After the BitePosted: January 12, 2016
The apple fell from her hand and rolled across the floor until it came to rest against the leg of the dining table. It lay there while Snow White slipped deeper into unconsciousness; it lay there while the dwarves trooped in from work to find her lying cold and still.
Days passed, and even though the dwarves grieved too deeply to clean house, the apple stayed fresh and crisp. Not so well fared the ants who had discovered it. Their lifeless bodies created a border around the tainted fruit that no other insects dared to breach.
When the happy day came that the Prince resurrected Snow White with a kiss, the apple still remained as it was the day it had been cursed. After the revelry, one of the dwarves swept the apple from beneath the table in the midst of cleaning. In the hustle and bustle, the apple was knocked about until it bounced out the front door, where another dwarf picked it up to throw it onto the compost pile.
The shining redness of its skin caught the attention of birds and butterflies alike, but only the first wren was daring and hungry enough to attempt a taste. He lay, wings spread, a cautionary tale until he and the apple were eventually covered over with leaves and vegetable scraps.
Winter passed, then spring, summer, another winter, and while the wren rotted and returned to the earth, the apple did not.
Spring came again, and the dwarves began to shovel compost for their garden. They came upon the temptingly bright apple and marveled at such a thing.
Snow White had not shared her story; indeed, she remembered nothing of the moments before her brush with death, so she had nothing to tell even had she been so inclined.
Fortunately for his brothers, one of the dwarves had enough sense not to consume produce that stayed fresh in the middle of a compost heap. He warned the others off, and he picked up the apple with a shovel to bring it inside, where he put it in the fireplace.
The next morning the dwarves lit a fire before they left for work, expecting the apple to be ashes when they returned. It was not.
The logs had burned to nothing, but the apple still remained, perfect but for that single bite. The dwarves immediately knew that the apple must be bewitched. Using the shovel and teamwork, they knotted the apple in a worn old sock before placing it inside a burlap sack, which they tied securely.
The seven drew straws to determine who among them would travel to the castle to speak with Snow White and her Prince, now king and queen. The loser was well provisioned with food and water, and he set off early the next morning with the apple well separated from his necessary supplies. The others wished him luck, and each retreated into his own realm of worry.
The unlucky dwarf set off for the castle. Before too long, he sat down for a rest. Walking required a different kind of stamina than swinging a pickax all day long. He opened his pack to get some food for a snack and set the bag containing the apple on the ground to his side.
As he chewed on some jerky while resting his sore feet, a great eagle swooped down at him. He was too frightened to think straight, and grabbed his pack, but not the apple, as he ducked for safety behind the nearest tree.
The eagle was already committed, with razor-sharp talons outstretched, but since it couldn’t get to the dwarf from the angle of this dive, it snatched up the bag containing the apple and soared away before the dwarf could realize what had happened.
He breathed a sigh of relief, but as he was picking himself up, he saw the bundle in the eagle’s claws, high above the trees. He quickly took an inventory to establish what was missing. When he confirmed that it was the cursed apple, he staggered fro a moment of indecision. Ultimately, he decided to continue on his journey. The king and queen needed to know that a piece of evil was loose in the kingdom.
To be continued.