The Fairest of Them All

by Katie Balabuch


Crimson blood floods the pure, white snow

Tainting it with the sacrifice

Of a mother who died giving birth

To a daughter she would never know.


Soon after the queen’s death

A maleficent witch takes her place

The king is blinded by her beauty

Snow White sees the mask that is her face.


Shortly after the new marriage

The king suddenly dies

Poisoned by a magic potion

Hidden by the false queen’s lies.


With the king out of her way,

Nothing can hold the evil queen back.

She appears to have everything she wants,
But there is one thing she lacks.


Obsession overcomes the sorceress.

She cannot bear to be second best.

Seeking validation from her magic mirror

That she is fairer than the rest.


“Mirror, mirror

Upon my wall

Who is the fairest

Of them all?”


“My queen, though you are fair

The fairest one lies in a bed

On the top of the stairs.”


Rage fueled by a jealous fire

Flows through the vain queen

As the mirror claims Snow White

Is the fairest woman it has ever seen.


Rage leads to attempted murder

When the witch hires a hunter

To kill young Snow White

And harvest her fair organs.


The heartless hunter lures Snow White

Into the dense, dangerous forest.

As he raises his blade to slay her,

He sees her comfort his wounded horse.


Instantly, the hunter understands

The queen’s selfish murder plan

And chooses to let Snow White live,

Bringing the queen a boar’s organs instead


Snow White ran for what felt like years

Until she came upon a quaint cottage

With smoke rising from the chimney

Someone had to be home.


Entering the cottage, she sneezes

Everything is covered in dust

Like a blanket over a bed

Preserved in a timeless space


She scours the room frantically

For some sign of life

And finds seven crusted pots,

Seven dirty chairs, and seven unmade beds.


Sleep flows over her like a wave

And she falls to the seven beds

Where she sleeps for seven hours

Until the seven little men come home.


The little men return home,

Shocked by Snow White’s presence.

After hearing her sad story

They decide she should stay with them.


One day, the queen feels extra insecure

So she seeks out her magic mirror to validate her:

“mirror, mirror upon my wall

Who is the fairest of them all?”


“My queen, though you are fair, its true

Snow White lives and she is fairer than you!”


The queen screams and throws a fit

She slams her mirror on the ground

Rips portraits off of the wall

Because she is not the fairest of them all.


The mirror, hoping to save its life

Tells the queen where to find Snow White:

“in a cottage through the forest and over the hills

The dwarfs she lives with do not return until night.”
The queen calls for her horse and quickly leaves

To reclaim her vain throne from the innocent girl

On her way, she transforms into an old woman in rags

And plans to trick the girl into pitying her.


Snow White opens the door after hearing a knock

And sees an old woman in rags carrying a corset.

Surely this tiny thing can do her no harm,

So she takes her in without question.


The woman offers to give the corset to Snow White,

Feeling badly for the old woman, she couldn’t refuse.

Snow White turned around for the woman to lace her up

Behind her back the old woman smiled evilly.


She slowly laced up the back of the dress,

Reveling in every moment Snow White came closer to death.

Finally, she pulled the laces as tight as she could

And Snow White’s eyes grew wide, bursting out of her head.


As she falls to the floor, the queen in rags cackles with glee

And pulls out her mirror to make sure she finished the deed.

“Mirror, mirror upon my wall: Who is the fairest of them all?”

“Over all the seven seas, there is no one fairer than thee!”


Satisfied, the queen takes her leave.

Soon after, the dwarves return home

To find Snow White on the floor

Her skin as cold as stone.


Quickly, they loosened her bodice

And she drew in a great breath

That sounded like the first breath

She would ever breathe.


They warned Snow White to be more careful,

But being naïve and kind she would be easily tricked again

As the queen soon found Snow White was no longer dead

And that she, the queen, was no longer the fairest of them all.


In the second attempt at killing Snow White,

The queen put on her rags and came to the cottage.

She offered snow white a beautiful comb

Unknown to Snow, the tips were coated with poison.


You would think Snow White would have learned her lesson

The first time the queen tried to kill her,

But she was too kind and gentle

And she did not fear death the way the queen did.


The poison comb worked its way into Snow White’s skull

She fell to the ground as the poison pulsed through her veins

Satisfied the girl was dead, the queen leaped with joy

And galloped home to her castle.

The dwarfs once again came to Snow White’s rescue

As they lovingly stroked her head they found

The poisoned comb and yanked it out.

Snow White immediately came to life.


The dwarfs warned her again about the strange passers by

Before they left her alone, vulnerable to work in the mines.

This time Snow White thought she’d be more careful,

But she would prove an easy target once more.


The false queen in rags came back to Snow White

With an apple in hand, she offers her a bite.

Snow White tries to be cautious, but the temptation is too much

She bites the apple and immediately chokes.


When the dwarfs return home, they know they cannot save her

They unlace her bodice, and check her hair

But nothing that could have hurt her was there.

They cry as they wrap up her body for burial.


Snow White’s body sits on a mountain top

In a crystal, sparkling casket that forever preserves her beauty.

An adoring prince finds her body and visits daily

He begs the dwarfs to let him take her home.


As the prince carries away Snow White,

One of his men drops the casket.

Initially angry, his rage subsides when he hears

Snow White breathe and sees the apple core by her side.


The prince and Snow White immediately marry

Their wedding is no small affair.

To scare the evil queen, the prince invites her

When she comes, he shackles her to a chair.


Snow White doesn’t ask for vengeance,

But the prince feels no mercy.

His men cut off the queen’s hair,

Scar her face, and allow her to grow old.


As the evil queen rots in the tower,

Snow White spends her days in a beautiful castle

With a recovered magic mirror from her youth

Asking the question:


“Mirror, Mirror on the wall,

Who is the fairest of them all?”

Eastern Michigan University's English Department senior student literary journal