Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2018 finalist, Angeline Alex! Angeline finished 5th grade this past school year. The story she submitted is called “Trapping the Queen” One of our judges called Angeline’s story “hilarious and witty.” Enjoy!
Hi, I’m Janet. I am a reporter “snooping” (as the guards and other nobles say) around in Queen Grimhilde’s land. I am adventurous, very kind (I’d like to think), and I love animals. The only reason I’m in Queen Grimhilde’s land is to find out, once and for all, why she wanted to kill Snow White.
I walk into the Queen’s palace expecting to see her, but instead, I see the Mirror.
“Good day, Magic Mirror, my name is Janet,” I greeted him. I slowly removed my hood.
The mirror gasped. “What!? How dare you set foot here?! I’m going to report you to Queen… whatever her name is!” he shouted. But he stopped in his tracks as soon as I asked my question.
“Do you like the queen?” I stepped forward.
“What? I think that is a highly inapplicable question!”
“Do you like the Queen?” I repeated, stepping forward again. (A bit forcefully; after all, I needed absolute confidence in him).
“Maybe, maybe not. Why do you even need to know?” He looked flustered.
“First, promise me you won’t tell her anything.”
“Fine, but what’s in it for me?” He seemed to be gaining interest, so I believed that I could trust him.
“If you don’t like the Queen, as it does seem that way, you may be able to get rid of her. No harm done, and I get what I want, and I think a lot of people will want what I want.”
“What is it that you want?”
“I want to know why she wanted to kill Snow White.”
“She’s dead, and nobody cares.”
“No, she is not, and the citizens of Grimm deserve to know.”
“Well I disagree, but if you say so. So, what do you want me to do?”
“I may have a plan.”
“Go on.” He looked eager to hear it.
“I say we ask her for an exclusive interview at a set time and place, then when she gets there we grab her and make her smell something that’ll make her go to sleep for a bit. Then we drag her to the back where the trash cans are, tie her down and then demand answers when she wakes up!” I said, starting to smile.
“You know how to make potions?” He was shocked.
“Yes, what did you think, that I was dumb!? But I won’t be making it.”
“Wait, I have to make it?” he said incredulously.
“No! You don’t even have hands! I have a friend, Leonardo. He can cook and make stuff better than anybody. He’ll make the draught.”
“I don’t appreciate the no hands remark, but I suppose it would be nice to get rid of her. Like seriously, she wakes up at like 5:00 AM and comes up to me and asks, ‘who’s the fairest of them all?’ And obviously, I have to say it’s her, otherwise… well, let’s just say I learned my lesson.” He grimaced.
“Hey, Mirror, how come you can’t find Snow White, or even prove is she’s dead?” I was curious.
He looked excited and started. “She’s got strong magic on her; I can’t find a heat trail or anything! It’s remarkable! I suspect it is woodland magic. You see, woodland magic is very strong; it’s linked to the great powers of the Earth. And for those who the Earth decides to protect or cast a spell on, it lasts forever. They will be immensely protected or immensely punished. So—”
I bet he could have gone on for hours and hours, but I didn’t have all day.
“That was very enlightening, but I have to go.” I ran out of the throne room and went to the village, where Leonardo was happily making his cakes and pies, and other delicious pastries. My mouth watered at the sight of them.
“Leonardo!” I called out.
“Sn-Janet! What can I do for you?” He said in his Italian accent. (no offense.)
“Can you make me a vial filled with maybe a bit of sleeping-draught? I have a friend who would absolutely love it.”
“Sure, it’s for her right? When do you want it?” He smiled, I had known Leonardo for a long time and he knew what I wanted from the Queen.
“Yes, tomorrow, probably,” I replied.
I walked out of his bakery and bumped into Guard Alex.
“What are you doing around here? We don’t need any more reporters up in the Queen’s face. We’ve already got The Daily Grimm, Grimm International, and The Metropolitan Grimm!” The last name he said with excitement.
“Please sir, listen.”
“Let me see your face. And your ID.”
I slowly lifted up my head. I saw him softly gasp, and whisper “lips as red as blood” I handed him my ID.
“Who are you? You look like somebody I know.”
“Um. I guess I just have that face. Oh and by the way I’m Janet, as it says on the ID, which you obviously didn’t read.”
“Humph. I did for your information. Janet, what do you want?” he said firmly.
“I want you to promise me you won’t tell anybody about this, ok?”
“Why? What do you want, what are you going to do?” he asked nervously.
“What’s fine? Is it fine? Is it really?” He was clearly skeptical.
“You’ll be safe. All we want to do is get the truth out of the queen, you can just take care of your guard buddies.”
“Ok, sure,” he said uneasily. “How?”
“Oh I’ve got a plan, tell ya later,”
“Ok.” He walked off with the face of someone who was deep in thought.
The next day I went to the throne room, where hopefully, everyone had received the note that the Magic Mirror had sent the others. I talked them through the plan one more time. Leonardo handed me a bowl with a herb mix inside it.
“I have to go get some more of the ingredients for the draught,” Leonardo said with a wink.
When he came back something was worrying him.
“What’s wrong, Leonardo?”
“I had a feeling I was being watched as I picked the ingredients.”
“Maybe we should go check, just in case somebody’s going to rat us out. Mirror, you better stay here.”
“Yeah sure, discriminate a mirror just because he ain’t got any legs!” he said angrily.
We ignored him. We started to walk towards the Queen’s Potion Garden. We stepped inside and saw somebody immediately move away from us.
“Who’s there?” Alex asked.
“Nobody,” Nobody said.
“Well, there must be somebody there if I just heard a voice,” stated Leonardo.
Alex mumbled in agreement.
I walked towards the voice and grabbed it by the collar of their gown.
“Well, well, well, look who’s here,” I said.
“Who are you?” Nobody asked. Well now I knew who she was, it was The Queen.
“You don’t need to know, not yet at least.”
She panicked and screamed. “Guards! Somebody!” Thankfully Alex had taken care of them, they were far, far away, probably drinking a whole gallon of beer in the middle of the forest, no doubt. We tied a piece of fabric around her mouth so she couldn’t scream. We forced her to the back of the palace and cornered her.
“Take the fabric off,” I said.
The others took it off and grabbed her to prevent her from escaping.
I made my move, it was what I had been waiting for my entire life. A chance to know why she tried to kill Snow White. “Why did you try to kill her?” I asked in a calm steady voice.
“Kill who? You do know that I have killed like a bazillion people, right?” She seemed to take pride in this.
“Snow White, your most recent ‘victim.’” I forced out.
She reluctantly began, she seemed a bit sad. “I am not a vain person, I am not a murderer, and I didn’t want to kill Snow White. Everyone thinks I was envious of her beauty, so I killed her, but no. I was forced, you see an Enchantress told me to kill her. I asked why many times but she wouldn’t tell. I had to, otherwise, the Enchantress would kill me and my sister”
“You had a sister?” I asked this was something new, I never knew that.
“Yes, her name was Diana, Diana Hansen. She wasn’t my actual sister, she was adopted. Everything I did was because of her. I am not the woman everyone thinks me to be, I was kind to Snow White, who wouldn’t be? She was so cute and perfect and tiny.”
I was very confused.
“But then why are you having an anniversary to celebrate her death?” I asked.
She seemed a little annoyed to be interrupted. “I know that no one would believe me if I say this, but if I keep up with what people think I am, well, to me it’s easier. Sometimes I wondered if the Enchantress was controlling my mind. I was foolish and listened to her, I just wanted my sister back, but instead of freeing my sister, she was my sister.”
“Wait so you’re saying that your sister was captured by an Enchantress? And then you went after her? And she was the Enchantress? How? I am really confused,” Leonardo said. I could almost imagine the gears turning in his head. It was pretty confusing.
“You see, my sister went missing one day and I started to get worried. The next day the Enchantress appeared in my hut and told me that she had my sister. She told me to work for her freedom. 100 days of work, helping her making potions, I even made the Magic Mirror! He’s not very grateful. If I didn’t do as she said, she would kill me and my sister. I was so frightened and went with her to her home, well it was more of a cave. I asked many times to see Diana but she wouldn’t let me. 100 days went past slowly and I asked the Enchantress to let Diana go, instead, she said, ‘Foolish girl! I am your sister! You will work and you will give me your power!’ She had disguised herself so that she could get what she wanted from me. My sister had been cursed when she was born, but my parents never told me, they feared I would try to fix it and get caught up in a horrible web of magic. One day she flickered between Diana and the Enchantress and told me everything. She had wanted to kill Snow White because she was a child of immense power, far greater than you know, far greater than anyone knew.”
“How was she so powerful? What kind of power?” I needed to know.
“Shouldn’t you be taking notes? You are a reporter, right? You might want to use this as a story in the future,” she said.
“What, the future? Umm… Well yes, but I have a good memory. As I was saying, what power?”
She continued. “Snow White, she had this aura to her. It drew people and animals alike. If this was used for evil, the Enchantress could’ve controlled people and animals. The Mirror told me that she was protected by woodland magic, and she still may be, if she didn’t die. The Mirror believes that the animals took to a shine to her, provoking some serious woodland magic. And so my sister was cursed to endlessly search for the one with great power, ultimately leading to her demise.”
“How?” I couldn’t help asking.
“Well woodland magic dates back hundreds of thousands of years ago. It protected royals and villagers, anyone Mother Earth or the animals liked. In Snow White’s case, she was a royal and the animals liked her and I have good reason to think that Mother Earth liked her as well, as the spell would activate when the bearer walked into the forest that they were cursed or blessed in. Ahem. Soon she stopped flickering, she had become the full Enchantress, she was not my sister anymore, she was evil. One night while she was sleeping I snuck out with the Mirror, 3 spell books, some rare ingredients, a potions book, and my personal belongings. I ran deep into the woods, the same woods where the Huntsmen left Snow White. I purposely let Snow White live, I told the dwarves about her. Oh yeah, and Snow White is living with dwarves and she’s not dead.”
I gasped, Queen Grimhilde told the dwarves about Snow White!
“Yes, it is a very newsworthy piece, but please don’t release that to the press, yet.”
She clearly misunderstood my gasp.
“My sister soon faded, her failure destroyed her, and she had no one to help her, no power. I would never see her again. After what I had done, I was ashamed. Everyone blamed me. I managed to silence the voices with a few potions, after being accused, I started to hate Snow White, she was the one who tarnished my reputation!” She heard crying and looked over at me, sobbing.
“I’m sorry, I had no idea.” I sobbed.
“Why are you sorry? This was not your fault. As I said before I would really appreciate that you didn’t release this to the press,” she said nervously.
“Of course,” I reassured her.
I looked over at the others and I saw that Alex was crying, almost. As you know a good guard NEVER cries, ever! Leonardo was starting to spill over too.
I couldn’t contain myself and exclaimed, “Dragana! It’s me! I’m Snow White!” I was so happy knowing that she didn’t hate me from the start!
“You are? But aren’t you a reporter?” She looked confused. “Is this a joke?”
I took out a makeup removing wipe and wiped my face. I noticed Dragana (Queen Dragana Grimhilde that is) staring in shock so I knew that my ‘snow’ white skin was showing. I took out my special hair dye remover and slowly my ebony hair started to show through the dark brown dye.
“It really is you! Oh! I can’t believe it! You still call me Dragana don’t you?” Dragana ran over and embraced me laughing.
“But why is everyone celebrating my ‘death’?”
“Uh…Well, you see remember how I used some potions? I made them forget all that stuff. Instead, I told them that you were bad and evil and horrible and you made me really ugly and that finally, I killed you and yadda yadda ya,” She explained.
“Well, after you leave how do I fix this, without you becoming a criminal?” I asked.
“Well, that’s up to you.”
I let her be on her way and told her to flee the land and live somewhere else. I promised I would visit her. I stopped at my inn (The Inn Grimm) and wore my real clothes and everything. I stepped out and saw Alex standing outside talking with Leonardo and the Mirror floating beside them. “Excuse me, Alex, could you go to the town and tell the townsfolk that I would like to talk to them? Thanks.”
“Yes, your majesty.” He replied and hurried off. I forgot that once Dragana left that I was Queen, Queen of Grimm. Hmm…I’m not sure if I can take care of an entire town!
He came back with the villagers and I told them everything the Queen told me. I also dismissed all her guests (to the prisons of course! I mean she had invited the whole lot of bad guys!) I went back to my friends and asked.
“You all know who I am, right?”
“Yes,” they all replied.
“You told us before,” The Mirror added.
“Well yes, but it’ll make me feel so good to say this, okay ready? I AM SNOW WHITE!” I screamed, finally I had said something I had kept a secret for a very long time.
“Why did you dress up as a reporter though?” Leonardo asked.
“If I ran into the queen before I was ready, I would need to have a cover-up. My original plan was that I go to the throne room and then ask the queen for an exclusive interview and tell her to meet me at a set time and place, then I would go out and find some helpers. But that didn’t work out.”
“Ah, so when you saw me you decided I could help you, right?” The Mirror asked.
“Yes, exactly, after all, I remember hearing you talk about how much you hated her.” (Back when I was a kid I would talk with the Mirror).
I ruled well (I think). As for the Mirror, Alex, and Leonardo, they found some good jobs. The Mirror became my advisor and helped me make tough decisions. Alex became Captain of the Royal Guard, and Leonardo became the Royal Chef which was his dream! For now, we will live happily ever after! (If it even exists, but I hope it does) You know, I think this little chronicling of my life ought to draw to an end.
Wondering how to support the youth writer in your life? We can help! Check out our cheat-sheet below which will help you have creative, writerly conversations with your Young Inkling—even if you’re not a writer yourself.