This weeks prompt from the lovelies at The Red Dress Club was: For this week’s prompt, let’s talk about sloth. Emotional or spiritual apathy. I took the opportunity to continue with Queen Snow White, whose tale began with jealousy in Candy Apple Red, and continued with Gluttony in Curses. All you really need to know is that she poisoned her mother to become Queen, but the provider of the poisoned apple warned Queen Snow White of a backlash which was for her last week, an uncontrollable hunger.
Though it had felt like years to Queen Snow White, it had in fact only been months, time stretched by the seemingly endless cycle of eating and purging. Determined not to humiliate herself in public, the enormous amounts of food required to sate her cursed hunger were now brought to her chambers. The west wall was lined with large lidded pails that flung her body at when the vomiting began. Her attendant staff had been doubled because her chamber and clothes needed constant cleaning.
She no longer bothered to paint her face beautiful or arrange her hair, merely pulling it back at the nape of her neck like one of the servant women who helped hold it back when the convulsions racked her body nearly lifting her from the floor. Though the effort was great, the once enviable waistline of the notoriously slim Princess Snow expanded as quickly as had her title.
The longer the curse went on, the less Queen Snow moved at all, eventually her ladies brought the pails to her and she leaned over the side of her bed vomiting. Once purged, she lay still, her black hair in long stringy mats, her skin pale, yet slick with sweat and her breath now rotten from the acid burning her teeth away. Occasionally, her eyes would open and focus sharply on the ceiling. In these moments her attendants would catch their breath, and await instructions that never came. Though it was against custom to touch their Queen, they would lift her and place her into a bath every second evening and change the loose nightgowns in which she now lived.
Then almost as suddenly as it had all began it stopped. The attendants stood by her bed at the ready but Queen Snow remained still and silent. After holding the pails long enough for the shadows in the room to shift, they were returned to their positions and eventually removed. Everyone expected celebration, especially from the one who had been so long besieged by the curse, but she remained as a corpse.
Not knowing what else to do, Queen Snow’s subjects pretended as if nothing was wrong, and hoped that she would snap out of this as quickly as her vomiting had stopped. But her listlessness grew, and eventually the only thing keeping Queen Snow alive were broths and teas poured into her mouth with a metal tube.
At the apex of despair and confusion Queen Snow’s chamber doors flew open and the tallest woman many of them had ever seen strode into the chamber. Her long muscular legs encased in the supple brown leather and her lean powerful torso and arms wrapped in a material that shimmered like dragonfly wings both beautiful and dangerous. Her hair was shorn near to her scalp. Her eyes flashed, framed by cheekbones sharp as blades. A murmur rippled through the room as everyone raced to fling themselves prone.
The Wiccan Wise, here.
“Leave us,” She boomed in a voice that filled the room and bounded out the door.
Scrambling, some crawling in their haste, the room quickly emptied and Queen Snow’s blue eyes opened, meeting the terrifying green flames in the Wise’s face.
“How much longer?” asked Queen Snow.
“How much more?”
“Until you have borne enough sins to balance the one you committed,” replied the Wiccan Wise.
“And how many is that?”
“Just a few more.”
Queen Snow sighed her only question, “Will I survive?”
“It is not a given,” said the Wise, her smile chilling the room.