Twisted

On her wedding day, Ella couldn't have wished for more. She had everything, a prince, a palace, jewels and riches beyond imagination. But a hole fills her heart, yet she doesn't quite know why. On the other hand, Snow White is trapped in a loveless marriage with her supposed 'prince charming.' Meanwhile, Lady Tremaine, Ella's evil step-mother, still holds a heart full of hatred for her step-daughter. So when Lady Tremaine decides to call up some family to help brew up a spell for revenge, will all of the fairytale characters happy endings be in jeopardy?

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4. Family- Lady Tremaine

Irena Tremaine paced agitatedly back and forth across the grand dining room in her manor. Her long, bony fingers fiddled absentmindedly with the emerald green pendant that was always clipped to her modest dresses. She couldn't believe that she had just stood by and watched that dirty little girl get married, she belonged with the soot and dirt, not with the royal court! Cinderella had caused Lady Tremaine nothing but trouble ever since she had been bourn and she was determined to stop little Ella one way or another.

Irena sat down, exasperated, in one of the beautifully carved dining room chairs. The wood was the finest available and the chair itself had been masterfully carved and sculpted to show scenes from the Enchanted Forest. Not only was the chair rich and expensive but the whole manor was. The entire house was a large, four-storey place that consisted of only the most exquisite furniture. If there was one thing that had been good about marrying Ella's step-father was that he had been a very wealthy man indeed and Irena had inherited all the money after she had finally gotten rid of the insufferable man.

As she sat and tried to process her thoughts and the days events, she constantly found herself being interrupted by the non-stop squabbling of her two daughters on the floor above her. Drizella and Anastasia were the only two people left in this world that she really loved and as cold and hard as Irena seemed from the outside, she would do anything for her daughters. It simply wasn't fair that the little rat named Ella got all the glory when she was just a maid. Her daughters should be married to royalty, not Ella. Irena felt the anger and jealousy course through her veins. Over the past few months, the two feelings had become her dearest friends for it was that mad fire in her that drove her to do the impossible. Lady Tremaine didn't only feel fury flowing through her, she felt power. 

Irena stared intently out the windows, her black, pitiless eyes practically glowing with rage. She thought back to the days when she was a young girl, when she was 'ruled' by another. Irena had hated that, hated how she was trapped in her own home. Her father was a cruel man, nobody else had seen it, of course, but she had. He had ruined her life, but in a way, it had made her stronger in the end. Love is a curse, status is everything. That was the phrase she now abided by for love had never gotten her anywhere, it had only weakened her. 

She was a young, naive girl, with a love for poetry and freedom. Many a times she had gotten into fights with her father about, oh, countless things really. All she remembered from her various rants was a passion for speaking her mind and that usually ended up with her being punished. Irena used to love running away from home and scaring her parents out of their wits; she would usually go to the country side for a few days after a particularly gruesome argument by riding her horse Angelo. Irena liked to make little fortresses out of various twigs and sticks and for a couple of glorious days, she would be the queen of the household and she would cast the rules. Of course, though, Irena would always return home, for her favorite part was getting all the tears from her mother and kisses from her father. She was always loved immensely after she returned and deep down, that was all she wanted. 

One day, however, Irena had gotten into a huge fight with her father about arranged marriages. Her father had said that he should be the one to pick her future husband because he knew what was best for her. Lady Tremaine still remembered all the details of that fateful week as if it had happened yesterday. 

After the fight, Irena, of course had gone to pack her bags for the country side. She locked the door to her room and when night finally descended on the kingdom, she hopped out of her window onto the apple tree branch that hung right by her room. She had slid skillfully down the ancient trunk and whistled for Angelo. As usual, he came galloping right to her side, very familiar with her routine. Irena had cried all the way to the country side, though, as she knew how dreadfully lonely it was out there without any one to talk to. She had ridden through the night, under the milky white gaze of the moon and the twinkling winks of the stars. Even the trees seemed to be more loving that eve as they had seemed to bend into the path, as if embracing Irena and her steed. 

Once they had finally arrived, dawn had just started waking herself up but Irena had payed no attention to this. She had never been one to follow the rules, she was a free spirit and nobody, not even her father, could have pinned her down. The second Angelo and her had arrived to her treehouse (she had built a slightly more permanent home) she collapsed straight to the ground and slept like a baby for hours. When she had finally surfaced back into the real world, her lips were cracked, her throat was dry and her limbs were sore but none of this mattered to her when she saw a strange boy studying her few but loved possessions. She remembered leaping to her feet and tackling him to the ground, pinning his elbows deep into the dirt. She had hissed into his sorry face saying "You crossed paths with the wrong girl, thief." And those were the first words she had ever said to her one true love. 

By some weird fate, Irena had found herself staring into the boys eyes and suddenly, she released him. He had jumped up and sprinted towards the nearest tree, taking protection as her growled at her. It was the oddest behavior she had ever seen from another human and Irena found herself comparing the boy to a bear. She remembered breaking off a piece of bread and approaching him, very slowly, as if he was a wild animal. His brown eyes got very large as he accepted the loaf and gulped it down like he had never eaten before. Bear (as Irena had named him) thanked her and she had asked if he would like to help her collect water. And somehow, he said yes. 

They became fast friends, Irena and Bear and she had started leaving home more and more frequently to see him. They talked for long hours about poetry and the true meaning of love and Irena found herself amongst a true friend. Bear told her that he had been abandoned by his parents and left in the woods to fend for himself after the Giant Wars. He had grown up in the woods and had never really talked to a human before Irena yet he said that she was the only person who would ever understand him. That's when they kissed and fell in love. 

Irena's visits to the country side eventually grew so frequent that her father found out about the journeys and he had managed to follow her one night. It was a particularly romantic evening, dusk had just fallen, fireflies were dancing, crickets were singing.... Bear and Irena had gone to the little lake to have a midnight picnic when her father arrived. He was shocked, or course, beyond imagination to see his daughter with a man who was practically a Neanderthal and he had ridden back home that night with anger coursing through his veins. He didn't sleep all that night, thinking about how his social status would be ruined if the public ever heard of this. 

When Irena arrived home the next day, there were no tears or hugs or kisses and he could see that she was nervous beyond anything. So when he tugged her roughly aside and slapped her, she fell over sobbing, for she knew what would happen to Bear. 

Irena couldn't let go though, she would not stand for a loveless marriage, heck, she wouldn't stand for any marriage without it involving Bear. So the day she turned eighteen, she broke her promise about never seeing Bear again and rode away from her home. Forever. 

Things went well for a few years. Bear and her had built a small cabin in the Northern part of the country side and where they had gotten married. Irena didn't have any family except for Bear, of course, but she didn't mind and anyways, she was already pregnant with her own children. The couple lived in blissful peace for a while, farming, fishing, writing.... just doing the things that they loved but on the day of her 21st birthday, that all changed. 

Her father had told her long ago that when a woman reached the age of 21, she should be married to a good husband with two children on the way. So it wasn't completely unexpected when she saw her father riding over the crest of a hill as she was weeding the garden on her 21st birthday. 

She remembered running as fast as she could with a pregnant belly, screaming at Bear to run. He had ran, all right, he had run straight into her arms with a protective embrace. She had told him to go, told him that no harm would come to her, only him but he had refused. He had refused and it was her fault. It was her fault that she didn't try hard enough because not twenty one minutes later was he lying dead on the floor, his blood dying the green grass red. Irena had been scooped up by her father, kidnapped by her own family as she rode back to her dungeon called home.

Days and months past where she refused to leave her room, refused to accept food, refused to talk. Her mother grew old and weary yet she was with child. The family knew she would die in childbirth yet Irena refused to even see her one last time before she died, even though she was the last bit of family she loved. Irena learned to live on misery and anger, it was the only thing she had left. That was, of course, before she gave birth to two beautiful daughters. The house was filled with three little children crying that night. It was chaos. Two women had just given birth, Irena to twin girls and Irena's mother to a single girl. That wasn't all though because that night, Irena's mother died. Her father went crazy after that and he did one thing that was even beyond his nature. He told Irena straight to the face the he would kill her children in their sleep. The world seemed to come down in one big crash right then because she knew that he would do it. And there was only one thing to do to stop him. She murdered him.

She left her family that night all over again, but this time, the circumstances were much darker. When she had lived with Bear, she had had nightmares about her father coming to murder her and him. So, she began to read. She began to learn spells, all sorts of magic that could protect her home and new found family. The only issue was that she never bought a wand or any ingredients to cast the spells as Bear had convinced her that they were safe. But this time, she wasn't going to let her judgement get clouded. 

Irena found her dead mothers spell book and wand, all households were entitled to one and this particular wand had belonged to her grandmother who was in fact a sorceress. Irena did dark, dark things that night, using all the anger, rage and magic that had been bottled up inside of her for far to long. She cursed the manor that she had been trapped in growing up right before she casted her sister, Esmerelda to a far off land. She didn't want a squabbling two year old annoying her. 

Right as she was about to leave with her daughters, though, she remembered the now parentless child that was her newborn sister. Irena ran upstairs to find a little baby that had been placed gently in a crib, her golden curls spreading around her like an angel. And suddenly, Irena felt hatred, great hatred for her innocent little sister. This child wouldn't have to grow up with her father, this child wouldn't have to grow up in this manor but most of all, this child had killed her mother. 

Irena had whipped out her wand and cursed her sister, cursing her to one day be a slave to her own family, to have to follow merciless rules just as Irena had. Then, Irena remembered that the child hadn't been named and how would Irena ever track this girls progress in life without knowing her title? So, the minute after she had cursed her sister, she wrote a small note to whoever would find her with one word on it: Daniella.

                                                                             ****

As Irena stared out the window, remembering her cursed childhood, one name stuck like glue inside her head, one name wouldn't disappear. Ella. Ella had ruined her daughters' chance at happiness, Ella had ruined her chance of ruling again, Ella was in her way and that was a very dangerous place to be. 

Suddenly, an idea hit Irena with such force, she nearly tumble over. Yet she held her ground as a smile of pure evil slowly started to spread across her face. Spreading her arms out wide, she hollered up to her beloved daughters. 

"Drizella, Anastasia?" She called sweetly, "Behave yourselves while I'm gone, mother is going on a little trip."

Suddenly the two girls appeared at the top of the staircase, both of their hairdos slightly askew as if they had been fighting. 
 

Drizella looked slightly concerned but predominately curious. "Where are you going, mother?" She asked.

"Oh, you know dear, just visiting some family." She replied sinisterly just before she crushed the green pendant in her hand, making the rich dining room turn into somewhere completely different.

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