Photo prompt via The Angry Hourglass
They told me they took her heart pre burying her down deep. Such were our instructions. Specific to the last, when we could hide no more from it – from her. For that, they thought us heartless. They did not see them as they lay, bloodless; the vacant eyed stares, scattered across the parquet. I scrubbed it myself until spotless, once they were gone; though I saw them still – could scarcely help it; after. I had helped heft their weight, before the remainder.
She returns, red-eyed, against snow skin; cherry stain smudges at her lips; faded brown marks beneath her fingertips to face me, accusing. I know well what we have done and that which we have failed in. The dark spread pooling across her front tells its tale. They tried for the liver. They paid dearly for it. She is rich with the toll – its metal tang clinging to her still, though she is not full. Not now. Not yet. Not ever.
No need to call for her father – she has him with her, by the hand, between gripped nails. A hopeful glance becomes hopeless, as I see he is cold beyond me, though I may join him yet before we are through.
“Daughter,” I say simply. “Snow.” The hand I hold out merits me a glance lacking recognition. “My child.” Her little legs are whittled into wastage – the ivory flesh pared to minimal covering over bone. Her hair is pitch plastered to her skull. She smiles sweetly, showing sharpened teeth. The blood-shot gaze aimed towards me speaks for her. With a thud, she discards her father’s arm – my previous prince – my once king – throwing him from her, to leave her own limbs free and able. There is no helping her now – nor me, if I am accurate in my assessment. I have seen the results of her handiwork when left to her own devices before. There will be no savouring scraps beneath restraint for her. Not now. Nor for her, ever.
I loved her once, before. Still now, I love her, ever. I thought to save her this. Instead, she forces me to dance final, failing steps for her.
Another piece for Angry Hourglass. This one placed as Second Runner Up for the week.