The newborn sun peeked above the mountains and scattered beams of orange upon freshly fallen snow. The powder, crisp and cold, crunched beneath the feet of the huntsman and Snow White as they trudged through the woods beyond the castle. White crystals clung to the delicate, porcelain flesh of Snow’s feet, but she had no reaction to the blistering chill of the tiny frozen embers as the two traveled through puffs of mist spat out from their lungs. In fact, the princess wore only her blue gown and black kitten heels while the huntsman was bundled tight to keep warm. Snow White no longer felt the cold, not in her state of hunger.
“Why was it necessary for me to accompany you?” Snow White said, her temper hotter than the fire burning in the queen’s quarters. “I’ve never been asked to collect before.”
“Your Majesty,” the huntsman huffed, “your mother thought you could learn a lesson if you saw where your food came from. It wasn’t my request.”
Snow White stopped suddenly and whipped around, “She isn’t my mother!”
“Besides, I know where it comes from.” In the morning light, the princess’ skin shone a pale green. Her face, arms, and chest all revealed a color that looked something like swamp moss. Snow’s green flesh had begun to crack and peel. Tiny flakes crumbled into the gusting wind and floated away like a flurry. She was stiff—her jaw popped when she spoke. “It won’t change anything. I need to eat. It’s the price everyone must pay if I am to be forever young and beautiful.” Snow White’s stomach growled, low and ferocious, like a wolf.
Deep in the forest the sun’s brilliance was cancelled by a black thicket. Here, it seemed, the huntsman and Snow White traveled in the darkness of night. Long, withered branches reached out and tugged on the princess’ dress, snagging and tearing at the delicate silk of which it was made. They yanked at her long, coal-colored hair, tearing the curls from the pins that held them in place. The huntsman only walked slowly behind her, his hand on the golden hilt of a long knife.
“Couldn’t you have chosen a better route, Huntsman?”
“I’m afraid it had to be this one, Princess.”
Snow White stopped momentarily to detach herself from a thorny bush which threatened to shred her dress and her torso. “This is dangerous terrain,” she said, “I’ll have to eat twice as much to recover from the wounds I am receiving.” A trickle of thick, oily blood seeped onto the surface of Snow’s dress and pooled like a small lake.
The huntsman used the moment of distraction, under the cover of darkness, to move on the princess. He was a skilled, swift hunter. He grabbed the steel blade from his waistband and lunged at Snow White’s back, expecting to plant it deep in her spine. The princess heard the snow crunch beneath his boots.
The queen stood in a ray of yellowed morning light that cascaded through the big window of her chamber. On the wall in front of her hung a large, ornate mirror. She dipped her finger in the reflective surface where it undulated, like gelatin, sending the room into chaos.
“Mirror, show me the fairest in the kingdom. Show me the one who feeds.”
The image in the mirror swirled like a whirlpool, and when it stilled, it revealed Snow White on her hands and knees in the thicket. The girl was covered in rich, hot crimson that steamed and fogged the air. It rose up from the body of the huntsman. Snow dug her pallid hands deep into his chest, ripping and tearing flesh echoed around the queen’s chamber, and Snow held the huntsman’s heart aloft in victory just before she pressed it to her lips and bit into the warm, sticky muscle. Blood dribbled down her chin as her skin began to return to glowing ivory.
“She lives,” the queen cried, “I must end this terror.”
to be continued…
#HumpdayHorror Copyright 2018 Kira McKinney
Welcome to my blog. Sit back and enjoy a short story, a poem, or some flash fiction--whatever I have recently cooked up. I will post a new piece as often as possible. Check back once a week to see what's new.