This palace gig really went tits up! Me and my brothers, we thought our troubles were over when the Prince snogged Snow White awake. We all thought she was stone dead, though it was weird how she didn’t rot, so we made that crystal coffin and put her out in the yard. I used to visit sometimes and think about old times.
Then along comes Prinny and whammo! Snow’s alive and good as new, better even, with look in her eye that wasn’t there before. And she wanted us to come live with her in the palace. Sweet! I didn’t appreciate the velvet page suits, but you got to take the rough with the smooth. We were looking at never having to work again, a life in Hog Heaven.
Maybe it would have worked out, if it hadn’t been for Snow. She was always chatty, talking nineteen to the dozen about this and that, what she’d been doing while we were working at the mine. And there was always a meal on the table when we got home, though you could tell she’d never had to cook before. Nice girl.
That all changed. Now she was royalty again, she started bossing us about – fetch me that, take this message to so-and-so, and she wasn’t so chatty. She got broody, irritable, no food we brought satisfied her, and she didn’t like the curtains open in the day time. This was high summer! We sweltered and suffocated, while Snow complained about everything.
If it weren’t for Prinny dropping in at all hours, we’d probably have gone back to the mines there and then. But she put on her best behaviour for him and we were grateful. Finally, the wedding preparations were complete.
“The honeymoon will take the heat off us,” I told my brothers. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It was no surprise at the reception when Snow’s stepmother showed up. Of course she couldn’t stay away. The palace guards must have been expecting her, because they grabbed her up as soon as she set foot in the room. I looked over to see Snow’s reaction. She was in a furious, whispered argument with Prinny, who at last shrugged his shoulders and spoke to the head guard.
Next thing we know they’re hauling up an iron brazier to the ballroom, setting it down in the middle, and getting a blazing fire going. We all thought we’d guessed what was going to happen, but the iron shoes set amongst the coals were a complete surprise. Snow, meanwhile, was glaring at her cowering stepmother, and Prinny was fortifying himself with way too much wine. So were the guests, who wanted to leave but couldn’t.
Do you need me to tell you what happened next? No? Good, because I’m trying to forget.
You could say that pretty much killed the party spirit, except for Snow, who capered gleefully about as her stepmother danced to her death. Prinny drank steadily throughout the whole thing, and when Snow playfully tugged at his arm and nodded in the direction of their bridal chamber, he muttered angrily and shrugged off her touch. It took a stern talking to from the King and Queen before he staggered off up the stairs.
We and the guests all followed, according to tradition, to see the young couple to the bridal bed. I’ve never seen a more reluctant bridegroom, but at last they entered the room and closed the door behind them. Not long after, there was a loud cry, and the King and Queen looked at each other in relief.
Then the door burst open and Prinny staggered out in his nightshirt. There was blood all down the front.
“Crazy bitch tried to rip my throat out!” he shouted, and fell over in a drunken stupour.
A desolate wail came from the bedroom.
“Not enough! Give me more!”
Now here’s the bad part. The King beckoned to me and my brothers.
“You must go in there and comfort her. It is your duty as subjects and servants of the Crown.”
Well, they went in. I didn’t. And that’s why I’m writing this.
– Paul Duxbury