Moving in the direction of the sunlight, Snow White stared out of the tiny window at the black and white bird that twitted on the window sill before flying off.
Sighing, she moved to the fireplace and knelt down. For years she had been trapped up here with nothing but scraps to eat and water to drink. She knew she was remarkably thin and the little sunlight did barely much but Snow appreciated it nonetheless.
Picking up a small clump of straw and making small embers which she blew to life before placing it back into the fireplace, she blew to encourage the fire and relished in the warmth it provided.
Glancing at the handmade figurines of her parents she had made as a child, a pang filled her chest. Her parents. How she missed them. Her mother, she lost to illness. Her father, to her evil stepmother Ravenna, who had murdered him and taken the throne, which was rightfully Snow's.
Picking them up and holding them to her chest as she stood, Snow closed her eyes and began to whisper her morning prayer
"Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Opening her eyes, set the figurines back down but then was startled when she heard crying. Making her way slowly to peer through the bars, Snow noticed an entourage of guards escorting a young woman, who they tossed into the cell across from hers and slammed the door shut, locking it.
Curious as to find out who her new cell mate was, she leaned closer
There was no response
Soon, the young woman appeared and Snow saw she had soft, curled red haired and was beautiful
"What is your name?" she asked her
"What happened to you?"
"All the girls in our village were taken. I was trying to reach Duke Hammond's castle and I was caught."
Snow felt hope lift in her for the first time in years. She was trying to reach Duke Hammond. Was he alive? What about William? Perhaps they knew she still lived
"Duke Hammond. Is he alive? Does he still fight in my father's name?"
"You're the king's daughter!" Greta exclaimed and Snow wasn't surprised "the night the king died, we were told that all in the castle were slain" she added.
She had to ask about her childhood friend, hoping he was alive and that he would come and rescue her like she had been hoping for ten years
"William, the duke's son…is he alive?" he just had to be.
But what Greta answered with next, shot down those hopes
"I don't know, princess."
So, apparently Duke Hammond was still alive, according to Greta, but she wasn't able to confirm if William was indeed alive. He had to be. He just had to be
"What will they do to me?"
There was no answer for that question, for Snow White had none. The two women who only had each other for comfort, continued to converse quietly, Snow explaining from her point of view the night her father died.
She told Greta about the ten long years she'd been up there in the north tower, that she prayed every day and night to God, and she prayed that one day William would come for her.
Footsteps sounded and Greta backed away from the door as the Queen's brother, Finn, appeared with more guards and took Greta away, mentioning something about appeasing the Queen's mood.
Snow had no idea what that meant but she prayed for Greta to come back safely. For years, because there had been no William to rescue her, the princess had steeled herself that one day she would escape this place. Run from the palace and to somewhere Ravenna would not be able to find her.
It was going to happen, she just knew it.
It seemed like hours she waited for Greta to return and when she was finally returned, Snow heard sobbing
"Greta?" she asked once the guards were gone.
There was no sound from her save her sobbing
But there was to be no response for the rest of the day save the sobbing.
~*~ The Next Day ~*~
The doors were opened for her on the new day and made her way into the room. Walking over she stopped in what looked like a large golden disc
"Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who is fairest of them all?" Ravenna, Queen of Tabor, stood alone in the chamber with her magic mirror.
Everyday she was in here, asking the mirror the same question and she always got the same response.
Soon, the mirror began to shift and out slid gold from the mirror which rose up before her in the form of a figure
"My queen" the Mirror began "on this day, one has come of age; fairer even than you. She is the reason your powers wane."
Ravenna frowned. This was not the answer she had been expecting. One had come of age…no it couldn't be could it?
"Who is it?" she asked
"Snow White" he replied knowing the queen's temper
"Snow White?" said Ravenna, the anger bubbling beneath the calm she tried to keep but was failing at "I should have killed her when she was a child" she hissed clenching her fist
"Beware" the Mirror warned "for her innocence and purity is the very thing that can destroy you. But she can also be your salvation."
This caught Ravenna's attention
"Consume her heart, and you shall never again weaken or age"
"Immortality. Immortality. Immortality. Immortality..."
If Snow White was indeed the key to her gaining eternal use, with no need to consume anymore young girls, then she was going to have her. She would use her magic to pull out her still beating heart, which would be warm and dripping blood. She would do it properly though, eat it with a knife and fork, savor the heart and then she would forever be eternal
"FINN!" she screamed.
Her brother came into the room almost instantly
"Bring me the king's daughter."
Morning dawned and Snow White was by the window once more.
She'd barely slept that night because of Greta's sobs which had continued nonstop. She believed it was her fault; of course it wasn't her fault her father had blindly trusted Ravenna but she blamed herself nonetheless.
Perhaps something would change today.
As luck would have it, it did. A bird landed on the windowsill and was singing.
It looked just like the one that had appeared yesterday. Wanting to get closer, Snow took a step but it jumped back off the sill, its claws scratching against something metal before it flew away.
A nail bent and rusted no doubt from the weather. It was stuck into the tower but that didn't stop her attempts. She reached for it and pulled, tugging as hard as she could until it came free.
It seemed God was her side today, finally giving her the chance to escape she had been dreaming of. Suddenly, she heard footsteps. She swung her head round and saw Finn coming.
She raced over to her cot and lay down, concealing the nail underneath her pillow but keeping a firm grip on it.
She turned her head away and stared at the wall, breathing slowly and heavily. She heard Finn enter and approach the cot as she turned to face him
"Did I wake you?" he asked.
Snow shook her head.
Finn sat down on the edge of the cot
"You're always awake when I watch you" he noted.
Snow nodded and tried to smile, though it was fake it seemed to be working
"You've never come in before" she stated, trying to even her excited heart at the thought of escape
"My sister wants you all for herself" he began as his hand slid up her body, indicating he meant to do away with her first before handing her over "but fear not princess, you will never again be locked in this tower" he finished
"What does she want from me?" Snow asked
"Your beating heart" he replied, leaning down as if to kiss her.
NOW! A voice screamed in Snow's head.
Snow attacked, slashed across his cheek with the nail she'd kept hidden. He cried out in pain, and Snow raced for the still-open door. Finn had left the keys in the keyhole, and Snow slammed the door shut and locked it
"NO! Get back here!" Finn yelled as he lunged for her and she jumped back, just missing his hand.
Turning to Greta's door, she tried several keys
"Go" said a voice.
Snow looked up, and Greta was standing there by the door. But she looked different. Gone was the curly red hair and in its place grey hair and instead of cream colored skin it was now wrinkled. She was an old woman; it was like her youth had been sucked out of her
"GO!" Greta commanded, and Snow bolted.