You are probably familiar with the tale of Snow White. Of course, you're probably thinking of the highly-tailored Disney version. Or if not that one, then it is the Grimm's Fairy Tale edition. Either way, the story is biased and incomplete. Most of the important details were lost somewhere along the publishing and editing lines. However, I am here to provide you with those missing elements. Of course, this means that some of the other details are lost in the process, but that doesn't matter; you know the story well enough to fill in the gaps yourself.
The story starts with a girl, by the name of Snow White. Actually, her name was Mathilda Johnson, but that isn't important. Everyone called her Snow White because her publicity agent thought it sounded snappy, insisting that it fit her fair complexion and dark hair. How he figured black hair resembled snow is still being debated by a group of very batty politicians and small giggly girls at sleepovers. As Snow White's father had once exasperatedly pointed out to the swarming press outside his moat, there was a logical reason for her looks: Snow White had a terrible fear of the sun. In fact, most historians today consider her to have been the originator of the Gothic movement, albeit the medieval equivalent.
Anyhow, this Snow White girl lived with her father, stepmother, and stepsisters. Her mother had been killed by a dragon who was high on something and thought he could turn castles into cupcakes if he blew on them. This resulted in one heck of a stomachache for the dragon, plus the kingdom minus one castle, several pages, and a particular Queen. Snow White, clever girl that she was, had been off in the castle of a neighbouring kingdom. More specifically, in the bedroom of a certain Prince Charming, also labeled as such by Snow White's publicity agent. The King, Snow White's father, was absent during the dragon incident, although it was general consensus that he had been spending a great deal of time and gold playing poker in a nearby bar.
The King, knowing that no kingdom was complete without a Queen, immediately located a pretty lady and married her. There was only one complication: she had three daughters of her own, the results of several different teen flings and a lack of contraception precautions. (She also had a son, but he no longer kept in touch, having sent a single letter claiming he had been transformed into a dragon by a local witch who had gone absolutely insane with anger when she found him borrowing some of the magical plants she grew for the odd spell or brew. Plants, it was later admitted, that doubled as wonderful hallucinogens).
Snow White, like any sixteen-year-old girl, absolutely hated always having to baby-sit for her stepmother's children. Andrianna, the four-year-old, never seemed to cease asking questions, and when she wasn't doing that, she was brutally ripping things into very small pieces or experimenting with the gravitational potentials of crystal artifacts. Corranna frequently wet her pants, and Isabella, the baby, was colicky. After tolerating nearly four an a half minutes of why's, wet pants, and incessant wailing, Snow White had had quite enough.
She packed her bags with the necessities (lipstick, mascara, blush, eye shadow, cover-up, sunscreen, her best pumps, and that new black, sleeveless, backless, 12-layer dress) and she left. Not quietly, either. However, it is doubtful that anyone actually heard her over Isabella's anguished shrieking and the explosion of shattering glass dropped from 200 feet up as Andrianna discovered a crystal umbrella stand in a tower room.
Mainly to avoid the sun, Snow White headed directly into the nearby forest. Being the air-headed princess that she was, and also a blazing dyslexic, it was not very long before she was completely lost. Specifically, she managed it in 42 seconds, which she quite happily recorded as her best time yet. Giddy from beating her own record, the girl continued to wander around aimlessly for an undetermined amount of time, singing a tune she seemed to have pulled out of the air (as people in fairy tales have a tendency to do). Her voice had an extraordinary effect on the animals around her. Most of them fled in terror from what they perceived as a horribly dysfunctional chainsaw. A particular rabbit, cursed with large ears that magnified sound beyond any reasonable measure, went stark raving mad and bolted straight off a cliff in its crazed dash to escape from the voice ricocheting around inside its poor head. An entire flock of songbirds sacrificed themselves in a vain attempt to appease the Gods of Music. Oblivious to the massacre she was triggering, Snow White happily continued on her way.
Around tea-time, the princess began to get hungry. Although she would never have admitted it, Snow White was beginning to wish she hadn't run off. Really, she supposed, she hadn't given her stepsisters much of a chance. She could have at least waited five minutes before high-tailing it out of there. Her stomach gave a funny sort of muffled roar, and, ignoring a perfectly good patch of blackberries to her right, Snow White pulled out her tube of black lipstick. Desperate times called for desperate measures, after all. In a matter of seconds (24.6 of them, actually), she had consumed the entire thing, plastic casing and all.
If you have ever eaten a whole stick of lipstick, you have probably come to two conclusions: Firstly, you're completely insane. Secondly, you know how horrible the resulting indigestion can be. To put it mildly, Snow White was not in a good mood. When she smashed into a stone wall she had somehow managed not to see, despite the fact that it formed one side of a nice-sized cottage that certainly had no right or left to be in the middle of her forest, Snow White actually let loose a stream of unprintable words she had only ever heard during a visit to a particularly vocal Prince Charming.
A head popped out of a window, blinked and snuffled a few times, and twitched into what could have been interpreted as either a very hungry look typical of starved lions or as an amused smile. The head then began making a noise almost as horrid as Snow White's singing. Another head appeared beside the first, and a rough little squeak of a voice said "Oi, cut that out, Gerald, quit laughing at the... thing." Snow White, it seemed, had missed this entire sequence of events, judging by her complete lack of movement away from the wall. She had actually managed to implant her face into the stones, and the rest of her limbs hadn't yet figured out that they could still freely move.
It took the little men (for that is indeed who they were) a while to coax Snow White to part company with their siding, and when she finally did, they marched her inside and tied her to the armchair. The couch was occupied by six other men, all of them short, bearded, and snoring in what was unmistakably a towering dogpile whose participants had all fallen asleep simultaneously and had not changed position since the drop-off.
Snow White had never been particularly tactful. And she was still in a bad mood. "What are you?" she asked the two men who sat at her feet curiously sniffing her black pump heels.
"Oi, we're Elves, yeah that's who we be. Me name's... uh... wait... hey Gerald, what's the kid in that book about rings named, eh?"
"Lego-wench, it be."
"Yeah, that's it. Me name's Lego-wench."
"And I named... ohh, 'nother one! Elfrond. I thenk. Yeah, Elfrond."
Snow White rolled her eyes. "You're not Elves. Elves aren't three feet tall, they're usually closer to seven. The only short Elves I've ever heard of work for Father Christmas, but they wouldn't survive here, it's much too warm."
"Maybe we took off our coats, eh? Never think of that, did ye?" one of the little men accused.
"Ach, lay off it, Ger. She knows we ain't no Elf punks." He turned back to Snow White and said apologetically "See, we all be named Gerald, and since no-one names their kid that unless they know he's gonna be a loser, we all got out of it early and live here in t' woods to 'scape from the other dwarves. We all be a buncha loser Geralds together, it's good like that."
Snow White rolled her eyes. "Look, Beard Boys. I've been wandering around lost in the woods and haven't eaten anything with nutritional substance since this morning, you think we could just cut the chat until after you've given me something to eat?" She raised her eyebrows and snapped her finger like she used to when ordering her servants around at the castle. The Dwarves, however, just gave her blank looks.
"We don't eat," Lego-wench finally pointed out.
"Why you think Dwarves be so friggin' short, eh?" Elfrond challenged.
"I was assuming it was genetics," she snapped peevishly. "Fine. I'm leaving." Snow White stood up and quite quickly landed back in the chair. Her ankles, elbows, and bellybutton had all been securely tied to the armchair when the Dwarves had first helped her inside. "Great," she groaned, "I'm alone in a house with seven guys somewhere Dad and Stepmom will never find me, and for once in my life I'm not happy about it," she said cryptically.
"Eight," one of the Geralds corrected diplomatically.
"Oh, shut up," she yawned nastily.
It took Snow White quite a while to get used to being locked in a cottage with eight small men. It didn't help that the Dwarves refused to untie her from the chair. Although they did try to accommodate her, stone apples just weren't sustaining her as well as a real one would have. The first time she saw one, she tried to swallow it whole, and a chain of events ensued which involved rather enthusiastic rescue breathing and several hard punches from all eight of the Geralds. The apple was finally projectiled across the room when the Dwarf who called himself Poison performed the life-saving operation on Snow White's knees known as tickling. In honour of the hero, the apple was coined as The Poison Apple, and set to rest on a pillow by the outhouse.
The Dwarves, it turned out, were extraordinary craftsman, and not only could they carve stone apples, they also created items of such fragility and detail as corsets and combs. Snow White delighted in the comb, immediately running it through her long black locks, stretching the strings attached to her elbows to their limits. Unfortunately, her flight through the forest had tangled her curls far beyond rescue, and the stone comb lodged itself so stubbornly into a snarl of knotted hair that the Dwarves chirped excitedly that it would never come out. Their solution was simple, really. Snow White would have to be shaved. So horrific was this proposition that the girl fainted upon hearing it. (It is questionable whether this was actually caused by the idea of a shaved head, or simply a complete lack of food, but the former is more interesting). The Dwarves, assuming Snow White's lack of response was acquiescence, proceeded to rid her of hair. They were a bit too enthusiastic, however, and when Snow White awoke she discovered she no longer possessed eyebrows, lashes, and nose hair, in addition to now having a pale, shiny pate.
The corset was an interesting matter. For some reason, Snow White seemed to think it a good idea to wear the medieval equivalent of a stone straight jacket underneath her 12-layer dress. While she was struggling to get it on, battling with her elbow strings, one of the Geralds whispered that she was trying to kill herself. The others disagreed. If she was trying to kill herself, they reasoned, she would have probably attempted to swallow something harmful before resorting to asphyxiation by constriction. At this, the theory was rejected, and Snow White was left to attempt suicide on her own with the corset. She nearly managed it, too, until a greyish dove crashed through the kitchen window and hurtled straight at Snow White. A rather satisfying crack resounded as the bird's skull collided with Snow White's midriff, and the stone split in two at the force of the impact.
Snow White appeared upset, and most of the Dwarves took it as a maiden's reaction to the death of a small bird, but the one Gerald who was a bit cleverer than the others deduced that she was merely disappointed that the plan to terminate her existence had failed. She sighed and poked the very lifeless bird, and a letter dropped from one of its legs, along with the leg itself. It was from her Stepmother. It was short and to the point:
Mathilda Johnson: Your father and I have discussed your motivation for running away and have come to the conclusion that you need more freedom. Therefore, we are pleased to inform you we have raised your clothing allowance, and have also placed a very friendly dragon outside your window for you to talk to. He insists he's a prince and will change back into one if he receives a kiss from a princess; quite an interesting boy, if you ask me. We expect you back at home to babysit for your stepsisters by Saturday.
It was signed "Stepmom."
Just then, there was a knock on the door, and the entire thing exploded inward as though someone had run full tilt towards it and hadn't managed to stop in time to avoid a collision. A tall young man with incredibly dorky glasses and bad acne stood in the doorway, then collapsed, holding his knee as sobs escaped his lips. Snow White looked quite astonished. "Gerald?" she asked incredulously.
"What?" all eight of the Dwarves responded.
"Not you morons," she said impatiently, "I was talking to Prince Charming."
"What, that thing?" Poison squawked, pointing towards the door. "But it's so ugly. You sure it's a charming prince?"
Prince Charming, also known as Gerald Smith, managed to stagger to his feet, and wiped the tears from his face with a very dirty hand.
"Er, Ger, what are you doing here?" Snow White asked.
"Live here, stupid. Don't we keep tellin' you that?" Lego-wench grumped.
"I've come to rescue you, Mattie," Prince Charming replied. "Let's go." He fumbled with the knots tying Snow White down, until she slapped him, grabbed the dagger hanging at his waist, and slashed the lines herself. The Dwarves just watched with fascination. They had probably never seen a dagger before, and were captivated by its shiny edges.
"By the way," Prince Charming said, frowning as he helped Snow White out the door (the Dwarves were still watching the dagger sheath dazedly as it swung from his hip), "why have you got no hair? And why are you wearing a stone tube-top?"
Snow White slapped him. Hard. "Just hurry up and rescue me, alright?" she snarled.
The Prince looked a bit skeptical about this. "Er, actually Mattie, your Stepma offered a reward for your recovery. Three full hours on the royal Gaming System and unlimited pizza of my choice. Apparently the children are terrorizing the castle and she wants her baby-sitter back."
Snow White didn't bother to slap him this time. Instead, she kneed him hard. That had more the desired effect- namely, Prince Charming crumpling to the ground with a muffled "oof."
The girl stalked off, leaving poor Prince Charming massaging his injuries on the forest floor. Surprisingly, she did return to the castle, and the first thing she did was snog the dragon whose head was thrust through her bedroom window. Predictably, he did not transform back into a prince, but he was so taken by the girl that he kidnapped her and deposited her in a very tall tower, where she was instructed to grow out her hair so that when the dragon did manage to reverse the spell, he could make it into a rope and use it as a ladder. Snow White waspishly informed him that he must be "on something" if he thought she was going to allow her hair to be braided.
This story does have a happy ending. Relatively, that is. A few months later, the land was forever rid of Snow White's depressing lunacy and chronic air-headedness as a result of the dragon rebounding from an unsuccessful attempt at vegetarianism. The Dwarves continued to live happily and obliviously in their little cottage in the woods, and Prince Charming found a very nice therapist to help him recover from his injuries. All in all, things eventually returned to a chaotic normality for the kingdom.