Snow What?!

This post was written in response to the prompt at The Lightening and The Lightening Bug.

Rewrite or modernize your favorite fairy tale or take a story (book, movie, play, or memory) and turn it into a fairy tale. Lots of room to play around with this one, as long as you use the fairy tale aspect in some way. I’ve made the word limit greater this week, so you can develop your story further.

 

She woke slowly, her eyes heavy from her dark slumber. A hand brushed against her face lovingly and she heard a cacophony of noise as the woodland creatures she had called friends celebrated her sleepy stretch. Sunlight danced through the leaves, casting shadows on her face. This was the moment she’d anticipated ever since she’d been denied her birth right and forced to perform the duties of a scullery maid. She knew he’d come.

There had never been an apple so red before. The old woman held it in her gnarled hand, its beauty accentuated by her hideous form. She knew who the hag was but she also knew that in order to meet her prince; she needed to have faith in the ancient tales. She needed to bite the poison apple to summon him. Feigning naivety, she plucked the fruit from the wizened hag’s palm, pausing for the briefest of moments before bringing the apple to her mouth. It smelled of dust and earth. The impossibly shiny red skin seemed to undulate beneath her fingers causing her to recoil with disgust that she disguised by forcing a quick, hearty bite. The old woman, her stepmother in an enchanted disguise, mistook her haste for stupidity and beamed with the anticipation of her stepdaughter’s demise. Her lips pulled back in a smile that revealed the rotting, pointed teeth of something inhuman. The shock of seeing her stepmother’s true form caused her gasp, lodging that piece of poisoned fruit in her throat.

Her eyelids struggled to rise after her long sleep. Her lashes fluttered open but her vision was cloudy. “Wake up, my love,” whispered a familiar voice. Was it familiar because she’d always anticipated his voice to sound this way, or because she actually recognized it? She willed her eyes to focus and sluggishly turned her head toward the voice.

A form kneeled over her – blurry but familiar. That smell…the faint fetid scent of pickles. Her vision remained cloudy, but she saw the hand coming to stroke her cheek. “Shhhhh…baby, don’t fight it,” was breathed into her face, carrying with it the tell-tale odor of cigarettes and Budweiser. Now she was beginning to struggle her way through the remnants of her unnatural slumber. This is all a mistake, she thought, I’m still feeling the effects of the poison. She forced herself to blink clarity into her vision and rubbed her eyes to speed up the process.

It couldn’t be…

She pushed herself up and slowly focused on the form of the man kneeling at her side. He slowly rose and, finally, she was able to confirm what she had feared. “Steve?”

“How’s that for a magic kiss, huh baby?” That annoying stupid laugh made her skin crawl. “Wait ‘til the guys hear about this…you and me back together,” he boasted. “We’re a fuckin’ match made in heaven.”

She threw up a little in her mouth and recoiled against the side of the coffin she’d been placed in. Her hand fell upon the soft, rotting apple. She looked from Steve’s face to the apple and back again, suddenly infuriated at herself for being foolish enough to believe in fairy tales.

“So you gonna get up or what?” he asked impatiently. “I gotta go play some Fantasy Football.”

Without further hesitation, she picked up the putrid poison apple and took an enormous bite.

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Comments

  1. Wait… she’s in a coffin? Did pickle and Budweiser smelling Steve trick her?
    Or did she throw down one too many shots of tequila at the bar and decide she craved some disgusting familiarity?

    • I wondered about the ‘coffin’ part, but in the actual fairy tale, the dwarves placed her in a coffin and, as they carried her into the forest they tripped, bumped the coffin and the movement caused the apple to dislodge from Snow White’s throat. So, this picks up where the tale left off except Prince Charming is really just her ex-boyfriend.

  2. The pickle smell…ugh. You’ve successfully portrayed Steve as the most disgusting thing ever. I mean, ever. He’s the exact opposite of a prince. I just wonder if she’s trying to escape her reality through death by eating the apple, or if she thinks that the formula of eating poison apple = someday my prince will come will happen again?

    Isn’t that just the way of it though? You play by all the rules and try to get that fairy tale to come true, and Steve is your answer. Much more true to real life than any fairy tale. Proof that fairy tales just don’t exist. At least not the way they’re written in the storybooks.

    • I left the question of death vs. waiting for another prince wide open on purpose. It is the polar opposite of the succinct “happily ever after” ending of classic ‘princess’ fairy tales. As a child, I tended to gravitate toward the darker endings…The Little Mermaid was so tragic, but I read it again and again. The Little Match Girl was another. I’m historically not a fan of Hans Christian Andersen’s work but those two stories are my all-time favorites.

      • Yeah, I liked the open-endedness of your ending. Much less neat and tidy than a traditional ending. I want to read what happens to her next…if death is her escape or if she just constantly falls into the same trap, with the same kinds of “princes.” She reminds me a lot of a friend I had in college. I think she thought that if she kept trying with whichever “prince” would give her the time of day that one day she’d get it right. Like an ugly stepsister constantly trying on a glass slipper that’ll never fit.

  3. Ugh! That douche.

    I love Katie’s insight…or question…whether she’s trying to die to escape or still believes that another prince will come. Love it!

  4. Hilarious twist. A charming prince indeed! I liked the ending; maybe she herself didn’t know whether it would kill her or just put her back to sleep… but maybe she didn’t care, either, eh? Nice blend of tragedy and comedy.
    Reminds me of something that happened to my sister; she’s on an online dating site, and it constantly suggests that her psychotic drug-addicted ex is her “perfect match”. Fate can be so cruel.

  5. Awesome story!! I could smell the cigarettes and beer. I would’ve taken another bite of the poison apple too.
    Great post 🙂

  6. Waaahoooo!

    Kelli, this AWESOME story should be required reading in high school! Imagine how many girls could be spared all the ridiculous heartache you and I obviously went through, if they were to realize that things are not always as they seem, that Prince HARMING is his actual name, that you don’t have to put up with his rotten stench.

    If I’d have gotten a better dose of these facts, I too wouldn’t have gone through eight straight years of torture. I blame only myself, for thinking I could just sit back and take the bite of the apple in the first place (i.e., look for love in all the wrong places.) Well DUH, Eden! Of COURSE he smelled like German lager and Camel Wides! Ugh.

  7. Oh good grief. Reminds me of my sophomore year in college: ) I loved the line ” there had never been an apple so red.” The moment I read it I thought about that apple in the Garden of Eden…I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the apple was Snow White’s downfall in this story as well. I had never thought about that before.

    • I agree, there has to be some deep study into the use of the apple in Snow White’s tale. I’m glad you picked up on that 🙂 Didn’t we all have a “Steve” or some version of him at some point? Ugh.

  8. My oh my! That was some twisted ending…I loved it! You are one talented lady!

  9. This is a great story and a great twist at the end! I love how you were able to make the familiar story tale feel so fresh and new. And the way you captured the craptastic nature of her ex-boyfriend. Genius 🙂

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