Authors note: This is a short story I created for a classic short story completion. The goal was to fabricate a short story totaling max : 1200 words and to make it a modern take on a classic fairytale. This is my attempt at it and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Songs that enhance the story and are in order: Snow White by James Newton Howard from Snow White & The Huntsman, Track 01 & Gone by Ioanna Gika from Snow White & The Huntsman.
Three drops of blood fell into the snow.
The red on the white looked so beautiful, that she thought, If only I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as this frame.
Soon afterwards she had a little daughter that was as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as ebony wood, and therefore they called her Little Snow-White.
The winter winds blew fierce around her. Snowflakes drifted like liquid feathers to the dusted white ground. The sky above framed in white was a silken, midnight blue. In the corner of the sky was the waxing moon, crescent and shimmering silver. Its light glowed gently against the night sky, giving the hidden clouds an almost a misty illusion as they passed on.
It seemed to gently quake with magic.
Every breath ghosted from her lips visibly as if her very soul was emitting from within her to the outside world. Wrapped in heavy wool and cotton, she edged down the path leaving behind soft imprints in the blankets of snow. Her pulse quickened as she drew nearer to the end of the path.
Brushing away a canopy of barren branches and twigs, her eyes took in the circular field. Thistle, long grass and flowers were browned and wilting, ready to transition into sleep. Walking through the deadened plants, she spotted blooming roses. They were as deep and rich as blood, curling around a slab of stone that had been scryed upon.
She lowered her body gently to the ground, her fingers brushing away accumulating snow and running over each letter carved upon the rock surface.
Her eyes lingered upon the date.
1969 – 2002
33 years old.
Flakes stuck against her lashes and melted against her flesh and as she bent down a wash of sorrow and agony set free from its cage like doves in flight. With her forehead pressed against the freezing rock, eyes shut against the world, the warm tears chilled rapidly as they made their way down her face, dropping in an offering to the earth.
Her free hand pressed against the freezing earth near the headstone, where underneath she had buried a precious secret, and sacred treasure. Her raven locks flew haphazardly around her vision as she stood up against the howling, screeching wind. With a shaky sigh and a wipe of her wet cheeks she bent down and retrieved her walking stick.
She etched two digits in the snow with the slightly sharp tip of the stick, bleeding it straight into the earth as if it would absorb and memorize it with her.
Turning away from the numbers she made her way back in silence, through the haze of the fierce winter night winds. In the distance she could hear the hoot of an owl beckoning the night.
She now lay against the length of the window seat, staring through the thick glass of the windows. Her cheek rested against the cool pane of glass while tendrils of snow hit the glass, trying to reach her. Using her fingertips she outlined the same digits she had etched into the ground earlier that night.
1 was for the number of hours she had been sixteen and 6 was the age her mother had withered away from disease at this very date.
She remembered her mother visibly decaying away in bed, sickness mottling her skin and her colour. Not too long after her sixth birthday, her mom passed in the winter night.
In her place she left a white gold necklace strung with moonstone belonging to her mother.
Engraved on the back of the pendant were her and her mother's initials.
S for Sage, and her own name…Snow.
From the next room over she heard violent coughing and hushed tones. Every cough carved something deep and foreboding in her. The ticking of a clock somewhere drifted into her room. She turned when she heard another sickly cough, her eyes resting on the glowing numbers.
Clutching the pendant in her right hand, her eyes drifted shut in attempt to fall away from reality's hold on her.
In her gut, she knew tonight wouldn't have a happy ending.
Dressed in black she stood in the snow, not paying attention to a word the priest spoke.
Snow was numb.
Her eyes couldn't, nor wouldn't leave the closed casket. And, when it came time to bury the casket that held her father, she finally wept.
They were quiet tears; Snow wouldn't let the emotionless woman beside her have the satisfaction.
Not when she knew how her father really had died.
Months later; there she stood numb again beside the nasty and coiffed blonde who was her stepmother, ice burning in her eyes.
Gone were many of her parent's decorations, her stepmother's brother waltzed in yelling orders at the decorators, his face turning a disgusting shade of purple while his sister barked alongside him with a bone-chilling smile.
The sibling shared a secretive stare, glancing every so often towards Snow's blank expression.
Only when Ravenna turned to Snow did she feel the full effects of the chill and just as quick as her smile disappeared from her face did she kick her out of the house.
Without her coat, she was practically vulnerable to the elements. Snow didn't care though; even as she shivered she walked away from the house and into the sleeping forest.
She wouldn't let the evil queen win.
As soon as she reached her mother's headstone, she sank to the wet earth slumped over with closed eyes. Gradually the temperature dropped, but she didn't dare leave her source of comfort.
The light began to quickly fade into dark proving to be an obstacle for Snow. She slipped over the surface of the frozen creek.
Her head hit the tough ice with a crack and pain exploded from beneath her skull. Dazed, Snow hoisted herself up by her palms, her knees resting against the ice reflecting an image on the dark tinged surface. A girl with skin as white as snow, hair and lashes as dark as night and lips the colour of blood and roses and her eyes were flecked with twists of blue and gold.
Her fingers brushed against the cloudy surface; her body began to gradually numb.
Snow's head began to swim, a haze entering her mind and when she tried to stand up she fell straight against the ice again. Everything around her began to blur, her back resting against the ice.
From outside of her head she heard voices and the chimes of music in the wind, the moon rising to the sky.
In the distance she heard the howls of wolves and the caw of a crow. It cackled twice more before falling silent.
She felt drowsy, her mind tugging away.
The last thing she saw was the beckoning moon while the ice cracked from underneath her.
When she awoke, it was to warmth and green eyes glowing from fire.
They promised her liberation and compassion and strength. Something she had been dreaming of, something she had been without for so, very long.
Her own prince.