Fairy Tale Friday – The Bitter Woods – Chapter 7

The Bitter Woods

by Montserrat Mendez

all right reserved

EXT. THE BITTER WOODS — LATER

The light rain has now become a FIERCE STORM and NIGHT has staked its claim over all. The HUNTRESS stills BOLT to listen to everything around her. She RIDES in a new direction.

DISSOLVE BACK TO:

INT. CHATEAU CHARMING — NIGHT

PASSAGEWAY —

The Hunter strolls the shadows of the castle. He enters the ROOM with the DESCENDING STAIRCASE, sees the revealed STEPS and descends them with the confidence of having visited them many times. The soft light of TORCHES burning themselves up ahead. Walking with him in that direction, WE see many separated columns that peer down upon a…

DEEP STONE PIT.

Inside the PIT, SNOW WHITE in a tight corset and gauzy skirt is doing something we did not expect to see – SHE IS FIGHTING! She’s NOT ONLY FIGHTING, She is KICKING ASS! While Snow’s Seven Maidens attack her, she spars with a pair of broad swords and other weapons strewn across the floor. From the ROOF of the CAVERNOUS DUNGEON hang long delicate RIBBONS that hold very sharp edge metal spikes. The trick is to avoid them while fighting or get impaled on them. Maiden after Maiden, she is quick to vanquish and did I mention she was BLINDFOLDED, cause INDEED she is. The fighting ends. The HUNTER CLAPS. She throws her sword in his DIRECTION. ~The sword DIGS into the ROCK inches from his nose.

SNOW WHITE
I am not to be disturbed.

The Seven Maidens collect themselves. It’s obvious now that these girls, the docile maidens of the day are fierce fighters in the night.

THE HUNTER
Your son arrives and requires an audience.

SNOW WHITE
Tell him I will see him when he’s found me himself.

THE HUNTER
(smiling)
Very well.

From a dark corner we hear a voice, shaky, feeble.

THE WITCH
Have you forgotten your manners?

She steps from the shadows like a ghost.

THE WITCH
You treated me with respect once.

THE HUNTER
Forgive me Lady of the Dungeon. May your reign be long and dark.

He spits in her direction.

SNOW WHITE
Leave US!

The Hunter leaves.

SNOW WHITE
I said, LEAVE US.

The Training MAIDENS understanding the command, exit. WALKING Among the hanging SPIKES Snow White and The Witch TALK. We can see that the Witch although BLIND dancing gracefully around them.

THE WITCH
I can hear your struggle.

SNOW WHITE
Swords have never been my strong suit. Like the truth I prefer a more blunt instrument.

She picks up a MEDIAEVAL HAMMER and puts it on the WALL. Then turns to the Witch.

SNOW WHITE
The girl ran at Midnight.

THE WITCH
And YOU have been looking for her?

SNOW WHITE
My sons…

THE WITCH
You are using the Mirror, I can smell it on you.

SNOW WHITE
Things were left behind, Silver and Glass, things you favored in your youth.

THE WITCH
I favored much then.

SNOW WHITE
I held one of them up to the mirror.

THE WITCH
No doubt the Mirror reclaimed it.
(a beat.)
It will try to make you complete her, only when its pieces are back together can it be restored to its full power.
(beat)
That is why I shattered her.

SNOW WHITE
You shattered her so I couldn’t have her.

THE WITCH
I shattered her because it betrayed me, like it will betray you. It is a liar, it reflects not the truth, but its own dark intentions. It will use your insecurities against the world. It will leave you in despair.

SNOW WHITE
Like it has left you.

THE WITCH
Much of that can still be undone. It can be healed.

SNOW WHITE
Much of it festered far too long. Three were the times you left me for dead, and now it is you I feel most beholden to.

Snow White very carefully leans down picking up a JAVELIN.

SNOW WHITE
But if I find out you have kept the truth from me.

THE WITCH
You will not kill me, I can hear it in your voice.

SNOW WHITE
I often wonder about your talents. Can you foretell the future? Or do you make it happen?

THE WITCH
We all forge our futures. That is the tragedy of our kind.

Snow spins the JAVELIN for an ATTACK! The WITCH quickly counters kicking SNOW WHITE below the knees. Snow contorts her body to avoid the HANGING DAGGERS, falling backwards the JAVELIN in her hands graces them into motion. With Murderous grace they swing back and forth as the WITCH AND SNOW fight each other. They both feel the danger and their combat pushes them into —

INT. A DUNGEON TRAINING ROOM — CONTINUOUS

With BALANCE BEAMS and WOODEN ADVERSARIES. The once upon version of an AGILITY Course. Snow White flings the WITCH across the ROOM. The Witch GRABS a shield from one of the WOODEN ADVERSARIES and spins it towards SNOW who dips backwards away from it. The shield hits one wall then another and then heads directly back to the WITCH who GRABS IT and RUSHES towards SNOW pushing her to the wall.

THE WITCH
You can no longer make me suffer. Even death would be a blissful gift!

Snow pushes her away.

SNOW WHITE
I will grant you death once I’ve gotten everything I need to get from you, no sooner.

SNOW uses the WITCHES shield against her spinning her off balance, Throwing her to the floor and then holding the heel of her BOOT inches from her neck.

SNOW WHITE
You will repay all the evil passed onto me.

THE WITCH
Evil? I am trapped in a world of wolves and princesses. I am gray in a world that is black as night white as snow or red as blood! Evil? You have the gall to call me evil. Let me tell you this. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT EVIL IS. Because you see it everyday yet you ignore it. Because when you allow small injustices you leave the gates open for the bigger. You CRAVE ME. You HUNGER for someone to blame. You need the WITCH, THE STEPMOTHER and the POISONED APPLE. You want vengeance for all the evil done onto you, Little girl, go look in the mirror. Whatever you see in it! That’s where your evil lies!

On the last word the WITCH SPINS from under SNOW and stands. Then they do something quite unexpected. There’s tension between them, but then they salute each other, bow in respect and SNOW exits.

INT. THRONE ROOM — MOMENTS LATER

The room a thrilling MIX of ART DECO meets MEDIEVAL ARCHITECTURE. A LONG series of columns open wide, so that the AUDIENCE, guests, watchers on, sit on the SECOND LEVEL BALCONY that surrounds the entire ROOM. On the sides of the COLUMNS leading up to the THRONE stand soldiers of the queen. Her two sons and the Hunter await her.

SQUIRES OF THE LADY light the CANDELABRAS and the CHANDELIER, which has been brought down to the floor by a pulley system. SNOW enters, talks to them from across the CHANDELIER.

GLASSISTER
I don’t understand why she doesn’t want Me. I’m a prince.

SNOW WHITE
Don’t be such an half-wit. You want her and she has something I want. I expect this girl to be found.

BEDFORD
There are a lot of girls in the kingdom. We’ve only gotten to a third, this could take weeks, months.

THE HUNTER
We start on the southern region of the woods tomorrow.

The chandelier rises.

SNOW WHITE
I survived in those woods a long time. So can she.

GLASSISTER
Maybe we should burn them.

SNOW WHITE
Burn them?

She walks to Glassister SLAPPING HIM HARD.

SNOW WHITE
(to the Hunter)
Did you hear that? Burn them?

Glassister holds the side of his face.

THE HUNTER
We should consider it.

SNOW WHITE
I have many things dear to me in those woods. I would burn my sons in their stead if given a choice.

Glassister and Bedford share looks of disgust.

SNOW WHITE
Anything else worth mentioning?

GLASSISTER
There was the Dressmaker’s son.

SNOW WHITE
(with sudden interest.)
Michael?

THE HUNTER
I believe it was the other one. I saw him fall, there were wolves.

BEDFORD
Did you not attempt to rescue him?

THE HUNTER
Of course not, there were wolves.

GLASSISTER
Someday you’ll have to tell me about your wolf phobia, it’s rather fascinating.

SNOW WHITE
Bedford stay.

She waves the others off. They exit.

BEDFORD
Mother, we are proceeding as swiftly as possible.

SNOW WHITE
You need the witch, the stepmother and the poisoned apple.

BEDFORD
What?

SNOW WHITE
Isn’t the dressmaker a stepmother as well?

BEDFORD
She has a daughter. I hear she is not handsome.

SNOW WHITE
Has the girl been fitted?

BEDFORD
Not yet.

SNOW WHITE
She will be fitted immediately. Make sure of it. Go.

She’s left alone in her throne room, a fairy tale queen. How do you like her now? The camera slides down from this room, through its thick floor and we’re again back in —

INT. A CELL IN THE DUNGEON — CONTINUOUS

The WITCH ENTERS, spreads out her hands magically lighting a series of OIL LAMPS hanging from the ceiling. She sits at the center of a WOLF TAPESTRY, and from a jeweled box she takes out ancient TAROT CARDS. She concentrates on them while spreading them out. As she turns the pictures seem to move. A QUEEN CARD for all the characters is revealed. She picks out the cards that look most like Cinderella, The Huntress, and Snow White. Concentrating on them, they BEGIN TO FLOAT UP and AROUND HER. They spin faster and faster! She throws her head back and in one swift motion, she EXPELS her spirit/ghost which flies out of the dungeon through the cracks on the stone floor and high above the CASTLE.

CUT TO:

INT. THE CABIN/CAVE — NIGHT

Cinderella puts on one of the Huntress’s outfits.

CINDERELLA
One more hour then I’ll go find her.

She slides on a PAIR of BOOTS. A GUST OF WIND blows the door OPEN with a THUNDERCLAP! So strong is the WIND that it totally dissipates the FIRE in the FIREPLACE. The FIGURE OF THE WITCH appears.

CINDERELLA
(recognizing her)
YOU?

THE WITCH’S SPIRIT
I come here on a matter of great importance.

CINDERELLA
How can I trust you? It was you who urged me to go to the ball.

THE SPIRIT’S P.O.V. sees nothing but a hazy shadow. She could be looking at the Huntress for all she knows and that is precisely whom she expects.

THE WITCH’S SPIRIT
Step closer.

Cinderella does, removing the hood as well.

INSERT FLASH VISUAL – The WITCH in the DUNGEON.

THE WITCH
The girl!

RESUME SCENE

CINDERELLA
This is your fault.

THE WITCH’S SPIRIT
You made a wish, my spirit heard it, it answered by granting.

CINDERELLA
You call this granting my wish. You had not my happiness in mind when you sent me to that place.

THE WITCH’S SPIRIT
You desired it. If you did not have the experience you anticipated, I am blameless. But know this, through you, I set in motion events which will set right all that I have caused.

CINDERELLA
I will not be your instrument of salvation.

THE WITCH’S SPIRIT
The queen will find you, and if not you, she will find your family, and their secret and she will make them pay for it.

CINDERELLA
(thoughtful fear.)
Stepmother? My sisters.

A FLASH of LIGHTNING OUTSIDE, INTERCUT with the QUICK VISUALS of the STEPMOTHER as she watches over Michael’s slumber. Then a VISUAL of ALEX in the RAIN with a BROKEN LEG. THE HUNTRESS appears up on top of a tree. But one thing we do understand now. MICHAEL AND ALEX ARE GIRLS!

THE WITCH’S SPIRIT
This kingdom was formed by the choices of its women. Do not deny yourself the right to choose your future.

But Cinderella is not listening. She is rushing out of the CABIN, into complete darkness.

EXT. THE BITTER WOODS – RAIN — NIGHT

The wolves circle the fallen ALEX kept at bay by the light of the WOLF CANE.

But when the HUNTRESS’S HORSE BURST through the brush, the wolves scatter.

The HUNTRESS takes ROPE from BOLT’S saddle SIDE, ties it to the ARROW, shoots it, surprisingly landing the arrow between Alex’s Legs.

THE HUNTRESS
Tie it around your waist. I shall get you out.

ALEX
You best get out of here lady, I’ve seen wolves.

THE HUNTRESS
They’re with me.

Alex ties the rope around HER WAIST.

ALEX
(to herself)
Great, I’m being rescued by wolf lady. This can’t be good.

HUNTRESS throws the rope over a tree’s branch, then ties the rope to BOLT’S SADDLE, he pulls back slowly bringing her out of the pit. Settling her down, she examines the leg.

THE HUNTRESS
It’s a clean break. It will heal well.

She pulls on the LEG. Alex screams. The Wolves Howl.

THE HUNTRESS
What are you doing here?

Asking so as to keep Alex’s mind off the PAIN as she breaks two of her ARROWS and using the rope, ties them around ALEX’S leg — keeping the leg in place.

ALEX
I’m looking for my sister.

The Huntres whistles drawing BOLT near. She helps Alex over the back of the horse, mounts, and RIDES — Alex drifts in and out of consciousness — then —

INT. CABIN/CAVE — LATER

The Huntress bursts in with Alex over her shoulder immediately sensing that —

THE HUNTRESS
Something’s wrong.

She sets Alex down on the ARM CHAIR by the FIRE.

THE HUNTRESS
Keep still.

ALEX
Lady, I’m not going anywhere.

She checks on the FIRE.

THE HUNTRESS
The fire is out. She was here.

ALEX
My sister?

The Huntress runs out the door.

ALEX
Hey! Hey! Where are you going? You can’t just leave me here!

Outside, We hear The Huntress mount Bolt.

ALEX
HEY!
(to herself)
I could use a little food.

To be continued.

all rights reserved.

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3 Responses to “Fairy Tale Friday – The Bitter Woods – Chapter 7”

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