Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Before 'Fairest'

'Fairest' was born from many unfinished story fragments. This is one of those fragments.

I couldn’t have hated my stepmother so much, if I hadn’t loved her. She was so beautiful. Vivacious, golden haired, sporting a gown of faerie gossamer and glass slippers, she captivated every single one of us at the ball. She certainly ensnared my poor father, who traveled the entire country with her glass slipper, searching for her, giddy as a schoolboy. 

I didn’t want another mother. She smiled at me and gave me a private wink, when no one else was looking. 

“I know better than to replace your mother,” she’d tell me, when the two of us were alone. “She was a very great lady, but I hope, with your help, we can awaken some of her old magic.”

Foolish of me, to look at that pretty mortal face and think, maybe, she could resurrect the old magic. One look in my mother’s enchanted mirror and she was lost. I realized my error, as soon as the huntsman pressed his blade against my neck and whispered, “It was your stepmother, who ordered this. She wants your faerie beauty, your faerie blood, your white faerie flesh.”

I could have laughed, even as I cried. I’d been a fool, but so had she. My stepmother never found the hunstman’s body, for I am truly of my mother’s blood. No mere mortal hunstman is a match for me.

I’d underestimated my stepmother, though. She tracked me down to my lair with the poisoned apple and the glass coffin, before returning to her comfortable life as Queen. How terrified she was, when I appeared at the christening of her own daughter. The former princess, turned witch! I had the perfect present for my baby stepsister, a curse. Death, sleeping death at the age of sixteen in the prick of a spindle. The same death the girl’s mother bestowed upon me. The queen tried to stop me, to use her own charms to get out of the curse, using true love and a prince. She even tried to hide her daughter in the very cinders where she used to hide.

All her attempts failed. The girl was no match for my enchantments. I lured her into the woods, under the guide of a fae prince. I have been described as “the fairest of them all”. You’d be amazed at what a charming prince I can be. What I hadn’t counted on was the charm of the girl. She came to me, a delicate, golden haired maid with wide blue eyes, filled with her father’s innocence and her mother’s insight. 

“You’re not really a prince, are you? You’re one of the Old Ones,” the princess said. A faint blush stained her cheeks, but she didn’t look away.

My own reaction surprised me, as I found myself caught by her blue eyed gaze. Once, my own eyes had been like hers. A wave of my own loneliness washed over me, hitting me as hard as when her mother betrayed me. 

A tear escaped from my eye. The girl reached out a small hand to brush it away.

“One so beautiful shouldn’t cry,” she said. Her own voice was surprisingly gentle. 

“Ah, but one does,” I whispered. “Especially when she realizes she’s no longer beautiful.” I had become a destroyer of beauty. In my loneliess and hatred, I became the woman I swore vengeance upon. Irony upon irony, I set my curse upon my little sister, the very person who could have delivered me from my loneliness. 

This princess will fall under the curse. The very boldness that makes her reach out to touch my face means she will reach out to touch the spindle, when the time comes. 


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