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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5. The Evil Queen- Lady Tremaine

The world was spinning into oblivion. Irena felt her body disappearing from her as she suddenly felt as light as the wind. Fantastic shapes and figures spun past her as she was sure she was hallucinating. Irena heard voices, so many voices telling a strange and foreign tale to her about a girl named Snow White as she was glided deeper into darkness. As she flew through the portal, Irena felt as though something was being stripped of her, as if her very skin was being slowly pulled back from her non-existent body. Then it hit her. After she had murdered her father, she had cloaked herself in magic to look like someone else entirely. Her disguise had been a prim, middle-aged woman who was so uptight she could've just exploded. In actual fact, Irena was only thirty eight and she certainly looked a bit more 'free' than the woman she had been posed like for the past decade. Her hair was long and frizzy and the color of ripe strawberries in the summer yet her eyes were so blue they appeared black. Irena was tall and strong, having much strength from all the riding she had done as a child. And now, as she was being flung through this portal, all of her magical glamour was being stripped from her, for that was one of the main rules of traveling by them. 

She twisted through long, dark tunnels, being plummeted into pure blackness. Her ears burned as the voices telling the tale of this Snow White started screaming and hissing with such volume that it could shatter millions of mirrors. Just as the voices reached their crescendo and Irena felt as if she could no longer stand the sound, a large and obscure book appeared in front of her. She was tossed into a pitch black room with a single light shining on a podium with the ancient story sitting upon it. It was entitled 'Snow White' with long, curling letters. The pages were yellowed with age and the binding had been severely weathered. The book itself smelled heavenly, for the scent of old and well-loved books filled the room. Irena looked around with wide eyes, trying to figure out what to do next. Stumbling to her feet, she inhaled deeply, trying to catch her breath. Her body still felt light and airy and as she looked down at herself, she was nearly transparent. That was another rule of traveling through portals. The in-between (the title of where the portals traveled through) technically didn't exist, so as you were going through them, Irena was not really aloud to be in her full form as she literally didn't exist at the moment. 

Instead of trying to use her airy legs, she decided that she had to will herself forward. The book seemed to beckon her towards it and Irena decided to follow the call. She imagined herself next to the book and sure enough, she moved forward. 

Grinning, she knew what she had to do. She had no idea who Snow White was or what her story was about but Irena knew deep inside her that she had to open this ancient book. Willing her transparent hand forward, she placed it upon the novel and very slowly, it started to open. Irena imagined then exactly who she wanted to see. Her sister, Esmerelda who she had cast away that fateful night. Suddenly, the pages started ruffling as they turned on their own accord to a page picturing an woman who was dressed in all black, holding a half eaten apple and smiling evilly to herself as she stood over another woman with raven black hair and cherry lips. 

Irena felt her heart leap with surprise, for she knew that the woman dressed in black was Essie. She was so shocked at seeing her sister that her name escaped from her lips. 

"Essie." She murmured and suddenly, the room was spinning again.

                                                                    *****

Irena felt the cold, hard ground beneath her as her head pounded with pain. Her eyes were still squeezed shut as if she opened them, the pain would only increase. Inhaling sharply, though, she cracked one eye open and squinted into the light. She was lying in a massive room with a tall ceiling. A crackling fire stood in the corner as it cast a sinister light around the dark area. A blood red chair sat in the corner accompanied by a clawed table next to it. A large, brown desk was placed over to the right with a whole wall of books sitting by it. The air in the room seemed to be thick with cruelness and knowledge and Irena could hardly breath. But there was one piece of furniture that really stuck out to her. A full length mirror was hung on the left wall and it sparkled in the light given out from the fire. The border was elaborately decorated with long, twisting vines encircling it along the perimeter. It was very simply done but something about it told Irena that it was much more than a simple mirror. 

As she was trying to figure out what it was, she heard footsteps behind her, approaching the room. She inhaled sharply and sat straight up, causing a burning sensation to flood her body. She whipped out her wand and jumped to her feet, not caring about the pain. She saw the woman approaching, her long, midnight dress fanned out behind her, a twisted silver crown sitting atop her head. Her pitch black hair fell long past her shoulders and her eyes were a violent green.

Irena stopped short. Esmerelda.

The woman approaching her also gasped when she got a good look at her. Essie's whole body went rigid, her green eyes practically glowing in the darkness. But just as quick as the look of shock came, it disappeared. Essie's blood red lips curled into a smile.

"Sister," she said, her voice laced with dark humor, "so nice of you to drop by."

Irena's wand clattered to the floor. It had been years since she had seen her younger sibling. When they were young, they always used to get along quite well, or at least in Irena's perspective. She had always been the leader and Essie had always followed her straight up, partly because she was only one and partly because she had looked up to her. 

Irena, remembering her being the elder in the room, forced herself to regain composure. 

"Essie, long time no see, my dear. I see you quite like the color black. Don't you think it's time to stop mourning dear old father?" She asked, gesturing to her outfit.

Essie shrugged. "I simply found that black suited me. But soon I will be mourning for you, dear sister, I am going to kill you now." She replied casually.

Irena laughed, completely at ease. "Let's not be rash now, Essie."

Esmerelda's expression stayed the same but her eyes filled with fiery hatred as she glared at the woman who ruined her life. "Oh, believe me, sister, I am going to be rash." She hissed.

"Oh, Essie," Irena cooed with fake affection, "I know I've made your life miserable, once you turn evil, we always loose, don't we dear. If it's any consolation, my life is quite a misery back at home, too. A certain girl ruined it, in fact and I believe a certain girl ruined your life, too." 

"You have ruined my life, Irena, and I am going to get my vengeance right here and right now."

"Essie, Essie.... You do realize that I can still allow you to get vengeance on the right person, right? That is why I came here in the first place."

Essie rolled her eyes but she lowered her wand a slight bit, as if she was interested in what her sister had to say. "Yeah right, Irena, you only ever did things for yourself." She insulted but it was laced with hesitation.

"Your right, I have done. But this new curse I have, it will let us both get what we most desire. Revenge."

Irena strode around the room, running her hand over the furniture, studying it with only half interested looks. 

"You've done well for yourself, little sis', I like what you did with the place. It feels very.....dark." 

Essie glared at her, raising her wand again in a very murderous manner. "Don't think I have forgiven you, Irena. What have you come here for." 

Irena held her hands up in surrender. "What ever happened to sisterly love, don't you feel it anymore?"

"I would sooner love our youngest sister who killed our mother than you. What was that wretched child's name who killed our mother?" Essie asked.

"I'm glad we both agree on hating her. The child's name is Ella."

Something clicked it Irena's sister's face. "That's who you want revenge on, isn't it, sister?"

"You are a smart one, Essie." Irena grumbled sarcastically.

"You always did have a problem with family." She grinned.

Irena's head snapped up. "Don't Essie. Anyways, who is it you desire to kill or torture or ruin?" 

Essie's face darkened as she turned away and studied her mirror. Her hands twitched uncomfortably at her side as her scowl seemed to turn even more vicious. "And why should I tell you?" She asked dangerously quiet.

Irena's eyes danced once again with hatred. "Because, sister, we both have one last thing in common: We both want someone dead, more than anything in the world."

 Essie closed her eyes, taking a deep breath. "There is a girl who did something similar to what our father did to you. She stole my love and is now the most loved in the land. She goes by the name of Snow White." Her voice dripped with loathing. 

Irena's eyes filled with something like empathy. She knew exactly what it felt like to have someone take the one thing that made you whole from them. She knew exactly what it felt like to have your soul ripped out and crushed into tiny pieces. She knew exactly what it made you become. Hatred filled her veins once more.

"Tell me sister," She asked, her voice tight, "what ever did happen to you after I casted you off to this land?"

Esmerelda sighed as she walked over and plopped down in the big armchair by the fire, looking absolutely defeated. Her eyes seemed to glaze over as she looked into her past, remembering the good, the bad and the ugly.

"You never know where the person will go when you cast an exile spell over them, right?" She looked at Irena knowingly.

Irena nodded at her, encouraging her to continue.

"Well the spell did something that has never been done before. Both you and I know that there is not only one world but The Ancients designed it so that two stories would never interfere with each other. The night you casted me away, though, you were so full of magic and anger that you, Irena, broke that barrier and ended up sending me here, to Goldfall. 

"I awoke in front of the Queen and King's palace that night but I was much to weak and young to move anywhere, for the portal had drained me. In the morning though, a little girl that was only one years old spotted me from the palace and the royal family revived me. They were so very kind, Irena, and later they adopted me as their own.

"I grew up under the parentage of the Queen and King. I never did forget our dear old mother but the Queen was so very motherly towards me and I loved her more than anything. The little girl who had helped me was named Snow-for she was as pure and clean as it. For a while we grew up happily together, we were the best of friends, ironically.

"One day, I was out collecting apples in the orchard- we were to make apple turnovers later that day. I ran into a boy out there; his name was James. I was about fifteen at the time and he was fourteen, but that didn't stop him from bossing me around when we first met."

Esmerelda's eyes filled with tears as she told the story. She was looking at the far wall but Irena knew that her spirit was somewhere else entirely.

"He asked what I was doing in his orchard and I told him that nobody could own nature. We got into quite an argument after that about owning land or not. When I did finally return home that day, I thought I 'd never see him again but the next week, I went to pick more apples and there he was, sitting carelessly under a tree, smirking at me. 

"For a while, we were sworn enemies. Snow and I constantly planned attacks against him and his friends and we had many fights with snowballs, rocks, twigs... Eventually though, when I was about sixteen and he was fifteen, we made a truce. If I kissed him, he would stop beating Snow and I up in battle. Of course, we were the team that always won, but I had fallen in love with him by that point. So I kissed him, and we never fought one battle again.

"We were so happy together, he helped me get through everything, even when my dear step-father, the King Camlin died. After that, though, my step-mother went into great depression. She would talk to no one, not even her daughters. Queen Kaia, my step-mother, was extremely vulnerable at the time and our kingdom was in great debt but even then, James stood by my side and loved me."

Tears were now streaming down Essie's face and suddenly Irena had the urge to go and comfort her baby sister but that would just make her look weak, so she stood her ground. Essie didn't seem to notice her emotions and just kept up with the story.

"One day, James's father, King George came by offering thousands of gold coins to our Kingdom if my mother made him a special potion. Queen Kaia had always been good at magic so when he offered the money, she did it. She somehow managed to make this potion for him and she didn't even ask why.

"I happened to be a very nosy child, then, and God knows I still am. I was at James's palace that day but he was at a sword fighting lesson so I had to wait for him there. There had been this burning curiosity at the back of my head as to why King George had needed this potion and I just had to find out. I managed to sneak my way into his private quarters, I don't even know how I did it, it was like fate willed me to. Anyways, I found piles and piles of notes about 'the fairest of them all' and 'how to get your son to marry the most beautiful woman in the land.' I looked down through the writing, hoping of course, to find my name in there. I wanted to marry James more than anything. But, all I found was Snow's name. I remember feeling betrayed, angry and wretched all in that moment. I of course had heard rumors about Snow being the fairest of them all but I had never cared because I had had James. But in that moment, I realized that King George was going to marry James and Snow unless I proved to be the fairest of them all.

"I was so desperate, Irena, that I searched the whole castle for some sort of, I don't know, criteria about how to be the fairest, the best. And that's when I stumbled across the mirror."

Essie said, gesturing glumly towards the grand mirror hanging on the wall.

"I was in the basement of the castle when I found it. It was hanging all lonely and solemnly by itself but something drew me to it. I had stood in front of it, glaring at it, willing it to do something. I stood there for what seemed like hours and by the time I was going to give up, I made up a rhyme which went, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" I said it out loud, just before I went, mostly out of anger when suddenly, a man appeared.

"It wasn't a full man, just a mask. It had hide, hollow eyes and a gaping mouth. The mask itself was bleach white and it didn't move its lips when he spoke to me. 

"He said, "Snow White is the fairest of them all, just like snow, pure and clean. You, Esmerelda have a heart that had been touched by blackness, which doesn't make you worthy of a royal marriage."

"That's what it said to me, Irena, that's what it said!"

Essie was screaming now as she grabbed the closest object, which was a lamp, and hurled it against the wall.

"He told me I couldn't be with James, that I never could, and it was all because of that harpy Snow White! I tell you what I did, Irena, I'll tell you. I stole the King's poison my mother had made and injected it into an apple, which was quite fitting if I do say so myself because it was me who met James in the apple orchard. I went up to that wretched girl and offered her the forbidden fruit. I knew what it would do and I was prepared to do anything to get rid of her. She ate, dumbly, just like I knew she would and suddenly she dropped to the ground." 

Essie smiled and her eyes widened, Irena stepped back. Her sister really had gone insane.

"Once the kingdom saw her 'dead' they went haywire. King George, especially. But you know what happened after she fell into her deep slumber, Irena? My mother left me, left me all alone, just like you had done. She took her life out of heartbreak, she took her life right in front of me..."

Essie spoke in no more than a whisper now, her lower lip trembling violently.

"Then, James left me. He said that to put the kingdoms back in order and to bring peace once more would be through a marriage. I told him that no one could wake her, she had never loved once. But then he said that once he gave me up and sacrificed his happiness for the good of others, it would wake Snow. I didn't believe him, I told him to go away, that I hated him. And he did, alright. He gave up our love for her, he gave up everything, and it woke her up, Irena. I died that day, sister, I gave into darkness. I made it known to James that I had died of heartbreak. I wanted to break him like he had done me. Esmerelda died and now, in the place of the old, sweet hearted girl is me, my people know me as the Evil Queen of Goldfall,"

Essie sank to the floor, her knees giving way. Her whole body trembled as she was racked with sobs. Her black dress cloaked over her, comforting her, just like the darkness had comforted Irena when Bear had died. 

Irena knelt down next to her baby sister, knowing now just how powerful she was, for she could feel it in waves as it radiated of Essie. 

"Essie, if you help me help you and vice versa, we can both get out revenge, we can both live happily ever after if we simply follow this curse." Irena whispered softly into her ear.

Essie brushed her off and sat up, sniffling. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying but the misery that had been in them a moment ago was gone. They were now filled with bloodlust.

She looked Irena right in the eyes, staring intently at her. "How, sister, what curse is strong enough for two villains to get their happy endings?"

A smile spread like butter across Irena's face, knowing that her beloved sister was going to help her. She pulled off her emerald green ring and twiddled it in her fingers. Unlike how the pendant transported her to where she most wanted to go, the ring gave her what she most wanted. It was a very useful gift she had obtained from an elf long ago and she was still thankful for stealing it from him every day.

"Like this, my sister." Irena closed her eyes and reached deep down into her blackened heart. She imagined a spell, a horrible curse that would take away everybody's happy ending. Suddenly, the ring was glowing with a white hot blaze. Irena winced as it clattered to the floor and stared spinning. It spun wildly, faster and faster until suddenly, it cracked open, revealing a small scroll inside of it.

Irena grabbed the parchment hungrily and unwrapped it, her eyes devouring the page. After reading it, she threw her head back and laughed an evil, heart wrenching sound of pure desolation.

"This is it my, sister. This is the curse we need. We need to conjure it within a single day, according to the curse. Then, my dear sister, we will release it on the night of Ella's and Snow's royal ball."

 

 

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