The Other Side of the Story

The normal high school student, Raven, needs to analyse the famous fairy tale of Snow White. Thinking this as easy, she soon uncovers the truth about the perfect Snow White, and realizes it is much deeper, raw and tragic than the story we all know so "well".

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45. Reception

 “To everyone who has had the decency and respect of showing up on this mournful day, I wanted to speak a thank you, to each and every one of you. Yesterday, our kingdom lost our Queen.”
      The Kings voice boomed across the hall, his voice echoing eerily as every person present desperately clinged to each word.
     “Our beautiful city og Vercorin lost our womanly leader, one who truly has helped the community, families and friends ever since she sat on her throne. This loss will be felt deeply and hollowly, and it will take lots of time before we can fill this newly emptied hole in our presence.”
      The King cleared his throat and tightened his grip on the fancy glass holding a deep red liquid inside. It had been Ravenna’s favorite wine although only James had known that. Secretly he prayed to her inside his mind as he stood before the crowd, delivering his speech.
     “Ravenna truly was a wonderful human being, although she was miserably misunderstood these last months. I can’t describe my grief or yours, or anyone’s. This is a disaster, but in these tragic times we must keep our heads high, and look for a positive future, even under these circumstances.”
      He paused for a moment, glancing at the glass in his hand, before looking up once again; scanning the crowd of so many faces it made it impossible to see only one person instead of a people.
     “Hopefully, her spirit will stay with us forever and never leave our side. May Ravenna’s inspiring traits haunt us until this Kingdom falls. Until then, may she rest in peace! If you will all raise your glass in a salute,” when the King lifted his hand and watched the huge crowd do the same he loudly yelled:
      “Cheers for a wonderful life well lived!”
      A roar erupted in the great mass hall decorated with flowers from Ravenna’s garden. Miraculously, some had bloomed in the last few days, making it possible for a proper goodbye to their former Queen.
      The King was seated at the end of the hall by a long table, with Rosa and Snow White on both his sides. James was feeling feverish as everyone sat down again after his speech.
      Slowly the clattering of the people started up again, rapidly growing by the second. He did not feel well because of the sudden waves of grief hit him like flashes. For a millisecond it felt like he was blacking out, and then as quick as it happened he resurfaced to what was now reality.
      Although… what he felt was not only grief.
      It was actually mostly self-hatred. The questions kept resurfacing in his mind.

 
     What could I have done?
     Why didn’t I help her?
     Why didn’t I trust her?

     It’s entirely my fault.

     It was difficult for the King to not just give up and wither away until he would be as grey as the sky. He knew he couldn’t because of his responsibility as King and as a father.
     James could not leave Rosa – he had to be strong for not only himself, but mostly for her. He loved her too much to let himself slip away. That little girl was now everything he had left in the world.
     Not only his son had been taken away from him, but now his wife. She had been going insane, but still it hurt his soul so deeply he thought it to be irreparable.

Snow White was secretly having a ball at the wake. She sat next to the King, where the Queen usually sat, and looked at the many people in front of her.
     She could taste the sweet scent of power on her lips, and she knew from that moment on, that she would become Queen and live as richly as she knew she deserved.
     Snow White could not wait another second but she was wiser than to throw it all away now by acting to rashly – no, she would take her time, day by day, week by week – until finally the King would declare her his spouse. At nightfall she would follow him to his chamber and hopefully spend the night.
    
Men. So idly stupid and so remarkably easy to manipulate.
     What other use is there for those creatures? They are all simple and completely and utterly replaceable.
    She thought to herself as she snuck a disgusted look at James. He looked so sad and broken.
   
Pathetic.
    Had he not kissed her in the woods? Had he not chosen her side, as opposed to the wife he was now grieving over?
   
How hypocritical.
    Snow White was full at work planning her future wedding, her brain working in over gear; she had all the pieces of her plan, she just needed to sow it all together step by step and wait until things just fell into place.
     Any miscalculation would be fatal so she must think everything through before she did anything, down to the words she spoke, the glares she gave and the way she crossed her legs.
     She had to look innocent and sweet in front of the King;
show him the support that Ravenna never gave him, and that will convince him I never could be guilty of ever even swatting a fly.
     Ravenna had to look like the villain, but at the moment the King seemed to have forgotten about how and why Ravenna died.
     “She tried to assault me,”
     “I couldn’t stop her, even though I tried,”
     “I wish she would have backed down, until… it happened.”
      These were all the things Snow White had said after Ravenna’s death, and she could not stop now.
     And just then, the salmon was served and she had to step away from her thoughts and return to reception once again, now armed to speak softly to the King and purr her way through the dinner.

Meanwhile, Rosa felt like her world was turning grey. Everyone around her seemed so sad and sullen, so she could not help but follow suit.
     She understood parts of her father’s speech, and she sure did understand that her mother and brother were not present. She had a hunch that they never would be, she just didn’t understand why.  

    Why had her mother left her? 

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