Never after

She knew where she was even when there was a blindfold around her eyes and a bag over her head. She knew where she was even with the knot on her head throbbing and most defiantly bleeding. She was in the last dungeon in the castle, the one deepest down and under the moat; even calling it a dungeon was a bit of a stretch. It had no bars and no door, and why would you need to?

It was so far underground and so dark that even if you could see where you were going you would be lost in the maze of tunnels and rooms that made up the dungeon. The room itself was always cold as well, that was another hint. Even in the hottest day of summer when the moat was almost dried up and the sun almost melted iron it was cold. Water was always dripping from the ceiling and falling into puddles that were ankle deep on the floor. The room was impossibly hard to find. But she was here.

Jade’s light summer dress was soaked through and she was chilled to the bone. Where were the boys? Jake, James, Jim, Jack, Tim, Tom, Harry? They said that they would find her whatever happened to her but this time it didn’t seem like they would. Jade closed her eyes and tried to picture herself in her happy place; the palace gardens with her dad. Before he made her stepmother the queen. But the knot on her head made that hard. The image was flickering, adding her step-mother into the frame.

Ages after footsteps echoed in the darkness and Jade was jerked from her almost sleep by a pair of hands in the darkness. The blindfold and bag were removed from her face, but she barley noticed as the darkness was so suffocating. Only the flame of a single candle gave her any notice.

Soon a fire was burning and the hands had found their owners. It was her step-mother. She had never told Jade her name and never let Jade call her Mother like most step-mothers. Jade knew by now that her step-mother was out to kill her. Not why, but she knew her step-mother wanted her dead.

The step-mother looked at Jade and her face twisting into a cruel smile.

“How charming.” Her voice cut through the air like a knife. “To see little Jade in so much terror. Ha,” She gave a short laugh but regained her composure, “And to think they consider you more beautiful than me. A princess over a queen.”

“What do you want?” The confidence in her voice surprised Jade but she followed though, glaring daggers at her step-mother. Trying desperately to keep up the face and not give into the pain her head was in.

“Want? I want nothing.” her smile grew. “Nothing but to be the fairest of them all.”

“You will never win!” Jade yelled, her voice echoing through the tunnels making the flames flicker, “Good always wins, the princesses will always be saved!”

“Saved, sweetie what world are you in. Don’t you know?”

“Know what?” Jade’s voice was filled with venom, but her head was filled with fire.

“Us evil queens dear.” Jade’s step-mother leaned closer, “We’re the princesses who never got saved.

Those were the last words that Jade heard before it all when black.