Snow White and Seven Men – Chapter Ten

When the seven dwarves arrived home they found Snow White’s beautiful body lying in the doorway. Having such white skin it wasn’t possible for her to look any paler, but they all agreed that her lips were perhaps a little less ruby. Grumpy tapped her gently with his toe; the princess didn’t stir. Doc rolled her onto her back, revealing the part digested Apple on her dress and vomit on her cheek. They all gasped. Happy also gipped jollily for he had a weak stomach. ‘Oh princess!’ exclaimed Doc, ‘What’s happened?’ The little men all crowded round her, hugging her and sobbing. They weren’t men of medicine and therefore none of them bothered to check for a pulse or breathing, but they knew that Snow White had left them.

For some reason the men chose to build the princess a glass coffin, so that they could continue to admire her splendour even in death. Even with their lack of knowledge of microbes, one would have thought they’d have noticed the the horrors in their kitchen whenever they left out a slab of meat for too long, but no, they had no concerns over the pungent decay that would likely commence shortly.

But wait! Snow White did not decay! Instead, her radiant beauty flowed from within the glass coffin and the gentlemen paid their respects and lay flowers and lit candles twice a day, sometimes more. Except for Grumpy; he wasn’t that arsed. ‘At least we get some peace,’ he offered in comfort.

The chaps sent word into the kingdom that Snow White was really truly dead, and loyal subjects came to mourn their beloved princess finally.

Word spread far and wide about the beautiful princess in the glass coffin who was not rotting away. Legions of people came from neighbouring kingdoms to also pay their respects, for each King and Queen had hoped that their own prince may have been able to win the hand of the most beautiful princess during her life.

One day the most handsome prince of all arrived to mourn. He looked upon Snow White, beautiful as though in sleep, and was overcome with primal urge. He lifted the glass lid from the coffin and gazed down at Snow White’s perfect eye lids and cherry red lips. Like a revolting necrophiliac with no boundaries at all he leaned in to plant a non-consensual kiss on the princess’s perfect pout. He was shocked to find that even after some time they were still warm, and he slipped her the tongue.

Snow White stirred. Her eyelids fluttered. Her breathing quickened. She shoved the handsome prince hard in his chest. ‘Ere!’ she yelled. ‘What on earth do you think you’re doing, you big rapey bastard?!’ The handsome prince’s jaw fell open in shock. ‘You see a sleeping woman and you think it’s ok to force yourself on her? I’ll bet you can’t wait for pharmaceuticals to aid your disregard for consciousness to be invented can you? Eh? Eh?!’ The handsome prince was struck dumb for he had never seen a talking corpse before. Snow White had sat herself upright so that she could better examine her assaulter.

‘I’m sorry Your Highness, I thought you were… dead,’ explained the prince, aghast.

‘And that’s better is it?!’ screeched the princess. ‘Better to stick your tongue down a corpse’s throat is it?! You sick bastard!’ She called Doc over. ‘Doc, I am judging each and every one of you boys for allowing this to happen in your presence. However, I know it is difficult to argue with a prince.’ She turned and glared at the handsome prince, ‘Even when he is a giant rapey pervert!’ She turned back to Doc. ‘I trust you the most to fetch the palace guards. Not from my kingdom of course, the Wicked Queen would never allow it, but from a neighbouring kingdom. A just and good kingdom. Not his kingdom,’ she spat the word ‘his’ as she glanced at the shamed prince. ‘The guards and him will help me storm the palace walls, defeat the Wicked Queen, and take back my kingdom.’ The handsome prince looked concerned. ‘Do this and I shall consider not having you executed in the most terrible way, you peverted shit.’

‘Of course, Your Highness. Anything to help a beautiful princess such as you,’ the handsome prince snivelled.

‘Get bent,’ said Snow White bluntly.

‘But princess,’ asked Happy, ‘why are you so intent on defeating that lovely Wicked Queen now? Why not sooner?’

‘Good question, Happy. You see, the Wicked Queen tried to have the Royal Huntsman kill me, but I got away and that’s how I came to live with you boys.’ The crowd of mourners gasped at this revelation. ‘An old hag fed me an apple, which I should have known better than to eat because she really did look grubby. I think she put me in some sort of trance! Anyway, I ate the apple and it was poisoned! Fortunately she must have got the concentrations wrong as rather than kill me, it just put me into a very deep sleep. But not before I heard my stepmother’s wicked laugh. I’d recognise it anywhere! So that’s twice she’s tried to kill me! That is one too many times!

‘On a side note, who the frick puts a dead body into a glass coffin? It was like a bloody greenhouse! Whose idea was that?!’ Six stubby fingers pointed at Dopey. Snow White looked exasperated. They should know better than to listen to Dopey’s suggestions! ‘It’s a wonder I’m not dead! I must have sweated half my weight. Feel how wet my dress is, feel it! It’s sodden!’ Seven bearded faces shook their heads grimacing. ‘Did no one think to check on me? Fetch a doctor? No?!’ Seven sets of little toes kicked the earth whilst seven little men looked down at them. ‘I must be frightfully dehydrated! How long have I been asleep for?’

‘Almost two weeks, princess,’ replied Doc.

‘Yes. Well I can tell. My mouth feels like the Sahara and I’m bloody starving! I’m lucky I had the strength to push off that perverted Prince! Thank goodness I had no muscle wastage and didn’t develop a terrible pneumonia from all that lying down I was doing!’ The seven men knew this was yet another dig at their carelessness.

‘To be fair, princess, you did look pretty dead,’ interjected Grumpy.

‘Look at me! I always look pretty dead!’ came the screechy reply. The whole crowd nodded enthusiastically in agreement.

Snow White and Seven Men – Chapter Nine

Snow White had managed to get the men to purchase some books from the town for her. She was pleased about this as they were quite uneducated and it was nice for Snow White to be able to slip away into storybook land and have a break from judging them. One day, when the gents were out shopping and having a break from Snow White and her delightful judging, Snow White was enjoying a thoroughly good read, a cup of tea and a scone. Suddenly there came a rap at the door, RATATAT TAT! ‘Oh,’ gasped Snow White. ‘Who could that be? Even though I’m in hiding, I’d best answer the door.’ Snow White was good at many things, but hiding was not one of them. She opened the door, just a crack.

‘Hello, deary,’ said a wizened old woman. She was dressed all in black, her back hunched so much she was almost bent double, a hood pulled over her head from where tattered grey hair and a long hooked nose sprouted. She smiled a toothless grin.

‘Why, it’s just an old hag,’ thought Snow White delightedly, ‘she’ll be no harm at all!’ She flung open the door.

‘Would you like to come in, lady?’ she asked for Snow White was very kind.

‘No thank you,’ came the croaky reply, ‘I’m just an old hag, hawking my wares,’ she explained.

‘Well, what are your wares?’ asked the princess.

‘I have one ware left,’ said the old woman reaching into the wicker basket draped over her right elbow. She produced a beautiful red apple. ‘Would you like to buy it?’ she asked.

‘Well it looks awfully juicy, but I’m afraid I’ve no money. As you can see by my modest home, I’m frightfully poor.’ Snow White was cunning and wanted to throw her off the scent by pointing out how poor she was, and therefore not a princess, just in case the old hag had recognised her.

‘Not to worry sweetie,’ said the old hag kindly, ‘I’ve sold all my wares for today. If I don’t sell this last apple it will go bad and I’ll have to throw it away. You can have it. There’s no charge for a pretty young thing like you.’

‘How kind,’ said Snow White excitedly. She loved a bargain. She took the apple from the lady’s crooked hands and breathed on it, then cleaned it on her frock.

‘That’s right, deary, you take a bite. Seeing you enjoy its sweet taste is payment enough.’ Snow White slowly sank her teeth into its shiny red flesh, apparently not perturbed by the old lady’s obvious lack of hygiene. The old hag leaned in eagerly, watching as Snow White munched away. Snow White began to cough. She dropped the rest of the apple, and clutched her stomach like someone who had been kicked beneath their ribs. ‘What’s happening?’ She cried. ‘I feel awful!’

‘Oh sweetie, don’t you worry your pretty head about that,’ said the old hag in a comforting voice. Snow White dropped to the floor and there she lay, lifeless. The old woman burst into a cackle. The most hysterical, rapturous laugh that would have made your blood run cold had you heard it. She pulled back her hood, her grey tendrils and hooked nose melted away to reveal the Wicked Queen (for she was a magical Queen). She left the little shack and headed back to the castle, still laughing at her little joke when she plonked herself down on her Royal Throne.

Snow White and Seven Men – Chapter Eight

The Wicked Queen reigned her kingdom with an iron fist. The entire kingdom was terrified of from whence her next beheading may appear. They grieved the loss of their princess, Snow White, for they saw that it was her presence that had kept the Wicked Queen from showing the full extent of her true wicked colours. But should the Wicked Queen hear any signs of grief for their perfect princess she would order a National Day of Beheading, so inwardly they wept, whilst going about their daily routine as had been ordered by the Wicked Queen.

The Wicked Queen knew she wasn’t a popular queen. She couldn’t fully understand why this was as she was so incredibly beautiful, and what more did a woman need? One evening, as she was brushing her long dark hair 1000 times as she did every night before bed, and admiring herself in the golden mirror she sighed. ‘Mirror mirror on the wall,’ she whispered, ‘who’s the fairest of them all…?’ To her surprise, the mirror started to glow. Brighter and brighter it glowed, emitting an eerie green light. Suddenly there was a great flash, and the Wicked Queen was looking into eyes that were not her own. A ghost-like androgynous face had appeared in the mirror. It spoke. ‘Your Majesty,’ the Wicked Queen was startled,’ there is one fairer than thou art.’

‘Lies!’ spat the Wicked Queen. ‘Who could possible be fairer than I? Look at me!’ It should be noted that the Wicked Queen was more shocked by the mirror’s revelation than by the mirrors ability to make a revelation.

‘Her lips are ruby red, her hair is black as ebony,’ the Wicked Queen stiffened.

‘No, don’t say it.’

‘Her skin is white as snow,’ continued the mirror.

‘Snow White,’ the Wicked Queen and the mirror uttered together.

‘No! Snow White is dead. You are a fool, mirror. You know nothing. Leave me now,’ the Wicked Queen commanded.

‘Know this,’ said the mirror in a hushed voice, ’you have been tricked, Your Majesty. You are not the fairest in the land for Snow White lives.’

‘I have her heart!’ bellowed the Wicked Queen.

‘You have the heart of a sow,’ scoffed the mirror. The Wicked Queen processed what the mirror had said.

‘Nooooooooooooooooo!’ she screamed. ‘Fetch me the Royal Huntsman!’ No one dared tell the Wicked Queen that the Royal Huntsman had run away after Snow White’s death. Finally, having drawn the short straw, the Royal Chef arrived, quivering and cowering. ‘Your M-M-M-Majesty,’ he stammered, ‘the Royal Huntsman is m-m-m-missing.’

‘Of course he is,’ sighed an exasperated Wicked Queen. ‘If you want something doing, do it yourself, as they say.’

Snow White And Seven Men – Chapter Seven

Fortunately, this all happened on a Friday, and so they had had the whole weekend to recover from working so hard long into the night, and to bond and chatter and answer Snow White charmingly inquisitive questions like ‘why did none of you ever think to question where your names came from,’ and ‘didn’t you think Grumpy was an odd choice of name for a precious new baby,’ and ‘do all normal people live like you?’ It was great fun.

Nevertheless, the chaps were quite relieved when Monday morning came and they could head out to work. They were less relieved when Snow White announced that she was coming with them. ‘Erm… what?’ asked Doc.

‘I’m coming too,’ she repeated.

‘Why?’

‘I can work doing what you boys do. I sure as Hell am not going to sit around darning your socks and cleaning up after you pigs!’

‘No, I know, we agreed that you wouldn’t be our maid, Princess, but surely you can stay home and read or do something else? You don’t have to come down a mine with us!’

‘What? Because I’m a pretty little princess I have to sit around like a lady of leisure?! I can mine! I can mine just as good as any of you seven – especially Sleepy and Dopey!’

Doc made to speak but Grumpy beat him to it, ‘Ah just let her. She’ll end up coming anyway so we may as well save the fucking battle.’

‘But, Princess,’ Doc added sensibly, ‘you don’t have any mining clothes. You only have your pretty dress which is most impractical.’

‘It’s ok. I borrowed one of yours. It fits a treat, look.’ She stood up from the breakfast table to reveal an outfit with some very half mast trouser legs and cropped sleeves. Very modern.

‘Ok… well, that’s that then… I guess you’re coming down the pit… Princess…’ Doc stuttered in disbelief. Happy clapped and danced about giddily.

And so that is how they lived, every day Snow White going down the pit with them mining for diamonds. The gents tried to teach her the songs that they would sing about working to get them through the day, but it turned out that Snow White was not a huge fan of singing. When they encouraged her to join in they learned why. ‘She sounds like a bag of cats that’s been set alight,’ winced Grumpy. Sadly, once Snow White’s inner diva had been released, it was difficult to restrain it once more and she even started to write her own ditties. ‘She can’t even fucking rhyme properly!’ exclaimed Grumpy. So terrible was it, that sometimes even Sleepy stayed awake!

Snow White and Seven Men – Chapter Six

Snow White had agreed to go back inside the cess pit that the men called a home, but under the strict condition that they scrubbed that place from top to bottom, washed the dishes, wiped the sides, scrubbed the floors, burned any skid mark-containing underpants and washed the rest, removed all cobwebs and bleached the chamber pot like it had never been bleached before (It turned out it had never been bleached before). The men did this whilst Snow White watched and explained to them that although she had never needed to learn how to do these things, she had learned that these were things that needed doing, and as paupers with no one to do these things for them they should know this and hence she was judging them. Grumpy swore in response a lot, Doc shushed him, Happy grinned like a buffoon, as did Dopey, Bashful kept offering to clean whichever room the princess was not in, Sneezy begged to be reprieved from dusting, and Sleepy insisting on cleaning the bedroom. Fluffy bunnies and squirrels and cute little dicky birds swarmed around the house helping. The fluffy bunnies chewed through kitchen cupboards, the squirrels gathered up remnants of rotting food and hid it in the bunnies’ holes, and the dicky birdies shat on the newly clean work surfaces. Snow White finally despaired and shooed them all out cursing and yelling threats of pest exterminators. She swiftly ran around the house slamming all of the window shutters to keep the little bastards out.

‘So, let me guess this straight,’ she said as the boys worked hard. ‘You’re called Grumpy.’

‘Yes,’ snarled Grumpy.

‘And you’re Grumpy.’

‘I am right now,’ he snarled.

‘Are you Grumpy because you’re called Grumpy? Or are you called Grumpy because you were a Grumpy baby? Or is it just a happy coincidence?’ she continued.

‘I’m just called Grumpy,’ he snapped.

‘And you, Happy, were you a happy baby?’

‘I don’t know,’ he grinned. ‘I guess so. What do babies have to be sad about? Apart from all those childhood diseases I mean.’

‘Hmmm… And Sneezy, what’s with that? Do you have allergies?’

‘Maybe… I guess. I’ve never really thought about it… I’ve just always Sneezed’

‘And your mother never thought to take you to see a doctor?’ Snow White was horrified.

‘For a Sneeze? ACHOO!’ Sneezy was incredulous.

‘For chronic sneezing!’ Snow White was getting frustrated. ‘Sleepy I’d have probably named Lazy if it were down to me. He strikes me as a lazy little bastard, he doesn’t even try to stay awake!’ Snow White was very good at judging. ‘And poor Dopey! That’s just a self-fulfilling prophecy right there! Poor dopey thing.’ Dopey beamed at her merrily, spraying furniture polish in his ear. ‘And Doc, what about your name?’

‘It’s just a name, princess, I really do think you’re overthinking this.’

‘You’re all named after adjectives that perfectly describe your personalities, one of you clearly has a medical condition, two if you argue that Sleepy may have narcolepsy, and one is a complete moron! And none of you have ever thought to question how weird this is?!’

‘NO!’ they all yelled in unison.

‘My head hurts,’ muttered Snow White. She went outside to lie down on the path.

When she awoke the house was glistening from cleanliness. A cloud of dust surrounded the little building, being slowly carried off by the wind. ‘Wow,’ thought Snow White, ‘that was really minging.’ She went into her new home, and to her surprise she found that she wasn’t afraid to sit on one of the rickety little chairs or to drink the tea that they offered her. ‘Now then,’ she said as she looked around the room, ‘isn’t this better boys.’ They all nodded in agreement. Apart from Sleepy who was still ‘cleaning’ the bedroom. ‘I think we’ll be very happy living together,’ she squealed. Grumpy guffawed. Snow White ignored him.

Snow White and Seven Men – Chapter Five

Back at the palace the Wicked Queen was ecstatically burning Snow White’s possessions. She summoned the town crier and whilst waiting for him to arrive tried to force a tear or two. Eventually she plucked some nose hairs which made her eyes water as well as causing some swears to be ejaculated.

‘Your Majesty?’ said the town crier coyly as slipped through the Royal Throne Room doors. He bowed and grovelled at the Wicked Queen’s feet.

‘Town crier, I have some… devastating news. Go forth into the kingdom and make the terrible announcement of Snow White’s death.’

‘Oh, Your Majesty! What happened?’

‘It is as yet unclear. Most likely a bear from the woods. The Royal Huntsman fought bravely to save her, but alas, all he could salvage was her heart. I know the peasants will find this news difficult to bear, so I suggest that in order to deal with their grief, they continue with their lives as normal. No time off work, no public mourning, no holiday. They should distract themselves with routine.’

‘But how, Your Majesty? The kingdom loves the princess!’

‘Tough! She is dead! They must love me instead!’

‘Of course, Your Majesty. They love you too, I’m sure. It’s just-‘

‘Go! Spread the word. And I shall not hear of anyone mourning, is that clear?’

‘Of course, Your Majesty,’ and the town crier grovelled backwards out of the Royal Throne Room.

The Wicked Queen continued with her merry burning frenzy, and moved onto the possessions of her late husband and Snow White’s mother. ‘Must get rid of all their shite too,’ she said gleefully. In the late Queen’s old dressing room gowns and jewels gathered dust, along with her many other possessions that had been stored in there since the King’s remarriage. At the back of the room, just as every Queen needs, was a full length mirror, ornately framed by thick ribbons of gold twisting around one another. The Wicked Queen tilted it towards her. ‘Perhaps this can stay,’ she said to herself, ‘this is fancy enough for the most beautiful woman in the kingdom to admire herself. Far too fancy for that hag he married first.’ For a moment the Wicked Queen thought she saw an the mirror glow eerily, and then she realised that that was a ridiculous thing to think, and gazed at herself adoringly. She summoned the Royal Furniture Mover to relocate the mirror to the Wicked Queen’s plush dressing room.

Snow White and Seven Men Chapter Four

Snow White snoozed for some time, looking much less the beautiful princess and more the drooling hobo than when she’d left the palace that morning. The sun was setting by the time she felt a swift kick to her ribs. ’S’it dead?’ asked a man’s voice.

‘Must be,’ came another, ‘look how white it is. It’s been there a while I expect. Maybe a bear dragged it here.’ Snow White’s eyelashes fluttered as she tried to open her eyes, but they were thick with crusty sleep. She made to speak, but only a throaty croak came out of her dry mouth; all moisture seemingly having leaked out onto her cheek. She coughed and tried again, ‘No I’m not dead,’ she uttered, disgusted. She raised her hand to wipe her crusty face and eyes, and tried once more to open them. She was surrounded by six bearded faces looming over her, looking terrified.

‘What is it?’ asked one.

‘It? IT?!’ yelled the princess climbing to her feet. ‘I’m a very important princess. It is I who should be asking what are you?!’

One of the bearded faces looked amused. The others all looked uncomfortable. The amused looking beard adjusted his little round spectacles and said, ‘Well, I think we’re generally referred to as dwarves. Although we prefer to just be called men. Given that we’re men and it is so 9th century to use someone’s physical features to define them, you know?’

‘Oh. Yes. I suppose you are rather short,’ answered Snow White, for she was a very observant princess.

‘She’s a dick,’ grumbled one foul looking face.

‘I beg your pardon?!’ screeched Snow White.

‘Well you are! ‘Oh I s’pose you are quite short.’ How tall d’ya think you are lady?!’

‘I’m five foot three and three quarters thank you very much,’ she replied haughtily.

‘See? Short!’

‘Oh, well I’ve never-‘

‘Don’t mind Grumpy,’ interrupted the bespectacled beard. ‘He’s a right misery guts.’

‘You call him Grumpy?’

‘Erm…. yes… it’s his name…?’ He turned to look at the others with a face that asked if this chick was for real.

‘His mother called him Grumpy?’

‘That’s norm’ly how names work innit,’ sneered Grumpy.

‘Were you a grumpy baby?’

‘How’d I know? I was a baby!’

‘Right…’

The spectacled beard stepped in, ‘Allow me to introduce ourselves princess. I’m Doc. You’ve met Grumpy. That there is Sneezy.’

‘ACHOO!’ He wiped his red runny nose on his sleeve.

‘That cheery little fella is Happy.’

‘How’d you do ma’am?’ he grinned inanely.

‘Oh, that one there that’s just pinched your comfy looking spot on the ground is Sleepy.’ Sleepy did not greet Snow White for he was sleeping.

‘The one that’s hiding behind that tree over there, the one that ran off as soon as you spoke, that’s Bashful.’ A hand darted out from behind the tree to give a quick wave. ‘And that one trying to lick the beehive over there is Dopey.’

‘What… interesting names…’ said Snow White politely.

‘Well what’s your name then?’ demanded an offended Grumpy.

‘Why, it’s Snow White,’ the princess said proudly puffing out her chest. ‘Shit,’ She thought, ‘I’m meant to be in hiding.’

‘Well what sort of a name is that? You got named after your skin!’

‘It’s a fine name thank you very much!’

Doc, the voice of reason once more, stepped in. ‘You’re the princess? Oh Your Highness.’ He made to bow.

‘No no. No don’t do that. I’m not a princess, I’m-‘

‘You said you were a princess earlier,’ grinned Happy.

‘Shit. Right, well, the thing is, I’ve kind of faked my own death.’

‘Oh princess! Why? ACHOO!’

‘Because my stepmother is quite wicked and wanted me dead!’

‘Ah. The Wicked Queen,’ said Doc knowingly, ‘yes she’s quite wicked so I’m not shocked. We won’t say anything, princess.’

‘Why should we protect her?’ demanded Grumpy.

‘Because we’re fucking lovely!’ yelled Doc. Happy smiled merrily.

‘Oh my seven little heroes!’ cried Snow White.

Snow White made to hug Doc, who blushed and shook her off. ‘You can stay with us Your Highness,’ he offered.

‘What?! In this midden?!’ asked Snow White aghast.

Grumpy pointed out what a rude little bitch she was and it was the princess’s turn to blush for she knew that Grumpy was right and she had indeed been rude. ‘I’m sorry… erm… gentlemen… where are my manners? It’s just, I’m not sure I’d fit in in a… a bachelor pad you see. And a young woman living with seven men! Why, imagine the scandal!’

‘But no one will know, princess. You’re in hiding, remember. Perhaps you could be our maid,’ suggested Doc helpfully.

‘Maid? Pfft. Because I’m a woman my only worth is to clean up after a bunch of unkempt trolls, is that it?!’

‘Trolls?!’ Grumpy seethed.

‘Well, princess, that’s not what I was saying at all,’ Doc chattered, ‘but if you’re in hiding you’ll be sat around the house all day and-‘

‘And I might as well make myself useful? So this isn’t a selfless offer to help a damsel in distress? This is Middle Ages slavery; you want a maid for free! Oh for shame boys!’

Five little men stared at their toes embarrassed, whilst one slept soundly and another had his tongue stuck in a tree.

Snow White and Seven Men Chapter Three

Irritated by her long gown snagging on low branches and tripping her as she tramped through the Dark Forest, Snow White hitched it up and tucked it into her knickers. Her hair was dishevelled, the heel on one shoe had broken and she was thoroughly pissed off. A line of bunny rabbits and fluffy squirrels trotted behind her, squeaking happily. ‘Why are they still here?’ she wondered crossly. ‘Fucking rodents.’

Eventually Snow White (and her band of creatures) stumbled across a funny looking house. By ‘funny looking’, I mean ‘pig sty’. Intrigued/disgusted Snow White moved closer to have a look. ‘Who on earth could live here?’ she wondered, ‘it’s bloody awful. Why, it looks as though one of the fluffy squirrels built it!’ She examined the weed filled garden, the tumble down stone wall, and the ramshackle roof. Not a single wall appeared to be at a right angle and it made her feel rather sick to look at. ‘Eugh. Is this how all paupers live?’ she asked herself. ‘It’s revolting.’ Being a princess and therefore used to going wherever she chose without being questioned by peasants, and being a thoroughly nosy mare, Snow White pushed the front door open. She was quite astounded to find that whoever lived there hadn’t bothered to lock the door because everybody knows that bandits roam the forests, as do bears – big grizzly ones, not just the porridge eating kind.

The inside was no better than the outside. If anything it was worse, for at least the great outdoors had wind and rain to wash away some of the muck. ‘Christ on a bike,’ muttered the princess. ‘Who the fuck lives here? It’s rancid. I can see why they didn’t lock the door. Probably hoping a burglar would have a tidy up whilst they ransacked!’ Cobwebs hung from every corner and every beam in the pokey little house. Every surface was covered in a thick layer of grime and unwashed, fungating crockery. Snow White was a little sick in her mouth for a moment. But, much like when one passes a collision at the road side, Snow White could not help but keep exploring; all the while being very careful not to touch anything. Slowly and carefully she climbed the uneven stairs. Tiny clothes were strewn across the banister, each item dirtier than the last; some greying y-fronts looking particularly suspicious. More of the same as she entered the bedroom but, how intriguing! Surrounding a quite full chamber pot were seven little beds! ‘Oh! They must be for seven little children!’ squealed Snow White. ‘Well their mother ought to be ashamed of herself, keeping them in such squalor. I’ll bet they’ve got seven different fathers, the skank.’ And on went Snow White’s judging until she was so exhausted that she needed to lie down. ‘I’m not lying in this cesspit,’ she grumbled, ‘I’ll catch Ebola or something.’ And with that she descended the rickety little stairs, left the house, and curled up on the much cleaner front path, whilst the fluffy squirrels and bunny rabbits climbed on top of her. Snow White growled in frustration at the little critters, ‘I’ve got more rat poison!’ she threatened. They all quickly scuttled off down separate holes and up separate trees and gazed upon Snow White lovingly.

Snow White and Seven Men- Chapter Two

Because the Wicked Queen was the queen and therefore very important and demanding, she would only eat meat from an animal whose blood still ran warm. For this reason she had a Royal Huntsman, whose job it was to provide the freshest of the fresh meat. He had to be a jolly good Huntsman as he had to catch woodland creatures each and every day, right before each meal time. Many huntsmen had been ‘sacked’ (beheaded by the Royal Executioner) before him, when they failed to meet the Wicked Queen’s meat requirements. The current huntsman at this time was a young man called Horacio. Horacio was quite new and still learning his craft, but he was determined not to get ‘sacked’ (beheaded), because he had quite the soft spot for Snow White, and saw himself as a potential suitor should he impress the Wicked Queen sufficiently. Horacio had a sneaky stash of fresh-ish meat which he’d bought from the local butcher just in case he ever failed to bring home a fresh catch (which he had done several times). He would provide the fresh-ish meat to the Royal Chef who knew no different and would turn it into a magnificent banquet for the Wicked Queen who was also unwise to the trick, busy as she was demanding new salt and pepper shakers to hurl at the poor, bruised princess.

The Wicked Queen stormed into the palace, flung the doors to her Royal Throne Room open and threw herself onto her golden throne like a petulant toddler whose parents had denied him chocolate before dinner. She ordered the Royal Gonger to summon the Royal Huntsman. The royal gonger picked up his gong stick and struck the large golden gong three times. The sound of the gong echoed throughout the palace as stone walls have excellent acoustics, and before long Horacio the huntsman was bowing at the Wicked Queen’s feet. ‘You summoned me Your Majesty?’ he asked eagerly, whilst kissing her purple velvet enclosed toes. ‘Yes,’ she replied slowly, ‘I have a rather important task of you. Royal Gonger, leave us please.’ The Royal Gonger slowly set down his gong stick and walked backwards out of the Royal Throne Room, bowing and grovelling to the Wicked Queen as he left.

Horacio tried hard not to look as anxious as he felt. Never before had he been alone with the Wicked Queen and he was nervous as to what she might ask. A woman has needs and he could tell she was probably fit in her day and he’d be flattered by an immoral request of course, but he wouldn’t want to scupper his chances with Snow White by doing the deed with her step-mother. Also, she was pushing thirty and kind of old….

‘Huntsman,’ the Wicked Queen interrupted his thoughts, ‘you will do me this one task. If you succeed you will be spared from ever being ‘sacked’ in the future.’ Horacio’s ears pricked up. That’s quite an offer given that he wasn’t that good at hunting…. ‘I have a little problem that appears to keep getting bigger and bigger.’ Horacio gulped. ‘I have decided there is only one cure for this problem.’ Is it Horacio or is it getting hot in there? ‘My problem must be removed. Do you understand?’ Horacio did not. However, it is not proper to answer a Queen (especially not a Wicked one) with a negative answer, so Horacio replied that he would love to say that he understood all of Her Majesty’s majestic words, and he was certain that they were truly magnificent words and just and true. The Wicked Queen smiled, ‘I’m glad you feel that way, huntsman. For my problem is Snow White.’ Horacio gulped again, utterly flummoxed but equally concerned (although in a different, less immoral way than earlier). ‘Snow White must die,’ the Wicked Queen graciously clarified. She pointed her long, red fingernail at him, ‘You will be the one to fix my problem,’ she continued. ‘Do you understand now?’ Horacio nodded aghast. ‘Good.’ The Wicked Queen reached under her throne and pulled out a gem encrusted box, just a little larger than a fist. ‘To ensure that you will not lie to me, you will bring me her heart in this box, she went on, as casually as though she had asked for a letter to be collected from the village. Horacio gulped a little harder. ‘Oh and you will do this,’ the Wicked Queen added menacingly. ‘Or else you will be beheaded, make no mistake about that. You have until sundown tomorrow.’

‘Your Wondrous Gracious Majesty,’ whimpered Horacio, I think perhaps I misunderstood the earlier gong. You see, I thought you’d summoned me, the Royal Huntsman, but it seems quite clear to me now that you wanted the Royal Executioner. My deepest apologies, Your Majesty, I shall fetch him for you now.’ He made to stand but the Wicked Queen stopped him with her sceptre across his shoulder blades.

‘But then should he fail, who shall execute the Royal Executioner? You have until sundown tomorrow Huntsman. Go!’ The Royal Huntsman stood and slowly backed out of the Royal Throne Room, bowing and whimpering as he went.

‘She’s a fucking psycho,’ he yelled at the Royal Gonger once the Royal Throne room doors were shut behind him. ‘Proper fucking mental!’ The Royal Gonger refused to rise to this in case it was a test of his loyalty to the Wicked Queen. But he’d been listening at the door of course and knew it to be true.

All the while, Snow White was sat in the library reading her favourite books about science, maths and feminism. The King had frowned upon women reading and had discouraged her from learning difficult manly things like reading, especially about hard things such as science. He strongly felt she should only read stories about puppies, as anything more difficult or worrying may cause unsightly lines across her forehead, which women shouldn’t have, but eventually conceded that perhaps reading would be a useful skill for reading cookery books when baking, not that Snow White ever needed to bake when the Royal Chef was there to cater to her every gastric whim. Therefore he allowed the Royal Teacher to teach the princess a little reading of pre-approved books as well as cross stitch and darning. The Wicked Queen too did not approve of her reading as she herself had been too pretty as a child to need to learn how to read and it was bad enough that Snow White was pretty, the last thing the Wicked Queen needed was to her to be clever as well.

The Royal Huntsman took himself off to his bedroom to ponder his options. Killing Snow White probably wasn’t worth a promise of never being ‘sacked’ (beheaded) by the wicked queen, when she could change her mind anyway at any time. What could he do?? All night he pondered and pondered and pondered (in between snivelling and crying), until he pondered himself to sleep, where he was haunted by dreams of Snow White’s heart beating from her chest, a pulsating white mass oozing with blue blood; and visions of staring down into a wicker basket, the swish of metal through air, then the feel of cold metal on his neck, as suddenly he stares up at the sky, then black. He awoke in a cold sweat. ‘Fuck this,’ he thought, ‘the idea of tearing out snow white’s heart is a bit awful, but the idea of losing my head is a bit worse. She’s not even that fit!’

And so come dawn the Royal Huntsman was ready. He gathered up the jewel encrusted box, his most favourite trusty dagger and practiced his most menacing looking face in the mirror and went to find Snow White.

He found her in the library. ‘Geek,’ he thought, almost glad he hadn’t succeeded in bagging himself one of those women that insist on thinking. ‘Excuse me Your Royal Highness,’ Horacio began. The princess didn’t look up. ‘Ahem,’ not so much as a flicker of acknowledgement. ‘AHEM! Your Highness?!’ Snow White slowly lowered her book and raised her eyes to him.

‘What? I’m at a good bit!’

‘Apologies your highness-‘

‘Call me Snow. I’m sure we’ve discussed this.’

‘Yes…. Snow. Erm… it’s just… I thought we could go for a walk?’

‘Oh, Stepmother won’t like that. She doesn’t like me fraternising with the help. Or anybody…’

‘Oh but it was her idea!’

‘Oh? Ok then.’ She marked her place in the book and hopped over to him giddily. ‘I’m excited to get out of the palace,’ she squealed. ‘Where are we going?’

‘Picnic,’ said the Royal Huntsman sheepishly.

***

As they walked through the kingdom to the Dark Forest Snow White chattered incessantly about her thoughts, opinions and feelings about all manner of things the huntsman didn’t care about. All the while he grew more irritated by her. He had thought that perhaps he might ask her to elope and both of them could be spared, but he decided that that would probably be a fate worse than death and he’d be much better off just hacking her heart out as the old bird wanted.

Snow White picked out the perfect spot for a picnic, under the shade of a large tree, surrounded by singing woodland creatures circling around the base of the trunk. She placed a picnic blanket on the ground at knelt down. Before she could blink she had bunny rabbits climbing up her skirt, birdies tweeting loudly down her ears and an owl nesting in her hair. ‘Eugh. I wish this would stop happening.’ She sprinkled some rat poison around the blanket and shooed the creatures away. ‘You look nervous,’ Snow White said to the Royal Huntsman. She desperately hoped the awkward, spotty little thing wasn’t about to hit on her. Awks.

‘Do I? No no. No. Not nervous. No…,’ he stuttered nervously.

Horacio plonked himself down beside Snow White. ‘Look, the thing is… your stepmother… she sort of asked me for a favour. Quite a big favour I must say.’

‘Oh huntsman, you really should do whatever she’s asked or else she’ll ‘sack’ you.’

‘Oh yes, she made that abundantly clear.’ He whipped his shiny dagger out of the picnic basket and gazed down at his reflection. ‘The thing is, I don’t know whether you’ve noticed but… she kind of hates you a bit…’

‘Oh. Yeah. Intimidated by me innit.’

‘Well, the other thing is that she sort of wants you dead.’

‘Eh?’

‘Yeah…’

Snow White glanced at the dagger the huntsman was playing with nervously. ‘You?! That’s why you bought me on this fucking picnic?! HAVE YOU EVEN GOT ANY SAUSAGE ROLLS IN THERE??!’

‘Oh. No. Kind of didn’t see the point,’ he mumbled.

‘Not even a last fucking meal, you shit?!’

‘Well…’

‘You should be ashamed, Horacio!’

‘I sort of thought we could maybe elope instead…?’ He trailed off awkwardly, trying to diffuse the situation.

‘Elope? With you?! You didn’t even bring me a slice of bastard quiche! Do you have a ring?’

‘Erm…’

‘You see fit to propose to a princess with no fucking ring?!’

‘Well it’s a marriage of convenience so…’

‘I’m not even worth a real marriage?!’ Horacio had never heard the princess get angry before and therefore never realised how shrill and sweary she became.

‘This is why women shouldn’t read and think,’ he thought.

‘Fuck that shit,’ the princess shrieked, climbing to her feet.

‘Where are you going,’ asked the huntsman.

‘Well away from you, you murderous, blood thirsty loon!’

‘That’s not fair! I wanted to try not to kill you! It’s the Wicked Queen that’s murderous and blood thirsty, it was her idea don’t forget!’

‘Oh I know that! She’s a fucking psycho!’

‘That’s what I said-!’

‘But she’s not stood in front of me pie-less and waving a fucking dagger in my face is she!’

‘Should’ve brought a pie,’ he thought.

‘Give me the dagger.’ She held out her hand expectantly.

‘What? No! Why?’

‘You dragged me out into the forest, I’m a damsel in distress who now has to flee deeper into the Dark Forest, the least you can do is give me something to protect myself.’

‘B-b-but I’m supposed to kill you, not help you escape,’ he stammered. ‘She’ll kill me!’

‘Meh, she’ll never know so long as I’m out of her hair.’

‘Oh, no. See, she wanted your heart in this box.’ He revealed the fist-sized case.

‘The sick fuck!’

‘Yeah… soooo obviously I need to kill you.’

‘Least. Romantic. Proposal. Ever.’

‘Sorry…’

‘Dagger!’

‘But what am I supposed to do?! Your heart!’

‘Oh my God. Really?! Kill a fucking pig you moron and use that heart!’

‘With what? You’ll have my dagger!’

‘THEN BUY IT FROM THE BASTARD BUTCHERS!’

He flushed. She knew his secret. Reluctantly he handed the dagger over. Show White snatched the dagger and before the huntsman knew it he was in a freakishly strong headlock with the cold dagger pressed to his Adam’s apple. ‘You do not get to live in my kingdom,’ snarled Snow White. ‘You will go to the castle and give the Wicked Queen a pig’s heart so that she doesn’t come looking for me, and then you too will flee. I don’t care where you go, but when I return to reclaim my kingdom I will not hear a whisper that you have been loitering.’

‘Y-y-yes Your Highness,’ blubbered Horacio.

‘How does he ever hunt anything? He’s such a wimp,’ wondered Snow White, rolling her eyes.

Snow White stalked off in a very cross manner, heading deeper into the dark forest. Horacio headed back to the palace feeling somewhat dejected. On his way, he called into his butcher friend and bought a pig heart, along with some venison for the Wicked Queen’s dinner.

Snow White and Seven Men – chapter 1

Once upon a time in a land far far away, a little girl was born to the King and Queen. Her hair was black as ebony, her lips as red as two glistening rubies, and her skin white as snow. For some odd reason her parents, rather than being concerned by the child’s ghost-like appearance, embraced it and decided to name their precious only child after her skin tone. They named her Snow White. Like Madonna, she needed no surname.

Unfortunately, Snow White was born during the same year in which a dreaded plague swept across the kingdom. She and her father were unscathed, but her lovely royal mother was not so lucky, and died whilst Snow White was was just a babe. Her father, being the red blooded male that he was, re-married two years later. He married the most beautiful woman in the kingdom as he was incredibly wealthy and felt it only right that he had the appropriate arm candy to reflect his wealth and power. Think medieval Trump and Melania.

The new Queen was a frightful woman, beautiful though she was. The King was an old fashioned man and hadn’t realised that women were capable of possessing such qualities as a personality. He had heard rumours that outside of the palace walls she was known as the Wicked Queen, but had dismissed them as the ramblings of superstitious peasants (kings are much too clever to be superstitious), who were jealous of her awe-inspiring beauty. Besides, everyone knows women can’t be wicked as they’re much too busy baking cakes, and being delightful and giggly whilst massaging their men-folks’ manly feet.

However, the Queen WAS wicked, and incredibly vain and shallow. She had married the equally shallow King for his wealth and power and the elevated status that he gave her. But know this: had she had any inkling that his sickly appearing daughter would grow to be a beautiful young woman, she would not have married him, for her pride was even more powerful than her greed. Snow White, with her corpse-like skin had not shown signs of traditional beauty as a child…

But Snow White did grow to be a beautiful young woman, if by ‘young woman’ you mean ‘teenage girl of 16 summers’. Her skin grew no darker no matter how much time she spent outdoors, her hair grew no lighter, and she was concerned that it would be a bitch to hide her grey hairs as she aged, and her lips remained like those of the undead post avante gard dining experience. And the Wicked Queen hated her with all her might. The King did not help matters as he prided himself on his ability to produce such a beautiful princess, who would never be short of suitors. He had never noticed that she was growing into quite an intelligent young woman with insightful opinions, as girls don’t have those, but my God she was pretty.

As Snow White entered her 16th winter another deadly plague swept across the kingdom. Again Snow White was spared, as was the Wicked Queen, but her father, who was now ageing far beyond his thirty second birthday succumbed and passed away less peacefully than one would like for a King, but that’s plagues for you. Now, this was a funny kingdom, because for some reason, despite the Wicked Queen being Queen by marriage to the King alone, following his death, she somehow retained her position, and indeed, grew more powerful with no King to answer to.

Snow White did her best to avoid the Wicked Queen so as to avoid her face accidentally triggering her irrational wrath, but yet, somehow, she still experienced it. The Wicked Queen insisted dining together so that she could throw salt and pepper grinders at the pretty princess. However, the Wicked Queen did not want those beyond the palace wall to know of her abuse to the next in-line to the throne and so did allow her to wear lavish robes befitting of royalty, and access makeup and hair products.

One day, when the Wicked Queen was out in the kingdom to officially open a healing hut, she heard whispers amongst the peasants, ‘I wish she’d just step down and let Snow White take the throne. That’s a modern woman.’ And worse still, ‘She’s passed it.’ The Wicked Queen tried to style it out and forced a rye smile, but inside her blood boiled. Her anger was not directed at the peasants, for they were poor and stupid, but at Snow White’s s Read more