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My Poisoned Apple

I stare at her, my eyes boring into her head. Her hair reminds me of Mother's, except longer. I feel my eyes tearing up remembering how she left me last month, on the eve of my fourteenth birthday.

I am reflecting on the when she turns around, and looks at me in disgust. Her half-eaten sandwich is placed delicately in its container as her black hair whips around her head, blown by the wind. She looks about to say something, but I beat her to it. "A morsel would be appreciated." I say sweetly, trying not to salivate at the thought of the food in her lap.

She whips back around, but not before she mutters, "I have no time for beggars."

I sigh and continue staring at her head, and the hair that keeps whirling around her head, like the tornado that I have never been in. I feel my hair, which hasn't been washed in weeks. It has taken on a muddy brown color, so different from the chocolate shine that it used to have.

A shiver runs down my spine as a particularly fierce gust blows by. I look at my tattered clothes, worn out from the weeks I have been wearing them. I sigh.

I study the people walking by, all accustomed to ignoring me. I look hopefully up at them, not having the strength to stand. I feel a bitter emptiness in my stomach, and I imagine darkness closing my vision. I shudder.

A kind man throws a coin at me, and I feel hopeful, imagining a silver dollar or better. It lands, pattering on the ground, dangerously close to a sewage drain. I gasp and lunge toward it, but I am too late. The coin falls through, and I let out a cry hearing a splash from below. A tear runs down my cheek.

A movement from the bench grabs my attention. The woman is leaving, having finished her lunch. I feel a wave of resentment overtake me, thinking about her comfortable life. I try to block out these feelings, but I can't help asking, "Some form of food, please?"

She looks at me, a wry smile on her lips, and I reflect on how different she seems from the woman glaring at me. She begins to walk away, and I feel a moment of despair until I see it. She tosses something over her shoulder at me.

It bounces off the sidewalk, but as I scoop it up, I don't care. It is beautiful. A red apple, as perfect as can be, not a single bite taken from it. I waste no time taking that first bite, and I feel a moment of peace as I take in the perfectness of it.

The woman continues walking away, and I can't help thinking how story-like it is. Her devious smile, my rags, and, most importantly, the bright red apple.

I consider this for a moment, and smile. She is an evil queen who has poisoned the apple. Evil queens only ever feed their special apples to princesses. But, I am eating the apple. So, in a way, it is mine, and I am a princess.



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