Sunday, January 4, 2009

and leave everyone.

The ghosts of the past haunted me. I had never done anything wrong. I had never stolen, cheated or lied. I never killed anyone. Hell, I wouldn't even swat a fly. Why were so many things haunting my thoughts?

Images of my past self, past life, past friends all flashed through my brain. I was happy then. I loved being who I was. Everything was perfect. Not a thing I would have changed.

Then it seemed like everything fell apart in an instant. A domino effect.

He let me down. So many times. I doubted myself. I felt wrong and inadequate. He got inside my head and ripped my beliefs to shreds. He was always there, always within my grasp, then he disappeared. Like smoke; always there, impossibly obtainable and gone in the next second.

But this wasn't the root of my feelings. This was only the instigation. He ripped my beliefs and opinions to shreds, making me unsure of who I was. Making me doubt my place in this world.

I didn't know where to go. Who to turn to.
Then the person I could really trust appeared, randomly. I was unsure as if to open up to him, but I couldn't take no one having time to listen.

"What's wrong?" he asked me, reading the expression on my face. I knew I didn't look like the happiest person right now.

I sighed, "Nothing."

"You're lying."

"Fine. I can't stand it anymore," I admitted. I tried to be vague; I didn't want to give myself away.
"Stand what?"

"Him. Me. Everything." Vagueness blown. Why not open up to anyone for a change?
"What are you talking about?"

I sighed again. "You remember how everything fell to pieces in such a short time?"

"Yeah," he said. "But what does that have to do with anything?"

"I'm falling to shreds."

He contemplated that for a moment. "How so?"

I curled my knees up to my chest and placed my chin on them. "He has everything. Everything he could possibly want and he's still fucking depressed. He has more than I can ever have and he still bitches and moans to my friends. He gets inside my head and annihilates everything I thought I knew about myself. He rips my friends away one by one, playing his 'i'm-a-great-friend' card and when I need them most they're not there. It makes you want to scream but you can't turn to anyone because they're not there."

He moved so he could see my face. "I'm here."

I looked down, away from his eyes. "I know. But you're the only one." I looked back at his face and could tell I had hurt his feelings. "I didn't mean it disdainfully. I really should thank you. And I do. Thank you."

He nodded. "You're welcome. I'm always here for you. Now, as you were saying?"

"I don't know where to begin."

"Anywhere. I've got all the time in the world."

I took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "It's like I don't know myself anymore. It's like he can use every little thing to get to me and they all work. Which doesn't make me feel like a real person at all."
"Then what do you feel like?"
"An emotionally wrecked blob with a spinal cord."

He laughed once. "Go on."

"I feel like there's something wrong with me. Like the world sees me and wants to go screaming into the night."

"There's nothing wrong with you. You're fine. He's the fucked up one."
I snorted. "I knew that. But apparently there is something wrong with me."
He looked puzzled. "How can you say that?"

"Look at me. I look mentally desloated and broken down. And who else watches some stupid movie about vampires and proms and starts crying?" I moved my hair out of my eyes, only for it to revolt and push itself back. "I mean, he's hurt my feelings numerous times and bruised my self-esteem to the point where I thought I would fall apart. Is it not enough for him to hurt me? Will he not stop until I'm over the edge?"

He blinked twice. "Wow, I had no idea you felt this way."

"I mask depression pretty well, don't you think?"

He made a line with his lips. "You do. That's scary."

I looked down then at his eyes. "They say practice makes perfect."
He blew out a puff of air. "Will no one else really listen to you?"
I looked off into the distance. We were up on a mountain that overlooked the town. The lights twinkled and made patterns that were unintentional. "Nope. I can't pull them away from their own petty problems for one second so they could hear me out. If they only knew how close to the edge I really was they'd probably lend a minute or two."

He raised his eyebrows. "Sorry."
"It's not your fault."

He took in two deep breaths. "So, what now?"

I gazed into his eyes seriously. "I just want to get the fuck out of here."

"And leave me?"
I kept my gaze strong. "And leave everyone."

He was surprised; I could read it on his face. "Not expecting that, were you," I asked him.

"Not at all."

I got up and moved to the banister, climbing up on the bottom rail and strattled it. Below me there was the overlook's deck on one side and on the other was a hilly dirt path that lead to a place I didn't know. Even in the dark I could see a trail that winded and disappeared into the woods. The moon was bright, it would light my path.

"No one does," I said, then unmounting the banister on the path's side.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Who's the fairest of them all?

She was beautiful. Black hair, ruby lips, blue eyes, ivory skin. She had the figure of a goddess and a sincere kindness that was unparalleled. I hated her.
Her father's riches made me happy. But this little inconvenience only made me want to scream. The King was old and confused so I made it so that everyone was to treat her as nothing but a servant. When the King asked me why we treated her in such a manor I dressed up my story and told him that she wanted to be treated that way, so she could know what her servants' lives were like. He believed my story - he always believed my story.
He bought me whatever I wished for. And what I wanted were mirrors. I was beautiful, too. I would peer into my many mirrors and see my long dark hair, green eyes, flawless skin. I was pleased. I would ask my mirrors, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" The mirror would always answer, "You are, my queen, the fairest of them all." My mirrors never lied.
This made my life complete. I had money and power. I had a kingdom. I had the beauty above everyone else.
Time passed and I began to notice something that made me very uncomfortable in my reign of extreme beauty. The girl was growing - in size and beauty.
I asked my mirrors, in my discomfort, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"
The mirror's green smoke swirled around then said, "You, my queen, are fair; it is true. But Snow White is fairer than you."
The answer I had hoped would never come was being produced for my ears.
I sat on my throne and thought for hours. I heard the call of the hunting trumpets.
There was the solution. I would call forth one of my noblest hunters and order him to kill her and bring her heart back in a box, as proof. Oh yes, this was the solution.
I went to my mirrors once again, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"
"You, my queen, are fair; it is true. But Snow White is fairer than you."
A grin spread across my face. "She shall be fair no longer, dear mirror."
I fell asleep that night with the smile on my face, knowing that Snow White would be fairer than no one in death.

I awoke to the sound of birds in the early morning. I tidied myself and dressed. I went to my mirrors in hopes that she was still fairer than I. For if she wasn't I had no reason to destroy her. "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"
It swirled to life, "You, my queen, are fair; it is true. But Snow White is fairer than you."
I called for my servant to bring me the Kingdom's most accomplished huntsman. She quickly obliged and hurried out of the room. She returned shortly after with the huntsman.
I looked over him. He had strong, broad shoulders and an otherwise fit body. His brown hair fell around his face, nearly shading his brown eyes. "Are you the Kingdom's most accomplished and noble huntsman," I asked him as he bowed.
He stood tall once again. "Yes, my queen."
"Excellent. Would you be willing to do anything for your Kingdom?"
"Yes, my queen."
I sat down upon my throne. "Do you swear upon it?"
I smiled. Everything was falling into place. "Take Snow White into the woods and kill her." I picked up the red and gold box from my table to the right of me and handed it to him. "Put it in this box, as proof. I expect you back here by nightfall."
He took the box and looked over it. I could see dread in his eyes but also the same dread of loyalty. "I must do it, for I have sworn."
I felt my own eyes light up at these words. The most horrible task one could possibly ask and I had the power to demand it done and it would be done. "Good. Now go before the hunters crowd the forests."
He bowed once more and left the room. My servant stood at the door and I waved her to leave, as well.
I moved to my mirrors. I didn't need to ask them anything. I knew who would be fairest once again in a matter of hours. My eyes were light and gleeful. My hair fell onto my shoulders in graceful waves. My lips were plump and red. It felt splendid to be fairest.
What of her father? What would the King say when he hadn't seen his beloved daughter in days, weeks? I sat on the thought for a moment. Aha, I would tell him that she must of been out in the woods collecting berries, or one of those other stupid activities she did, and she must have been taken down by a hunter. That was plausible. And technically true.
I kept my gaze on my face in the mirror. The day seemed to go by quickly. The light in the room changed, I noticed in the reflection. Nightfall was upon us. Just as I opened my mouth to ask my mirror the most important question and I heard the door open.
The huntsman walked in evenly with the box held out in front of him. He stopped and bowed. "Here, my queen, the deed you have asked of me is done. You will find Snow White's heart in the box."
I took the box, smiling a smile of victory. I studied his face for a moment. His eyes had the same look as before. I took my sight from him to the box.
In this very box was the life of the one I hated most. I held what I wanted more than anything in the world. I said to the huntsman, "Thank you, huntsman, for your service. You are dismissed." He bowed and left me to my trophy.
I waited until the door shut before I danced to my secret room. The door was inside my chamber, so no one had a chance to find it unless you had a keen eye for the tiniest details. I opened the door that was camouflaged as stone to match the wall and shut it securely behind me. I descended the many steps of the fire-lit stairwell. It swirled down into a large room with orange light from the fire being cast out unevenly.
I took the box to the long table and set it down gently. I opened it slowly. There it was. Her heart laid still. The veins twisted around the maroonish mass. I laughed giddily.
I hurried around the secret room to get a pot and other things needed to turn Snow White's precious heart into a stew that would only grace my lips.
I cut her heart into pieces and put them into the pot that contained a broth that I had in a cupboard. I placed the pot over the flames of the fireplace and watched the flames.
I stirred the stew occasionally, taking in the aroma that it made. I spooned some of it into a bowl and took a bite.
I laughed to myself, "My own personal Snow White Stew." I continued to laugh and eat until I finished the entire pot of her.

Days later the urge struck me to ask my mirrors who was the fairest. I knew the answer but it humored me every time.
"Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" I awaited its response. I couldn't wait to hear the phrase I loved to hear.
"You, my queen, are fair; it is true. But Snow White is fairer than you."
I felt my face turn into an expression of disgust. "What? She's supposed to be dead! I ate her heart!" I grabbed the mirror on both sides. "Show her to me!"
The mirror's smoke swirled and revealed a small cottage. Seven dwarfs played about in the crisp green grass. She sat against the house laughing. She was still more beautiful than I.
"How can this be," I shrieked.
I jerked myself away from the mirror, furious. I stormed away to my secret room. I had to make a plan to destroy her myself.
Once in my lair, I flipped through countless books of spells and potions. Nothing was relevant to what I needed. I noticed something that gave me an idea. An apple. I read through the spell twice. This spell was only to enchant the apple so the victim will do what you wish of them. I need to kill her. I had to poison the apple.
But she would never take it from me. I needed a clever disguise. I flipped through the book once again and saw an old lady. Everything was falling into place once again, but I wouldn't be so sure of it until she was dead.
I followed the spells and poisoned the apple and turned myself into the ugliest of old women. I collected a basket and filled it with other apples, placing the poisoned one on top. I donned a black cloak and set out into the woods.
I walked for an hour before I found the cottage. The door was closed but the windows were open and I could hear Snow White singing. My skin crawled at the very sound of her voice.
I made my way up to the window and called, "Hello." My voice was weak; very different from my normal voice. She appeared in front of me in the window.
"Hello, stranger," she said, pleasantly. She was even more beautiful than I remember. This tempted me to rip her heart out myself, but I refrained. "Who are you?"
"I am Marianna," I lied quickly. "I'm selling apples," I told her, motioning to my basket. "I'm awfully tired so I'm giving them away now. Would you like one, beautiful girl?"
She said, "Just one moment. It's rude of me to talk to you through the window." She was back in view in less than a moment. "Thank you, but no thanks. The dwarfs have told me not to take things from strangers."
"Then what is your name and we will no longer be strangers," I said. I knew how she was and she could not resist making a friend.
She giggled. "I am Snow White," she said.
"And a suiting name, at that," I replied. "Now, could I interest you?" I picked up the poisoned apple and held it out to her.
She looked at the red, juicy-looking apple. "It does look delicious. And I am quite hungry."
"Then it's yours," I said, placing the apple in her hands.
"Thank you," she said and curtsied.
"You are more than welcome. Now take a bite, please. These were grown in my family's orchard and I think they could be the tastiest apples I've ever had."
She smiled then brought the apple to her lips. She took one bite out of the fruit and fell down dead.
I laughed and laughed. "Finally, I am the fairest."
I turned away from the cottage and began making my way back to my Kingdom. I couldn't wait to hear my mirror's reply to my favorite question today.

I must have asked my mirror my question a thousand times and every time the answer was "You are, my queen, the fairest of them all."
I was very pleased. I was beyond pleased. I was ecstatic.
Days passed and I hadn't heard anything of wretched Snow White or any of her seven dwarfs. I stayed in front of my mirrors as the days passed. I didn't have to ask them, I knew the answer.
Something came that I was not expecting. A wedding invitation was in my servant's hand. "May I see that," I asked her. She handed it to me, willingly. I read over it.
It was an invitation to Snow White's wedding. I thought I had killed her for good.
The date and time and everything I needed to take her life the final time was on the invitation. She was such a fool to send something that could lead to her demise to the Kingdom where someone wanted her dead lived?
I would disguise myself once again and poison her a different way this time. I would take a poisoned apple this time, just in case that would be the easiest method.
I whisked away to my secret room again and brewed up a very potent poison. I wanted to make sure she would die this time. I took a drop of the poison from the cauldron and let it fall into a mouse's water. The mouse scurried to the water and sipped it, falling over dead immediately. This would be the fall of Snow White.

The wedding was beautiful. White and red roses were in every flower arrangement. The whole place was white with splashes of red. I had disguised myself as a young girl, and not a pretty one at that. I had my plan. I would go to her table after the reception had started and tell her that she was my hero and the most beautiful girl ever and I would casually pour the contents of the vial of poison into her glass of wine. She would never expect it from a young girl. It was a good plan.
I got lost in the decorations and mindless chatter. Then I heard the guests gasp. I looked to the arch and there she was. Her dress was large and white. The bodice was fitted with short, poofy sleeves. She looked flawless; she was flawless. Her veil covered her face so I didn't have to see her in all of her glory. I saw her and wanted to eliminate her even more.
The ceremony seemed quick. Everyone awed when the bride and groom kissed - I tried not to fly up from my chair and kill her with my bare hands.
The celebration followed. Everyone began to dance or talk to someone. The bride and groom sat at the longest table, farthest away from the entrance. I pushed my way through the throngs of people to make it to her table.
I stopped right at the table in front of her and she had her cup pushed to edge of the table. Perfect. "Hi!" i squealed. "I'm Marigold! I think you're so pretty!" My fake enthusiasm for her was making me sick.
She smiled her perfect smile. "Thank you, Marigold."
"I think whoever tried to kill you with that apple should be punished harshly," I lied once again. "How are you here, anyway?"
She took her husband's hand and said, "The apple poisoned me and I was so unconscious that everyone thought I was dead. Then he," she looked up at him and I slipped the poison into her cup as she continued,"found me and kissed my lips and it brought me back." She looked at me again and I stashed the vial into the pocket on my dress.
I smiled, not for her story but for my deed finally being done, and said, "Wow, that's amazing. I'm going to go now. Goodbye." I curtsied and quickly walked to a table where I could watch her.
She must have talked for hours before she finally put the glass up to her lips. She almost took a sip then someone said something to her and she began talking, and sat the cup down.
I looked down to my side and realized that my bag was there, with the apple that contained the deadly poison. I made my way back to her table and said, "Mrs. Snow White, I just realized that I brought you a wedding gift. My mother couldn't be here so she asked me to bring it for you. And she wanted me to add that it's not poisoned." I pulled the apple from my bag and handed it to her.
She looked at the apple and smiled meekly. "It's a kind gesture, but -"
I interrupted her. "This is all we have and we wanted to show our congratulations somehow. But if you don't want to eat I can just take it back home to my mother and tell her it was a waste of time." I put my hand out, expecting her to place it there but she didn't.
"I'll eat it, just for you," she said.
"Are you sure?" the prince asked her.
"I wouldn't want to upset someone over something so petty," she replied.
"Thank you, Snow White," I said again then hurried away to watch.
She and the prince discussed something for a moment and then she put the apple up to her lips. She placed her teeth on the apple and took a small bite. She was on the floor within seconds.
The prince was at her side feeling for her pulse and listening for her heart but he found none. He kissed her lips two, three, four times. It wasn't working. I smiled at the chaos of this party.
She was dead. Finally, truly dead. I could be the fairest now and forever.

Once home I undisguised myself and propped myself at my mirrors.
"Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"
"You, my queen, are the fairest of them all."
Good. That's how it should be.