Snow White and Rose Red
Yes, this is a fairy tale. Don't remember who told it. This is dedicated to Renee, you will be missed. Don't own "Once Upon a Time," I just love it!
Regina's carriage moved down the forest road on its way out to farmland. The rumors said that she would find Snow White living here. She seethed with anticipation, but why would Snow allow herself to be caught here? The girl was wanted, Regina was sure that this was a trick.
As Regina pulled up a plump young woman with red hair flew into the farmhouse calling for her mother and sister. "Rose! Behave yourself! Snow, get a move on! We need to greet our guests."
Puzzled, Regina cocked her head as the small family exited the building. The modest farmhouse spoke of a moderately prosperous family. A large dog barked at the carriage and ran around the corner of the barn as Regina stepped out. Another girl, slimmer than her sister, exited the big red barn leading a horse. She stopped in consternation and curtsied to the Queen. Her hair was black as night, skin white as snow, and lips blood red, but she was not the Snow White.
An older woman exited the house with Rose. On closer inspection Rose was fair skinned as well, but with piercing blue eyes that seemed to look into the soul. Regina approached the older woman who named herself as Margie, "Your Majesty, we weren't expecting such exalted company. These are my daughters, Snow White," she gestured to the girl holding the horse who promptly dropped another curtsy, "and Rose Red." The other girl also curtsied.
"Would you like some tea?" Rose asked.
"That would be lovely," Regina replied with a tight smile. The other girl sighed and turned back to the barn. "I think I would like to help with the horse first."
Regina followed Snow and the brown gelding back into the barn. The girl's straw hat went with her plain, homespun clothing to keep the sun off her porcelain skin. She was lovely, but she was not what Regina was looking for. A plan started to formulate in her head as she watched the girl stall and brush down the horse. She dumped hay into the feed bin with a cup of oats and proceeded to check the other inhabitants of the barn. The sow had recently given birth and a litter of six piglets were fussing over the teats. A cow with a half grown calf poked her head over the stall door, chewing her cud. Chickens scratched everywhere.
"So, you're Snow White," Regina stated.
"Yes, Ma'am," the girl replied. "I'm not who you're looking for."
"No, you're not, but that doesn't mean that we can't get along," the girl met her eyes and nodded before she turned back to the barn door. She led Regina to the house. The plain main room connected to the kitchen where she sat at the table while the other women hovered.
"The tea is lovely," she murmured. "Who cooks." Rose bobbed yet another curtsy.
"We all pitch in to help on the farm, My Lady. My husband died last year and we have been struggling."
"Maybe I can help," Regina said, looking into her cup. "I could use another cook, and I have no one to look after my horses. Come to the castle next week, you will be compensated handsomely."
All three women looked at each other as Regina left, having barely touched her tea.
Renee hurried out of Granny's, red hair braided and cloak billowing out behind her. She was late to get to City Hall. The Mayor's secretary didn't need to be late. She smiled at her sister, Michelle, who also was late to her job at the animal shelter. They both looked up, startled, the giant clock that had never moved, had done just that…