Once upon a time, a perpetually beautiful young princess was cast out into the wilderness to die by her cruel, jealous stepmother. The princess was rescued by seven kind dwarves, who promised to protect her and shield her from harm. Unfortunately, the princess could not escape her stepmother’s wicked ways, and, after biting into a poisonous apple, she fell into a deep slumber, and could only be awakened by True Love’s kiss. The seasons passed, and in the spring, she was awakened by a handsome prince, and lived happily ever after.
But that is only part of the story.
The princess had a sister, and without her, this fairy tale might have not had the same ending. My name is Diamanta, and this is my side of the story.
The story begins with my poor, foolish mother. It was true that she had spoken to some women in the village about witchcraft, and she asked them to find a way to give her unborn child the same physical characteristics of her great grandmother, whose legendary beauty remained the talk of the land decades after her death. The women agreed, and gave her a potion that would allow her child to have hair black as ebony, skin white as snow, and lips as red as blood. My little sister exhibited all the physical requirements my mother so desired, but the potion made her fragile and weak, and she died a month later. She was named Neige, the French word for snow, and my father promised to never remarry.
As Neige grew more beautiful with each passing day, I was pushed more and more into the corner. I did not mind it, though; being alone was peaceful. I spent most of my time awake at night, reading and watching the kingdom through my window. It was beautiful from up there. On one such night, as I leaned out my window to watch the rain, I noticed a girl lying outside of our door. I immediately called for my servants, and we rushed to bring the girl inside.
‘’What’s all this about?’’ asked my father, irritated that his sleep was interrupted. ‘’Who is this? Why is she in here?’’ He starred at the girl lying limp in my servant’s arms, her head swinging back and forth like a broken flower. Water streamed from her long auburn hair and soaked her pale blue dress.
I instructed the servants to place the girl on the table, and to bring her blankets. ‘’Father, it’s a girl. I don’t know where she’s from, or why she was outside our door, but she seems sick and we must help her, especially on a night like this,’’ I pushed her wet hair out of her face and I could not help but to be amazed by her. She was stunning. ‘’We need to keep her here, if only for a few days.’’ I leaned close to her, and I could hear her breathing.
My father looked at her. I could tell he was just as impressed by the girl’s beauty as I was. ‘’Wake up,’’ I told her. ‘’You need to wake up, love.’’ I shook her gently.
‘’It’s no use,’’ said my father. ‘’She seems unconscious.’’
‘’At least she’s breathing,’’ I said. ‘’Camille, Francois, Jean, take her to the spare chamber, and dress her in some warm clothes. She’s cold to the touch.’’
My father grunted. ‘’I’m going back to sleep,’’ he said, and left.
After the servants removed the girl from the table, I noticed she had left something on the table: a silver looking glass, with the name Adrienne inscribed on the back. The looking glass was unlike any I have ever seen before. It was far more detailed and shiny than any of the ones I had in my chamber. I looked at my reflection for a moment. ‘’Oh looking glass,’’ I said. ‘’If only I could be the fairest in the land.’’
‘’But you will be,’’ I heard a voice say.
I clutched the looking glass to my chest. ‘’Who goes there? Francois, is that you?’’
‘’No, child, it is me you are talking to, the looking glass.’’
I held the looking glass in front of me. ‘’You spoke to me?’’
‘’Of course,’’ the looking glass chuckled. ‘’I am an enchanted looking glass. I can tell you the future. And, from what I see, your future is bright.’’
‘’Adrienne will become queen in three weeks’ time, and Neige will be out of the castle, leaving you the fairest in the land.’’
I shook my head. ‘’That’s impossible!’’
‘’Nothing is impossible,’’ the mirror laughed again. ‘’Bring me back to my Adrienne,’’ it said. ‘’And we will speak tomorrow.’’