Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, twin girls were born. Their skin was pure as snow, their hair was dark as night. They called them Leila and Snow White. Probably because that was the most portentous names they could come up with. As fate would have it, and Leila and Snow White's mother died in child birth. Left on his own, their father spoiled the young girls.
He could afford to of course, he was the king.
The king loved his daughters and all his subjects loved him. The kingdom was a happy place, where people danced and sang, day and night. Apparently, no one had a job back then, just singing and dancing all day and all night.
But I digress.
The King raised the little girls, by himself, grooming them to one day lead. But over time, he realized there was some things he couldn't teach her. So he sought out a new queen. This queen was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was intelligent, and strong, and just to clarify, she was me. And this is my story, not theirs.
Bewitched by my beauty, the king begged me to marry him. I was everything to him. The stars. The moon. But a dark magic invaded the land. The brave king bid fair well to Leila and Snow White, leaving the eldest one of his most precious sword and his youngest his favourite dagger. Both rather interesting gifts, but more on that later.
He rode off into the dark woods and sadly, was never seen again. Leila and Snow Withe searched for their father, and when they realized the was truly gone, they were devastated. The girls were now left under the care of the beautiful queen.
Ten years passed and both Leila and Snow White grew older and blossomed. But the queen realized if she wanted to remain the most beautiful woman in all the land, well snow and night had to do what snow and night do best. Snow would have to fall and night would have to disappear…
I sigh as I make my way towards Snow's room, today is our 18th birthday and we were hopping that the queen, and our stepmother would allow us to go out today. I walk into Snow's room and watch her open her window. I close the door and walk towards my sister. She looks over her shoulder and smiles at me. "Morning Lei, happy birthday!"
I pull my younger sister into a tight hug. "Happy birthday, Snow! I still can't believe we're 18!"
"I know!" Snow giggles. I pull away and look at my sisters attire. She is wearing pink and green silk flowery dress, while I'm wearing a blue dress with white sleeves that just flare out.
A blue bird with colourful wings suddenly flies into the room, landing on her chair. "Good morning." I say lightly to the bird.
"Hello there. Would you like a treat?" Snow asks. The bird chirps. She picks up a slice of apple and picks the seed from it and fed it to the bird. "Here you go."
Music from the great hall catches the girls attention. "Oh, I think the party must have started." I mumble quietly, wishing we could be there.
"We should go down. I mean, we're now 18." Snow says.
"I'm not sure Snow…" I say, wondering how our stepmother would react.
"Oh, come on! Let's go see." Snow grabs my hand and we make our way downstairs.
I snicker as the Barren speaks about marriage to the queen. Commenting on how it would save her from being in debt. I don't know how anyone would want to marry that wicked old witch!
"Any busybodies caught rumouring, gossiping, whispering… Or even thinking shall be put to death." She says, making a royal decree. "How does that sound?" She asks Brighton.
I roll my eyes. "How stupid could you get…" I mumble quietly. Snow giggles in front of me.
"It's decisive." Brighton says.
We hid behind a pillar and try to watch the game but, as fate had it. "Leila? Snow White?" We turn towards our step mother. "Is there a fire?" She asks, quietly.
Both me and Snow look at her confused. "I'm sorry?" I ask nervously.
The Queen beckoned us over. We walked over and sat in front of her. "Are your bedrooms on fire?" She asks us again. "Because I'm searching for an explanation as to why you two would be out of your bedrooms and in here. And my first guess was fire."
"I thought maybe we could come to the gala…" Snow quietly says in a hopeful voice. "You know? Because today's, our… Eighteenth birthday." I smile beside her, hope shining in my eyes.
"Is it now?" The Queen gives a face smile and grasps our hands. "My, oh, my!" She says in a fake excited voice. She quickly takes her hands away. "E to F5 please!" She says, focusing on her game. "Maybe it is time I ease up on you two. After all you've done nothing to me. Caused no problems, and yet, there's something about you two that is just so incredibly… Irritating. The slumped shoulders?" We both straighten up. "The hair? Your voices?…"
I glare up at her. "I know what it is! I think it is your hair!" She says as she grabs a lock of my hair, pulling me towards her. "I think I hate your hair" She lets go and I pull away. She forces Snow to look at her by grabbing her chin. "I don't care if it's your two's 100th birthday. Don't ever sneak into a party like this again."
"B to F6." The Barren says.
The Queen lets go of Snow's chin and turns her attention back to the game. "C to D4!" The piece moves accordingly. "Barren, you've been beaten for the past for the past 5 minutes and didn't even know it." Gun shots go off and Snow jumps beside me. The court people clap for the Queen's win.
The Queen looks down at us and grabs our chins, making us look up at her. "It's important to know when you two have been beaten. Yes?" The queen pats our chins before shooing us away. We get up and walk out of the court hall and instead of going back to our rooms we make our way down into the kitchen.
On our way down we pass the bells that alert the maids to when they are needed. Snow gently strokes the one that leads to our Father's room. I sigh sadly and grab Snow's hand, pulling her into the kitchen, I look around and notice all the girls on one side of the room. "Happy Birthday Leila and Snow!" Katie is holding a plate with two cupcakes on it.
"You remembered." Snow comments.
"Of course we remembered!" Margaret says as she grabs our hands and pulls us towards the girls. "A girl's 18th birthday is the most important birthday of them all." Snow and I grab hands and close our eyes as we blow out our candles. The girls clap and get back to work.
Margaret takes us over and sits us down. "Do you want to know what I wished for your birthdays Leila and Snow?"
"You can't make a wish for us." I say softly. Margaret was always more like a mother to us then our stepmother.
"Do you know why I continue to work for that wretched Queen, year after year. I do it because I know it that one day, you two are going to take back your kingdom and I want to be here when that happens."
"It is not our kingdom…" Snow says sadly.
"Oh! But it is! Your father meant for you two to inherit his crown and rule together. And that woman has the entire kingdom convinced that you two are pathetic shut-in's, incapable of leaving the castle." Margaret grabs two bundles and places one in Snow's lap and in mine. "The worst is that she has you two thinking it."
Snow carefully opens her bundle, she picks up our Father's dagger, cleaned and polished. I open my bundle and it reveals Father's sword, looking new and shiny. "Your Father's dagger and sword. I had them cleaned up and polished." Margaret says.
"Thank you." I say softly as I turn the metal over in my hands.
"What would I do with this?" Snow asks as she looks the dagger over.
"Perhaps you need to see for yourself what goes on in your kingdom. The people don't sing and dance anymore. They need to see who you two really are. And the two of you need to believe." She smiles at us before going back to work. Snow and I quietly make our way back up to our room's. Our gifts hidden from prying eyes.
Let me know how I've done...