The Secret Betrayal
Pairing: Rumpel and Snow White/ Rumpel and The Evil Queen [NO ROMANCE.]
Warnings: Graphic violence, gore, and general Rumpel wickedness.
Beta: Sakata Ri Houjun (One of my personal best friends, amazing writer, and RP partner)
Literary Consultant: Debbie, Aka. "Eldest Cosmonaut" on fictionpress[.]com (Another personal best friend, amazing writer, and also my evil twin sister. We're thinking of writing an OUAT collaboration fic together so check back soon!)
Summary: Snow White had murdered the silence. She had violated trust, and betrayed loved ones. She is no fair maiden, but a selfish coward, slaving for personal gain regardless of the cost. She is no different than Rumpelstiltskin who saved her from damnation, and spearheaded her twisted resolve.
Here's the fanfiction.net link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7794970/1/
The castle moors bled that evening with the colors of their citizens' shame, and Snow White stood in silence as she listened to the murderous glee of her father's den of wolves. The laughter was harrowing, but she feared the silence more. When the laughter ceased, the silence was met with a merciless cry and another body dumped into the hills.
Snow White paced the length of her room biting her nails. It was in bad habit for a lady, worse yet for a princess, but her mind swirled with anxiety and her nails borne the torture because of it.
"Sorrow does not become your beautiful face, my dear."
The smell of sulfur caressed her flesh and flinching from the darkened voice, Snow turned around to see a demon of Hell lounging on her windowsill.
"Rumpelstiltskin," she uttered in disgust. "Why have you returned to my bedchamber? To twist the knife in my sternum, or will you feast on my flesh like you have the heart of my father?"
Jumping from her windowsill the creature stalked the room, mock frowning from insult. "You wound me, my dear." The demon said, gently and playful, "Your silent whimpers had stirred my sincerity, while your fragile melancholy invited concern and fueled my ire. How could I refuse the seduction of such beauty wilting under the laminations of a princess?"
Snow raised her chin and glared at the monster, "Do not underestimate my authority, demon! In a word, I could have you arrested and slaughtered without trial."
Rumpelstiltskin looked pensive before flashing a barracuda smile, "My how frightening you are…" The demon's claws grazed along the petals of her white roses as he passed the bouquet upon her vanity. "A woman's resolve is the synergist at which heroes and cowards are weighed, and were I a coward your ferocity would have scorned my resolution." The demon paused, seizing a rose, "However there are no heroes here… and I am a coward no more." The demon scowled and crushed the delicate flower between its black gnarled claws; the trembling petals articulated his punctuation, and his princess quivered in response.
Snow flinched at the feral resonance that danced on the edge of his words. This monster was dangerous; she knew he catalyzed the shadow of despair that cast over humanity like a guillotine's blade. The threat of mortality beseeched everyone, but this creature did not deal in death, instead misery and suffering were his currency.
The princess breathed, and exhaling the stress in her lungs, appealed to the demon in a delicate voice, "Why have you approached me, demon?" Snow looked solemn, "What more can you take from me –from my kingdom?"
Rumpelstiltskin smiled knowingly, "Beware my dear, I have been generous up until now, but I can be cruel. You have drank from my cup of intrigue, thus reckoning my dreadful agenda… yet mock the pleasures I offer." The demon approached his princess with predatory strides, yet Snow justly stood tall, radiating confidence despite her petite stature. "You drag my monstrosity into the sunlight with your righteous stare; your passionate virtue scalds my flesh, but still you deny me, still you ask for more!"
"Pleasures? What pleasures have I known?" Her voice was vindictive, "What generosity have you bestowed, when your pleasure is my pain?"
"Everything!" The demon replied. "Everything that you wanted, I have done."
Snow melted under the ferocity of his words, and against her self-determination, allowed his reptilian hide to corner her between two noxiously clawed hands. With a harrowing voice, the demon continued, "You wished for your father's happiness, and I bathed him in blood and greed. You cowered before the queen, but I made her fearsome. I have reordered time, turned the world upside-down, and I have done it all for you!" The demon paused, caressing her white flesh with the black of his claws, "I am exhausted from living up to your expectations… Isn't that generous?"
Snow White cringed under his mutilated touch, and turned her head from his damnable gaze. "You have no power over me…"
The demon frowned, "Power?" He repeated. "It's all about power, my dear." Rumpelstiltskin hooked his claws under her chin and wrenched her face back to his; Snow grimacing at the uncomfortable closeness. "The buying, selling, and trading of power. Power is strength, inspiration; influence. Your father demanded it, your mother slayed by it, myself driven by it… but not you, childe. Your sincerity masks the selfish terror that percolates at the edge of your sanity." The demon chuckled, "By obsessing over the foppish woes of others, your deluding yourself from the reality of your own tangled misery. It's sickening… but noble."
"Release me, demon." Snow demanded, and Rumpelstiltskin cackled before releasing his princess. Snow breathed and grasped her banister for strength; by the look of devilish pleasure, her demon understood her original intention. She had been surprised when she'd seen him lounging on her windowsill, but in her heart Snow knew she'd desired his presence, and his particular brand of faculties. "Power, control, is an illusion. However utility, service, is a flesh and blood beast… and now I have need of yours."
The demon smiled, and Snow saw the yellowed horror of its knife-like teeth. The smile of a predator, Snow knew, but its sinister fangs seemed natural framed by the flesh of a reptile and the eyes of a goblin. The fair princess awaited his obnoxious retribution, but nothing came. Instead her demon stood silent, and watched the color drain from her face.
"I was born amidst the golden straw," he began, "I was weak, yet not unblessed. One night I dreamt of my future; I saw a white rose withering, a newborn drowning in a lifetime of loneliness. The tyrant wars had taken everything, blood and bloodlust our currency, yet I sought the future and coveted the child. Now unblessed, but soon to be freed from subjugation, I warn my blessing is the most deadliest sin; and remember my childe: Without innocence the cross is only iron, civility only a theory, and salvation only an illusion. For every favor is paid in blood, and all Magick comes at a price."
Rumpelstiltskin delighted in Snow's ugly grimace, and craved to twist her despair into a contortion of misery. However he resisted, regardless of how his gnarled claws ached to render her flesh, how his Magick crackled under his tightly woven restraint, how he wanted desperately to end the cycle of destiny that was winding his fate closer to her; closer to the child he knew she'd birth.
He loathed her attraction, but was powerless against its allure.
The demon considered their proximity; how simplistic it would be to rip out her womb and soak her innocence in blood. He could smell her fragrance, –his lovely white rose, who's virtuous flesh would stretch and swell with child… his child. The creature of destiny that would reckon his evil, harness his lust, and subjugate his own desire. The crownless queen would be born, and Rumpelstiltskin would move the stars to see her condemn his life, and free him from his misery.
He was a monster; Rumpelstiltskin knew. The reality of his own circumstance was harrowing; he knew why beauty scathed in his presence, why whispers of evil and vile wickedness embellished his reputation. He knew who commanded the black side of the chessboard, and Rumpelstiltskin didn't sway from his damnation… He embraced it.
The demon noticed Snow's erratic breathing; how the weight of his words crushed what little resolve she had mustered. "I'm not someone who's going away, my dear." He reassured, "No matter how deeply you breathe; no matter how desperately you delude yourself…"
She was beautiful, but beauty is ambrosia he was forbidden to pluck. Beauty, indulgence, comfort… While colors outside his dismal tower-fortitude bloomed with radiance, he was condemned to labor inside the darkness with the shame and guilt. It consumed him, hallowed out his soul, and rotted his mind, until the husk of a man remained, with the soul of vengeance grinding his teeth sharp, and clawing his nails into sinister points.
"No childe," the demon continued. "You are not at fault for Leopold's damnation, but unlike him, I care for your happiness…"
Snow looked at him with reprieve that moment, a slight glimmer of redemption in her eyes, before it was smote by the devil of distrust. "What would you do for me, demon? I am not happy, and I doubt there is little you can do otherwise."
"Everything!" Roared the demon, "I would do everything for you, my dear." Rumpelstiltskin approached her again, "Snow, my childe, I ask for so little in return; just let me dominate your mind, rule your trust…" The creature paused, lowering its voice to a desperate timber, "Fear me, love me… do as I say, and I will be your slave."
Snow backed away. She didn't see concern behind those burning irises, but anger and frustration. The creature before her was not a man of power, but a beast, fighting against its own restraints. Snow was immediately reminded of the knightly dogs that were chained, caged, and starved beneath the cookery. Their minds, twisted with hunger, and their fangs craving the taste of flesh. It was a terrifying sight, and she was frightened for it.
"What would you do, demon?" She repeated. Snow tried to save face, but Rumpelstiltskin saw past her decaying confidence.
"I would poison kings, defile maidens, corrupt nobles–!" he exclaimed, "Should you ask for a beating heart, I would take a dagger to mine-own!"
Snow opened her mouth to revolt, but the creature pushed on, "Those demons that haunt your father, the vile evil that saturates this castle… I can save you, my dear." Snow felt the ominous chill of her demon's black claw against her cheek and she shivered in response. "This kingdom will know prosperity forever more. I guarantee it…"
Snow backed away slowly and considered his offer. He spoke with a forked tongue, but her heart swayed under the pressure. "And in return?" Snow alluded to the double-edged aftermath that taxed his favors in misery.
Her demon's eyes gleamed in sadistic pleasure, "Don't look so frightened, fair lady." He soothed, "What I require is nothing trifling; humble in its simplicity." Lowering his voice the demon amended, "What I require is word-of-mouth… Information, my childe."
Rumpelstiltskin smiled, and gestured something in glee. "There is a creature in this world, more beautiful and radiant than anything of mortal rein…"
At Snow's bewildered expression, the demon clarified, "The Unicorn, childe. The most pure and chivalrous of deity's, whose galloping hooves slew through the muck and filth to grace this cruel world, and its repugnant parasites."
"The Unicorn… I want to know it's whereabouts." Rumpelstiltskin continued, delighting in the wilted expression upon his beloved princess. He approached her again, and this time there was no mistaking her despair. "That is the price for selfish desires, my dear."
Snow shied from his hideous face, and Rumpelstiltskin followed her gaze to the tiffany windowpane that embodied the hollow structure. Snow's silent voice crept between the glass cracks, and the Rumpelstiltskin fought the urge to rip out her dainty little throat at the subtle cockiness. "Rumors state the beast wonders earth, and no singular realm is its dominion. No creature – regardless of how grand the tracker – can hunt the Unicorn. It's impossible; it cannot be done, demon." There was definiteness in her voice, and Rumpelstiltskin laughed at her mock-expression of confidence.
"So you say, childe." He remarked, "But I dare to gamble you believe otherwise…" From her silence, the demon continued, "There are whispers inside this castle… that the forests around this kingdom never age, never change with the seasons, simply exist in spring –frozen in time. Now why do you think that is?"
"I don't know what you're talking about." Snow tried to walk away but the demon cornered her. "I think you do," he answered.
"I think you know the creature's whereabouts because someone told you in confidence." His words were weighed down with finality non-objectionable, "Someone dear to you, who trusts you beyond gold, beyond light, beyond life… had shared this secret." He reproached her, "… Now my lady, I ask you again; what are the Unicorn's whereabouts?"
"Even if I knew, I wouldn't tell a snake like you!" She countered.
Rumpelstiltskin was quick to grab her face between his clawed hands and silence her retort. His heart bled from the action, but the woman must learn: his resolve would not be denied.
"Think childe, one secret unleashed would mean the salvation of this kingdom!" He growled, "... And of its monarch, King Leopold, your father." He saw the hesitation in her face at the utterance of his name, and Rumpelstiltskin frowned, searching her eyes. "You're eyes can be so cruel, my beauty… Just as I can be so cruel."
"What do you know of beauty, monster?" Snow's face was phantom-white, and just as translucent. Rumpelstiltskin's gnarled claws had contorted deep enough into her flesh that small tendrils of crimson were weeping from the wounds. "What do you know of beauty?" She repeated, "When the singular, reverent soul to ever show you affection had been brutally murdered by the sinister claws that trap myself, and even now promise the same demise."
A sudden scream pierced through the small space. A moment later, the small scratches upon Snow's beautiful face had turned into gruesome jagged gashes, slashing across her jaw and jugular vein. Fresh blood flowed freely down her chest and torso, painting her gown crimson.
Rumpelstiltskin marveled at his handiwork; he had been careful not to rupture any vital artery, but the mangled mass of flesh that had once been Snow White's lovely visage had tickled his ire and awakened the savage beast within him. He wanted to make her suffer for the words she had just uttered, let the blood drained from her body be a reminder to never stand between his reason and resolution.
"Do not speak her name!" The beast roared. "You know not to whom you're referring!"
"She loved you…" Snow breathed, grasping at her wounds and feeling the blood pour between her fingers. The sudden blood loss bred dizziness and she knelt from its asphyxia.
"No one can love me!" he raged, and kneeling down he wrenched the hand from its protective congest within her wounds. "That little bitch never truly loved me," he breathed. The expression on his face suddenly changed, a shadow cast upon his eyes.
"She only pretended," he went on as if talking more to himself rather than the bleeding woman at his feet. "She never accepted me for who I am, she tried to subjugate and abuse my kindness. She used me to save her father's fortune… She took advantage of me…" His stare darkened even more. "In the end she betrayed me with her thorn roses – her wicked beauty."
The sadness in his voice abruptly switched to a low, threatening growl. Unmistakable wrath burned fierily in his yellow eyes.
"Never again!" he growled. "That was the last time anyone used me!" he promised. "That woman made me see clearly; in this life, you use others or you are used by them. And I'm not letting anyone use me anymore!
My weakness died with her when I slayed her flesh, skinned her body of that milky meat I once adored. I strung her bleeding husk up in hooks, like the swine she was, and I threw her heart to the dogs. It was still pumping while they devoured it ravenously." Rumpelstiltskin paused and placed her bloodied palm against his beating chest, "… And I loved it."
Snow was paralyzed by the powerful ferocity in his voice, and her eyes dilated in fear by the indignation dripping from his words. This man would be her demise, this she was absolute.
Rumpelstiltskin caressed the delicate hand within his grasp. Her fingers were faint and elegant, reminiscent of the petals from a white rose – his white rose.
"You and I are similar, my dear. Your selfishness, I can see it in your cruel eyes, the disgust, the despondency, and the corroding black hatred that leaches behind your irises. You forget," he murmured. "I can recognize a desperate soul, childe."
Snow White tried to pull away, get as far as she could from that beast with the sharp tongue, but he had her in an iron grasp and she was too weak by now.
"P-please… d-don't kill me…" she pleaded with him, the desperation vibrating her voice.
Sensing her fear – and reveling in it – Rumpelstiltskin bared his teeth at her in a wolfish grin.
"Don't worry, dearie. You'll not succumb to death's sweet embrace,' he paused and added, "Not today anyway…" The demon rose, and dragged his princess with him. "Not until you give birth to that little thing… That child for whom will conceive hope and tranquility for this damnable kingdom." Rumpelstiltskin's voice was devoid of humor.
At the hearing of those words, Snow's eyes went wide. For several long moments she simply stared up at him at a loss. A child…?
"Oh, yes," he answered her silent question. "Do you forget I can see the future, my dear?" He leaned in closer to her face so she could feel his hot breath on her lips. "You know what I see in that future? Chaos. Massacre. Demise. All that I crave for this wretched world and its loathsome inhabitants, a world that doesn't deserve to exist. And the one to bring that demise…"
He let his voice trail off as he placed his hand gently upon her flat abdomen. "The sweet fruit of your belly."
Rumpelstiltskin raised his hand and slithered it across the woman's mutilated face. Within moments, a warm stream of smoke rose from the wounds and tinted the abrasions a glowing turquoise. The blue light smoldered with the burn, and the Magick disappeared with her bloody mess of disgust and grime. When the light weaned, nothing save the elegant white gown she wore remained.
Snow breathed deeply, and raising a hand to her face felt along her previously injured flesh. Where scars should have scathed, she felt smooth untouched dermis. Bewildered, Snow sought out the yellow-eyed gaze of her assailant and savior.
"This world will cyclone into chaos," the demon spoke with finality. "So indulge yourself, my dear. Live for egocentricity, submerge yourself in hedonistic pleasure, and turn a blind eye from darkening sky, the dying wood, and the black soot that will blanket this land in a fog of trepidation."
"We are not so different, you and I," he whispered in a softer voice. "Born from the same Magick and bloodshed that blessed this land in its terror. You desire security in your selfishness, satisfaction from the luxury you inherit from desolation of the poor and meager." The demon's voice dropped in tenor, and Snow noticed the deep shadows forming under his luminous eyes. "The helpless sacrifice and despair while you fester inside your gilded cage, surrounded in golden antiquity and the smell of decaying corpses beneath the castle moors."
Snow hesitated, her previous courage drained. She didn't want to admit to this demon's lies; his cruel realties. She wasn't like him, she wasn't a creature that delighted in misery and subjugation; however she couldn't deny that during ruptures in sanity, her elusive mind wondered to his deplorable Magick and the pleasure it allured. Were his accusations exact? Was her inner egoism as vindictive and venomous as Rumpelstiltskin's serpentine flesh?
"What do you desire of me, princess?"
There was genuine concern in his tone, and Snow's heart melted from its timbre. "I – I," she began, "I can't tell you." She uttered.
Rumpelstiltskin raised an eyebrow, "… and why not, childe?"
"Because," Snow chanced a glance into his vacuuming golden-eyed gaze, "Because I'm afraid…"
"Music to my ears…" The demon cooed in sinister merriment, "Tell me exactly… what you are afraid of, my dear?"
"I'm afraid of freedom, demon. I'm afraid of freedom from the sorrow that corrodes my heart every vile second of this wretched existence." She paused and glared at her adversary. "I'm afraid of ripping away my virtue… and becoming a self-loathing monstrosity like you!"
Rumpelstiltskin frowned at her vindictive words, but his animosity quickly stoked the fire of his sincerity, and within his comforting grace, the demon wrapped his arms around the princess. "I can read your heart," he began. "What you desire most is for a magic wand to wave and transform everything back to the way it was… once upon a time." His words were lucid, "I understand, love. Let me serve you, let me be your fairy godmother and bring joy back to that beautiful face of yours again, the way it was before all the tragedy and horror that had befallen this castle."
Snow White cried then. The first tear gave way to a torrent of sorrow that had not broken the surface of her visage in years, stored in her soul for far too long. Her weeping mumbles resonated from his leather-bound chest, and Rumpelstiltskin reveled in her humility and weakness. Snow White sought comfort with a demon, and his black claws wrapped tightly around her in their embrace.
Snow was lamenting yes, because she missed her daddy – the kind, gentle, ever-loving father she remembered prior to that God-awful magick lamp he'd found. Before all the secrecy and suspension, all the fevered glances behind her father's back, while he ignored her and drowned in his own delusions.
Snow White swallowed sadness, and masking her fear with bold confidence, faced her devil and said, "Swear to me, Rumpelstiltskin. Swear to me that should I share this secret, you will postulate me with everything I desire, just as you promised."
Smiling, the demon released her then and bowed in mock-fidelity, "I will be your slave, my princess. Say but my name, and I will crawl on hands and knees, like domestic hounds licking at their dominator's heels."
The fair skinned princess breathed, "Then I will disclose the Unicorn's location, just as you desir–!"
"Tut, tut, tut, dearie," the demon said as he placed a scaly finger on the lips of his princess. "I wasn't finished, my darling. There's more…"
"There always is with you."
Dismissing her cheeky quip, the demon continued in restrained civility, "What I want… is the Unicorn's whereabouts," he paused and caressed a lock of his lady's silken mane. "But what I desire… is the beast's name."
Snow blanched at the demon, what had he just said… its name? She didn't know of any name – did it have one? Was it grounded to such normalcy that an extraordinary and sacred creature such as it… had a name?
"I can see from your reluctant gaze that you doubt my sincerity, childe." The demon smiled, "But I assure you, the beast has a name… and I covet that identity."
Snow was beside herself with anxiety, she didn't know what the Unicorn's name was, and her understanding of the creature's demographic was minimal in its ambiguity.
"Something else…" Snow began, "Is there something else you covet?" The princess passed the room, gesturing to the luxury encompassing her bedchamber. "I could offer you gold, grant you land and comfort, whatever you desire, demon…" The maiden's candor dropped with the validity of her timbre, "I can grant you anything, do you really need this creatures name?"
"Yes!" The demon roared, "What worth is the location without the beast's name, childe? While the location will bridle the creature, its name will ensnare it…"
"Then I can not help you demon," Snow reprieved, "I do not know the name you seek."
Rumpelstiltskin cackled wickedly, "Bother me not with your daft nonsense, my dear. I know you're ignorant to that information, little twat." The demon crossed his leather-bound arms, and sneered. "But you withhold something far more precious to the acquisition of my objective. You my dear, control the serenity of this castle, and its noxiously gullible populace. You know whom to ask… and she will lovingly adhere to your inquiries, childe. Because she is weak, like you, and believes that the virtues of integrity and conviction still govern this land."
Snow visibly wilted under the reality of his convention. Her demon smirked and continued his abhorrent decree, "Should you procure the name and location of the chivalrous beast, then you shall have your reward..."
Snow was silent a moment, weighing her integrity against the shadow of doubt that was cast over her heart. This castle was a prison of damnation, and she desperately wanted freedom from its rein. Snow sighed, making her decision, and with eyes alight with resolution she determined to condemn the world because of it.
"How will I contact you," she began silently, "Should I complete this task?"
Rumpelstiltskin turned his back on her then, "I'll be around, my sweet; watching you in the dark corners, and shadowy hallways. You need only whisper the devil's name, dearie... and so shall he appear."
Before she could interject, her demon disappeared in a cloud of black smoke... the smell of sulfur and his echoing words the only remnants of his initial presence.
"Tik-tok-tik-tok, little girl. My patience wears thin by the moment..." His words breezed around her in darkened mystery.
"Abandon your inhibitions, childe. Leave your past, see blind into the future, and witness the beauty… of the beast."
When the demonic voice disappeared, Snow stood in quaking desolation from the terrible crime she had committed to. She would betray someone's trust for her own selfish desires, and Snow in her unbridled terror... reveled in it.
"Please… forgive me, my Queen."
The sun bled that evening. The wood of the Enchanted forest was black and ominous, casting a martyring shadow for the departed purity that lay within. The forest curved and twisted into a briar of obscure contorted shapes, resembling a harrowing grave. The once noble beauty of the spring meadow was corrupted with thorns and poisonous brush, finalizing its wicked visage.
The Queen looked on in repulsion from the transformation of the once magnificent forest. She feared that the corroding black filth that was corrupting the sacred chastity of this woodland was the precursor to a greater cataclysm yet to pass.
She raced on into the nightmare wood, terrified for noble beast that controlled dominion over this land. She had intended to bring freshly cut apples from the tree inside her palace – the only treasure she retained from her youth – but the insidious horror that surrounded her sparked anxiety from the thought of what had occurred here. She was worried for her friend, the only thing she loved most in this woe-begotten world.
The Queen pushed aside a patch of thorn weed, and gasped in terror at what she saw beyond. Forgetting her basket of luscious red-ruby apples, she dropped to her knees and wept in sorrow. Before her, laying in a macabre massacre of thorn, flesh, and blood… was her Unicorn.
"N-No…" She wept, "No… my love… don't abandon me…"
Its body had been pierced with javelins, many of their wooden spires protruding from its rotting flesh. The creature's once luminescent white coat was stained with the filth of battle; wounds infected and muscle bruised from combat. Then there was its horn, the refined spiral was missing –ripped out from between it's eyes in a mess of dried blood and grime.
She knew the Unicorn had defended its life, and while its purity and revulsion of bloodshed shied it away from violence and those controlled by bloodlust, the creature would protect the land it guarded and the creatures that inhabited this forest.
However immortal in spirit, the Unicorn was mortal in flesh, and humanity's weapons of destruction could befall it like swine before the slaughter.
Someone had slaughtered the Unicorn, the only beast of its creation earth and the sole remaining guardian of the veil. The Queen lamented for her befallen love, but she cried for the world around her. Now unprotected, the black disease that infected this wood, could spread across the land and destroy the tranquility of humanity's rein. The world would coagulate under the decayed corpse of the Unicorn, and man would reckon their demise from the guardian's flesh they butchered.
"My oh my, what malevolence do we have here?"
The dark-haired beauty paused from her lamentations and looked to the black wood surrounding her. There, leaning on a malformed oak tree was a serpentine man dressed in leather.
"Who… Who are you?" The Queen asked, "This is a gravesite, beast! Be gone!"
"How vicious you are, my Queen." The demon replied, "Your beautiful face is eclipsed by the sorrow you expel, my dear. What evil has caused this misdeed?"
"What would you know of evil, demon?" The woman exclaimed, "The Unicorn that governs this land is dead, and with it the sanctity of this world."
The demon approached the corpse sneering in disgust from its mutilated visage. "How gruesome," he remarked.
"The fall of the Unicorn," the serpent mused. "Such a disturbing occurrence. I am familiar with the distress you feel, my Queen. There is no greater torment than a cherished beloved ripped from your grasp…"
The Queen frowned, eye's following his prowling form as it circled around her.
"What if I told you…" The demon continued in hushed words, "That this noble creature, your beloved Unicorn, was slain not by circumstance, but the militarized army of the king you swear marriage to?"
The tear-stained maiden looked at the musing demon in shock, "What… What are you implying?"
The demon stood then, facing her. "It was Leopold who ordered the hunt, my dear... But it was Snow White who disclosed the beast's location."
The Queen gasped in anguish, but the demon pushed onward, cornering her between the wicked wood and the mangled carcass of her beloved.
"It was your daughter who betrayed you, black Queen!" The monstrous man roared in fervor, "She tempted your husband with whispers of glory, she armed the knights with javelins and swords, she led the hunt for blood… she slayed the Unicorn!"
The Queen breathed a moment before recoiling her gaze from his seething fury. Her heart ached for her beloved friend, the only creature in this world – man or beast – who had loved her, who had protected her from the dissonance that imprisoned her mind.
Bending at the waist, the dark-haired maiden placed a kiss upon the disfigured brow of her Unicorn guardian, savoring in his waning comfort. The demon watched in silence, and when his Queen rose from her stupor, he smiled at the void he saw within her dark eyes.
"Snow has betrayed my trust…" She muttered to herself, "I loved her, and granted her the gift most cherished to me… the thing I love most: The sanctuary of the Unicorn..."
The Queen looked out into the diseased forest; the corroded horror that Snow had violated and destroyed with her infidelity. She had abolished everything she loved, and the Queen swore her retribution would be severe in its torment.
"Snow White and the King have slayed the innocence of this land, and like the Unicorn's mutilated valor, my sincerity was ripped from my heart and crushed under the spike of their heel…" The Queen paused gripping the hem of her velvet red dress, "They will pay - this I swear. Blood for blood, vengeance for betrayal, and justice for criminality!"
The demon approached her then, "I can help you, my Queen."
The serpent's eyes glimmered with devilish intensity, and grasping her chin between his distorted claws, he drew her toward his monstrous face and whispered, "I will help you…" The demon affirmed, "Because I want to see this realm cast into an oblivion of chaotic absolution. Let the rodents who scurry and rut within this land deform their bodies and rot out their womb with the desolation and hostility they birth."
"W-Who are you?" She asked breathlessly.
"I am Rumpelstiltskin, and I will see this world burn!"