Chapter One: Birth of the Imperfect Child
"My love," the king asked, laying a hand on his wife's shoulder. His startled wife looked up at him and placed her okay hand on his and kissed the hand on her shoulder lovingly. "What troubles you so?" He asked, watching the blood drip from his wife's bleeding finger onto the pure white cloth she had been sewing.
The wife let out a dreamy sigh, looking up at her husband with a twinkle in her eye. "Darling, I was just thinking," the queen licked her lips and paused. She knew her husband wanted a boy, but she couldn't help but entertain the thought of a beautiful baby girl that had hair blacker than the night, lips redder than rubies, and her skin as pale as the snow on the tops of the tallest mountains.
The king gently squeezed his wife's shoulder, "What were you thinking, my love?" The king's voice held amusement as he teased, "Obviously something very important. You've seemed to hurt yourself and haven't noticed." The king sat on the arm of the chair and took out a handkerchief and wrapped it around his wife's bleeding finger. He let out a chuckle, but at his wife's serious expression he turned serious, too. "Darling, what is it?"
"I want a girl," the queen confessed, giving her husband pleading eyes.
In return the king sighed, hand reaching out to rub his wife's stomach and the queen did, too. They sat in silence, both rubbing the queen's belly. Both in deep thought. "Well," the king spoke, kissing his wife's temple. "Only time will tell."
"My love," the queen began, "Just promise me you will love this baby the same, whether or not it is a girl or a boy." The queen pleaded, she had heard the stories, angered kings finding out that their first child was a girl and not a boy. The king then killing the girl and trying again for a boy. As if it made a difference as to who would take over the kingdom.
The king laughed, rolling his eyes at his wife. "My love, just because I want a boy doesn't mean I am not open to the option of having a girl." The king leaned in close to his wife, "Besides, if we do have a girl it only means that we can try again, and again if necessary." The queen smacked his arm, giving him a look and the king kissed her temple again, chuckling merrily.
Standing up from the arm of the chair the king left his wife to her sewing, smiling as he waltzed out of their bedroom.
X - x - X
As the weeks passed on the queen shared her thoughts more and more with the king about a girl with ebony hair, pale skin, and blood red lips. And as the queen fantasised about the perfect child, the king slowly warmed up more to the idea of the little girl. But his wish was still to have a boy, just to secure the kingdom.
And before the king and queen knew it, their baby was upon them. And as the king watched his wife, holding her hand through her birth until the baby was out, he wished that the baby be perfect in every way. Looking at his sweaty and relieved wife he squeezed her hand before turning to the doctor, terror seizing him. The baby wasn't screaming... Could it not talk? Was it a boy? A girl? Where there deformities? Diseases? The doctor was quick with cleaning the kid off, however the king couldn't get a good look to see if there were any problems or what his child looked like.
"Let me see!" The king demanded. The doctor's maid quickly cut the umbilical cord and wrapped the baby in a blanket. The king couldn't get a good look at the kid still, and so he tried to look over the doctor's shoulder but to no avail. He huffed, peeved.
The doctor chuckled at the king's impatience. "Calm down, friend. The baby is fine. No health issues that we can see." The maid handed the doctor the baby and the doctor turned around with the child, showing the king that it was in fact a girl. The king felt slightly disappointed, but he didn't show it. The king was happy to hear the kid didn't have any known issues.
"Let me hold her," the king demanded, holding his arms out. The baby was then handed to the king. The king watched the baby with sharp eyes, looking for anything wrong. The only thing that the king could see that would possibly be wrong was the child's hair. It was as pale as snow. The baby gurgled and watched the king in wonder.
"Oh, Oliver, what does she look like?" The king's wife asked. The king looked down at his wife and then back at their baby girl, frowning. This worried the queen and she frantically asked, "What is it?!"
The king sighed and showed the baby to his wife. "Oh," was all the queen could say. The baby tugged on her father's beard and gurgled again. And for some reason the action made both the queen and the king relax. The queen laughed, "So she can speak." The queen let out a relieved breath.
The doctor and the maid dismissed themselves, saying good luck and to call if they needed anything.
The king chuckled as the girl in his arms kept tugging on his beard, "Do you want to hold her?" The king asked, sitting next to his wife on the bed.
"Yes," his wife said and the king passed the baby softly to his wife, prying her tiny hand away from his beard. The queen looked at her daughter with sad eyes, "Her hair... How weird..." The queen murmured, softly running her hand over her baby's head. The queen looked over her baby with sad eyes, making the king nervous.
Leaning forward the king asked, "Do... Do you not want her? Is she too weird-"
His wife looked at him, shocked, and interrupted him. "Heavens! Oliver! I want her, it's just..." The queen looked back down at her baby. "I don't know what people will think of her with such hair. What they will think of me." The queen looked up at her dark haired lover and then at her own dark hair. The king got the message and frowned.
The king took his wife's hand, "Bah, they know as well as I do that that child is my child, Margaret."
"You know how rumors are spread here, Oliver. Even the craziest of ideas are believed true if enough people talk about it." The queen said.
The king just sighed in defeat, because he knew his wife was right. "Fine. We will dye her hair dark. No one but us, the doctor, and our personal maids will know. It will be the best kept secret of all the secrets."
Tears came to the queen's eyes, but she couldn't help but laugh at her husband's dramatic nature. The queen didn't like the idea of exposing her daughter to chemicals such as dye, but knew it would be done for the better. "Yes, the best kept secret ever."
The queen leaned into her husband and he wrapped an arm around her, kissing the top of his wife's head. "What will we name her, my love?"
The queen chuckled, playing with her daughter's white hair. "How about Snow-White?"
The king smiled. "Perfect."