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1 ~ Bodice and Laces

Her stepmother tied the ribbons tight, tight, tight until the young princess fell into a faint. The bodice is flower-embroidered with shades of cerise, the red of her cheeks. The velvet laces tied-up at the back are black as her hair, while the bodice is skin-ivory satin. Finished with riches, it was designed to pique the young princess’s interest, to succumb, to try it on.

2 ~ Poisoned Comb

Fourteen-carat gold, the comb was made in the last century. Black hairs are wound round its teeth, strands pulled from the past, locked in the present. Droplets of venom decorate the shaft. The comb is kept in a small case and a magnifying glass is there for you to view its splendour. You can see ruby poppies embossed across the handle. It is hair décor fit for a princess.

3 ~ Poisoned Apple

Preserved in a jar of formaldehyde, the apple is complete, with a bite taken from each side. The green safe side where wickedness seized its chunk, gnawed with its teeth. The juiciest red side the young princess nibbled. The side soaked with jealousy, vanity, pride. In the small container beside, you can view a tiny piece. The poisoned chunk lodged in the princess’s throat choked her forever after.

Claire Smith’s poetry has recently appeared in Ink, Sweat & Tears, Riddled with Arrows, and Spectral Realms. She is studying for a PhD at the University of Gloucestershire. Find her on Instagram @clairesdivingfornightmares, Facebook @divingfornightmares, and at She lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and their spoilt Tonkinese cat.
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