“There’s a zap, then a world forms around me.
‘Where are we?’ my sister asks.”
I slam the back door of the farmhouse and run over to the barn. I have just gotten home from the last day of school and am ready for a nap (a.k.a. watch a movie on my computer and eat popcorn). My mom is out and my dad is still at work, so I have the house to myself. But I love the barn almost as much as Biscuit (my dog).
A couple years ago, my dad cleaned out the hayloft and said I could have it. It’s now my favorite place in the whole world. I climb up the shaky ladder and plop down in a pile of hay. Woof woof! My dog comes running over to me.
“Hey, Biscuit!” I yell and he jumps onto my lap, licking my face. “You wanna see a movie?” I ask him, and he licks my face again. I assume that means yes.
I grab my computer from the floor where I keep it and flip it open. A picture of my horse, Dusty, appears on the screen. My parents got him for me for my fifth birthday and now I’m 12, so we’ve been together for a while.
“Sandra! Where are you? I’m home!” my sister’s voice rings out.
I didn’t know she was coming home! I think.
Her name is Arra and she’s perfect, with her straight blond hair and blue eyes. Also, she has pink lips and rosy cheeks. My parents say I’m pretty, and I think so too, but my sister is beautiful. The hard thing to believe is that we’re twins. She takes after my gorgeous mother and I take after my father, with my straight black hair and not-so-pink lips.
“I’m in here!” I yell.
“Be more specific!” My sister likes to correct me at any time possible.
“The barn!” Soon I hear Arra climbing up the ladder. The first thing I can see is the top of her head before the rest of her body climbs up onto the hay loft. I groan. She eyes the movie that’s on the counter.
“Is that really Snow White? Is that what we’re watching?” she asks.
What we’re watching? I think. Oh no, no, no!
Instead, I say, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.”
When she looks puzzled I say, “In other words, yes, that’s Snow White. And yes, that’s what I’m watching.”
She plops down next to me, seemingly not taking the hint. I sigh and put in the disk. There’s a buzzing noise and it gets louder by the minute. Soon, my sister and I are covering our ears. Then everything is silent and I’m falling through darkness.
There’s a zap, then a world forms around me.
“Where are we?” my sister asks.
I look around me and see a cottage. It looks so familiar.
But where have I seen it? I think. Then it hits me. There is only one place I’ve seen a cottage like this. And that’s ––
“I think we’re in the movie!” I yell. “But in the end of it, where I left off.”
“But that means Snow White’s inside the cottage choking!” she says.
“So you have seen the movie!” I tease and her face turns red. My sister and I run toward the cottage.
“Hello!” my sister yells as we enter the small house. I pause in the doorway.
“He –– ” and then there is a strangled scream. We race into a yellow room and find a girl with hair as black as coal and lips as red as blood lying on the floor. It can only be one person. Snow White.
“Ah!” we scream, and race to her aid.
“Quick!” I yell, “I’ll pick her up and you pat her back!” I grab Snow White and Arra grabs a broom. She starts to whack the her back. A apple falls out of her mouth and Snow White opens her eyes.
“Gasp! Wha- what happened?” she asks, touching her forehead.
“You were choking on that apple,” my sister says, sitting down on a chair nearby. I help Snow White onto a sofa and then sit down next to her.
“Oh my! Thank you!” she whispers covering her mouth. My sister yawns.
“You must be exhausted,” Snow White says. “Why don’t you stay with me? We almost never have visitors, let alone girls.”
“We’d love to, but what do you mean by we?” my sister asks.
“The dwarves,” says Snow White standing up.
“Oh right,” my sister mutters.
“What was that? Oh never mind. Follow me, please.” Snow White herds us out of the room and up some wide stairs. At the top she leads us down a long hall and stops beside a oak wood door. “The dwarves are out so there is plenty of room,” she says and opens the door.
I gasp. I can’t help myself. The room is beautiful. The fire place at the end of the room is polished, and there was a large bed with a pink canopy pushed up against the blue wall. My sister smirks and I turn away.
“Hey,” I say. “There’s only one bed. We’ll have to share.” My sister’s smile fades. Now it’s my turn to smirk. I think she’s going to say something, but she doesn’t. I guess she’s too polite.
That night, I can’t sleep. I can’t stop wondering about my parents. I wonder if they’re worried. I lay awake thinking. “Sandra? Are you awake?” my sister’s voice asks from the dark.
“Sandra? Are you awake?” my sister’s voice asks from the dark.
“Um, I’ve been thinking –– ”
She sighs. “You know how at the end of the movie the prince sees Snow White in the coffin and decides to marry her?”
She continues, “Well, what happens if he doesn’t see her in the coffin?”
I think. Then I gasp.
“He will never see her or know her, let alone marry her!” I yell, jerking myself upright. “Arra, we might have just made a humongous mistake!”
In the morning Snow White makes us a good breakfast of eggs and bacon. We laugh and talk but then it’s time for Arra and me to get going. We say our goodbyes, get directions for the capital (we stayed up late last night making a plan to visit the prince, you see), she gives us some money, and we head out.
We walk a while then reach a small village. We find an inn with a love bird on its sign and get a small lunch with the little money we have. Then we set out again. By around sunset, we come upon the capital. “Now what?” my sister asks as we enter the large town.
“Now what?” my sister asks as we enter the large town.
“We find an inn,” I say, confidently taking the lead.
“How do we pay?” she asks.
“We have some money left –– ah! Here it is!” We walk up to an oak wood building labeled the Just Right Inn. I open the door and we troop in. Right when we slam the door, it starts raining.
“We’re going to sleep in the inn, right?” Arra stares out the window wearily. I don’t respond. Don’t want to get her hopes up.
We trudge wearily out of the inn and into the pouring rain fifteen minutes later. There are no rooms left thanks to the annoyingly cold rain. A man dressed in royal clothing comes up to us and bows to Arra. “Your Highness,” he says, kissing her hand. “Into the carriage, the prince is worried sick!” He shoos us into a carriage despite our complaints and reasoning. Soon, we’re sitting across from each other on velvet cushioned benches. Then I get an idea.
“Arra!” I exclaim.
“Mmm?” she asks.
“This guy, and the prince too, they think you’re the prince’s bride-to-be. We could use you –– or whoever you’re playing as –– to our advantage.” I lean over and whisper the plan in her ear.
We finally reach the castle at around midnight. The steward rushes us down dank corridors and past suits of armor. We stop at a wooden door and he knocks. Another man in the same clothing answers and lets us in. He leads us into a waiting room and disappears into the room beyond. A second later he appears and beckons to us. By now the first steward had disappeared so we walk through the doors alone. The doors bang behind me and I wince slightly.
“My love,” the prince says standing up and smiling. He stops smiling as soon as he sees me. His brow furrows. “And who’s this?” he asks.
“She’s my cousin. She –– ” I stammer.
“You sure you’re related? You’re beautiful and she’s, well, not,” he interrupts. I jerk back in surprise, but before I can answer, my sister butts in.
“Anyway, she’s been reminding me of our childhood friend, Snow White, and I want you to meet her.”
Wow, Arra’s got this in the bag! I think to myself.
“Anything for you, my love. Tomorrow we will meet her! Now to bed, my beauty!”
He waves us out of the room. So far so good, I think smugly. Now for the hard part.
The next morning the prince, Arra (also known as Lady Sabrina), and I get in a carriage, and are whisked away to Snow White’s.
When we get there, Snow White answers the door. She looks flustered. “Your Highness,” she says and bows deeply. The prince looks dazzled.
“Milady,” he says, and kisses her hand. She looks utterly surprised. “I hear you are friends with my bride-to-be.” Snow White definitely looks disappointed at the mention of the words bride-to-be.
“Please, um, come in,” she says, motioning for us to enter. But Arra holds the prince back.
“I need to talk to you.” The prince’s brow furrows and he resists, but finally gives in.
“Of course.” The “couple” walk around to the back of the house.
“Um, I’m going to pick some berries.” I bluff, then before she can object, I race around to the back of the house and duck behind some bushes just as the “couple” come into view.
“Um, listen,” says Arra. “I asked you to come here for two reasons.”
“And what would those be?”
“One, to see my friend. And two, I needed to talk to you in private.”
“Well, I don’t know if you’re the right person for me, or if I’m the right person for you –– ”
“You mean you do –– ”
“But I do know someone who would be good for you.” The prince was silent. “Snow White.” Arra slips the ring she found in her room last night off her hand and hands it to the prince.
“Well, she is nice, and pretty so I gue –– ”
“Great! I’ll go get her so you can ask her to marry you!” Arra dashes off around the house and I follow her. Snow White is waiting in front of the house for us. “The prince would like to talk to you,” Arra says as we approach Snow White. She turns beet red.
“Um, okay,” she says and runs around to the back of the house.
A few minutes later, (a few minutes that felt like a few hours) the two come back. I notice that Snow White is wearing a ring she wasn’t wearing before. I smile.
I’ve never been more relieved to hear a piece of news as I was to hear this news. “We’re getting married!” she said.
Then there is a loud zap and I’m laying next to Arra on the hayloft like nothing had ever happened.
“What just happened?” I ask, standing up and brushing the hay off my lap.
“All I know is that there’s hay all over me, and I need to take a shower,” she says, standing up.
Some things just never change, I think. Then she does something she hasn’t done since we were five. She hugs me.
Then again, some things do change, I think to myself and smile.