one

The girl drops into the farm on her high horse; she's screaming, "Help me!"

Without a thought Regina mounts her own steed and runs after her speedily. She takes the girl on her own horse. Regina saves her life.

Her name is Snow — she gives Regina frostbite.

(she may be snow, but regina thinks of her as ice — pure white that freezes your nerves if you hold on too long)

two

If Snow is ice, then Cora is a hailstorm.

Hailstorms are made of ice sitting and stirring in the clouds too long. Cora preaches of sacrifice; Regina wants to ask, So can you not sacrifice a little more for my happiness?

In the end, she says nothing, only smiles.

In the end, the hailstorm strikes — its pellets tear through Regina's umbrella and shatter it to scraps of fabric.

(the hail rages on; it leaves bruises on regina's heart and there are no smiles left)

three

The first time she saw snow, Regina had smiled in awe, in marvel she looked on.

"It's like magic," she had murmured.

Later on, Regina discovers real magic — the kind of magic that comes with a price, the kind of magic that comes with Cora.

Now when she sees snow, she does not marvel.

Now when she sees snow, she scowls bitterly and returns inside.

(bitter were the winds that swept it all away; bitter are the gales she makes to disperse all the dust — there is no ash to store)

four

The foolish girl takes the heart of her world from her hands and drops it in the snow. Feebly she says, "Oops!" and skitters away.

She laughs all the while. Later, she cries. "I didn't know. I thought it would be good," she tries to explain.

Her world freezes in the cold. Moments later, her mother stumbles upon it — she crushes it and smiles. Only the dust remains.

Regina tries to see the light — now she will do what her mother wants, undoubtedly, she will be pleased. Now she will marry the king.

(the dust returns, forms a cage and it is gilded in gold — the ashes that remain are of her heart and another)

five

The king brings a genie to the palace. They exchange pleasantries; Regina reminisces.

She talks of the apple tree, and hopes he will take a bite. He does — a something shines in his eye that Regina once saw in the mirror.

It will be apples, she decides. The tree has served me well. It can do the honors.

The viper bites the king and he dies instantly. The genie becomes a mirror.

Regina tried to see the light. She saw it. She ignored it.

It is the darkness she embraces at long last.

(and yet, only the dust remains)