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The Reason Behind the Apple
Sleepy sat in a wooden chair, waiting as patiently as he could. He rapped his fingers on the clean table, and checked his watch. They were five minutes late. He let out a huge yawn and considered taking a nap, but he knew what the others would say. He could not be caught sleeping on the job again. He tried holding his eye lids open with his fingers, but that failed miserably. He began to whistle, hoping the joyful tune would keep him awake for the time being.
Without any warning the tiny cottage door swung wildly open, smacking so hard against the wall that a few pictures fell to the floor with a crash. Sleepy, ignoring the broken pictures, stood up immediately to greet the others.
"How did it go?" he asked with great interest.
"Just as we planned." Doc replied as he pushed his glasses farther up his jolly button nose. A malicious smile swept slyly over his face. "We had to pay a small sum. Not too bad though. She's a tough bargainer." Grumpy lumbered in with the biggest scowl on his face ready to spew a negative remark.
"We are doing her a favor, shouldn't have paid a cent is what I say." He slumped into a chair with a huff of disgust.
"It doesn't matter now! She'll be here at noon. Let's make sure Miss White will be here then as well." Sneezy said. The dwarfs became silent at once and their ears caught a soft pit-pat sound in the distance. Footsteps!
"Okay, okay! Act normal..." Doc painted on a cheerful face as a person approached with delicate steps.
"Good morning to all of you! Oh dear...did you wash your faces today?" Snow White glided in with a ornate, bright yellow dress on and placed her hands on her hips, giving the seven dwarfs an inquisitive expression. Anger rose in dwarfs' souls. This is exactly what they detested with every fiber of their being. They were men! Short men, but none the less men. They were tired of being treated like children by this woman who just waltzed into their lives one day. It was nice manipulating her into cleaning their house, but after that she just became a megalomaniac, always ordering them around.
"No...We forgot." Happy said guiltily, feigning child-like innocence.
"Well, let's see to it! Come, come. Everyone to the sink. Single filed, now." White commanded them like a stringent army general. The dwarfs stood in a neat line, each waiting their turn to use the sink.
"Can't wait till she's good and gone." Happy grumbled to Bashful. Even Happy was not happy with her around. Once they were all finished, they sat around the oak table. An awkward silence filled the room.
"You all are very quiet today." White glanced at them suspiciously. The dwarfs looked down at their shoes, at the ceiling, anywhere except Snow White. How could they look at her? After all, they did betray her. They betrayed her because she was trying to help them. Seemed silly, but they had had enough of her 'house rules'. “I'm going to pick some flowers in the meadow, so I hope you all will be able to take care of yourselves for a few hours.” Doc peered up nervously.
“Leaving? When will you be back?”
“A little after noon, I think.”
“But, but...” Doc had to think fast. “Who will make us lunch?!” He knew White would not be able to refuse.
“Oh! I will be back before noon then! How could I forget lunch!” She smiled at them lovingly, they all cringed inside. “I'll be off! But don't worry, I will come back to fill your hungry bellies with some warm food.” She kissed each one lightly on the head as they took off their knitted caps. They all flushed with annoyance. White draped a brown cape over her bony shoulders and glided dreamily from the cottage. Once she was a good distance down the dirt path, they all began chatting at once.
“This better work!”
“If she's not back, I'll do the deed myself!”
“I can't take the anxiety anymore!”
They kept yelling over each other in a riot.
“QUIET!!” Doc yelled over them all. Dopey cowered in fear at Doc's assertiveness. “It will work. They will both arrive at noon and all will go as we planned. Just think, we'll be free!” The others cheered in delight.
“Oh, sweet freedom!”
They waited in great anticipation for noon to fall upon them. They sat in silence, each lost in their own thoughts, thinking about the deed that would be done in just a matter of hours. When any doubts entered their dark, conniving minds, they shook their heads, trying to rid themselves of it. They pushed it out with that one word: freedom.
Noon rolled around the corner lazily, and they gathered about the curtain-less windows, scanning the horizon for a figure to emerge. A soft knock came from the door, and Sneezy rushed to answer it first.
“Hello...is she here?” A harsh, grating voice came from the entrance.
“No, not yet. But she'll be here any minute.” Doc hurried over to join in.
“I suggest you hide in the back. Grumpy will give you a signal for when White approaches.”
“I do not like waiting.” The voice said scathingly. Sweat beaded on Doc's wrinkled brow.
“She'll be here. Any moment, she'll be here.” A low hiss came from the hooded figure who held a basket with her spindly fingers. With a sweeping motion, she went to the back of the cottage, ready to pounce on her prey when the time would come. The dwarfs waited for ten minutes when they saw the delicate figure approach, singing a beautiful song. They held their ears as if in pain.
“I hate that song!”
“She always sings it!!” They complained. Grumpy signaled for the hooded figure to move to the front of the cottage. The dwarfs peered inconspicuously out the window to watch the anticipated event.
Snow White danced along the path dreaming of bunnies, deer, and sweet little birdies. All of a sudden, an old hag put her face dangerously close to White's face. White could see every hair and wrinkle on the hideous face.
“Hello, deary!” The hag said sweetly through her intense desire to kill the maiden before her. “I've got the finest apple tree in all the land. I've picked some for everyone! Would you like an apple?” The hag's heart beat apprehensively. With each beat, she felt like she was approaching the climax of her brilliant plan.
“Oh. No, thank you. I'm about to have lunch with my dwarfs.” White said to the stranger, wanting to flee from her as soon as possible.
“No, no, no! Deary, come, come. Take the apple.” The held out the apple with the very tips of her fingers. “It's said that once you take a bite from the apple, true love will come your way.” White's eyes lit up. True love! It's what she's always dreamed of...
“Maybe just one bite...” White slowly took the apple and carried it to her lips. The hag's eyes lit up with excitement, following White's every move. The dwarfs held their breath as they watched with wide eyes. White's pearly teeth sunk into the bright red apple and juice sprinkled on her cheeks lightly. She swallowed and a burning sensation blazed down her throat. The taste was so bitter that she coughed and coughed. The hag laughed and danced wildly with joy. Suddenly, White stopped. The light left her lively eyes. The color drained from her warm cheeks. The blood in her veins froze like ice. Her body fell limply to the deep green, grassy ground and her body became cold. The apple rolled from her hand and landed at the hag's feet. The hag danced around erratically. Finally she was good and dead! The dwarfs stepped out and looked upon White's stone body. It was what they wanted, but why did they feel so empty inside? White was not evil...yet they killed her. They did not taste the freedom they had been longing to taste, but the guilt of murdering an innocent soul. They wept at the sorry sight before them, and they never stopped weeping until their dying day.