Author Note * This short story was written for a flash fiction writing contest with the prompt:
She noticed a hint of movement beneath the starlit trees. But, that was nothing compared to the trail of blood that led out of them. And there were seven bodies left behind. He was afraid to move. The knife might come out of his stomach. Fortunately, the song he was humming provided the power to keep him alive. Then moonlight glinted on antlers in the trees.
I didn't win, but I like how the story unfolded.
By Sonya Rhen
The Tragedy of Snow White
Snow crunched under hooves following the trail of blood, vivid in the moonlight. She pricked up her ears, listening to humming. She hummed along to the familiar tune in her head. It distracted her.
She froze in place. Alert to the movement in the trees. The starlight cast long shadows as she strained her eyes to make out other forms.
Minutes passed and she detected no other movement. Was it safe? She didn’t know, but she couldn’t wait any longer.
The hooves continued to the clearing where the humming grew louder. Stepping through the trees the horror that she feared, confronted her. Seven small bodies lay twisted and bleeding on the snow.
They had been her friends, had taken care of her. This is how she repaid them, made them targets of the evil one. She shouldn’t have run and hidden. Next time, she would face her problems herself.
She zeroed in on the humming to a familiar figure behind a boulder. He lived, but for how long? The knife in his stomach didn’t bode well.
She nuzzled his face. His eyes opened staring glassily at her.
The humming stopped. “Snow?” he questioned.
She lowered her antlers. He grabbed hold and she raised him carefully onto her back. Heading for the hills, trying not to jostle her rider, a noise behind her made her go faster.
A thundering sound broke through the trees as a reindeer and sleigh emerged. A crack of the whip urged it closer to them.
Snow felt the ache in her muscles from straining to outrun them. She crested the first hill as she felt an arrow graze her flank. If she could just reach the prince’s castle, they would be safe behind the high walls.
She plunged on for the next hill. Even with the heavy sleigh, the other reindeer was gaining on them. Probably, he had been a reindeer his whole life and not magicked by a helpful witch mere days ago.
She stumbled, feeling another arrow whiz by. Moments later the prince cried out. A glance showed an arrow in the prince’s leg. They were targets now.
She refused to let one more person die because of her.
She turned to face her opponent, while shielding her beloved. She galloped at the reindeer, hooves flying. He stopped before her.
She reared up as the evil queen sent an arrow into her hide. Her heavy hooves came down on the bow and its wielder.
The queen’s huntsman raised his sword to take off her head, but Snow knew it was too late. She felt her life’s blood ebbing away.
“No!” came a cry from her back as a blade flew past her and into the heart of the huntsman.
Snow crumpled to the ground with the prince beside her. Her body transformed back to womanly form.
“I’m sorry, my love.”
His hand came up from his bleeding stomach and pulled her in for true love’s final kiss.
About The Author
Sonya Rhen is an author of science fiction, poetry and other fiction books. She was born, raised and still resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children. She also shares her home with two dogs, two cats and a lonely catfish.
She tries to add humor to her writing whenever she can. “Space Tripping With the Shredded Orphans” is her debut novel and the first book in her ‘Shredded Orphans’ series. For more information, visit Sonya’s website at http://sonyarhen.wordpress.com