I looked out from beyond her reflection, knowing what was coming next and wondering what to say, when I was barged aside.
"G'day DeVice. Stand aside for a mo, just gotta do my thing. Speak to you in a bit."
"Looking glass upon the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" the lady MJ asked the enchanted mirror.
"My lady, thou art fair, 'tis true, but there're many fairer. One such is CyberPoo."
"What?!" MJ was agog.
"Apologies, my lady. There appears to be an error in the sub ether.
"Prepare for reinitialisation...
"Working: My lady, thou art fair, 'tis true, but the maiden Dinah is fairer than you!"
MJ staggered in shock. "She... She lives?"
In the reflection, I turned to face the mirror's voice. It was none other than T-Bird with a big grin on her face.
"What are you doing in here?" I asked in bewilderment.
"I don't really know. I was hoping for a Dickensian story, but this Snow White thing is panning out OK. From what I can gather, the story initialised before I was fully downloaded."
"Look, basically, I got here late. I was nearly lumbered with a bit part as Snow White's mother, but that part of the story was cut so I hid in here. This mirror-thing is great! She" and T-Bird pointed out at the practically apoplectic MJ, who was totally oblivious to what was going on within her mirror "is so easy to wind up."
"Hee hee! Look at how red her neck is. She must be absolutely furious" I said.
"C'mon. She'll be ranting and raving for ages yet. Let's go and have a look around this place. I see you've mastered travelling from one reflection to another."
"Yes, it's surprisingly straightforward. A bit like traversing inter-universal barriers. Just a jump to the right-"
"And a step to the left" T-Bird finished for me. "Yes, yes. Come on. Let's go and watch the guards get undressed!"
And off we went. However, while we were off on our voyeuristic travels, lady MJ had other plans...
- - -
Deep in the forest, the seven dwarfs had dragged Dinah back to their
"Right" ordered Piggy. "We want this place spick and span by the time we get back. If it meets our approval, we'll show you the way back to your stupid castle."
"But where are you going?"
"We're going, ummm..." The dwarfs all looked at each other shiftily. "To work! Yes. Work. We're miners-"
"Burglars" they all joined in hastily.
"What? What do you... Mine?" Dinah asked hesitantly.
"Turds" Cunty finished off with.
Dinah looked down her nose at the vile little men. "I'm sure I don't know what you mean" she said. "Now, get out from under my feet and go and do whatever it is you do, you filthy little perverts."
Once the heathen little trolls had left, Dinah surveyed the cottage.
"What a pigsty! I'm going to need help, for this." Being the resourceful young woman that she was, Dinah had soon lured some animals into the cottage to dust in all the high places and awkward nooks and crannies. A flock of bluebirds and sparrows were tempted in with breadcrumbs to rid the ceiling and windows of spiderwebs with their fluttering wings. Chopped hazelnuts sprinkled around the books and crockery had some squirrels inadvertantly dusting the shelves with their thick bushy tails as they searched out the treats. And rabbits swept the floor with their furry feet as they searched for the carrots she'd put down. Dinah had even encouraged the lost seal pup from the lake to clean the bathroom with a few stinky old fish heads.
Soon the cottage was spotless - Well, except for the odd splodge of bird poo here and there - so Dinah shooed the animals out, back into the forest. All except the seal pup, which had taken up residence in the bath. An idea popped into her head and Dinah headed off to the kitchen. She came back with a rolling pin and began clubbing the seal pup. It was hard work because the rolling pin wasn't very hefty, but eventually the seal was dead. Luckily, the blood splatters had been contained within the bath, although the shower curtain would have to go. She'd planned to make soap for the filthy dwarfs from the blubber, a hearty meal from the meat and a bolero jacket for herself from the fur. She wished she'd been able to find another seal as there just wasn't enough skin on one little pup for a full length jacket.
Exhausted, hot and hungry after her clubbing exertions, Dinah went outside and sat on the tree stump by the front door, wishing she hadn't used all the food in the cottage to lure the animals in.
After a few minutes, a bent and wizened old crone came hobbling into the clearing carrying a small basket, on top of which were two shiny red apples.
"Oh deary me" the crone said in a cracked voice. "Oh, deary deary me. My poor old legs aren't what they used to be."
Dinah rolled her eyes. Great. This old bag was going to ruin her peace and quiet and probably bore her to tears with crazy old stories. But she did have food. Thinking that the stupid old bat would share her apples, Dinah invited her to join her.
"Old woman. Won't you rest your weary legs and join me?" Dinah called out in a well practised sweet voice.
"Oh, you are so kind, young lady. So kind." MJ the crone hobbled over to Dinah rather quicker than she'd intended. She just wanted finish off the annoyingly sickly-sweet girl and get back to the castle and out of these scratchy old clothes. She offered her basket to Dinah. "Here. Have an apple, as thanks."
"What?" Dinah was confused. "Don't you want to talk first or something?"
MJ stifled a swear. "No, dear. I'm a woman of few words. I just want to sit for a short while. Go on, take an apple. You look hungry."
Dinah was relieved. She couldn't abide talking to old people - They were so boring. "Well, thank you. I will" and she reached for an apple.
"Heh heh heh heh hehhh" MJ cackled under her breath.
"What was that?" Dinah asked, the apple poised before her lips.
"Oh... ummm... Just clearing my throat, dear. Catarrh."
Dinah turned away slightly from the rank old woman and grimaced. She'd better eat this apple quickly before the crone hacked up, or something. Taking a big bite of the crisp, juicy apple, she turned back to the crone and opened her mouth to speak...
And then fell backwards off the tree stump, her face a grim rictus and her limbs frozen in their sitting position.
"That'll teach you to speak with your mouth full, won't it" the lady MJ said with an evil grin. She stood, straightened up, flung off the wretched scratchy cloak and peeled off the old lady make-up. "Right. I'm out of here. Enjoy your death!" With that she swept out of the clearing, back towards her coach on the narrow track through the trees.
To be continued...