My 'homework' this month for NIBS (my writing group) was to write a fairytale...from the point of view of the baddie. Worryingly, I enjoyed getting into the baddie's head so much, I thought I'd post what I came up with. It's based on the original Brothers Grimm version: see what you think...
But the guards just tighten their grip on my arms and hold me fast.
"That will not be possible." The lips that frame the words are still as blood red against ice-white skin as they ever were.
Her beauty pains me - the mirror did not lie when it said she was more beautiful than I. My arts have worked an artifice on my own face; hers is a gift from a desperate mother and imbued with a magic I have not been able to overcome, in spite of my efforts. For it is her... we recognised each other immediately.
"Do you deny the attempts you made on my life? The first when I was no more than a child?"
How could I forget? The flavour rushes back into my mouth. Liver and lungs, sauteed and served on a bed of rice. How I savoured the taste of victory - but not for long.
I was betrayed. The mirror revealed the boar that had died in her place and the cottage where my rival lived with some of the little people.
She must see guilt in my face now, for she leans forward. "And the other attempts? Do you deny them?"
My gaze flicks around the faces surrounding me. There will be no help for me here, among these primped and polished wedding guests. They're all agog, with ears only for my accuser. My fingers itch to tighten the laces on the corsets of the women, to squeeze the breath from their bodies as I thought I'd squeezed it from hers. And the jewelled combs they wear - not a patch on the one I jabbed deep into her head, so the poison could do its work...
A curse on the little people who saved her! May their pickaxes rust and their delvings collapse around them!
In spite of my captors, I pull myself straight as I remember the last time. An inspired plan, that, and I have had many over the years. I pricked the apple's skin myself, with a golden bodkin. Whispered incantations over the belladonna juice as it seeped into the flesh beneath. Shrugged off my usual sparkling glamours for the disguise of a rosy-cheeked farmer's wife.
It was the juice dribbling down my chin that finally did it, enticed her to eat. I watched her die.
After so many years uncontested, I thought the new beauty that the mirror announced would be easy to deal with. I only accepted the wedding invitation so that I could study my competition and devise her method of execution.
But it was her. This step-daughter of mine, who refuses to die, who shook off my magics and turns against me...
"There can be no mercy." Her hand tightens on the arm of her throne and her new husband covers it with his own. A look passes between them and I see my future in it.
When the blacksmiths step forward, the metal shoes glow red in the tongs, their heat making the air above them shiver.
A shriek rips from my throat as I realise; they are iron, the metal which binds magic. And they are going to be mine...