15 year old Briley Hinton knew she was dreaming. She'd had this dream before.

The apartment stretched out before her, shadowed and deserted. "Hello?" She called uneasily. Her voice sounded small in her own ears.

As she walked down the endless hall in search of anyone, the lights snapped off behind her, one after the other, leaving pools of darkness. At the end of the hall the bedroom door was closed. A tendril of worry curled inside her, there was something wrong.

"Hello? Anyone?" She already knew what would be behind the door--a dark, empty room, the bedroom curtains billowing in the breeze from the open windows. No one anywhere, just loneliness and silence.

Full of dread she slowly lifted one hand to twist the door knob.

This time, though, everything changed.

Instead of her familiar bedroom, the door opened to reveal a room she had never seen before.

Inside, a fire burned in a large stone fireplace, throwing flickering shadows across the log walls. It was warm and cozy, but the woman sitting on the couch looked as cold as ice.

She was wearing a long white dress, and her dark hair hung past her shoulders. Her blue eyes were looking straight at Briley. Briley's heart pounded in terror, and yet, there was something that wouldn't let her leave. But the woman didn't move. Blue eyes gazed straight through Briley and off into the distance.

Of course, Briley realized, she wasn't really there. This was a dream, and the woman couldn't see her. No longer afraid to stare, she looked the woman over. She was young, maybe in her early twenties, and beautiful in an unusual way. Skin so pale Briley could see the blue veins running underneath, and oddly tilted, large, light-blue eyes. The woman's hair spilled in an inky cloud over her shoulders. Her eyebrows arched dramatically dark against that pale skin. Her lips were red.

Snow White, Briley thought, remembering the fairytale her mother had repeatedly read to her years ago.

The Queen said, I wish I had a child with skin as white as this cold snow, and hair as black as coal, and lips as red as my hot blood.

As soon as she thought the word 'blood', there was uncomfortable itch at the back of Briley's mind.

Just then, those pale, tilted eyes shifted, and met Briley's. Briley grabbed the doorframe, holding on so hard that the edges of the door cut into her hand. The woman's blood-red lips curled into a sinister smile.

Briley sat up with a jolt, gasping in surprise. She was lying in her own bed. Her mattress was soft, her pillows plumped up under her dark, braided hair.

Briley glanced at her clock and swore, she only had half an hour to get to the café.

Without stopping to think, she climbed out of bed, zipped on her calf-length boots, grabbed her phone covered in Pokémon casing, trotted across the floor and out the door.



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