Bred For One Purpose
Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a king and queen who had no child to grace the hallowed halls of their castle.
One day, on a chilly and snowy morning, the queen went on a stroll through the castle grounds to clear her mind of unhappy thoughts. It was near the very edge of the grounds where she found a small patch of green next to an ebony tree. On the little patch grew a most beautiful red rose which stole the queen's breath away at the sight of it.
The queen bent down to pluck the rose from the earth, but pulled her hand away abruptly—as if bitten. Her fingers had been pricked by thorns! And from the tiny wounds feel two drops of blood onto the snowy ground at her feet. She stared at the spots of crimson on the snow near the ebony tree in a sort of trance, totally transfixed by how the colors seemed to compliment one another.
It was then and there that she decided that she would have a child no matter what the cost. But not just any child—the perfect little girl!
The queen became obsessed with having a daughter with 'locks of ebony wood, skin as white as snow and lips as red as blood' that she stopped at nothing to attain her goal. She poured over old magical tomes well into the night, burning the midnight oil in the hopes of conceiving such a child. She constantly consulted with those of the dark so she could gain the knowledge of dark witchcraft.
The king became very worried about his wife. As the days went on and turned into weeks and the weeks stretched into months, the beautiful woman of whom he had fallen in love with was transforming into a fiendish, twisted and cruel individual. Servants, maids, retainers, peasants—all were disappearing left and right only to reappear on the queen's whim dead…or changed.
Several of those who had disappeared came back monsters, deformed…or with child that turned out to be some sort of terrible grotesqueness, bemoaning the name of the queen who had done such horrible things to them. It was a truly terrible time in the kingdom.
Experiment after experiment, the queen continued to research ways of begetting the perfect child until, one fateful day, she was finally found to be pregnant the day after her husband rode off to make peace with a neighboring country. At the same time the people of the kingdom were beginning to rally in an effort to rid themselves of the evil queen. It was the perfect time to strike as the witch was vulnerable in her pregnant state and the king wouldn't know of their treason until it was too late.
United as one, they stormed the castle, easily overtaking the soldiers left behind to defend its walls with sheer numbers. They fought their way to the throne room where they thought the queen was surely to be at that point in time. But there, lying serenely on the seat of the throne was not the evil witch queen, but a baby girl wrapped in a white blanket soaked in her mother's blood.
The queen had died from trying to birth the child on her own. Unable to bring her long awaited daughter through traditional means, the queen took a knife to her stomach and opened herself up, pushing the child out through there. In her final moments as she laid her daughter down upon her throne, she wrote the name of her child on the floor with the blood on her hands before falling dead. The name was two words that shall be remembered forevermore.
The one they had come to kill had died by her own twisted devices, leaving behind the fruits of her evil labors. Many wished to do away with the child for they thought nothing good could come from the spawn of an evil witch. Snow White had to die.
Just as one of the men (a hunter who lost two daughters and his wife) was about to deal the fatal blow the king strode into the room with his soldiers at his back. Upon seeing the bloody scene he waited for no explanations as he ordered his guards to arrest all assembled and to charge them with treason against the crown. The order was carried out swiftly and many were summarily executed the very same day in a place which was to be called the 'Blessed Garden' in days to come.
The king was at a loss. An uprising had transpired while he had been away and his wife had died, leaving behind a small child for him to care for. What was he to do?
As all kings do in such misery: move on.
Many years passed since the sudden death of the queen. Snow White had grown into a lovely little girl, despite the circumstances of her birth as well as the gossip surrounding said circumstances. Though she carried a heavy stigma, Snow White was a delightful child beloved by all who knew her—especially her father who had learned to depend on her presence to stave off the loneliness that came with her mother's death. And he had loved her, no matter how evil and wicked she became.
But he could only do so much for his daughter. He was still a king and kings rarely had time for children and their upbringing. Alas, he couldn't just leave Snow White all alone—it wasn't an option. She was all that he had, after all. She was all that the kingdom had. As its sole heir, whoever married her would be the next ruler of the Kingdom of Saison.
Nurse maids and servants did not seem very adequate enough in his mind to raise his daughter, so he took it upon himself to find his beloved Snow White a mother who would dote upon her in his place. He sent messengers to all the corners of the world in hopes of finding the perfect mother for his daughter.
In the end, the king settled on a countess whose beauty could be surpassed by no other and whose heart was bright and full. When he married her she brought nothing to her new home, except for an enchanted mirror that knew all and could only speak the truth.
There had never been a more caring and loving mother than the king's new wife. The queen came to love Snow White as if she were her own flesh and blood. Snow White, in turn, as very fond of her stepmother and wanted nothing more than to please her. Time quickly passed and mother and daughter became the best of friends.
Tragedy struck once again, however, as the king became ill then passed away after a month of sickness. As sad as this was it only served to strengthen the bond between Snow White and her stepmother who became the sole ruling power within Saison. Although, this made spending time with her stepdaughter very hard on the queen who would love nothing more than to stay by her side and console and comfort her in the days after the king's funeral.
One day, on a whim, she asked the mirror a strange question. She wanted to know who was the fairest in the land. And the mirror, being only able to speak the truth, told her that she was the fairest of them all, which pleased the queen greatly. The day after, she asked the same question and received the same answer and so it was the next day when she went to inquire it again. It soon came to be a daily routine to ask the mirror this question at mid day.
It had been a day just like any other when the mirror spoke a different answer when the queen came after lunch to ask her question. It said that the queen was indeed very fair and beautiful—unlike any other—however, now that Snow White was grown-up she was much more beautiful than the queen could ever hope to be.
The queen was left stunned by this revelation. But she did not grow angry or spiteful and jealous. In fact, she grew to be very remorseful. She came to realize that she had neglected any attention to her stepdaughter and that she had grown into a fine young woman without her noticing. She decided to make it up to Snow White by going out to get a gift for the child—a bouquet of flowers; a rarity in their often snow covered kingdom.
The queen stole out of the castle proper and traveled by horseback to the Blessed Garden where flowers of varying sizes and colors all grew in abundance. Once there, she set about arranging the perfect apology bouquet for Snow White. She thought that she had to find the most fragrant and lovely of the growing flora back for the child—beautiful blooms fitting of one so fair. It was only right, in her mind. She soon spotted one of the most beautiful flowers sitting peacefully in the middle of a grove of apple trees. A rose in full bloom; ready for the picking.
She reached out to take the rose, but pricked a finger on a sharp thorn. Slightly hurt, but nowhere near discouraged in the least, she roughly took the flower by the roots. Blood came out from little cuts on her fingers, but she paid them no mind. She had overcome the task of picking the delicate rose. Triumphantly, she returned to the castle with her precious treasure, but, in the end, did not give it to Snow White. She kept it for herself, hiding it away between the pages of a very thick book.
In the days to come the queen suddenly became very obsessed with herself. Her tradition of asking the mirror who was 'fairest of them all' became a frequent occurrence during the day to the point where she locked her doors and stayed several hours alone in her room. Over and over did she demand answers from the mirror, never satisfied with what it always told her in spoken rhyme. Everyone suffered from this terrible behavior, but none more so than Snow White.
When the queen could no longer take the same news of Snow White being fairer than she, the woman called upon her huntsman and ordered him to take the princess far into the borders of their kingdom and to kill her. And to make sure that he did the deed, she made him swear to cut out Snow White's heart and bring it back to her.
The huntsman could not do such an evil deed to such an innocent child. So when he brought her to a forest at the very edge of Saison's borders, he told her to run away and to never return lest the wrath of the queen descend upon her. Snow White, confused and scared, ran for her life—far into the woods where no one would find her for the time being. Meanwhile, the huntsman killed a boar and took its heart to the queen who devoured it like some wild animal feasting upon the flesh of its enemies…
"…thinking that she could absorb her youthful beauty as an animal absorbs another's strength…" Kiwi shut the book and stared at her counterpart who was busily writing on a piece of parchment. "Dear, Disney you are not. This…this is…utterly horrible!" she said, gesturing at the pages of parchment she had just read. "Creepy even…"
Apple smiled sadly as she looked at the paragraph she was currently nursing into being. She idly tapped the paper with the tip of her quill, getting ink spots all over the place. "…The truth usually is, my angel. The truth usually is…" The demon stretched in her seat, looking like a cat waking up from a nap. "Horrible, that is. Creepy is just a byproduct of horrible circumstances."
Kiwi sighed and looked at the papers again, shuffling them around in her hands. "I suppose so."
The Demonic Overpower of Irony leaned over and kissed her angel's forehead, assuring her that things will turn out for the best. "Don't worry, angel. This story doesn't have an ending yet." She stood up from her desk, taking the Angelic Overpower's hand and leading her over to the parlor table where specially prepared rice balls and soy sauce awaited them next to a pot of tea and a two liter bottle of cream soda. "In fact…it's only just beginning…"
The demon raised an eyebrow at the angel. "Hm?"
The angel hesitated. "Will it really be alright?"
Apple grinned. "Would I be lying if I said, 'I don't know'?"
The demon earned a rice ball to the face for that one.
And both Ironic Overpowers ate as they began the task of watching the goings-on in the world beneath them, chatting amiably on whatever topic decided to pop up between them. And Kiwi forgot her worries for the while and Apple completely neglected to finish writing the tale of Snow White as far more important things were beginning to unfold…
…and the old woman transformed into the wicked queen as she watched in undisguised glee as Snow White choked on the apple and died.