Authors: Paul Kater
Hilda pushed the sack off her and scrambled to
her feet. "I'm gonna get you extra for that, you bitch," she
hissed, stepping out of the forest and walking to the house of the
The queen was already out of sight. Hilda could
hear her noisily stomp among the trees as if she hadn't a care in
the world. The wicked witch walked over to the door, tapped it with
the wand to open it and entered. She checked Snow-White and
determined that there still was time. Not much, but there was time.
She left the house, closed the door and called for her broom, that
came flying. At high speed she took off towards the mines where she
knew the dwarfs would be working.
Hilda was in luck, she found the dwarfs very
quickly as they were unstoppable in singing their song. Of course
Sleepy wasn't adding much to the song as he lay on his back, in the
sun, doing what he knew best. Grumpy, who was sitting outside the
shaft, was in quite a rotten mood, even for his doing, so he didn't
sing much either. It sounded more like rap.
"Hey, Grumps," Hilda said as she descended near
him and hopped off the broom. "You need to get your rear into gear,
something funny's been happening at the house."
"Hi-fucking-ho, Grimhilda," Grumpy said, "I'm in
a foul mood. You should've come yesterday. I was good
Hilda was prepared for that. She popped out the
wand and whacked him over the head. "Didn't you hear what I said?
There's a problem at your house. Yo, Doc, Dopey, Happy, you in
there?", Hilda yelled into the mineshaft.
"Grimhilda?", Doc's voice echoed back. "I'm
coming out..." Soon the dwarf, all black and dusty appeared. As he
stood wiping his spectacles, he asked what was the rush.
Hilda told him, and this time the message got
across. Doc banged a pot and a metal mug together to get his
friends out and Sleepy awake and soon they were on their way to
their house. Hilda had never heard them "hi-ho" faster.
"Fabulous," she nodded as she mounted her broom
again, "seven witnesses. Well, at least six if you count out
snore-face. Cool stuff." She swerved off into the air again,
tracking the mean queen for a while.
In the back of the cart, the queen was gloating
and feeling totally smug. This, she was certain, was the end to the
battle of the pretty ones. She was now the fairest in the land
again. Provided she got that gunk off her face after getting
The ride home to the castle did not take very
long. The queen tossed the driver a handful of coins.
"Hey, we had agreed same fare," the man
protested, "and this is one coin less!"
"Tough luck, but with the inflation and all
that. Sorry," the queen snickered and entered the castle through
the secret back door. Rapidly she took a royal bath to get cleaned
up. Her stumbling through the forest had left many a green streak
By the time she was all done and dolled up
again, the dwarfs had reached their home, found Snow-White and cut
open the laces. Snow-White, strong young woman as she was, slowly
started breathing again. This was a very good thing, as none of the
dwarfs had ever learnt CPR, and despite the many laws in the
country, safety rules and regulations had not been invented
Hilda, sitting in her home in front of the
mirror, nodded with a sly smile around her lips as she saw how the
dwarfs seemed to scold Snow-White, who was doing her best to keep
her dress up. As the dwarfs had cut up the laces of the dress, her
top had the tendency to slip down, and Snow-White did have the
habit of gesturing as she talked, triggering many a curious and
hopeful peek from the seven little men. Seven, because Sleepy now
was wide awake also.
"Let's hope that's a lesson learnt," Hilda
mumbled as she switched channels to the queen's chamber.
The queen was just getting over the shock of
hearing the looking-glass tell her that Snow-White was alive and
well, in the house over the hill. "What the hell is it with that
wench," the queen whined, "is she a cat with nine lives or so?
Well, I am going to make sure she dies, if it kills me!"
Hilda wondered what the queen was so worked up
about, and for this time she really was about to throw something
into the mirror as there was no sound.
There still was plenty of time in the day, so
the wicked witch changed into her normal witchy clothes and headed
out to Johan, the mirror-maker.
"Hey, silver-face," Hilda said as she came in,
scaring Johan as well as two customers that were in his
Johan prevented a mirror from dropping on the
floor. The two customers stared at Hilda, mumbled something and
suddenly remembered they had pressing business elsewhere they had
to attend to.
"How's things going?", Hilda asked.
Johan was smart enough not to take verbal
offence to being called silver-face. He knew what he was bringing
over himself in that case.
Johan held up his hand. "The finger is fine
again, honourable witch," he said, "and the work on your new mirror
is almost done. The last layer of varnish is drying as we speak, so
in a few hours the mirror should be ready."
"Fantastic, mirror-maker. Can you make another
one for me? No rush on this order."
"Of course, honourable witch, that is no problem
at all," Johan said, bowing in thanks for the order.
"Shiny," Hilda said. She reached into one of her
pockets and dug up a handful of golden coins. She looked at them,
wondered and then took Johan's hand and slapped the money in it. "I
guess that's enough?"
Johan looked at the coins. His eyes were too
amazed to actually fall out of their sockets. "Oh, most certainly,
honourable witch, for that money you can keep the spare mirror
"Neat, thanks, but you can have that back. It
has no sound."
"It has no-" Johan frowned. His mirrors never
made sound, unless they fell and shattered, so her comment was
somewhat unnerving. "-sound?"
"Oh." Johan hoped that it would pass without
inflicting any damage to his thoughts.
Luckily for him, Hilda was not in the mood to
pursue the subject. "So when you have the first one done, do call
by the house and drop it off. I'm really in need of a good
Johan stealthily looked the witch up and down.
"Oh, I can imagine that, honourable witch."
Back at the castle, the queen had regained most
of her composure. She was near fuming from all orifices that
Snow-White was still alive and was plotting a plan that would be
sure to kill the girl once and for all. Then a memory came to her.
There was some other thing to take care of. One that had obviously
let her down in a very unfashionable manner. She went down to the
large hall, sat down on her throne and ordered a servant to go and
fetch the huntsman...
The huntsman entered the hall and in a constant
bow moved forward as much as he dared. Which was not far. He
preferred the vicinity of the door to being close to the mean
"Right, huntsman. Or should I say... loser?
Today I have gone through the woods myself. I went as far as past
the hill, to the land where the dwarfs live."
The huntsman did not dare to look up.
"And there," the queen continued, her words
lashing down on the hunter, "I saw that Snow-White, the same girl I
ordered you to kill, was very much ALIVE!"
The big man cringed. Even holding on to the big
knife did not make him feel better.
"Now... loser huntsman... I want to give you one
more chance. Screw that up and you are, as we call it in the royal
trade, phuqued for life."
"Oh, tell me, my queen, and I will follow your
"Okay, loser huntsman. In the forest, where you
neglected to kill Snow-White, there are a certain type of berries.
They are poisonous. You know which ones I mean? The little blue
ones, with the tiny yellow leaves around them?"
The huntsman nodded and now dared to face the
queen. "Oh, I know, my queen, they are the blue ones, that never
grow very high and all the animals don't eat them of course, and
they are always near the red flowers that make you so sleepy when
you sniff them-"
"SILENCE. You blabbering fool... Go to the
forest and bring me a basket full of those berries. You
The huntsman was glad he got off this easily. He
scurried backwards until he bumped into the guard that stood in
front of the door, and then made his way out of the hall and
through the long marble corridor as fast as he could.
The day carried on calmly in most other places.
In the village the baker was sleeping, a young yellow witch was
hiding in her room, women were weaving and talking, and the poets
that had gotten away from the field were gathering in the pub and
still attempting to drink away their sorrow.
The huntsman was stomping through the forest,
muttering away as he was trying to fill the basket with berries.
The berries were small and hard to find. The basket was large and
hard to carry.
Quirrin the giant gnome was sitting in front of
a wide birch and stared at the image that was imprinted in its
bark. With a knife he had tried to make the figure look a bit more
gnomish but it hadn't really worked out the way he had hoped. He'd
also never seen a tree that had red stuff flowing out of it instead
of the usual green-yellow sticky goo.
Hilda was already preparing everything to get
the new mirror ready for its new purpose, to be a looking-glass
over the kingdom and adjacent areas. The old mirror was on, as just
no sound was still better than no anything.
There was a knock on the door.
"Who is it?", asked Hilda.
"If I tell you, will you paint me?", the house
"You are getting on my nerves," Hilda grumbled
as she stepped out of the magical room that she had been working
"Because you're not getting on a ladder to paint
me," the house retorted.
Hilda rolled her eyes and opened the door. "Oh,
hey, mirror-maker. That's it?"
"Honourable witch, it gives me great pleasure
"Yeah, right, cut the crap and bring it in,"
Hilda snapped as she saw the package that contained her new
Johan cut the crap and carried the mirror into
the house. "Where do you-"
"Over here," Hilda pointed, "and thanks for
making it snappy."
Johan nodded and carefully put the mirror down.
Then he unwrapped it, taking the strong ropes off it and removing
the thick, soft cloth.
The new mirror shone and was really a
masterpiece. Hilda bent over to look at it carefully, inspecting it
for damages and irregularities.
Johan took the opportunity to look around in the
room. It was not often one got to visit the house of a witch, so
this was a treat. His eyes stopped moving as he saw the old mirror.
Johan the mirror-maker blinked a few times, but the image of a girl
with black hair and pale skin moving through a house remained on
the mirror. He took a few steps so he could see more and then he
said: "Isn't that-"
"What?" Hilda looked up. "Hey, no looking there!
That's witchy business. Intelligence. Need to know only."
Johan jumped backwards. "I didn't see a thing,
honourable witch, really! That girl doesn't resemble Snow-White in
"One word, mirror-maker," Hilda said, her wand
under the man's nose, "any one word is fit to be your last, do you
hear me?" Soft white light came from the wand and dazzled Johan.
"You did not see anything. You delivered the mirror and we're all
good friends and now you get the fuck out of here, right?"
"Yes, honourable witch good friend," Johan
nodded sullenly, "I am getting the fuck out of here." With a smile
he walked to the door and let himself out. As the door closed
behind him, Johan suddenly wondered how he could be standing with
his back to the door without a mirror as just a moment ago he had
still been here, with a mirror, knocking on that very same
Hilda turned to the cracked mirror and looked at
the imagery for a while. Her eyes became large.
The huntsman had managed to fill the basket with
berries. After hauling all ninety lbs of them to the castle, the
queen was delighted to see how well he had done. She devastated him
by saying that a small basket would have done, she only needed
about 200 grams.
The queen, mean as she was, then retreated with
her berries, to her secret room.
Hilda watched the view of the dwarfish bathroom,
where Snow-White had run a full bath for herself. Somehow, Hilda
thought, this is odd. You'd expect seven small tubs instead of one
big one. Perhaps there was something with these dwarfs that nobody
knew. Snow-White hopped into the bath and started cleaning herself
Outside Hilda's view, in the dwarfish living
room, five of the original inhabitants were fighting each other for
a position at the keyhole of the door to the bathroom. Sleepy
wasn't one of them, as he was doing what he did best: sleep. Doc,
who had first right to the new, was reading the paper that had been
brought to their house by arrow. He was so taken in by the news
that he did not notice the suppressed uproar that happened near the
door in question.
Hilda nodded and waved the mirror back to being
a mirror. It was time for her to start working on the new mirror.
It was a good thing, she thought, that the girl was raised well
enough to insure her personal hygiene. She picked up the
A yawn made the five dwarfs look up and spread
out rapidly, their cheeks red and each one of them fighting the
battle of a specific bulge.
"Heya, guys... *yawn*... what's you all trying
to do...", Sleepy said as he walked to the bathroom door. "We have
a door, see, much better than trying to climb through a keyhole..."
Sleepy shook his head and went into the bathroom. The smirking from
five mouths never reached him, as the loud scream and a splash
overruled the dwarfish pleasure.