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November 4, 2016

 The sun was just setting over the horizon, tall trees lined a small way through the dense forest. There were few birds settling down into their nest, you could hear their chirps loudly as you walked on the way. The sky was turning dark blue as it usually does, it was a usual day until a woman and a little girl came running down the path out of breath and screaming at the top of their lungs “Run!”. The little girl was fair, short and petite, the other woman was slender and tall, she was slower than the little girl and had a sense of urgency in her voice. She referred to the little girl as Snow and seemed to be her mother.   Snow was running so fast, she didn’t see a rock in her path, bumped and fell on her fours. The girl looked behind to see a black figure and hurriedly started running again as fast as her little legs could, leaving her mother behind screaming, “RUN! Run, run, my child!”

The girl peeked back at her fallen mother and the flowing cloak of royalty following her. A sob came out as the dried tears were revived on the child’s face. She tucked the cloak closer to herself and ran faster, ran as she felt her world falling to pieces behind her.
When she finally looked behind again, the black figure was yet following her, coming closer with each step. Her cloak caught on the dried tree branches and she fell. A strangled scream escaped her mouth and she heard footsteps coming from behind her. She struggled to move in front and get up but it felt as if something was holding her down. The figure loomed on top of her and it bent down above her. She could see those sharp canines gleaming in the moonlight. The figure lunged forward and buried them in the girl’s neck. She arched her back and let out a bloodcurdling scream into the night.

Snow White woke up with a jerk, reached over and touched the prince’s hand. She was sweating profusely and staring into the depths of the night outside the glass wall ahead. She turned to look at him, realized it was a dream, and smiled softly. Looking down at his exposed neck, she softly caressed it with her hand and got out of bed. Her flowing pink satin nightgown came up to her ankles. She looked in the mirror and saw a long woman with blood red lips, rosy cheeks, skin white as snow, and hair as black as ebony. The hair was styled into a simple bun at the back of her head. She it let down and watched it flow down to her hips. In the reflection, she sees the purple curtains cover the glass and the light yellow walls glow slightly in the moonlight. She strips off her nightgown and slips in a tunic and pants. Softly, trying not to wake the prince, creeps out of the room and calls for a servant to do her hair. She sits down in the chair and relaxes as the servant ties her hair into a simple dressed up ponytail on the top of her head, the only sign of royalty, before going out to find her meal for the day.
Prince awoke with Snow White vanished from his side. He looked around and found her rosy nightgown on the floor in front of the mirror. Sighing, he got up and got ready for the day. He picked up the nightgown and put it on the bed as he ran a hand through his brown hair worrying about what he had to do ahead. Walking out of the room, his cloak swishing after him, he took in the smell of the castle and saw bustling servants. Even though everything seemed fine, he felt as if something was wrong. His brows furrowed together as he reached the courtroom. As soon as he put his foot inside  the courtroom, his royal advisor rushed to him.
“Someone has gone missing.”
“Someone has gone missing, Your Highness.”
The Prince’s chocolate brown eyes had a troubled look and he shook his head. After a couple of seconds, he replied. “Who is it?”
“The Duke of Koprivshtitsa, the duke that lives next door,” he paused, “He hasn’t been found anywhere and the people are panicking. I would advise to send someone there to help take care of chaos and look for where he is.”
“Were there any problems he was facing? Any debts? Any rebels? He may have run away.”
His advisor, Adrian, thought about it for a couple of seconds and then shook his head. “It couldn’t have happened. He couldn’t have left without his children, without his belongings.“
The prince looked at Adrian with a confused look just as Snow White walked in. She was as beautiful as ever in a lavender gown and smiled at the prince and gave him a kiss. She gazed at him and saw the worried look in his eyes. “What happened,” She added softly, “My prince?”
The prince looked back up at her and smiled sadly. “Someone went missing and we’re trying to figure it out.”
“Who was it?” She had a curious look in her eyes and she had a kind of bounce in her that told you she was ready for action, one of the things he loved about her.
“The Duke of Koprivshtitsa. The one who came over a week before?”
He could have swore that an evil glint had come over her eyes before they turned back to the usual sweet innocent look. “He had an enemy in the castle, remember? The court jester kept glaring at him through the entire visit,” she paused a moment considering what she would offer them, “I could go, talk to him, and try to squeeze out a confession if you want?”
The prince gave a terse nod and Snow White picked up the hem of her gown and glided out of the room. Adrian looked over at the prince and back at Snow’s retreating figure and nodded, “You made a good choice.” He laughed and added, “I’ll go and see if there is any additional information about what happened.” The prince leaned back into his throne and finally relaxed. He looked around and took in the clean floors, purple curtains , and chandeliers. After a while, his mind wandered to the case. Panic rose up in him once again but he reminded himself of the situation. Snow was talking to a major suspect, his best people were on the case, they were going to be fine. Just as that thought crossed his mind, Adrian burst through the door and looked panicked. “His body was found,” His voice dropped to a hush and a terrified look came over his eyes, “with two holes in his neck and his blood sucked out of him. There were footsteps around the body but they were faded, almost as if they had been made so fast that they couldn’t even make a proper print. The only way we could tell someone was there was because of the blood trail, blood.” He shuttered. “The only explanation is a, “ Adrian paused and, if it was possible, an even more terrified look passed over his eyes. “No, it couldn’t” At that moment he collapsed. The prince surged upwards and called for a healer.
Then, Snow  came back in with the jester in tow. “He admits to killing the Duke.“ She had her shoulders thrown back a confident glint in her eyes, almost a manipulative one. Looking over to the side, she saw the collapsed advisor on the floor and rushed to help. After they got Adrian in the infirmary, they found the jester struggling against the guards. “There he is, the murderer.”
After a few days the trial was done and the jester was beheaded. Everything in the castle came together as normal again but Snow kept disappearing in the morning. He joked about it with her but was worried about it. She would always make excuses that anyone else would have believed, but Prince had trouble getting his brain around it, he knew her so well, it just didn’t add up.
The prince woke up one day without anyone by his side, as usual, and Aiden burst in. “Your Majesty, people are disappearing left and right, there are riots happening left and right.” It felt like he prince jumped up and quickly got ready with his hair disheveled and ran into courtroom and almost jumped back from shock. Snow was kneeling there and sucking out the blood from his beloved advisor. She looks up to find the prince’s mouth hanging open. Panic flashed in her eyes, “I can explain-”
“No.” The prince cut her off before she could say anything more, with the blood flowing down her throat and her fangs biting down on her lip. His voice choked up, “I- I don’t need it”
Snow looked at him sadly, “I did it for us. I’m a vampire and to stay alive and healthy, I needed human blood. I started killing and draining with the people who annoyed me. The duke, the jester, and some others. I can turn you too. We can be together, immortal, forever. You’ll truly be my mate then.”
The prince shook his head and started backing up. “No, no, this is ridiculous Snow. I- I can’t betray my kingdom like this-”
“But you won’t. You’ll always be their king. You’ll be the best king in the history of rulers, “ She paused and gazed at him lovingly, “and I’ll be your queen.”
It seemed as if everything had become quiet, just like a book or a movie. And I’ll be your queen. How could he accept such an offer? It felt like if he took it he would have abandoned all of his family and his future. The thoughts in his head overwhelmed him and drowned him but all he said was, “I’ll think about it.”
Snow came forward, almost like she was coming for him and he flinched. Hurt flashed in her eyes he heard a whisper come from her, so soft he could barely hear it, “I’m the same person, “ there was an agonizing pause until he heard the whisper again, “my prince.”
She walked away with the blood continuing to run down her and left the prince wondering what he was supposed to do with a bloodstained empire and a vampire for his queen.

The next morning the prince was found in the library searching for anything he could find about vampires. A few hours after that, the riots and panic died down but the king was still there. Adrian’s replacement walked in, the Prince turned around and happened to see the replacement. He was shocked to see that it was a young girl and only seemed few years younger than Snow and himself. The girl had a kind of determined and scared look in her eyes. Her flowing red hair and green and hazel eyes glinted in the dull light he was studying in. Her royal blue dress was loose and flowy around her and her glasses sat crooked on her nose as she clutched the strap of the bag she carried around her shoulder. She sat down in front of him and started speaking with a trembling voice, “I’m not sure if I should tell you this but my mother was the ‘evil’ queen.” She made quotation marks in the air and rolled her eyes at, what it seemed, him. “She knew what Princess Snow was. My mother was trying to get rid of her. I will help you as long as you respect the memory of my mother and she is no longer called the evil queen.” Those piercing eyes looked at him and he got lost in her haunted beauty.
“I- I’m not sure what to do now. I loved Snow with my heart and I probably still do.” He looked at the girl helplessly. “I don’t think that I’ll be able to kill her. Do you understand?”
She looked at him sideways and nodded. “Yes.” She leaned forward. “I will help you but you need to make that promise to me.” After that, they spent the next few days teaching and learning from one another. He avoided Snow for a week and he was finally ready.

One night, he walked into the room with a wooden piece and hovered above Snow. He gazed at her breathing face for the last time and a swirl of emotion passed through him. He softly touched her cheek and accidently aroused Snow. She looked at him, smiled softly and opened her mouth to say something. Before she could start, he brought the wood down into her heart and she let out a bloodcurdling scream like the little girl in her nightmare into the night. 

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