I stomped out of our bedroom, my face a mask of annoyance. Pouting my lush red lips, I descended down the stairs and stepped into the kitchen. Stop it Snow, I told myself, stop acting like such a child. With some effort I managed to pull the corners of my mouth into a smile and hummed a happy tune to myself. Julian may have forgotten about Valentine’s Day, but I definitely haven’t. And I have a big surprise waiting for him. I poured myself a glass of water and grabbed a piece of bread before heading out of the kitchen into the drawing room.
“My dearest, have you memorised all your lines?” I asked cheerfully as I seated myself down on the downy sofa.
“Yes,” said Doc, Happy and Dopey.
“Did I have much of a choice?” grumbled Grumpy.
“Achooooo,” answered Sneezy.
“ZZZZZZ.....” said Sleepy.
“Ok, wonderful! Where’s Bashful though?” I asked.
“Oh... I’m here Snow...” said the timid voice of Bashful from behind the sofa, “Can I please not do this?”
“Nonsense! It’s all good fun and will be such a surprise for Julian,” I told him, “Now let’s run over once again before Julian gets back with my present.”
We ran through our little version of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – The Musical”, making great progress. I sang my way through the songs, flinging my arms and swirling my yellow skirt as though I was living through the wonderful days in the dwarves’ cottage once again. My dear little dwarves are enjoying themselves as well, even good old Grumpy who had so objected to being cast in my little masterpiece. After a solid hour of practice, we finally finished. Sweating, I unlatched the windows of the drawing room and plonked myself down on the sofa. Who knew acting was so much work?
“Ah, fresh air,” I murmured appreciatively as I took in a lungful of the rose-perfumed air.
Leaning my head against the back of the sofa, I closed my eyes for a moment. Behind my lids danced a miniature version of myself and Julian, the very image of us on our wedding day. Smiling a blissful smile, I watched as my memory unfold image after image of my happily ever after. I could hear the tired grumbles of my dearest dwarves as they poured themselves tumblers full of water and the buzzing chatter of the servants as they passed by the drawing room on their way to work. But abruptly another sound overpowered the noises of the castle, The drawing room was filled with whispering winds, their cool fingers tapping my shoulders in an urgent manner. I opened my eyes to feel the dwarves’ gaze on me as the whispering winds urged me to listen to them.
“Speak, winds of the sky,” I whispered, matching my voice to their whispering voice, “Tell me what is wrong.”
“It’s Julian,” they told me, the cool breeze of their breaths tickling my ear, “He’s in grave danger. The mirror is possessed.”
“No, that’s not possible,” I said, fighting to keep calm within my heart, “Are you certain that it is so?”
“Hurry Princess, he had already arrived at the mine,” they told me.
“No, this is just a trick,” I dismissed their warnings, “Julian had told me not to be naive and believe every word told to me. He will be so proud when he finds out that I’ve resisted these words of horror and stayed true to my mind.”
“Hurry Princess,” urged the whispering winds, “He’s leaning into the arms of Faeritayl as we speak.”
“No! Get your horrible words away from me! I refused to be tricked once again,” I half screamed, my eyes dilated with fear.
“Oh Princess,” they murmured regretfully, “You don’t trust your closest friends any longer.”
Before I could open my mouth to answer back, a violent gust of air whipped into the room. As it unleased its burden, a familiar scream filled my ears.
“Snow... Help me...” screamed the voice of Julian.
“NO!!!!!!!!” I yelled, sliding from the sofa and breaking down in sobs.
The dwarves surrounded me, offering comfort and water. As tears streamed down my cheeks I silently cursed myself for being so stubborn. If only I had listened to the winds... But what had been done was done, and I could only try to fix it. Steeling my mind and heart I pulled myself up from the floor.
“I’m going to find Julian,” I said, surprised at how steady my voice sounded, “Who’s with me?”