This is such a gorgeous little rendition of Snow White by Neil Gaiman, which paints Snow White as the evil one, and the “wicked” stepmother as the innocent, who explains how the story was conveniently twisted over time. The girl, the fairest of all, was a pallid child, one who was graced with an aura of death, who could have snowflakes land on her cheek without melting. She was painted as somewhart of a vampiric demon. She is not the star of the story but rather an arch-nemesis in a faerytale gone drastically wrong.
It is a benefit book published by Dreamhaven for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
Here I will re-tell the story briefly so that you may all know what it is about without me cut & pasting the entire thing & thus creating copyright problems.
The stepmother was something of a clairvoyant. She saw flickers of the future in mirrors and in pools of water. She had fallen in love with the King. She had her own chamber and the King his own, and he would send for her when he wanted to make love. He had a small daughter who refused to eat with them. One night the girl wandered into her stepmother’s quarters and announced she was hungry. Her stepmother offered her an apple, and as her hand brushed her cheekbone, Snow White bit her hand. In a very short time frame, the wound turned from a scab to an old scar.
The King began sending for her less and less, and he became very thin and pale. He would not let his wife pleasure him orally; when she attempted, he wept like a child. He had scars all over his body, scars on his penis. Bite-marks.
He died, and his wife was Queen. As Queen she could not sleep until she turned her stepdaughter to ashes. She had her men carry her to the forest and cut out her heart. They brought it to her. It still pulsed as though alive. She strung it up above her bed.
People seemed to disappear in that forest. At the Fair, someone asked her to divine who it was taking all the travelers. The Fair was becoming less and less busy. She took a mirror and watched as her stepdaughter drank the blood of hairy little travelers who paid her in silver coins for her pleasures.
The Queen concocted a plan. She slashed her arm and let the blood fall into a silver bowl. She added a powder which both served as a poison and anti-coagulant. She took three apples and pricked their skins with a pin. Then she laid the apples in the bowl, allowing them to soak up her blood. She dressed as an old crone and approached Snow White’s cave. She claimed to be offering the girl ribbons for her pretty hair, but then shrieked and ran, dropping her basket of apples. By the time she returned to her palace, the heart had ceased to beat above her bed.
The Fair that year was more busy, and the hairy little men from the forest bargained for glass and crystals with the coins collected from Snow White’s cave. Soon after, a Prince from beyond a mountain visited, & her King having died eight years earlier, she went to his chamber. He asked that she take off her clothes & stand in front of the window so that her skin turned icy and fair. He then laid on top of her & begged that she did not move, nor speak. She could not help but moan, & he cursed at her. She left the room, and he left the following morning.
She then imagined him coming across her stepdaughter’s glassy cairn. She imagined the lust overtaking him, for this ice corpse; she wondered whether he paid the little men for the barely pubescent, fair dead girl, or whether they submitted to his men and swords. She wondered whether he took her there, in front of them all, or whether he had the restraint to carry her to some private grotto.
She wondered if he shook the apple from her throat, or if, as he pulsed inside her, her lips had parted and she drew the blood from his neck, finding life once again & washing away her stepmother’s poisoned lump of apple, her own blood. She didn’t know the exact scenario, but she did know that the long-silent heart began to throb blood onto her face from above as she slept.
She then answered a knock at the door, it was the Prince and his men. He spat in her face, and then the stepdaughter walked in. Her fingernails as sharp as crystals, she slit open her bloodless chest & took her heart from above and stuffed it deep inside her. She then closed her skin, it healing and scarring purple immediately. The presence of death was still upon her however, and therefore Prince still desired her. They announced that they would marry, and that the Kingdoms would be joined.
They then tied the Queen up and kept her in a tiny stone cell throughout the autumn. When they took her out & washed her, they carried her to a kiln, burning her, killing her. Snow White watched on emotionlessly.
You can read it at http://www.holycow.com/dreaming/stories/snow.html