Author Liz DeJesus has stopped by today with an excerpt from her new book First Frost!
Fairytales aren’t real…yeah…that’s exactly what Bianca thought. She was wrong.
For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”
Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.... She’s about to find out how wrong she is.
Rose took a raspy breath and muttered a prayer for her daughter’s safety. Lenore sneered when she heard what she was doing but said nothing.
Lenore laughed. She already knew Bianca had the spell book with her. She could feel its pull—its power. The girl was foolish enough to think that she could trade the book for her mother’s life.
Mistress told me so.
Lenore thought about the promises that Mirabel had made to her when she decided to attack Rose and steal the book from them ten years ago. “I’ll tell you everything you need to know in order to bring your mother back to life. But…you have to promise me that you will destroy the Frost women. They are the only ones left with Snow White’s blood still running in their veins.”
Lenore had only nodded and agreed to her demands. All she wanted was her mother back. Rose’s estranged mother, Alice, had fought and killed Gertrude before her very eyes. The only thing that helped her sleep at night was the fact that Gertrude’s death curse had fallen upon Alice and had killed her instantly.
She knew that Queen Mirabel had a spell that could bring back the dead. She had spent a year trying to contact her spirit and just when she had been close to giving up, Mirabel had appeared inside her bedroom mirror.
She looked into Rose’s eyes. They were the same shade of emerald green as her mother’s. All it did was remind her of her loss and how much she abhorred Rose and her family and everything they represented. She tried to keep her hatred in check. No matter how much she wanted to kill her, she needed her alive for a while longer.
Mistress said she wanted her alive. But she didn’t say I couldn’t have a bit of fun with her.
“Hungry?” Lenore asked.
Rose didn’t answer. In the three days she since she captured the witch, Lenore had only given her stale bread and dirty water. Lenore was amazed she hadn’t gotten sick.
Lenore pulled a bright red apple out of her pocket. “Here.”
Rose tightened her lips and moved her face away from the apple. Lenore hissed and grabbed Rose by the jaw. She pried Rose’s mouth open and shoved the apple in her mouth. Rose squirmed and spat the piece of apple she had bitten. She could see Rose trying hard to resist the crisp and juicy apple.
Lenore leaned over and whispered into Rose’s ear, “I want you to know…the only reason you’re still even breathing is because I want to see the look on your face when I extinguish the light out of your daughter’s eyes.”
Angry tears escaped Rose’s eyes. Lenore could see the impotent rage in her enemy’s face and delighted in it. Rose shrieked and screamed as she struggled against the ropes that bound her. She knew what would happen to her should Rose break free. The sounds coming out of her were so animalistic, so primal…a mother protecting her young. Well, too bad it wouldn’t do her any good.
“Don’t bother. Even if you do manage to get out of those ropes, you won’t be able to leave.”
Lenore cackled and walked out of the room. She closed the door behind her and then pressed her ear against it.
She heard as Rose burst into tears once she thought Lenore was gone.
“Oh, God, help me. David…I don’t know where you are…if you’re even alive, but please hear me. I need your help. Don’t let Bianca anywhere near this place. This place reeks of envy and death. Please find me…I don’t want to die here.”
Lenore walked away and chuckled. There was no God or any god that would hear her plea. She was going to see to it that she died in that room. Alone. In the darkness. With no one to hear her scream.
© Liz DeJesus 2012
Liz DeJesus was born on the tiny island of Puerto Rico. She is a novelist and a poet. She has been writing for as long as she was capable of holding a pen. She is the author of the novel Nina (Blu Phi'er Publishing, October 2007) and The Jackets (Arte Publico Press, March 31st 2011). Liz is currently working on a new novel.