The queen’s secret room really a secret at all. Sure it had a door that, once closed, blended in with the brick wall and was almost impossible to detect, but the room wasn’t sound proof.
And if the queen was one thing – it was loud. And demanding.
So if it took Snow a few seconds to find the entrance that was only because the queen was sucking in a breath before her next booming tirade began.
Which was right about now. Snow pressed her ear against the cool stone.
“Mirror, Mirror on the...” the queen began, only to be cut off by the mirror himself.
“Oh pipe down, Queenie,” his low tones rumbled through the cracks in the brick. “Unless you want to know if orange is the new black next season, just save it. You know I can’t give you tips on how to take over the neighboring realms. I’m strictly a fashion advisor. Beauty tips and heads up on the glamour competition, that’s all I have to offer.”
“Exactly why I’ve called this meeting with the finest dressmakers in all the lands.” The queen drawled. “What better way to take over kingdoms than to make them slaves to my new, trendsetting fashions? Once the lords and ladies see what my magic has created, they’ll be selling their kingdoms off one courtyard at a time in order to pay the costly fees. And you, my dear Mirror, will be able to report back to us so we can monitor our progress.”
“But this new material can only be forged in flames from the burning of a forest.” This voice wasn’t familiar to Snow. Likely one of the dressmakers. “You’ve depleted all the trees around your castle. Where will get the necessary resources for producing a clothing line of this magnitude?”
There was silence for a moment. Snow pressed her ear harder to the brick. She heard the queen sigh. “Then we’ll expand into the Wild Forest, no big deal.”
A collective gasp. Even Snow held a hand over her mouth in distress.
“The Wild Forest is neutral territory,” someone said. “No one kingdom can claim it. It belongs to all. Legend has it that the Wild Forest is sacred. If it dies, so too does all of mankind. Why, the only creatures allowed to live and work there are the dwarves.”
“Right, I forgot about those little brats,” the queen bellowed in excitement. “So we burn the forest down and blame the dwarves. Easy peasy.”
The sound of chairs scraping and people shuffling toward the door had Snow dashing away from the queen’s not-so-secret secret room. She had to tell the huntsman what she’d learned.