They're on to me! I just know it! He'll find out, he'll trace Lilly back to me! Everything is so fucked... I'm no murderer! Crane screamed inside his head as he quickly unscrewed the cap of his bottle of pills, taking a couple out and ramming them down his own throat, trying to relieve the stress.
He slumped down in his chair by his desk, rubbing his forehead and racing his hands through what was left of his grey hair.
"Everything alright Mr Ichabod?" Snow asked. Crane lowered his hand and stared at the beautiful Miss Snow. Her pale white skin and soft wavy black hair, her bright blue eyes sparkling like diamonds. A sign of pure passion glinted in Crane's eye as he continued to stare, his heart raced in his chest, fluttering at her presence.
If only she could be mine.
He swallowed hard before coughing, clearing his throat and lifting his hand and smartly adjusted his bow tie "Yes... Yes I'm fine" he said with a wave of his hand, shooing her away.
His heart sank as he saw how unhappy she was by the way he treated her. Crane sighed and glanced around his desk "Miss Snow!" He snapped suddenly.
"What?" She replied, her voice rising.
"The wine you purchased, it's disappeared, again! Honestly... Can't get anything right" he grumbled, the rest of his sentence turned into muffles and mutters.
Snow scoffed bitterly, shaking her head. "I should get back to Holly" she murmured, turning away.
"Wait" Crane ordered, his whole body was tingling almost as if it was on fire. The burning passion within him was strong and he wished he could express how he felt to the real Snow White instead of some prostitute troll stand in. But Snow wasn't his. She'll never be mine... We'll never be together... She'll never love me.
"How- how is she?" He asked, yearning to keep her here with him longer.
"It's too early to say. I think she's taking it well, she's going through a hard time and it will get worse before it's gets better but hopefully she'll be just fine."
"Are you arranging a funeral with her?" He questioned, delving deeper into conversation, hearing her luxurious voice.
"She has a name you know" Snow commented on how he referred to Holly.
"Yes, I know but-"
"-We're deciding what to do with the body. We normally throw our dead down the witching well but Holly wants to burn it as it's a troll tradition and I respect her wishes". As soon as we get rid of the body the better. Less chance of Bigby tracing Lilly back to me. Crane thought to himself.
"How do you think Bigby is doing on the investigation?" Crane wondered, he was more or less asking himself this question than Snow. I need to cover my tracks. I can't be discovered.. I'll be thrown down the witching well!
"He only has one lead at the moment, a strip club called the Puddin' and Pie, run by Georgie. He's probably down there right now investigating he went there straight after we left The Trip Trap and split up. Hopefully he'll find what he's looking for"
"Yes... Hopefully..." Crane trailed off. "I'll let you get back to it I have... Business to attend to"
Snow nodded slowly before walking away. He watched her go, studying the sway of her hips and the way she moved. The scent of her perfume was strong, he treasured the smell with every inhale through his nostrils as she disappeared out of sight. He still imagined her standing in the room with him even after she left, fantasying about her.
There was a burning desire crawling beneath his skin which he could not ignore. He knew it wasn't a healthy nor right and he was certainly doing wrong but he couldn't help it, his fetish obsession was just to great.
I lost her... She could have been mine... Bigby stole her from me! He stood up and wandered over to Snow's desk, catching sight of the bright pink bottle of perfume. Crane swiped it up, taking off the cap and inhaling the sweet smelling fragrance.
Lilly smelt like this the last time I saw her... Of course she did, I specifically told her to use it... I just wanted everything to be perfect... She was just like Snow... But no matter what, she wasn't the real one.
The anger I show towards her is just an act... On the inside I can't help but love her. I wish I could one day show her how I really feel, but I can't now, I have to lie low with the Sheriff sniffing around. I can't be found out... I can't be found out... I can't be found out!
"Need of any service Mr Ichabod?" Bufkin, the green furred winged monkey, asked as he swooped down and landed on the desk.
Crane shuddered at his presence, he obviously looked suspicious from Bufkin's point of view, standing there by Snow's desk, sniffing her perfume. "Bufkin.." He growled lowly, the monkey took a step back by his aggressive tone. Crane placed the perfume down and glared at him angrily.
"Don't sneak up on people like that!"
"Sorry, sir" Bufkin replied childishly. "But is there anything-" he began.
"No!" Crane snapped. Just leave me alone...
Bufkin's brow creased, his face frustrated. "Fine" he replied before flapping his wings and flying off towards the large collection of books.
Crane rolled his eyes. I swear he's been taking my wine. He thought crossly. He adjusted his glasses on the bridge of his nose and strided over to the magic mirror, giving the golden lamp a quick glance.
"Mirror, mirror, if your able. Tell me everything about this Fable" Crane rhymed.
There was a flash and then a bright green glow came from the mirror, a large face appearing. "Of which Fable do you wish to know?" He asked.
"Would you please show, Miss Snow" he rhymed again for the sake of the mirrors faith in history and rule.
And sure enough, Snow White appeared on the reflection, standing in the Witching Well Chamber along with Holly. Crane's attention was drawn immediately to Snow, his mind blanked out everything else around him and her, ignoring Holly completely and her dead sister, who had once been his Snow stand in, the one he could show his true passion towards. He lifted his hand towards the reflection, reaching out to her, yearning to hold her in his arms.
He stroked the reflection, fantasying that he was touching the real thing. Snow disappeared and the reflection of the Mirror reappeared, Crane quickly lowered his hand and shifted awkwardly where he stood.
Mirror's face was emotionless but he seemed to give off an eerie vibe, his eyes piercing his very soul. Don't say anything, don't say anything... The pleading in Crane's mind seemed to become a reality as Mirror remained silent before fading.
Crane paused before calling upon Mirror again nervously "Mirror, mirror... If your able... Tell me everything about this Fable" he said hurriedly.
Mirror reappeared once again "Of which Fable do you wish to know?" He asked.
"Show me Bigby Wolf... Or else I'll give you the hoof"
"Your rhyming is terrible" Mirror commented.
"You asked me for a rhyme so I gave it you, now show me Bigby Wolf" Crane demanded.
"Now, now, there's no need to be so harsh" Mirror replied calmly before fading, revealing Bigby. Crane's eyes widened at what he saw. He was there, Bigby was there in room 207, the Open Arms Hotel, the same room he had last seen Lilly alive, playing out his Snow fantasy with her.
Everything was there for Bigby to find, so much evidence which could be traced back to him. Crane adjusted his glasses on the bridge of his nose, pushing them up slightly as he stated hard.
Snow's dress, the apple, the Mundy version of Snow's story, the bed covered in flowers only... It was completely blood soaked. That wasn't me... I swear, I didn't do that, I didn't kill her!
Crane took a step back in disbelief. How did... How did he find that place?! How?! He screamed inside his head, panic beginning to set in.
Bigby seemed to be crouching by the closet of Snow's perfectly made dress which was no tore and ruined. I worked so hard to make everything perfect... And then Bigby noticed something and Crane proceed to watch as he picked up an envelope which was left carelessly on the ground.
Bigby wandered over to the desk and opened the envelope, taking out a photograph. "Are those pictures of the dead girl?" A familiar voice asked. Beauty...? What's she doing there?!
"Not all of them" Bigby replied gruffly.
"How do you know?"
"I'm in this one. It was taken last winter" he said, gesturing to the mentioned picture.
"Oh, Bigby. This kind of stalking doesn't just stop by itself, trust me I know about this first hand he'll keep trying to get closer and closer." Beauty told him fearfully.
Bigby... Don't do this, please! I didn't do it! But Crane could do nothing but stand and watch as the scene unfolded in front of him.
"His stand in for Snow is gone now, so..." Bigby's words trailed off as he reached for another photograph from inside the envelope.
"The next step closer..." Beauty lifted her clenched hand to her mouth.
Bigby's eyes were full of shock as he stared in horror at the picture he held in his hand, wildly glancing around the room.
"What is it?" Beauty asked, aware of his distress.
"It's Crane" Bigby replied in disbelief, the two stared at the picture of Crane as he leaned over Snow's stand in, his hand moving up her dress while the other caressed her cheek.
Crane clenched his fist, his eyes darkened as he slowly turned and moved towards the lamp he had caught sight of earlier. I didn't kill her... I'm not the killer... I didn't do this this... I love Snow but- I wouldn't kill anyone! I won't be charged for this murder, it wasn't me! ... I won't be arrested... I won't fall to my doom in The Witching Well... I won't let Bigby find me! He picked up the lamp and moved back towards the mirror.
The image of Bigby faded and Mirror reappeared, his face twisted into a silent scream as he realised what Crane was going to do. He rose the lamp above his head and brought it down on the mirror, the glass shattered, pieces scattered by his feet.
He backed away fearfully, panic in his eyes as he breathed heavily. I'm no murderer.