Core

“Don’t eat that”, said the Queen, slapping the King’s hand with a wooden spoon. He yelped. Bitch be cray with her spoon.

“But I’m hungry. And King. And I could have you killed,” said the King. And it was true. He was a fairytale monarch, the kind that could just twat a guy in the street and that guy’d be more “thanks, King” than “what the fuck, King?!”

Therefore it stood to reason that if he wanted to eat an apple, then that apple was about to have its day ruined.

He reached for it again. Slap. His hand recoiled again, and the Queen just stood there, lips pursed, ready to dispense another serving of spoon-kata upon him.

But there was something about the apple. It was a flawless blood-red and its smooth skin could catch sunlight in a windowless room. More than that, though. He looked at it and it seemed to pulse slightly, the room expanding and contracting around it, breathing. And the longer he stared at it, the more a little voice seemed to whisper in his ear. He tried to shake it away but the voice whispered over and over again:

“Go on. Just a little bite.”

Slap. The sharp burst of pain brought him back his senses. He clasped his struck hand. He had been reaching for the apple again.

“You there,” he called to the nearest standing attendant. “Bring me the head of the man who makes my wife’s spoons”

“This,” said his wife, slowly, like he were a dim child, rather than a man with literally a huge crown on his head, “this is not for you.”

“Oh god,” he said, “This isn’t one of … those apples, is it?”

She turned away, and starting whisking something in a nonchalant kind of way.

“I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

This was the 4th apple she’d made since her 30th birthday.

“Please stop poisoning beautiful women.”

“Aha!” she cried, “So you admit that they are beautiful!”

“Have you been talking to that mirror again?”

“HE ACTUALLY CARES ABOUT HOW I LOOK!”

“He’s a drunk!”

“This is awkward,” said the magic mirror hanging between them on the wall, “I should go.” He shuffled forward, fell off the wall and just sort of lay there.

“Look,” said the King, “would maybe a nice trip to Venice-“

“Oh great. Lovely! I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to not have sex in Venice”

“I get tired!” he shouted, his cheeks darkening with the same redness of the fruit forbidden to him. “Being a King is hard! We try, we can only try, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen down there.”

“It would if I were the most beautiful woman in the land!”

“You are!”

“That is LITERALLY THE POINT OF THE MIRROR.”

“This is awkward,” said the mirror on the floor, “I should go.”

The King made a lunge for the apple on the kitchen top, but the Queen bespooned him about the face and snatched it from his grasp.

“Easy, easy,” soothed the King. “Calm down. Now, who is the apple for?”

The Queen searched her memory, then asked, “Ummm… Mirror?”

“This is making me quite uncomfortable to be honest,” said the mirror, quietly.

“Mirror!” demanded the Queen, louder. The mirror sighed.

Through mountains, rivers, woodland grange,

The fairest of the land has changed.

No longer Queen with noble eye,

The fairest now is Catherine Skye.”

“Ah,” said the King after a short pause. “To be honest, Cathy is a spicy little biscuit.”

Turns out there are two ways for a bewitched apple to kill someone; first, by biting into its succulent poisonous flesh, and the second, when it hits your temple at one hundred and thirty miles per.

Poor King.

To be fair though, Cathy Skye. I mean, oh my goodness, Cathy Skye.

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