1375: Poison – Chapter Six

Title: Poison
Author: 221B-Tardis
Media: Books
Topic: Snow White / Fairy Tale
Genre: Fantasy / Adventure
URL:  Chapter Six
Critiqued by Addicted Reader

Hi there!  Thanks for joining me as we dive into the second half of this fic.  There are some cookies on the table left from last time, but I’m not sure Crunchy actually put them away, so they may be a bit stale.  Help yourself at your own risk.

For those who can’t – or don’t want to – remember, I’ll review:  this is a poorly written “Snow White” fanfic, retelling the classic fairy tale with a “twist” – Snow White’s Evil Queen Stepmother is really her mother, who is a witch, and had to pretend to die in childbirth then changed her form.  The Queen was really proud of her daughter when the mirror named SW as the fairest of all and then ordered a guard to take SW to the woods to protect her from some poorly-described attack shown in the mirror.

SW, who is a Witchy Sue wannabe, woke up after being carried to the woods by the guard and then freaked out when she saw his knife and assumed he was about to kill her.  (Actually, that part sounds less incomprehensible when summarized like that than in the fic.  That doesn’t usually happen.)  She then fried him with some kind of laser gaze and ran off into the woods.  She quickly got lost and miserable.

The guard’s name is Ryan Hutchinson.  You’re now caught up, let’s move on!

Chapter 6

Ryan scrambled to his feet and ran in the opposite direction to where Snow took her departure. He wanted so badly for his mind to be rid of thought.

So much for wanting to save her.

The princess was a witch.

In the first chapter, the author was very clear that no one knew that the Queen (still in the form of not-yet-born SW’s mother) was a witch while she was very afraid of being discovered to be a witch.  So it’s a little unclear how surprising this should really be for him.

He was unsuccessful at not thinking. The one thought that Snow White was a witch brought fear among him like it would to anyone in the kingdom.

How many of him are there if fear can be “among him”??

Who was a witch?

Her mother?

Her father?

A crow told SW that being a witch is hereditary.  But without that context from four chapters ago, these questions make no sense at all.

If it was her father wouldn’t that mean the kingdom was being run by a witch? If it was her mother wouldn’t that mean she could have forced the king to make decisions? If both were witches…

Ok, we get it, witches are bad news.

He couldn’t bear to think and decided to visit the local tavern so with any luck he wouldn’t remember by the next day. As he thought the rest of the main guards sat at the back on the largest table with a few villagers around listening to some made-up story of heroics. He plastered on a jolly face as most would have at this hour and bought a few drinks.

Let’s take a moment here and look at the timeline for the night:

Ryan-the-guard carried a sleeping Snow White an unspecified distance into the woods, which took him an unspecified amount of time.  Given that she’s a teenager, it was probably pretty late in the evening by the time she was deeply enough asleep for that kind of handling.

He then has time to get back out of the woods to the tavern while it is still (1) open and (2) full of people who are (3) sober enough for the rest of this scene.

Granted, he probably made better time running out of the woods in fear of the witch than he did walking in carrying her as dead weight, but if he can get out that easily, she should be able to also.  Which basically defeats the purpose to taking her in there.


Anyway, in this improbably timed tavern the patrons are sitting *on* the table.  What kind of tavern is this?

Also, “main guards” sounds more like character summary than story narration.

“Ah. Hutchinson, good to see you with us. We were just telling Vivian and her friends about something I saw this morning.” William Freidseon was tall with blonde hair and was the source of many young girls affection. He was the princesses head guard and also was in love Vivian Partridge. Vivian was short, with frizzing red hair and fair skin which was touched by many freckles. But her sweet appearance was a cover for her personality she was feisty, flirty, violent and funny. She was the only girl who didn’t swoon when she saw William and as far as William knew the only girl who wanted to be a guard. One of the causes of her being amusing was the fact she could flatten most of the guards in a second but because of her gender she was forbidden to do any jobs that involved fighting.

Oh dear Snark, the length of those sentences!  I’m out of breath from reading that paragraph!

That is a lot of description of these characters compared to what we’ve gotten in general.  I wonder if they’re going to be important or if they’re just the author and her crush inserted into the story.  Let’s find out!

“What happened this time?” Ryan asked waiting for William to spill some nonsensical gossip as always.

::grumble grumble lack of commas grumble::

“Well, I was around the gardens keeping guard as the princess was taking a stroll. When I heard a bird calling from where the princess was. As a guard it was a duty to investigate. When I entered the gardens Miss White was talking to a black bird- a crow I believe. At first I was thought she was starking mad but every time she spoke to it the bird replied with a squawk that she seemed to understand. And when she was talking she was talking about being a witch” Ryan swallowed. The women gasped and flew there hands to there mouths. The men’s faces turned serious. Vivian chuckled.

She’s in a garden and he hears a bird.  This requires investigation because … ???

If being a witch is generally regarded as so bad, why was Snow White talking about it where she could be heard?  And why would she want to be a witch in the first place?  It’s not like she knew her mother was one and got encouragement from her.

“Snow a witch? I almost fell for the whole mad part but a witch?” she laughed again. “I mean I knew your stories are ridiculous but not this ridiculous.”

Who said that?

Oh, Vivian, who chuckled at the end of the previous paragraph.  Possibly easier to follow if I hadn’t interrupted, but probably not.

“I’m not lying I swear!” William said too loudly. The rest of the inn started to listen in either with subtle eavesdropping or full on staring. “She said something about the king not being her father and then the crow flew away and she stormed into the forest and the trees-the trees- they started to fall behind her like she was pulling them down with magic.” his face started to look desperate he knew his words were mad. The room fell into silence after Williams’s loud booming words with each one ringing with sincerity at that moment it could either brake into uproar to send William to the madhouse or uproar against the royals.

He needs an exclamation point at the end of that speech.  Otherwise I hear it in a monotone and it just doesn’t have the desired effect.  Describing his words as loud and booming doesn’t make up for not punctuating properly.

“I believe you.” Ryan said clearly. People looked at him astonished like he was about to crack up laughing but no matter his face was as honest as the purest angel.

“As honest as the purest angel.”  That’s a new one on me.

“Me too. The old queen had so many affairs it wouldn’t surprise me if Snow wasn’t the kings daughter.” a gruff man with a full beard claimed from behind the bar.

I guess Arianna forgot to cast the spell-of-believing-her-offspring-is-legitimate over the whole kingdom.

“Me too. That princess has always struck me as not quite right.” A hefty woman with about 53 years of age shouted.

“about 53”?

“about 53”?!?

No.  Either she’s “about 50” or she’s just “53.”

And I don’t even know what to do with “… with … years of age …”

And again with the shouting without any exclamation points.  It’s weird.

The room burst into people’s opinions all saying they believed Freidson.

The room started talking?  They should probably get out of there pretty quickly.  If they didn’t believe in witches before, that would probably do it.

“What should we do?” a young fellow asked with his dark hair almost hiding his face completely.

I’m sure the hair helped him be heard.  Or something.

“Nothing.” William said before sitting down. The crowd didn’t like that. They were caught in the tension filled hype and they wanted blood. Everyman and woman in the tavern turned on William.

That is quite a let-down.  But since when was William standing?

“Who said it was your choice? Ey?”

“She might rule our kingdom? Do you want a person of magic running us?”

“She could slaughter us all in a blink of an eye.”

“We have to kill her!”


“Good thinking.”

“We should go now!”

How about some attribution?

The whole area rushed out the tavern while Ryan and William sat astounded in there seats Vivian hovered by them. She was a fighter but was not willing to kill a girl of almost the same age.

“The whole area rushed out of the tavern”???  What does that mean?

And why is a 17-year-old hanging out in a bar?

“What do we do?” She asked with an even tone but eager eyes. To the others surprise William sat back in his chair looking strangely comfortable.

“eager eyes”?

And William has now gone from boasting to desperate to resigned to astounded to smug.  That’s quite a range of emotions for such a short scene.

“Like I said.” He took a pause. “Nothing.” He let a smile play on his lips. He knew how the crowd would have reacted. Ryan stared forward letting his thoughts go in a trance. But it wasn’t so bad I mean he had saved her. Didn’t he?

So this asshole wound up the crowd and then didn’t go with them?  What’s the point of that?  And if he know how they would react, why was he “astounded” along with Ryan a paragraph ago?

And WHAT THE SNARK is with that random bit of first person at the end there?

I’m done.


8 Comments on “1375: Poison – Chapter Six”

  1. batjamags says:

    How about some attribution?


    “Attribution is bad for your health!”

    “And it might make the author say ‘said!'”

    “Wait, does this author do that? I’m not sure.”

    “And I’m too lazy to check it out!”

    “So am I!”

    Ryan said clearly.

    “There you are, you lazy assholes.”

    “Huh. So we’re making this joke for nothing?”

    “No, we’re supposed to be talking about unattributed dialogue!”

    “I propose we start a group: Formless Void Denizens for Unattributed Dialogue!”

    Get out of my comment.

    • Cain: Ah, hell. Avatars of Vagueness itself are invading our comments.

      • batjamags says:

        “Hey, this ain’t an invasion!”

        “We’re immigrants!”

        “Got our papers and everything!”

        No you don’t.

        “Yes we do!”

        Show me.

        “Can’t. Void, remember?”

        Ergo, you don’t have them.

        “You just think we’re going to steal your jobs!”

        These are internet comments. There aren’t any jobs to be had.


        “Say, guys?”


        “We’ve made a terrible mistake.”

        Glad we’ve got that resolved. Now get out.


  2. AdmiralSakai says:

    He was unsuccessful at not thinking.

    Then he’s already doing better than the author.

  3. AdmiralSakai says:

    “She could slaughter us all in a blink of an eye.”

    “We have to kill her!”


    “Good thinking.”

    No. That is the opposite of good thinking. Maybe they’ll go up and start prodding the nearest dragon next.

    • Addicted Reader says:

      It’s so unclear what witches can and can’t do, how much people know about witches, how common they are, etc. in this story that it’s really impossible to know just how stupid an idea this is.

  4. GhostCat says:

    There are some cookies on the table left from last time, but I’m not sure Crunchy actually put them away, so they may be a bit stale. Help yourself at your own risk.

    Ooh, cookies!

    :flips on lights:

    :with an odd rustling noise, the cookies skitter away into the shadows:

    … Suddenly, I’m not that hungry.

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