I originally put this up on the Kingdomspress site back in 2005 (maybe earlier?). I edited it a little to make it more readable.


The banquet was over, the guests long gone. Wolf and Virginia were back in New York, ready to build a life together. He wished them only the best. The dead still needed to be buried, the ravaged crops resewn before spring gave way to summer, but all that could wait for tomorrow. He and Tony had stayed up sipping brandy and talking most of the night. Wendell had to reassure a distressed Tony over Wolf's parting remark. No matter what may have passed between Wolf and Virginia, they both knew it would take a great deal more time than had elapsed since Kissingtown for Virginia to discover she was with child. They called it a night when the candles burned down and they decided it wasn't worth the trouble of asking a servant to bring new ones. It was near dawn. They bade each other good night, then good morning, and went off laughing to their respective bedchambers. Wendell smiled to himself as he drifted off to sleep. For all his screw-ups, Tony had done more to protect him than his own father ever had.

He dreamt. Tony was his father. His real father, Walter, was Virginia's father. When Walt came home early one night, he interrupted his wife Christine in the act of drowning their daughter. But instead of staying to revive Virginia, he ran, chasing after Christine's beauty. He caught her at the edge of Central Park, just before she ran into oncoming traffic. He proclaimed his love for her no matter what she had done.

The swamp witch watched in frustration through the shadowy mirror as Christine dissolved into a sobbing heap, her will forever broken. Walt picked her up and franticly flagged down a cab to take her to a hospital. Throwing a parting curse after the couple, the swamp witch cast her gaze around the park, waiting for another lost soul to wander by. She soon found one and sent her on in Christine's stead to wreak her vengeance, but Tony saw past the unfortunate coincidences and the false smiles of Wendell's new nanny, and banished her before any real harm could befall his mother.

Snow White never returned, but otherwise Wendell grew up with a whole, happy family. The kingdoms prospered. Virginia's toys were donated to charity. Wolves continued to burn or rot in prisons. Christine was cured. Walt gave tearful testimony at her trial and she was acquitted of murder due to temporary insanity.

Wendell's coronation day came years later. His hair was graying at the temples. Tony and his mother placed the crown on his head together. They told him they were proud. Wendell laughed with joy. He looked up and saw Snow White on the balcony, staring down at him wide-eyed. Forgetting in his happiness she'd been gone for years, he laughed and called out to her.

"Grandmother!" Wendell woke up, still laughing. He felt the bed sheets. He saw dawn breaking through his window. A beautiful day was ahead of him. He remembered reality, and he started to sob.