Project X: Snow White, Part 1

“Magic mirror in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?” “My princess, you are the fairest in the land.” The princess places her hand mirror on her dressing table, sighing with satisfaction. She gazes at her reflection in the larger mirror hanging above the table, a small smile appearing on her face. It doesn’t quite reach her eyes. She turns her head one way, then another, subconsciously admiring the way the sunlight gives her creamy skin a soft glow. A slight frown penetrates her carefully constructed, serene expression. Does her hair look all right? A dainty hand flies up to a stray lock of stubbornly curly, auburn hair and tucks it carefully behind her ear, as if it is a fragile, precious piece of glass. Does her dress complement her complexion well enough? She hastily smooths a wrinkle in the periwinkle blue fabric, pleased by the way the dress hangs perfectly off her shoulders. Is her crown sitting properly on her head? She glances up at it, and is satisfied to see that it is perched regally, perfectly, on her head, inlaid diamonds and sapphires glittering and winking at her. Her gaze slides downwards, until she is looking into her own hazel eyes. Her own hazel eyes. In a way, they aren’t her own at all. She owes them to her mother, who, she has been told, had the same wide, wonderstruck hazel eyes. She stares at the eyes in the mirror until the rest of her face blurs and tears rush to her burning eyes. She tries to imagine what her mother might have looked like. She has often heard that her mother had been the most beautiful queen in the land. ‘Where did I go wrong?’ She blinks and the tears brim over and slide down her powdered cheeks. They shine in the sunlight like the diamonds fitted into her crown. She wipes them roughly with a brush of her hand. I mustn’t, she tells herself fiercely. She mustn’t let her smile slip; she mustn’t cry. She takes a step back from the dressing table into a pool of sunlight streaming in from the window. The warmth seems to seep through her as she takes a deep breath. Looking down at the flowing skirt of her dress, she twirls. A little hastily at first, unwilling to rumple her dress.  A laugh escapes her lips as she watches the dress spin with her. The sound echoes around the empty room and she halts abruptly. In a swift motion, the hand mirror is once more clutched between her delicate fingers. “Magic mirror in my hand,” she whispers breathlessly, “who is the fairest in the land?” “My princess, you are the fairest in the land,” it assures her. She feels her muscles relax slightly as she replaces the hand mirror on the table. She is beautiful. She is still beautiful. She slides her smile back into place. It still doesn’t reach her eyes, but it is enough. © Sohini Kumar

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One Comment on “Project X: Snow White, Part 1

  1. Pingback: Snow White, Part 2 | Pen and Paper

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