Author: Kat Lee
Fandoms: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs/Pocahontas/Disney/Original
Character/Pairing: Snow White with mentions of Dwarfs, trees, a certain Princess who paints with all the colors of the wind, and, of course, animals
Challenge/Prompt: faerie_wish13: Animals and 1_million_words: September Twist
Word Count: 2,039
Date Written: 15 September 2017
Disclaimer: This one could almost be considered entirely mine, folks, but I would've never thought of it if not for Disney.
You dared enter my forest, but it’s the last mistake you’ll ever make. Centuries ago, I was led into these very woods by a man who was set to kill me -- a man like you, who smelled of death and the blood of innocents, but unlike you, he finally chose to let an innocent live. He let me live, but I was never to return to my people again. That was fine: I didn’t need them. I found my own people here deep within this forest home. But now you have defiled our sanctuary with your wickedness!
You carry animals’ heads in bags. You wear their skin, use their flesh and bone in your weapons, and take pleasure in slaughtering them. You, man, think you are so strong and advanced. You think we fairer creatures are only here to serve you, but it is that greed and self-absorption that will spell your end.
It’s that which led you here. I know very well the legends told about this forest. I’ve whispered some of them out to passersby myself. But you should have heeded the warnings, not just the tales of the animals who can be found here but the tales of what happens to those who come into our place who do not belong. You do not belong, and you will never return to from whence you came.
You won’t even live to see another sunrise. You’re cussing now. I can feel your fear rising and your sweat. You’re slowly beginning to be afraid, but by the time we’re done with you, your fear will be your least concern. You’ll never harm another life. The tales are all there if you want to hear them, pay heed to them: If you’d listened, you might have lived to continue your lineage of evil and killing, but now your line ends with you.
You hear the whispers of our voices growing in the forest. You hear the shrubby moving. The trees even seem alive tonight, and indeed they are. Do you know you hurt one of my friends when you plucked that apple earlier? Not that you’d care. Your lack of care shows clearly in everything you do, from the way your grubby, little fingers snatched that shining, red apple to the way your boots stomp through this tender earth.
No matter. Soon, very soon, you’ll never hurt another living soul. You’re worrying about the animals now: You’re fretting the same animals who you entered our home to kill may be the ones to kill you. Deer don’t eat humans, and even the biggest carnivores would prefer to stay away from your kind. At least they only kill to survive; you kill for the supposed glory of showing off skins, horns, heads, and other body parts that are not yours. It will be a pleasure to end you, but at least I won’t go parading in your skin.
Man should really learn to be more careful. Your people are slowly but surely beginning to spell their own doom. You abuse the innocents, use them until there is not a drop left of their souls, or you simply shut them out of your world. That happened to me, and to mine.
Do you hear those voices rising with the wind now? Of course you do. You hear the chanting of an unfamiliar tongue, ancient words growing faster and louder. Now you know for certain that there is something moving in the trees and bushes, but you’re no longer so certain that thing is animal -- or that you can take it with your advanced weaponry.
You’re quite right really, but it’s not the voices you need to fear or even the apple whose poison is beginning to churn in your gut. A pick axe hits the tree above you. It’s too early yet, but Grumpy never was known for his patience. You scream, duck, turn direction, and resume running. It will do you no good. I could let you run for days, weeks, months even. I could let you run until you dropped to the ground, unable to move a muscle. But you’ll never find your way out again.
You chose to come here. You chose to enter our home with nothing but death and killing on your mind, and now you will pay the price. No one ever leaves here. They either join us, or if they are unfit to be of our tribe, as you are, they die. But you never cared about the lives you took. Thus it is that your own death will be slow and give you plenty of time to consider every error you ever made, the greatest of which was not coming here but was in slaughtering my brothers and sisters.
They’re your brothers and sisters too, but you humans will never accept that. You’ll always think you’re above the animals, the same creatures that God made to walk this Earth and into your species’ care, and mine, He then placed them in. They say God doesn’t make mistakes, but I know He does. He did when He put humans in charge of the world. He did when He made you, but you’re one mistake I’ll take care of.
The natives are coming closer now. You’ve stopped trying to run. (You really are no fun, are you?) You’re turning in rapid circles, wheezing for air, your eyes bulging. I wonder if you ever noticed how the eyes of the innocent animals you slaughtered looked as they took their last, painful breath? I wish I could show you your own eyes now and then theirs.
There’s a distinct difference, you see. You’re both filled with fear, but yours are also laced with anger. You’re angry that someone would do this to you, you're angry that someone would dare stand up to you and meet your hatred and violence with violence to end yours. But the animals . . . Their eyes, as they die at yours and other hunters’ hands, are always laced with confusion. Most of the time, they don’t know why they’re in such pain, but always they know it was caused by man.
Never once do they understand what they ever did to you, because the truth is, they did nothing except being born into a world where the supposedly superior species hates them on sight. They never did anything to harm you or anyone. They never committed an act of pure, senseless violence. They only tried to live their lives, but you wanted what they possessed.
There are all sorts of tales about the things different parts of an animal’s body can supposedly do. They can give you great wealth, great eyesight, great health, great sexual potency -- but none of these attributes are in the animals’ body parts. They are attributes with which they are rewarded for being God’s truly innocent creatures, not something you can take by them by stripping them apart, murdering them, and using their parts for your own gain.
Don’t even get me started to comparing the horns of the deer you kill to the others, or the size of the carnivores’ teeth. I should strip you apart slowly, one piece of flesh at a time, but I have a feeling you’d never survive long enough for me to make you endure such agony. Besides, that’s not what this is about. What this is truly about is ending your reign of terror and making absolutely certain you never take another life again.
You hear screams now and jump and flinch with every one of them, both the screams of unseen warriors in the air and the crying, final bellows of lives previously taken. Axes and arrows hit the ground around you. You’re scrambling on all fours now, begging for your life. Why should we grant you permission to live any longer than you ever let an animal? Animals and children are the true innocents of this world, and mankind takes what he wants from both and leaves them to die.
You’d probably tell me you wouldn’t do that to a child, but I’ve seen the truth in your eyes and heart. Children mean nothing more to you than the animals who lives you so freely take. That’s why you don’t have a wife, and why you don’t have kids with whom to be burdened by. At least there won’t be a widow made or children left fatherless by your passing. The only one who will miss you is you.
Your eyes are bulging. Your chest is heaving. You’re aching all over and begging for this to stop. The trees strike you with apples save one; the Grandmother of us all whips you with her vines. Animals scurry in the underbrush. They know you would have killed them but nonetheless want no part of your death. They’re better than you, always have been, always will be.
The Princess who speaks with all the colors of the wind in her haunting voice sings a death song. The Dwarves and warriors grow closer. We were once members of the same world from whence you came, but just as you have to the animals, we were mistreated, hurt, abandoned, and left for dead. We found one another in this very forest, and we found home, a home that you have dared to invade, and family, a family that you would kill if given the chance, which you’re not going to be.
This is your end, hunter. Say goodbye now. Say good night, and choke on the apple that was meant to kill me. In your modern day world, you no longer believe in Witchcraft or spirits, but you do now. Your people think I was only a legend, and even if your versions of the tale of my life, I was rescued by some foolish Prince with a meager kiss.
I was never rescued. I found love, and family, and friends, all of whom you would destroy, but I was never saved by your kind. I was abandoned by your kind, tortured, left to die, and almost killed a dozen times over. My stepmother never won nor did the hunter who first abandoned me in these woods and later returned, when his own life was jeopardized by his lie to my stepmother, the lie he told her when he gave her a deer’s heart and claimed to have killed me, to kill me. Your kind never brought me anything but pain and sorrow; you never brought anything to anyone in these ancient woods but pain and sorrow.
The birds fly. The animals scurry further away. Arrows pierce your skin. Axes slice off the hands that did so much killing, but your last breath is mine. You don’t know where the apple comes from as it seems to simply appear in empty air, but you recognize its brightly shining, ruby red coat: It looks just like the apple you plucked earlier without permission, without ever bothering to ask or to be gentle when you stole it. That’s because it’s one of hundreds that grow from my stepmother’s blood in this forest, but it’s the one you’ll choke on when you die.
Say goodbye, murderer. You’ll never take another life again, nor will any of those who will follow after you. There’s a reason for legends, you see, a reason for them to be told over and over again as lessons and warnings that fools like you do not heed. Likewise, there’s a reason those of us who are true legends stay: We’ll stop your kind. One of these nights, we’ll stop you all, even from beyond the grave.
We didn’t live happily ever after, but we do live ever after. We live to stop you, to stop hatred and senseless death. We live to destroy the monsters of this world, monsters like the ones who first put us here in this forest, monsters like my stepmother who wanted me dead though I was only a little girl and like my fellow Princess’ first love who took her heart but never returned, monsters like those who prey on the true innocents of this world like the children and the animals, like the Dwarves, monsters like you. Goodbye, murderer.