for teens, by teens

Canvas Teen Literary Journal is published quarterly in print, ebook, web, video, and audio formats.


Phoebe Angaye

My step mother danced upon my mother’s grave. And she knew people could see her. Especially me.

The tears had stopped coming. There was only a fire inside me. What a fool my father was. Now we would both pay the price.
I went to see my father the next morning; he’d passed out from drinking. Otherwise he would have seen the spectacle we all saw.

“Yes, father. Mother, went out to eat breakfast. She told me to call you.” Something my mother used to do. She was slowly being replaced. I gritted my teeth. And my father was letting her.

My father slowly smiled. “See, Snow? Everything is going well. You’re getting along. Your mother would be smiling down upon us. Your mother would have wanted this. She would have wanted a mother figure in your life.”

I merely smile and nod. “Yes, father.” I barely register the words. The words slip through with meaning anymore.

Everything is alright, isn’t it? Everything is always alright.
The next time I see my father, he’s buried in the ground. He’d died of a heart attack. My step mother’s hands slither around me, caressing my cheek.

She gently whispers, “It’s all right Snow. I’ll be the one to take care of you now.”

I merely answer with silence. Like she didn’t know what she did. But I knew. I take solace in the silence for what stirs in my heart.

Soon, people file out from the funeral. We’d made it a private one first, just for the nobles. My father grave is graced with lilies, roses, and baby breaths. Those were all his favorites. His and mothers’ favorites.

If I remember right, the minute my step mother came into the palace, they were cleared out in the first week. How funny how things have changed. It was amazing how time flew, and from the wedding my father entered his grave.

 I sit at his grave, and stroke the dirt. As if he was still here. As if I could still feel him right next to me.

“I want to tell you something father.” I leaned my mouth close to the dirt, to make sure he could hear me well.

“You deserved to die.” I hissed. Let him hear it. Let the gods curse me from hell and back, he deserved to die.

I stood up from the grave. “You tried and failed to replace my mother. Now you’re dead.” A laugh ripped through me as tears rolled down my face.

“I should have never trusted you. I trusted you, and now you’ve left me for the dead.” My father is dead. He left me with that wretched woman.

But I wouldn’t be next in line.
The announcer stuck his belly out, as he proclaimed the news. Nobles sat, some cared enough to put on a show. Some openly clapped their hands, nodding approval. Of course they would. They were one step closer to getting more power.

I sat next to the throne, with my step mother atop of it. Her skin has a sheen porcelain, which was enhanced by her ruby robes that spilled onto the floor. 

The announcer cleared his throat, until “Throne Snow is dead! In his place rules Rose Snow. Until his daughter is able to rule, the queen will rule.”

The announcer bowed, before leaving. A cry of outrage echoed throughout the throne room. Nobles ran forward, screaming but were met by guards pointing their swords. My step mother merely smiled as she waved at them.

My father had entrusted me to the devil.
“You know, it would be so much better if you simply don’t have tutors anymore. It’s not like there is much danger in the kingdom, yes? Why don’t fire them?” She says as she spins an apple.

I merely look down at my dinner plate. Wishing my father was here for a split second. But he’s gone.

“Yes, step mother. It’s a wonderful idea.” She claps her hands in glee, and I clench my fists.

The next day is a new order.

“Now, you don’t do much without your tutors all day. It’s must be simply boring isn’t it?” She thrusts her lip forward, as she gives me that sickening smile.

“Yes, it is.” I stab my food, as she continues.

“You should help the servants; it would be quite useful for your boredom. Right, Snow?”

I merely nod as I always do.
I clean her room, regularly with the servants now. They leave me to most of the work, as my step mother had ordered.

It is no surprise. I’m a servant now. But it won’t be that way for long. And all those servants will regret what they’re doing.

I scrub a mirror in thought as a burning sensation runs up my hand. I yelp and drop the towel.

“What was that?” Accursed mirror. I looked more closely at the mirror. Something was different. The mirror was now glinting, as if calling to me.

“Yes, I’m calling to you.” A voice resounded in my head as I look toward the mirror. My mouth fell open. The mirror…spoke.

“You’re speaking. What witchcraft is this?” I snarled, and the mirror was quiet for a minute.

“I called to you, because you are the fairest in the land. You have a heart that is very rare. It is half innocent, and half evil.” The voice sounded sure, confident.

I stepped back. So this was how she killed my father. Witchcraft. She was just toying around with me. How delightful of her. And the thing was assessing me.

“Yes, I did kill your father for a bargain she made.” The mirror answered. It was reading my thoughts. It was demonic and dangerous to the core.

“Stop that! This explains nothing, and it will answer nothing. Now disappear.” I hardly wanted to deal with witchcraft, knowing what came with it.

“But I serve the fairest in the land. Nobody else compares to you. If you want me to get rid of her, or help you, I will. You are my master.”

This time, my words were didn’t come. I had power in my hands. I had more power than I’d ever dreamed, and I could destroy her. Everything was in my hands. And now, nobody could stop me anymore.
I set down her plate, and she smiles.

“I do love apple flavored pastries. Good job, you may go and eat with the servants later.” She shooed me, and I bowed.

“Yes I will. Enjoy your meal.” I turn around, and hear the sweet noises of her breath slipping away. I smile as her screams fill the halls.

Now I’d become the devil. 

Phoebe Angaye is a senior that attends American International School of Abuja in Nigeria. Phoebe was born in the US, but mainly schools in Nigeria. She has won a Silver Key from the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards Competition.

© Canvas Literary Journal 2016
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