running as fast as her legs would allow down the labyrinth of stone corridors before coming to a large cherry wood door. She hastily opened the portal and disappeared in the room, pushing the door closed. Her back pressed against the wood as she struggled to re-catch her breath, her gaze falling on a large mirror at the other side of the room. The clear glass was set inside a dark ebony casing, frames of what appeared to be human bodies intertwined with one another. The frightened woman slowly walked toward the mirror, her hand slowly gliding over the figures carved in the wood, jumping when she saw the looks of terror and pain on their faces.

    “What is this?” She asked quietly, though no living soul was around to hear. The room was empty save for the strange mirror, and her hand slowly followed the intricate detail of the human souls contained in the woodwork of the frame.

    “My poor dear...Look at that beautiful face of yours, pale and covered with sweat. It was that wretched, vile girl wasn’t it?” A warm, soothing voice of an older woman soon filled the room.

    The woman's eyes widened as she took in the barren, life-less room. “Who’s there?! Show yourself!”

    “I’m right in front of you my dear, trapped in this prison of wood and glass.” The woman looked back to the mirror, her jade eyes widening, slowly beginning to back away from the mirror. Instead of seeing her own reflection, she now saw the form of an older woman in the glass. The woman appeared to be in her thirties, wavy red hair cascaded down her back and hiding the rear of her elegant black velvet dress. The woman was inlaid with striking crystal blue eyes; her plump red lips curved into a sickening sweet smile. “Why my dear, you have no need to fear me. I am here to bring you aid and to bring you a warning about your husband’s first and only child.”

    Hesitantly the queen slowly walked back toward the mirror, her face wearing an air of slight doubt and curiosity. “Who are you?”

    “My name isn’t important my child, my sole reason for existing is to serve you in your time of need. I bring you a word of warning about Snow White, about plans as cruel
    as if they were concocted by the Devil himself for the downfall of you and your husband the King, as well as the kingdom that has grown to be so prominent in its wealth and prosperity.” Each word slithered off the strange woman’s tongue like a cunning snake ready to strike its helpless prey.

    “Plans? What kind of plans could you be talking about? My stepdaughter may not be the most savory child, but she surely couldn’t be planning the downfall of the kingdom...It couldn’t be...” Words of unease left the young woman’s mouth as a hand fell over her own lips as a sudden sense of realization washed over her entire being.

    “I’m afraid it is true my dear, she has plans to murder both you and her father while you lay comfortable in your marriage bed. She may appear to be young and innocent, but she has a black spirit, a truly evil spirit. She wants to rule the kingdom herself by any means necessary, even if it means of taking care of a few...Expendable matters.”

    “No...It can’t be true...” The queen whispered, her soft voice trembling, her mind beginning to comprehend what she was hearing.

    “Oh but it is dear, there is only one way in which this thread of fate can be severed forever.”

    “How?! Please! Tell me! How can I stop her?!” The woman’s pleas echoed through the empty room, her voice wracked with dry sobs.

    “You must sacrifice your stepdaughter and remove her still beating heart. In order for the curse to be fully broken, you must bring to me her heart, still fresh and alive, and a gold chalice filled with her precious blood. Upon doing so, you will follow my instructions precisely as I tell them to you. Then, and only then will your curse be lifted and the string of Fate will be cut forever.” A faint hint of a manipulative smirk formed on the advisor’s lips, her arms crossing over her chest. “Do you understand me my child?”

    “Yes...I understand what I must do...” The queen’s voice was faint, her face retaining an emotion that appeared to be like an animal backed into a corner.

    “That’s a good child, now go and fulfill the task that has been set for you.” With the final command the queen left the room with a somber air about her presence, the coming of the murder of her stepdaughter already beginning to weigh heavily on her mind. After a few minutes, the strange woman emitted a loud cackle.

    “At last, after over a hundred years trapped in my mirror prison I will finally be set free to take revenge on the family that had trapped me in this cell of cold glass and wood. I have found a dim-witted pawn whom is dense enough to take care of the task, so the blood will taint her hands and her hands alone. Once the ceremony is complete, I will finally be free! After so many years I will finally be able to claim my rightful place as ruler of the kingdom and drain the blood of anyone who may oppose me. Soon my pet, soon you will set me free. Once you do, you my dear, will meet your own demise.”

    That next morning the young queen still had an ashen complexion about her face, the dim prophesy of what she needed to do to save her kingdom continued to consume her thoughts. The looming execution for the unsavory child drew ever nearer as she paced back and forth in her drawing chamber, waiting for the man she called for to carry out the sacrifice, to taint his own hands with the warm blood flowing from the foulest sin of murder, instead of her doing so herself.

    After what seemed many days had passed, a man dressed modestly in tan clothing entered the castle in search for his queen. After explaining his reason for being at the castle, one of the servants led the woodsman toward the room where the woman was pacing back and forth. Her darkened eyes looked toward the door as the woodsman entered the room as the servant left and closed the wooden door, leaving the two in privacy.

    The man removed his feathered hat as he knelt in front of his exalted one, bowing his head as his shaggy black bangs fell into his face. “You called me my fair lady, my Queen?”

    “Yes my faithful woodsman, I have called you to accomplish a daunting task for me. A task that will free our kingdom from the darkness that will reign if the path we are on continues onward.”

    “Yes, anything my Queen. What do you wish for me to achieve?”

    “I wish for you to kill my stepdaughter, Snow White and return to me with her still beating heart and a pint of her blood.”

    The woodsman’s eyes widened out of shock and terror, his tan, bearded face losing part of its color as he began to stammer. “B-b-but my Queen! Kill the fair princess?! Why do you wish of me to complete such a foul task?!”

    The queen thought for a minute, as if choosing her words carefully. “The princess is a cold, spiteful sadist embodying the soul of the foulest of Demons. If she were to take the reign of this land, the kingdom would turn into one of mass chaos. Famine and death would run rampant; she will spill any blood of any innocent so that it pleases her. She will complete any necessary task to take over the kingdom, including your King and myself. Do you now understand me?”

    The woodsman didn’t answer for a minute, slowly nodding before his dark brown eyes looked into the woman’s own. “Yes my Queen, I will fulfill this task to save my Queen and my kingdom.”

    “Very well, do you have the necessary tools to take care of the daunting task ahead of you?”

    The man didn’t respond to the queen’s question, instead pulled back at his black cloak to reveal a deerskin flask and a dagger’s blade hidden within its sheath.

    “Good, now go and carry out my command. Find the princess and take her into the woods, there you will carry out your task. You will be greatly rewarded for your efforts.” The man gave a nod as he got back onto his feet, giving his queen a bow before leaving the room. After the huntsman left the room, the queen walked toward the window. Her dimming eyes watching the grounds of the castle when as she watched the huntsman leave with the young princess half an hour later. “You will not be able to carry out your wicked plans...I will not allow you to do so. You, so young and fair, but with the black heart and soul of a demon most foul, unknowingly walks toward your own execution. The thread of Fate will be cut with the spill of your blood and the removal of your heart.”

    Once in the forest, the young princess walked through the trees as the sunlight through the branches shone on her snowy face. “Woodsman...Why did you bring me here?” She asked, her tone carrying a note of curiosity.

    The huntsman made no response to the girl, unsheathing his dagger as the cold iron glittered in the sunlight. The princess’s eyes widened when she turned and saw the blade, her mouth in the shape of an ‘O’ as if emitting a silent scream. She slowly backed away from the man she believed to be a friend, her ankle caught on a fallen branch with a yelp the girl fell on her back in the dirt as the man loomed over her fallen body. He held the blade over his head, ready to plunge the unfeeling steel into the girl’s body.

    “No! Please! I don’t want to die! Please spare me!” The princess cried, crawling on her knees as she pleaded with the man who held her tiny frame in the palm of his hand. Her large amber eyes were wide and watery with salty tears, the liquid flowing down her already pale cheeks as her body visibly trembled.

    The woodsman’s body began to tremble as he looked down at the frightened princess as her tears rolled down her cheeks. His legs gave under his body as he collapsed onto the wet soil, dropping the blade beside him. “Princess...You must flee. The queen...Your stepmother...She is delusional...She firmly believes that you wish to destroy herself and your father in their sleep so you can take over the kingdom, which would cause famine and unnecessary bloodshed. She wished for me to bring forth your execution...To cut out your heart and take a pint of your freshly spilt blood.”

    The girl’s eyes widened out of terror, her body continued to tremble. “W-Where can I go? My stepmother is nothing more than an evil witch, no matter where I go she will find me!” She cried as she buried her wet face in her dirt-covered hands.

    “Go further into the forest, as deep as you can possibly go. There the queen won’t be able to find you.” He hissed, his voice maintained a note of urgency. “Go!”

    The girl gave a slight yelp as she was hoisted upward and pushed toward the heart of the woods. Her eyes were wide as she ran through the brambles and fallen leaves, stickers beginning to cling to the hem of her long dress. The long, brown, grabbing fingers of tree branches reached to grab at her arms and her hair as their sharp nails dug into her arms and neck. She became dizzy as the trees began to spin, soon finding herself in a meadow before everything went black around her.

    The woodsman returned to his queen later that afternoon, he didn’t want to lie to his lady and his queen, but he couldn’t commit the crime he was charged to commit.
    Instead of killing the girl, he killed a pig instead and cut out the beast’s heart and drained its body of its blood in his flask. He entered the mirror chamber where the woman was anxiously awaiting his arrival.

    “Did you take care of the princess?” She asked nervously, fidgeting as if something was crawling inside her skin.

    “Yes my Queen...The deed has been done.” He whispered with a bow, holding the bloody flask and a wooden box toward the woman. The woman’s eyes widened as she eyed the trinkets, removing them from his hands.

    “Now...Leave me. You will be rewarded greatly for your trouble.” With that, the man bowed as he left the room and closed the door after him.

    “Excellent...Now, place the beating heart in front of the mirror and wipe the blood against the human figures carved on the door frame.” The voice in the mirror cooed, eying the woman with a wild look on her face.

    The queen did as she was told; she placed the box in front of the mirror and removed the cork from the flask. She slowly began to pour the warm blood on her hands, running her hands slowly over the cold wooden figures. The blood began to cover every crevice of the haunted frame as the crimson liquid dripped onto the floor at the bottom of the frame.

    “With this blood and heart of the sacrifice I shall finally be free from the chains of his infernal prison of glass and wood! Now my great Master set me free!” The voice called out as her voice echoed in the room.

    Nothing happened.

    The woman in the mirror let out a loud screech in rage, her eyes changing into the shade of fresh blood. “What happened?! Why didn’t it work!” She screamed, her face contorted with extreme fury. “YOU! You didn’t kill the girl as I told you to do! The blood isn’t the blood of the virginal girl!”

    The queen’s eyes widened as her already pale face lost all color as she rushed toward the box, bending down before she opened the lid as the enraged stranger continued to scream.

    “THIS IS PIG’S BLOOD! THE GIRL IS STILL ALIVE!” She screeched, her long brown hair flying behind her as her body convulsed in her mirror prison. “...The brat is with seven dwarves in the woods. I will give you the tools necessary to kill her.” The woman hissed, pointing a finger toward the young queen. The queen began to scream as she felt her own body convulse, her fair skin began to become old and wrinkle with blue veins ran along her hands and arms like a spider’s web. Her hair became white and scraggly as her body hunched, her clothes changing from a fine velvet dress to old black rags.

    “Now...Go do the job yourself. I will provide the tools for you to do the job properly.” The sorceress hissed, an apple with dark red skin appeared on the floor in front of the woman. “This apple is filled with the finest poison known to man, one bite and the girl will fall into a forever sleep. Now go and do my bidding!”

    The queen had no choice but to obey, she picked up the apple from the floor before hiding the poison fruit in her cloak. She soon hobbled out of the castle and into the woods, under the guise as a beggar woman as she trekked toward her destination where her prey was lying.

    Snow White awoke to feel not the cold ground under her body, but a warm mattress with a quilt that was pulled up to her shoulders. She kept her eyes closed as she listened to the sounds around her; a teapot whistling and the voices of what sounded to be seven different men. Her amber eyes slowly opened as she took in her strange surroundings, six small beds lined the room, all unmade and unkempt. Various trinkets lined the smaller wooden drawers and trunks on the floor, her eyes falling to the seven picks dangling from a wall on the other side of the diminutive room. Her eyes immediately widened as she tried to sit up in the bed, only to feel that her arms were forced above her head and were tied to the bedposts. She tried to move her legs to find they were also bound to the bedposts, her legs spread. She felt the flutter of panic and terror when her eyes fell to a chair by the bed, her dirt-covered, torn dress was carelessly draped over a wooden chair. She began to squirm before she felt an uncomfortable pain, one that she had never felt anymore. “What is this?!” She screamed.

    The voices suddenly became quiet as seven small men entered the bedroom, each with a wide smirk plastered on their lips to reveal each with yellowed, rotting teeth. The men were partially clothed, each wore loose shirts that were covered in mud and grime. Under the shirts however, were no remnants of any type of lower wear. “So, you are finally awake my precious dear.” One of the men purred, licking his lips as he looked toward the frightened young woman.

    “W-W-Who are you?! What do you want?!” She stammered, her eyes were wide with terror as she struggled to break lose of the ropes that bound her to the bed.

    “We’ve already got what we wanted, and it was even better since you were unconscious my dear.” Said one of the other men, cracking his knuckles as he licked his lips. His grin widened as he noticed the look on the girl’s frightened and pale face. “You want to be cut free, don’t you? How about we make a little bargain then little missy. You stay here and be our maid, keep the cabin clean and have dinner ready for us when we come home from the mines. As well as be prepared for any kind of...Favors we may ask of you. If you don’t cooperate like a good little girl, you will find yourself with a slit throat with the crows picking at that pretty flesh of yours. Got it princess?”

    Snow White could only give a feeble nod, seeing this was her only possible chance for survival. She was at the mercy of these seven small men, so anything they asked, she had no choice but to do as she was told. She was cut free of the coils of rope that bound her to the bed before the men left the room with howls of laughter. The princess wrapped a blanket over her battered naked body as her legs drew to her chest, crying into her knees.

    Several days later when the dwarves had left the cabin to work in the diamond mines, Snow White heard a knock on the door as she was washing the dirty china in the sink. “Apples for sale...Fresh, ripe apples for sale.” The voice was that of an old woman, her scraggly white hair fell into her grubby wrinkled face. On her scrawny arm was a wicker basket; under a checkered towel were fresh, green apples and one apple which skin was as red as fresh spilt blood. The old woman’s eyes fell onto the girl though the window. “Why, hello there dearie. Would you like an apple?”

    “They do look very good...But I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to pay you for it.”

    “Oh, you wouldn’t have to worry about it my dear. This one is on me, a pretty girl like you needs her treats once in a while.” The old woman said with a crooked smile as she held the red apple toward the girl.

    Snow White however, looked toward the apple with a hesitant look on her face. “...I don’t know...” She whispered.

    “It’s alright my dear, take it.” The stranger insisted before the girl held out her hand and took the apple into her delicate hand. She slowly wiped the fruit clean with her apron before taking a bite. All of the sudden, her head began to spin as her body gained the feeling of floating on air, before her world became dark, her lifeless body falling to the wooden floor with a soft thud. The woman looked over the mirror and down at the lifeless body, a faint smirk forming on her lips. “At last...The nightmare is over.” She whispered, hobbling back into the woods toward the castle.

    The dwarves returned that night to find the girl’s lifeless form on the floor, the apple with a single bite piercing its skin lying still on the floor by her hand. The dwarves felt little remorse for the girl as they left her corpse on the floor as they retired for the night. That next morning, the men cut down a large tree and began to carve a coffin from the light-colored wood. A young man appeared from the assortment of the trees from the forest on the back of a white stallion, everything from his face to the horse maintaining a sense of regality.

    “Who is this girl...? This girl whom you are carving this coffin for?” The man quietly asked, looking to the delicate face of the woman’s corpse lying on the grass.

    One of the men looked at the young man with a cocked eyebrow before he gave a snort. “Don’t know. This brat showed up a few days ago. Never said who she was, and we really don’t care. She was just a house maid and servant to us.”

    “If you so please...Might I take this girl and give her a proper burial?”

    “Whatever, doesn’t matter to us. Less work for us to do, take her. We don’t need a rotting corpse here stinking up our land.” Said another dwarf with a scoff. The man only gave a nod before he dismounted his horse and walked toward the girl’s lifeless body, carefully picking up the limp figure in his arms before walking back toward the horse. He mounted the stallion, balancing the body on the steed’s back, and riding off into the woods, never to be seen or heard from again.

    The queen whom had changed back into her beautiful, young form in the castle had troubles of her own.

    “YOU USELESS PIG! I ordered you to cut out her heart and bring me a pint of her blood! Never mind me now becoming free from this cell! I will take care of y-“ The witch was cut off mid-sentence as the queen removed an apple from the basket and threw it as hard as she could at the mirror. The sorceress gave a loud shriek as the glass shattered and fell to the floor. Crimson blood slowly began to dribble from under the shards as if the woman trapped inside the mirror had been stabbed in her chest. Without another word, the queen left the room and the castle. Like the prince with the comatose body of the princess Snow White, she was never seen nor heard from again.