1409: Poison – Chapter TenPosted: May 8, 2016
Topic: Snow White / Fairy Tale
Genre: Fantasy / Adventure
URL: Chapter Ten
Critiqued by Addicted Reader
Hello again, dear readers. Today, we finally reach the last chapter of this little train wreck of a “Snow White” fanfic.
What you need to know: Arianna, a.k.a. Aurora, The Evil Queen Stepmother, is a Witchy Sue who is really Snow White’s mother who had to pretend to die in childbirth because Witchy Sue; Snow White is 17 years old and a budding Witchy Sue, Jr.; Arianna ordered that SW be lost in the woods for her own protection after seeing a vision of a mob attacking SW; said mob arrived and didn’t find SW so Arianna Jedi-mind-tricked them into forgetting the whole idea of witches; SW found the dwarves’ cottage and presumably they found her, though the fic didn’t show it; the guard who brought SW to the woods (and witnessed her do some magic) and another guard and his girlfriend are the only ones who weren’t Jedi-mind-tricked and so are the only ones who care that the princess is gone and might be/have been a witch and they’re unhappy about it.
Also, this author sucks at physical description, explaining how magic works and what non-witches know about it, and commas.
Onward and endward!
Arianna’s continued pacing her lilac orbs, once again, looking into the mirrors depths as she walked. Her mind was still caught on the images that were revealed on the reflective glass. At first the image gave her reassurance that Snow was still alive. But the joy was short lived as it was soon replaced with the image of her lying in the floor paler then she had even been. The house was recognisable as it was a house she kept an eye on. She needed to protect Snow but there was no way she could get to her look like Aurora. Her blonde hair would stand out anywhere. There was only one option that would let her get away unnoticed.
Oh, her eyes (I’m giving the author credit here in assuming that’s what’s meant by “orbs.”) are flowers now instead of gemstones. What a nice change.
And how does one pace one’s eyes? And while I’m asking silly questions, how does one’s mind get “caught”? Not a metaphor with which I am familiar.
For those who don’t care to remember (I don’t blame you), as Arianna the Queen was a brunette and as Aurora she’s a blonde. Apparently blondes are uncommon in Kingdom. But has she never heard of a scarf or a wig for disguise? Or hair dye?
Arianna stood before the mirror and let out a purpling breath. She watched with worried eyes as the form before her withered with age. She could feel a dull ache grow in her bones. She took a moment to put a translucent hand to her wrinkled face. “I need to save her” she reminded herself and if this was the way she was going to do it then it would be worth it.
Nope, only magic. ::headdesk::
And what is a “purpling breath”? I really have no clue what the author meant here.
She made her way to the village without being noticed. Her bent over form draped in a dark cape. She needed an excuse to see her daughter. She couldn’t just turn up and ask to come in. In the middle of the courtyard was a young woman with curling ginger hair holding onto a basket of apples. She seemed to be scanning the crowd for someone. Arianna assumed it was for customers and made her way to the girl. “Hello, Miss, I want to deliver some apples to my friend. Would you mind accompanying me?” The girl looked at her with wide eyes and a baffled expression but something seemed to click and she responded.
In the middle of what courtyard? Has she wandered into someone’s house? That might be ok for a Queen to do, but she’s in disguise so better not to act like royalty.
I’m assuming that the ginger is Vivian, the presumed author insert who’s been on her way to Mary Sue status. I figured I’d mention it since the author probably isn’t going to tell us and instead just rely on passing description to let us know who the characters are.
“Well I’m looking for someone who really needs one of these.”
Oh, I need an apple. To throw at this author’s head!
“Please Miss I will pay you 5 gold pieces if you do.” The girl looked conflicted. After a few seconds she nodded.
That sounds like a lot, but without any context of this world’s financial system, it’s actually really hard to tell. Is this more than Vivian usually sees in a year? Is it a day’s pay for a manual laborer? Is it just enough for a beer? It would really help to know how much she’s being offered in order to understand her conflict.
“I might as well. But this apple” She pointed to a juicy dark red one from the basket. “Is for someone important.” Arianna nodded wondering why that apple is important. Her thoughts were disrupted by squawking and looked up to see a crow circling the air above her. Very strange.
“… just don’t touch the red one!” I can totally see where this is going.
And the crow is significant because SW can talk to birds and had a conversation with a crow early in the fic. The guard who overheard her is the one who set the unsuccessful mob on her for being a witch. The Queen can probably talk to birds too, since it was described as a witchy thing to do, but we haven’t seen her do it.
And is Vivian just standing around with a “special” apple waiting for SW to turn up? Is her grand plan to just stay close to where SW was last seen and assume she’ll wander by eventually, wanting an apple?? Really???
Snow hummed as she put plates away in the dwarf’s kitchen. It was part of their deal, so she could remain living there, that she helped around the house while the dwarfs were at work. The other deal of theirs was she would get information about her mother if she agreed to transform them back to humans one day. How she would even attempt to cast a spell like that she didn’t know. She appeased them by showing her practising now and then but she could barely light an apple after the day she left the castle. Snow stopped washing up when she heard footsteps. It was far too early for thee dwarfs to be back so who was here.
Author, I’m going to have to issue you a ticket for failing to signal before changing scenes. This is not your first offense, so the fine is rather large. Plus, I’m billing you for all medical and cleaning expenses incurred as a result of the sudden shift.
It would have been nice if we had been shown this deal in the fic rather than having it summarized here –
Actually, it would have been poorly written and painful to read, so never mind. A summary is just fine.
“could barely light an apple”??? I can’t even figure out what that’s a typo of!
“So this friend of yours. What’s her name?” A voice asked from the distance. Snow leaned by the window to see a young reed head and an old woman walk towards the house.
And here’s where small mistakes can completely change meaning. The author meant to describe Vivian as a “red-head.” But I’ve seen blond hair described with the term “thatch,” and thatch is made of reeds, so now I’m picturing a little blond kid of indeterminate gender rather than a red-headed young woman. Who is supposed to be nearly the same age as SW, so why is SW thinking of her as young?
“It’s not important. I just need to visit here.” The old woman cooed. The voice sent chills up her spine. Who was she? Was she a friend of the dwarfs? She jumped from knowing at the door. She quickly decided it would be best to answer the door, when she pulled it open the ginger girls eyes widened and the old woman smiled.
“knowing at the door” – again, small mistakes …
And the knock (I’m assuming that’s what the author meant) shouldn’t have been startling at all if SW heard and saw these people coming.
“Oh hello dear. I’ve come to deliver some apples.” The old woman offered her one from the basket. Snow was hungry. Maybe it wouldn’t be bad to have one.
Why would it be bad? Was she expecting the Evil Queen Stepmother to come after her? Have the dwarves warned her to be wary of strangers?
WE DON’T KNOW!
Alternatively, if there is a legitimate reason to be suspicious of strangers, even one apple is a bad idea.
“I didn’t ask for any.” Snow said before she thought about it anymore. She looked down to the basket and her eyes fell upon an apple which was deep red and involuntarily licked her lips.
The apple licked her? There something seriously weird here.
“Oh they’re already paid for. May i-we come in?” She hesitated but she wasn’t worried by them.
Who said that? And who hesitated?
Author, we’ve discussed the problem with unattributed dialog in scenes with three characters. Do we also need to discuss the problem with pronouns when all the characters are the same gender?
And above, the Queen said she couldn’t just turn up and ask to come in. But that’s exactly what she’s done! The apple was a pretty flimsy excuse.
“Please do. I’m being rude.” The old woman came in without hesitation but the younger woman stayed and handed her the darkest red apple.
It’s not really rude to not allow strangers in. They showed up unannounced peddling apples. This is not a social visit.
“I really must be going but I’ll bring you more apples later.” The woman walked off briskly leaving Snow confused. The whole thing felt very strange. Contemplating this she took a large bite from the apple before falling to the floor unconscious.
So she got a weird vibe and still ate the apple? She’s just lucky it didn’t kill her.
The dwarfs were stopped from their walking by a crow. The dark feathered bird was crowing loudly and shook its head to the direction of their home. It started raising its wings as if trying to communicate. Before any of them could say something the bird lifted itself into the air flying in the direction swiftly. The dwarfs didn’t hesitate in following quickly behind.
Wait, why did we shift to the dwarves? Wasn’t Old!Arianna right there with SW? Don’t we get to see her reaction?
And an animal is acting weird so they follow it? Sounds like a good way to get rabies.
Once they reached the cottage their jaws dropped at the sight of snow lying on the floor and an old woman standing above her.
Dun dun dun …
“What did you do?” They shouted running to grab the hag.
First reasonable reaction in the whole chapter!
“Nothing- I didn’t do anything. She was poisoned.”
How does she know that?
“By whom?” ::smacks author with rolled up newspaper::
“By a woman who was here earlier.” She screeched. Even though it made little sense the sincerity rang in her voice.
Why is she screeching? Is she a banshee now? And how does one hear sincerity in a screech?
“You-your eyes.” One of the dwarfs gasped. The others turned to look at the old woman and took in a breath at the sight. It couldn’t be- could it? “Are you-“
The narration shouldn’t be asking questions. ::smacks author again:: Next time, I use the newspaper with the lead pages.
“Yes I am who you think. But please don’t ask anything until Snow is breathing. I don’t know how they managed it but the apple snow ate was poisoned and cursed. There are few remedies for such a curse.”
I ask again, how does she know that?
And considering that Vivian didn’t believe in magic, it’s very odd that she would give her a cursed apple. Poison I could buy, that can be done without magic, but how would the apple get cursed? I am – still – confused by magic in this story.
“What can we do?” one of the older dwarfs breathed.
Meanwhile, the rest of the dwarves are turning blue from lack of air.
“Nothing. Unless you’re her true love.” Arianna, in her older form, huffed before sitting by the body. The dwarfs didn’t make a move as an impossible tear fell from her cheeks. As everything went still a crow made its way beside the body and began squawking softly. Suddenly the queen’s eyes were locked on the crows. As if she was able to understand him. As if he was speaking. Swiftly she raised a hand towards the bird. A dark smoke enclosed the form then swiftly dispersed and where the crow once perched was stood a young man with deep brown eyes and ravened hair. The dwarfs looked at each other in amazement and shock.
“True love” is not an antidote to real poison, and see my point above about magic.
Good thing the crow showed up. I was worried that one of the dwarves, all Arianna’s former lovers, would have to step up for SW, Arianna’s daughter.
“ravened hair” – that’s below this author’s already low standards for adjectives!
The man sat by Snow grief filling his features and took the pale hand into his before leaning down to kiss her. The queen watched attentively. When nothing happened she let out a shaky breath. It was a stab in the dark- there was very little chance it was going to work in the first place. As she was about to start crying snows chest raised and fell. And quickly her amethyst eyes snapped open to look on at the crow.
I have to say, this is slightly less creepy than the “random prince traveling through the forest” version of SW being woken up. SW and the crow had a conversation in the fic and a longer relationship was implied.
“It’s me, my little witch.” The strange man said softly. “You’re safe.” Snow lurched forward tangling crow into a hug. A smile played on the Queens lips. ‘I will make it my new purpose to see it these two get their happy ever after’ she told herself before joining the others in celebration.
How does SW know that this random guy is the crow? If his voice is that same, the fic should tell us so.
And what is this about the Queen’s “new purpose”? What was her “old purpose”? And is she going to be able to un-age?
So many questions.
But now, the best two words in any fic:
Until next time, Patrons!