For months the queen sent out search parties with no luck. Finally she decided she would go and look for her errant step daughter herself. She owed it to her dead husband to try. But the huntsman and all her councillors strongly objected.
‘We are deprived of our Princess, the heir to the throne. We cannot allow you to put your life in jeopardy as well.’
And suddenly the queen found herself heavily guarded at every turn.
It took a lot of scheming, and a disguise bought from an old wise woman who often came to bring her medicinal herbs for her recurring headaches, but one day the queen, heavily made up and disguised as an old crone, slipped past the guards and made her way into the forest.
She decided to stay in disguise for her search. Less chance of being mugged if she looked like she didn’t have anything.
The path was long and winding and she trod it many days, until finally her small store of food was gone. There had been an apple tree along the way and she’d picked as many as she could reach, but even those were dwindling. She now had but a few apple left.
Her feet were beyond sore and she was tired and bruised from sleeping on the ground. Then one day she stumbled upon a cottage. There were tools and beer cans littered around the cottage and she waited and watched. Just before dark a line of short, stocky men wandered into view. They were singing, and one looked stoned.
‘Dopey was smokin’ instead of weedin’ one of the men laughed.
‘Why do you think we call him Dopey?’ another yelled.
Then a familiar voice shrilled from the cottage. ‘You’re late, you lazy slobs. Your supper is cold. Wipe your damn feet before you come in, I spent all day cleaning this hovel!’
Snow White? The queen shuddered. Her little step daughter living with seven ugly little men in one small cottage. Men who obviously went out to tend their marijuana fields every day. Why else would they live so deep in the forest? She hung her head and wept, silently begging forgiveness from her long dead husband.
After casing the place for a few days and waiting for the dope growing dwarves to ‘go to work’, the queen stepped up to the cottage and tapped on the door.
‘Go away, I’m busy.’
‘Fresh apples! Wouldn’t you like a nice fresh apple?’ the queen pulled out her last apple. Large and rosy; it was a tempting treat that she was sure Snow wouldn’t be able to resist. Snow had always loved apples. Snow opened the door a crack and peered out.
‘How much?’ she snapped.
‘For you, fair one, no charge at all’ the queen coaxed.
Snow White’s grubby, work roughened hand snaked out and snatched the apple. The door slammed shut and the queen heard a frenzied munching and slurping as Snow gobbled the apple. Poor thing, the queen thought, she must have been starving. Then she heard the hacking and choking. She wrenched the door open to find Snow White going even whiter, rolling around on the dirty floor, hands to her throat.
The queen was just about to perform the Heimlich manoeuver when HE burst in. Tall, handsome, well dressed, the intruder handed the queen his card, picked up Snow, spun her around and Heimliched a large chunk of apple across the room. It splatted wetly against an old pin-up photo of Miss Fairy Tail 1996 and slid down into a pile of dirty laundry.
The queen looked at the card. “Lance Charming Private Detective and Deprogrammer.” Lance had placed Snow back on the ground and had started mouth to mouth resuscitation when Snow coughed, opened her eyes, and looked into the deep blue ones of her rescuer. She gasped “Who the Hell are you?”
Lance looked over to the queen. “The deprogramming may take some time your highness. The Head Huntsman and the Royal Guard are on their way and should be here any minute. Nice disguise by the way, I almost didn’t recognise you.”
“Thanks, I’ve been, ah, ‘working on it’ for a few weeks now.”
“I must get to work now. If you want Snow back to normal I suggest you wait outside and don’t let anyone come in, no matter what you hear going on in here.”
“Normal?” the queen reflected on Snow’s snotty and irritating personality. “Couldn’t you go a bit past normal?”
“Well, while your deprogramming, couldn’t you make her a little more, well, grateful and appreciative; a little sweeter? I’d certainly make it worth you while.”
“She is awfully pretty.”
“And rich. She’s really rich too…son.”
Lance smiled. “Got’cha. One very appreciative princess coming up.”
By the time the Royal Guard got there, the shrieking, cursing, and crashing of china had deteriorated to a tired, broken sobbing. The Head Hunstsman had wanted to break in at once but the queen stopped him.
“Let the man work. It’s all for the best.” She gave the Royal Guard directions to the pot fields with instructions to arrest the seven dwarves on several counts, including abduction.
Six months later, back at the palace, things were back to better than normal. Lance, as it turned out, was a prince in his own right and, with stepmom’s support, he quickly advanced his suit. Snow White, docile and pretty and totally smitten, insisted on an almost scandalously short engagement.
The Head Huntsman, emboldened by a particularly heady wine served at the engagement party, had finally declared his love for the queen and she had not found his advances distasteful in the least.
Finally the day of parting came. Snow White waved a teary goodbye as she and Lance, now man and wife, returned to Prince Charming’s kingdom. The queen smiled and waved, thought about the Huntsman waiting for her in her chambers, and silently intoned the mother’s curse upon her step daughter. ‘May you have many children and may they be JUST LIKE YOU!”