Mirror Mirror Part Three, Chapters Three and Four

Fiction By Clare // 7/7/2011

Chapter Three
Snow White was only slightly awake. She wasn’t all the way asleep, but her mind was foggy and her eyes pleasantly refused to open. She was warm and safe in a cozy bed that was a little too short for her, but that was alright. She always slept a little curled up, like a caterpillar in a cocoon.
Then, she heard noises. Quiet, muffled noises. Footsteps. Whispers.
The servants are about, she thought drowsily. I wonder what Cook has made for breakfast.
She shifted a little in the bed, moaning tiredly a little. It must be very early. The bell hasn’t gonged yet.
She slowly woke more, till she was tiredly opening one eye, curious about the unusual light she could feel shining on her face.
The instant she did, it all came flooding back.

Hunter…Stepmother…tried to kill me…the forest…running…the river…the cottage…
She sat upright in a flash, suddenly terrified. Someone was here. Someone was here.
Were they friendly? Did they know she was here? Was she locked into this room? She looked about, breathing hard, recognizing the six other beds and the large piles of clutter and mess all about from the previous afternoon, when, having been washed miles down the river she’d stumbled into, she’d found the cottage. She’d been too exhausted to think of it at the time, but now she knew for certain that someone…seven someone’s, lived here, and someone, maybe all seven someone’s, were in the cottage now!
She saw the windows that lined one side of the room…two of them. They must face east, because plenty of beautiful, warm sunshine was filtering in. She could escape out that way! Of course! But she wouldn’t leave without paying for the food she’d eaten the inconvenience she may have caused. She pulled her jeweled broach from the front of her dress and laid in gently on the pillow, and then flung her legs over the side of the bed, trying to shake of her drowsiness.
She rubbed her eyes for a moment, urgency and tiredness fighting inside of her. She shook her head hard and opened her eyes.
Standing directly in front of her was a strange, little person with large eyes, large ears, a large nose, and large feet. Everything about him but his size seemed large. He stood, hands folded behind his back, smiling curiously at her.
Snow White screamed a long, terrified, rather hysterical scream, and dove behind the bed.

A bloodcurdling, murderous scream came from the bedroom, and all the dwarves went running.
They found Percy standing beside Tim’s bed, peering eagerly over it to the other side, where the mysterious strange girl was huddled, a blanket held over her head.
Percy found this all rather fun. This new thing had remarkable vocal chords, and she appeared to be afraid of him! How wonderful! No one was ever afraid of him!
“What did you do!?” George bellowed at Percy.
The girl seemed to think he’d been speaking to her. “I-I’m sorry!” she stammered fearfully, cowering further under the blanket and farther into the corner behind Tim’s bed. “I…I j-just needed a p-place to stay last night!”
They all got quiet and stared over the bed at her. She had a beautiful voice. Unlike any voice they’d ever heard.
Percy was satisfied, and immensely determined to keep this new thing.
“My dear girl,” Prof finally said when he found his voice. “You’ve done nothing wrong. We’re sorry to have frightened you!”
Snow peered out from under the blanket.
Six of the dwarves (not Percy, of course), stepped back a little bit.
Her eyes were the color of violets, stormy and purple and sparkling.
“Gor,” Will breathed.
“Jiminy crickets,” Josh agreed.
“Gee…” Tim gasped, startled beyond fear.
Snow blinked, staring up at…seven little men.
“H-Hello,” she said shakily.
“Hey,” Josh replied. They all just gazed at her.
Percy smirked. This was good.
Snow cleared her throat hesitantly. “Um…hello,” she said again.
“Is that all you say?” George asked, but his voice was only gruff.
“No,” Snow replied. “Um…good day. It…it is my pleasure to meet you all,”
Josh burst out laughing. “I like her! She’s a funny one!”
“A pleasure?” Casper mumbled. “Really? The only pleasure I’ve ever heard of is a tall keg,”
Will sneezed violently and nudged him roughly. “Never speak of beer in front of women, you oaf!” he hissed.
“Don’t be afraid, Miss,” Prof said, smiling kindly down at her. “We won’t hurt you. We only want to know who you are, and how you came to be…here. In our home. We don’t get visitors very often,”
“Oh…yes…I am sorry,” Snow said quickly. “I…I just got lost. I’ll be going. I’m sorry. So sorry,”
Percy made an angry noise. Going!? She couldn’t go! He found her…he’d decide when they let her go!
“But…where will you go, Miss?” Prof asked. “The nearest town is ten miles from here,”
Snow blinked. “Ten miles…oh,”
“What’s your name?” George demanded.
Snow hesitated. “Where am I?” she asked. “The trees…they aren’t familiar to me,”
“You’re in the Indigo Forest, child,” Prof said. “Ten miles south of the village of Quill, in the Kingdom of Spoon,”
Snow’s eyes grew wide. “Spoon? I’m in Spoon?” Spoon was the next kingdom over from Lara! She had no idea the river could carry her that far!
“Who are you?” George shouted.
“George,” Prof hissed. “Don’t scare her!”
“We have every right to know who the devil she is if she’s gonna come barging into our house!” George growled.
They all looked to her.
She swallowed. “I…I’m…Snow. Snow White,” She was afraid to let them know she was the princess of Lara. What if, they too, were working for the Queen? What if they insisted on taking her home?
“Snow White,” Tim breathed. He’d been trembling a little the entire time, and now, he shook.
“And we ought to introduce ourselves, now,” Prof said with a grin. “I am Professor Anders Laurence Bartholomew Mason,”
Snow blinked. “Oh…pleased to meet you,” As she was sitting down and couldn’t curtsy, she bowed her head low.
“I’m Joshua Mason! So very nice to be acquainted to you, Miss Snow!” Josh said, waving and grinning cheerfully down at her.
“Pleased to meet you,” Snow said again, bowing her head.
Y’achoo! I’m Will,” Will said, wiping his nose on the back of his sleeve.
Snow tried not to grimace. “Pleased to meet you,” she bowed.
“I’m Casper,” Casper said, yawning. “Er…pleased to meetcha,”
Snow smiled a little as she bowed. “And…pleased to meet you,”
George crossed his arms over his chest. “George,” he said gruffly. “And don’t go bowing and saying you’re pleased to meet me. Ain’t worth the trouble. I ain’t pleasant.”
Snow blinked. “Well…very nice to make your acquaintance, George,”
“Hmph.” He grumped.
“This here is Percy,” Josh said, wrapping his arm around Percy’s scrawny shoulders. “He don’t talk. But he’s very friendly,”
Percy grinned and waved at Snow, demonstrating how friendly he was.
Snow smiled, a wide, amused smile, showing off a row of perfect pearly teeth. “Very pleased to meet you, Percy,”
Percy let out a sort of laughing noise, grinning wider.
“And this…where is he?” Prof said, looking about the room for Tim. “Ah…there is he, behind you, Josh,”
“No! No! Don’t make me do it!” Tim yelped as he was dragged front and center.
Snow looked up at him, her head tilted to one side.
He stared down at his shoes.
“This is Tim,” Prof said. “Say hello, Tim,”
“H-hi,” Tim squeaked, not looking up.
“Pleased to meet you, Tim,” Snow said, bobbing her head. “Are…are you afraid of me?”
“Yes!” Tim cried, and dove behind his brothers.
“He’s just shy,” Josh said.
“Oh,” Snow said. “Well…very, very nice to meet all of you. Thank you for not being too upset with me. I…I feel awful for intruding like this,”
“Well, that’s a surprise,” George said sarcastically.
He was jabbed by several elbows.
“Um…since you are here, and you must be hungry, can we offer you any breakfast?” Prof asked.
“Oh, no!” Snow said, shaking her head. “I…I need to get going. I…I need to get home,” her voice cracked involuntarily on the word.
“Oh, come now, Miss Snow!” Josh cried. “You have to stay for breakfast! We’d hate ourselves for life if we just turned you out with no hospitality! We dwarves have hospitality pumping through our veins!”
“And delusion, too, no doubt,” George said, rolling his eyes.
“George, stop being mean,” Casper said tiredly. “Snow White here is a lady. Right?”
They all nodded in agreement, save George, who was fond of being difficult, and Percy, who was still gazing enrapt at Snow White.
“Well?” Will snuffled. “Will you have breakfast with us, Miss?”
Snow hesitated. She wished she could draw the Mirror out of her skirt and consult it, but she certainly couldn’t now. Something about these dwarves felt right, though. They all seemed friendly enough, except for the surly one named George…but they also seemed terribly eager to entertain her. Uncertainty ate at her.
Well…I can’t exactly get into any worse trouble at this point, she finally reasoned.
“I…I suppose. For a short while,” she said cautiously.
“Yeehaw!” Josh cried.
“No!” Tim whimpered. He was cursed! He was going to die!
Percy grinned pompously at his brothers, feeling like an absolute king.
“Oh, for the love of beer…” George muttered.
“Excellent. Boys! Get Miss Snow White some breakfast at once!” Prof cried.
“Y’achoo! I’m so glad you’ve decided to…have some grub with us, Snow White,” Will said.
“Unless of course…you’d rather take a nap,” Casper yawned.
Snow slowly stood up, feeling ridiculously small amid seven tiny men who were all shorter than her.

 

Chapter Four
Snow White felt like she was being slowly tortured. By hospitality, of all things.
Not a one of the dwarves could take their large eyes off of her, and they all insisted on treating her like a fragile, helpless thing. They pulled out her chair, pushed it in, served her food, told her every random bit of information they thought she might need to know. She sat at the head of the table, and going around clockwise, there was Prof, Tim (who had to kneel on the floor for lack of an extra chair), Josh, Will, George, Casper and Percy.
Actually, it was just like being back home…except for two things.
This cottage was disgustingly filthy.
The food was practically inedible.
“Um…pardon me, Professor Anders,” Snow finally said, after stirring the cold, lumpy, gray mishmash in front of her around for a while. “What exactly is this?”
“I don’t actually know,” he replied. “I think it’s lentils with potatoes from a few days ago…but I can’t be certain,”
“Oh. I…see,” Snow said. “Who cooked it?”
“I did,” he replied.
Snow swallowed. It would be rude not to eat it. And all the dwarves were eating it, from the same serving bowl as her own portion, so it clearly wasn’t poison…presumably. And it would be impolite not to eat it.
She scooped a big spoonful up and stared it in the lumps. She shuddered, but took a deep breath, and shoved it into her mouth daintily.
Spitting it across the table was completely involuntary.
She wanted to die she was so mortified, staring at Will across from her as he wiped lentil-potato glop off his face, forcing a good-natured smile, and then sneezing into his bowl.
“I am so sorry, William!” she cried.
“Who’s William?” Casper asked.
“She means Will,” Prof said. “No trouble. Will’s had plenty of food spat at him before,”
Snow had no idea how to respond to such a revelation, and coughed daintily into the napkin set at her place…and went pale when she realized it had some sort of brown paste crusted onto it.
“Your name is William?” Casper asked Will, flabbergasted.
“Well, yeah! I mean…sure. Prof says so. I don’t know. Ask Mother,” Will replied uncertainly.
“Beer…I can’t remember such a mess of a meal,” George grumbled, feeling extremely put out at smaller portions two meals in a row.
Percy gazed adoringly up at Snow White.
“I feel lightheaded,” Tim murmured weakly.
“You always feel lightheaded, Old Boy!” Josh said reassuringly. “It’s probably nothing,”
“If I faint, will you keep me from drowning in my bowl?” Tim asked nervously.
“Of course,” Josh said, patting him on the back.
Snow stood up. “I…I really should get going now,”
The dwarves all shot to their feet, except for Casper, who had dozed off.
“Now?” Will asked, sounding disappointed.
“Where will you be going?” Prof asked.
“Um…well…I don’t…home. Home, I guess.” Snow said, looking away.
“Home?” Tim asked timidly. “I hope that’s far from here…I mean….is it?”
Snow took a deep breath. “Yes. Very far. I must be on my way,”
“How far?” Josh asked worriedly.
“Lara,” Snow said before she could think.
The dwarves all gasped a little (well…Casper let out a particularly gusty snore).
Lara!” Prof cried. “That’s the next Kingdom over! You couldn’t possibly make it all the way there on your own!”
“Oh, couldn’t I?” Snow demanded, her pride roused and ready to fight.
“Well…um…of course you could, mentally, I’m sure,” Prof said, feeling his foot was jammed down the back of his throat. “But…physically, you could easily be attacked by thieves!”
“Or depraved criminals,” George added casually.
Snow gasped. “Oh…well…yes. I know. But…I’ll manage, certainly I will!”
No one believed her.
“Absolutely not!” Prof cried. “Where in Lara do you live?”
“I…I don’t know,” Snow said. “Somewhere…near the capitol,” Shamefully, this was true. She had no idea how the geography of Lara was arranged.
“Well, that’s useless information,” George said. “The capitol is huge, and so is the whole area around it!”
“It is?” Will asked. “How do you know?”
“Shut your yap!” George growled. “I’ve been there, that’s how,”
“You have?” Snow asked.
“None of your business,” George snapped.
Prof glared at him. “George, get a grasp!”
George glowered, but fell silent.
“I’m afraid George is right, though,” Prof said. “From  what I’ve retained from my maps of Lara, I believe it could take years to locate your family, Dear. But…maybe there’s another way. What is your father’s name?”
Snow hung her head. “My father is dead.”
Even George gasped a little in sympathy.
“Oh, Snow White, you poor dear,” Prof said sympathetically.
Will sniffed a little. “Our father is dead, too,”
“What about your mother?” Josh asked quickly.
“She’s dead, too,” Snow replied.
“Your mother is dead!?” Tim gasped. He looked like he might burst into tears.
Percy did burst into tears, and threw his arms around Snow, sobbing hysterically.
“What would we do without our mother?” Will cried. “No one should live without a mother! No one!”
“Hush, all of you!” Prof cried, though his own voice was thick with emotion.
Snow got the distinct impression that these dwarves’ world revolved around their beloved mother. “There’s no need for all this, really,” she said, trying to detach Percy from her waist without success.
“Indeed,” Prof said. “But…unless you can give us some name, I’m afraid we’re stuck,”
Snow briefly thought of her beloved cousin, Beckett, but no. He was directly involved with the royal family. The dwarves may have heard of him and make the connection. And there was no way she could give Hazel’s name. So she just had to shake her head helplessly. “I’m afraid there’s…” Wait…Hunter! She shook her head. “There’s no one. I’m all alone.”
Percy started a fresh round of sobs. How horrible! My poor Snow White girl! I need to take care of her!
“Well, then, there is only one alternative,” Prof said firmly.
“And what might that be?” George asked warily.
“Snow White will have to stay with us,”
What?” Snow cried.
Percy’s tears dried instantaneously, and he began dancing around the room, whooping with joy.
 

Comments

Moments

Moments that made me LOL: 

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

This new thing had remarkable vocal chords, and she appeared to be afraid of him! How wonderful! No one was ever afraid of him!

Percy was satisfied, and immensely determined to keep this new thing.

“Oh, for the love of beer…” George muttered.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

I adore Percy. Could you, perhaps, send him to me? So I can keep him forevever? 

Anyways, another wonderful chapter! I'm afraid I'd like to request more. If that's not too much...? Oh, it's not to much! MORE! MORE! MORE! I love this story! Thanks for posting.

Madeline | Tue, 09/13/2011

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

Alas...

I love Percy, too....I'm afraid you can't have him, because he is having far too much fun under my bed. I love all the dwarves...but if I HAD to pick a favorite, I'd say Prof. I love him so much.

That's all I have of this one so far, but I am definately sticking it out to the end! Don't worry, I'll try to post more frequently from now on : ).

Clare | Tue, 09/13/2011

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