The Princess & Nieve

Once upon a time in a far off kingdom there lived a great duchess. The duchess was well loved in the court and her daughter, Nieve, was a beloved playmate of the princess, Blanca. The duchess was loved and trusted by the royal family and all those in court. She was said to give the best advice and trusted with secrets that were kept from most. However, she had a dark secret.

The duchess had, in her position, a wicked relic. A magic mirror that could answer any question. The duchess used its dark power as a tool to manipulate the royal family, surreptitiously destroy her enemies by discovering their darkest secrets and making sure they spread. All to keep her position as the favourite. Often she would unveil her mirror and ask:

“Mirror Mirror on the wall

Answer now my heart’s call

Of all those in noble splendour

Who do the Royals most treasure?”

The mirror would swirl. A twisted visage would appear and it would answer

“None in court is closer to the throne

Than you, Milady, thanks to what you’ve sown.”

The duchess would smile and laugh, covering her mirror and continuing on her path.

One afternoon, Nieve, Blanca and the young baron Marrón were sitting together. Blanca had found something most interesting.

“It’s a magic Dwarven gem that lets you connect your minds when you’re both asleep,” she explained.

“Whatever would you want to use that for?” Marrón wondered.

“It might be nice to share a dream with someone you love,” Nieve said. “Will you…,” she pause, unable to complete her thought.

“Are you going to use it to connect with your suitors?” Marrón asked, unable to pick up on the atmosphere.

“Ughh, don’t remind me,” Blanca scoffed. “I don’t know what to do. I’m supposed to pick someone to marry within the week.”

Nieve put a hand on her shoulder. “It’s okay. I’m sure they won’t be all bad. I just wish…” she shook her head. “Never mind, it’s nothing.”

“So, who are you going to use it with if not a suitor?” Marrón asked.

“I’ll find a use for it,” Blanca said. “But it can only be used once so I have to be careful.”

“I look forward to hearing about it,” Marrón  stated. “Pardon me, Ladies, I have to be going home. Father will be waiting.”

He took his leave, allowing the childhood friends a chance to be alone. Nieve squeezed Blanca’s hand. “I don’t want you to go off to some other kingdom with some strange Prince,” she confessed.

“I don’t want to go either,” Blanca stated. “But it’s what I’m supposed to do, as a princess.” She returned Nieve’s squeeze. “We’ll both have to have courage, I guess.”

That night, the duchess noticed Nieve’s tears but said nothing. After all, whatever was bothering her daughter had nothing to do with her.

She sent Nieve to bed after supper and went into her room to uncover her great mirror.

“Mirror Mirror on the wall

Answer now my heart’s call

Of all those in noble splendour

Who do the Royals most treasure?”

The mirror swirled. A twisted visage appeared and it answered

“Milady fair though you are adored

The number one position is no longer your reward

Nieve is now closer to the throne by far

than, I’m sorry to say, you are.”

The duchess was furious. Her position usurped by that brat? She was so furious she bit her finger until it bled and sincerely wished her own daughter dead.

She didn’t know what to do. There wasn’t anything about Nieve that Princess Blanca didn’t know. Nothing to use against her. That’s when the duchess had a twisted thought. She had some rare, dried Morpheus vine that she could use in a most diabolical concoction.

A simple potion carrying a curse. To make the one who consumed it slumber until awakened by true love’s kiss. She knew Nieve didn’t have either a boyfriend nor any suitors. She had been waiting until the Princess’s marriage to find one for her. As such, she was confident the girl would sleep forever.

She retrieved the vines and went to work. Boiling a cauldron to make her brew. She spent all night making a small vial which she added to a simple apple tart.

She took the tart to her daughter’s room.

“Nieve, dear,” she spoke as sweetly as she could. “I noticed you were upset last night so I baked one of your favourite tarts, it’s apple.” She handed the poisoned pastry to her daughter with glee.

“Oh, thank you, Mother,” Nieve said. “It’s just… About Blanca and…”

“Dear, eat your tart before it gets cold,” the duchess beseeched “We can talk after.”

Nieve obeyed and took a big bite. The effect was almost instant. The remaining half of the pasty fell to the floor.

The duchess looked on in triumph. She carefully cleaned the remains of the tart. Calmly left Nieve’s room and shouted for her servants to call a physician.

The physician arrived quickly, doing everything she could think of, but nothing she knew of could wake the girl.

Soon, word of Nieve’s condition had spread throughout the kingdom. She was taken to the palace where the best physicians in the land could watch over her. The king and queen themselves came to offer the duchess their condolences. They vowed to find whoever was responsible and punish them. The duchess, clever as she was, blamed a duke that had been rising in favour.

That night, Blanca went to see Nieve. She looked even paler than usual. Blanca grasped her friend’s hand. Then, she got an idea. Her Dwarven gem. Maybe if she used it, she could find out what had happened.

She settled down beside Nieve and forced herself to sleep. The gem shined softly in her hands and their minds connected.

“Nieve!” she ran to her friend’s dream form. “What happened? Why can’t you wake?”

“I should have known,” Nieve muttered. “She was too nice. She’s never nice.”

“Listen,” Blanca said. “I need to know what happened. Maybe I can fix it. Hurry, before I wake up.”

Nieve looked at her. “My mother gave me a tart. I… I think she put Morpheus vice in it.” Tears streamed from her dream image. “I can’t wake up.”

“Isn’t there anything that can be done?” Blanca asked. “Please, tell me.”

Nieve took a deep breath. “Supposedly, true love’s kiss can break the curse. But it has to be romantic love and I don’t have anybody who…”

Blanca hugged her tightly. “There is one person. Nieve, I promise I’ll…”

Blanca was awoken with a start. Her mother was shaking her.

“Honey, I know you’re worried but you can’t sleep here,” she chided.

“I had to I…” Blanca held up the gem.

“That’s the one that lets you connect with someone’s mind when you’re both sleeping, wasn’t it?” Marrón asked. Blanca noticed him behind her mother for the first time.

“The young Baron wanted to see Nieve,” her mother explained. “He’s been worried sick. Now, what’s all this about connecting?”

“I saw Nieve in her mind,” Blanca explained. “She said her mother poisoned her with Morpheus vine.”

“The duchess would never,” her mother protested.

“She would!” Blanca declared. “I don’t know why, but she did.”

“And what else did Nieve say?” Marrón asked.

“She said we can wake her if someone who truly loves her, romantically, gives her a kiss,” Blanca said.

“Then allow me,” Marrón stated. “I will wake the beauteous maiden.”

“No, you won’t,” Blanca stated. “I know you. Your feelings for her are purely based  on her looks. It wouldn’t be true love’s kiss.”

“If not Baron Marrón then who else do we have?” the queen asked.

“There’s only one person, I’m sure of that,” Blanca said. “Mother, I’m sorry.” She knelt down beside Nieve and gently kissed her lips.

The effect was immediate. Nieve’s arms wrapped around Blanca and she returned the kiss.

“I never… I’d hoped but I didn’t think…” Nieve stammered.

“I have,” Blanca said, gently stroking her cheek “for a long time.” Blanca helped Nieve up and looked back at her mother. “Mother I…” she began.

“I’ve suspected,” the queen interrupted “for quite some time.” She smiled at the pair. “You should have told us sooner. More than anything else, your father and I want you to be happy.”

The king arrived at that time. “Nieve, you gave us quite a fright! I’m so glad you’re all right.” He turned to Blanca. “Better wash up, Dear. The Princes will be here soon.”

“Father, I’m sorry but please send them back,” Blanca said. “I’ve decided who I’m going to marry.”

The king looked around the room, trying to figure out the situation.

“Well, you are a noble,” he said, patting Marrón on the back. “Congratulations, Son.”

“Dad, not him,” Blanca said. Her eyes drifting to Nieve.

“Oh, then welcome, Daughter!” the king declared, hugging Nieve. “You’re already practically a part of the family. We can make it official.”

The duchess arrived at the court that evening, discovering with shock that her daughter had awoken. More shocked still to learn that she had been discovered. She was banished from the kingdom in disgrace. Her property seized and her mirror smashed.

Some say she took her own life, unable to cope. Others say she found a new kingdom and started again. Yet others claim she was accosted by bandits and quickly took control of them, becoming a ruthless queen of brigands.

Nieve wed princess Blanca and became a princess in her own right. Adored and welcomed by all of the royal family. They lived long, interesting and generally quite happy lives. Strengthened by a bond between them that could never be broken and sustained by their love for one another.

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About ktulu007

For me, writing is the greatest passion and sharing what I work on is a privilege. I write a lot about LGBT characters because so often the media we see with them is about their sexuality or gender identity or they’re the token LGBT character in a group of straight characters. So, I try to write a fleshed out character who’s part of a story about a fantasy quest or a star ship crew and happens to be LGBT. Comments are always appreciated. Just don't make me get sarcastic. Or do, I like being sarcastic.
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