The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell
The Land of Stories
The dungeon was a miserable place. Light was scarce and flickered from the torches bolted to the stone walls. Foul-smelling water dripped inside from the moat circling the palace above. Large rats chased each other across the floor searching for food. This was no place for a queen.
It was just past midnight, and all was quiet except for the occasional rustle of a chain. Through the heavy silence a single set of footsteps echoed throughout the halls as someone climbed down the spiral steps into the dungeon.
A young woman emerged down the steps dressed head-to-toe in a long emerald cloak. She cautiously made her way past the row of cells, sparking the interest of the prisoners inside. With every step she took, her pace became slower and slower, and her heart beat faster and faster.
The prisoners were arranged according to crime. The deeper she walked into the dungeon, the crueler and more dangerous the criminals became. Her sights were set on the cell at the very end of the hall, where a prisoner of special interest was being watched by a large private guard.
The woman had come to ask a question. It was a simple question, but it consumed her thoughts every day, kept her lying awake most nights, and was the only thing she dreamed about with the little sleep she managed.
Only one person could give her the answer she needed, and that person was on the other side of the prison bars ahead.
â€œI wish to see her,â€ the cloaked woman said to the guard.
â€œNo one is allowed to see her,â€ the guard said, almost amused by the request. â€œIâ€™m on strict orders from the royal family.â€
The woman lowered her hood and revealed her face. Her skin was as pale as snow, her hair was as dark as coal, and her eyes were as green as a forest. Her beauty was known throughout the land, and her story was known even beyond that.
â€œYour Majesty, please forgive me!â€ the stunned guard apologized. He quickly bent into an overly pronounced bow. â€œI wasnâ€™t expecting anyone from the palace.â€
â€œNo apology necessary,â€ she said. â€œBut please do not speak of my presence here tonight.â€
â€œOf course,â€ the guard said, nodding.
The woman faced the bars, waiting for them to be raised, but the guard hesitated.
â€œAre you sure you want to go in there, Your Highness?â€ the guard said. â€œThereâ€™s no telling what sheâ€™s capable of.â€
â€œI must see her,â€ the woman said. â€œAt any cost.â€
The guard began turning a large, circular lever, and the bars of the cell rose. The woman took a deep breath and continued past them.
She journeyed through a longer, darker hallway where a series of bars and barriers were raised and then lowered after she walked past them. Finally, she reached the end of the hall, the last set of bars was raised, and she stepped into the cell.
The prisoner was a woman. She sat on a stool in the center of the cell and stared up at a small window.
The prisoner waited a few moments before acknowledging the visitor behind her. It was the first visitor she had ever had, and she knew who it was without looking; there was only one person it could be.
â€œHello, Snow White,â€ the prisoner said softly.
â€œHello, Stepmother,â€ Snow White replied with a nervous quiver. â€œI hope you are well.â€
Although Snow White had rehearsed exactly what she wanted to say, she was now finding it nearly impossible to speak.
â€œI heard that you are the queen now,â€ her stepmother said.
â€œItâ€™s true,â€ said Snow White. â€œIâ€™ve inherited the throne as my father intended.â€
â€œSo, to what do I owe this honor? Have you come to watch me wither away?â€ her stepmother said. There was such authority and power to her voice; it was known to make the strongest of men melt like ice.
â€œOn the contrary,â€ Snow White said. â€œIâ€™ve come to understand.â€
â€œTo understand what?â€ her stepmother asked harshly.
â€œWhyâ€¦â€ Snow White hesitated. â€œWhy you did what you did.â€
And with this finally said, Snow White felt a weight lift off of her shoulders. She had finally asked the question that had been so strongly on her mind. Half of the challenge was over.
â€œThere are many things about this world that you donâ€™t understand,â€ the stepmother said, and turned to look at her stepdaughter.
The Land of Stories
CHAPTER ONE: ONCE UPON A TIME
CHAPTER TWO: THE LONGER WALK HOME
CHAPTER THREE: A BIRTHDAY SURPRISE
CHAPTER FOUR: THE LAND OF STORIES
CHAPTER FIVE: FROM THE MOUTH OF A FROG
CHAPTER SIX: THE DWARF FORESTS
CHAPTER SEVEN: RAPUNZELâ€™S TOWER
CHAPTER EIGHT: A HIDDEN PLACE
CHAPTER NINE: THE CHARMING KINGDOM
CHAPTER TEN: THE RED RIDING HOOD KINGDOM
CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE TROLL AND GOBLIN TERRITORY
CHAPTER TWELVE: THE FAIRY KINGDOM
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: A WOLF PACT
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: THE SLEEPING KINGDOM
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: THE NORTHERN KINGDOM
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: THROUGH THE MINES
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: GOLDILOCKS, WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: THE MERMAIDâ€™S MESSAGE
CHAPTER NINETEEN: THE THORNBUSH PIT
CHAPTER TWENTY: HEART OF STONE
CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: THE MIRROR
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: SNOW WHITEâ€™S SECRET
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE: A ROYAL INVITATION
CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR: A FAIRYâ€™S TALE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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