Posts Tagged ‘Snow White’

A Rose In the Snow

March 9, 2020

Jack made his way into the taproom of the Emperor’s Tailor and shook the snow from his cloak. The barmaid eyed the wood ax strapped to his back and whispered something to the bartender. Jack shrugged and tried to look harmless as he took off his cloak and hung it and the ax in its harness by the door. He did not want any trouble. Well, any more trouble. He had more than he knew how to deal with as usual. He had the best luck and the worst luck. That strange mix had made him travel out into a snowy night to this inn in the middle of nowhere on the border of two kingdoms.

He walked up to the bar and tried to look charming as he approached the bar and smiled at the barmaid. She rolled her eyes and walked off to deliver somebody’s drinks which left Jack with the bartender. Jack smiled again and leaned on the bar.

“I was told that I could find some sellswords here,” Jack said. “Is that true?”

The bartender grunted. “I don’t want no trouble in my inn,” the bartender said. Was he also the owner or was it a figure of speech? It barely mattered.

Jack put his hands up in a harmless gesture. “No trouble, sir,” he said. “Well, there is trouble but it is far from here. I have brought none of it with me. I’ll be traveling back to the trouble soon enough.”

The bartender gave him an unfriendly, impatient look. “Did you have a point?” he asked.

Jack nodded. “Yes,” he said. “My point was my original question. Are there sellswords here for hire?”

“Do you mean in general or are you looking for somebody specific?” the bartender asked indifferently.

“Uh yes,” Jack said. “There was one in particular that I was told would be able to confront the particular trouble I’m confronted with.”

The bartender sighed. “Who in particular were you looking for?” he asked.

“Ah, sorry,” Jack said. “I do tend to give less than straight answers. It’s an inherited trait. I am looking for the famous Rose Red.”

The bartender narrowed his eyes. “Are you serious?” he asked.

“Deadly serious,” Jack said. “I need her particular talents. I’ve heard the tales and I need her.”

“You’ve heard the tales,” the bartender said with a scoff. “So you know that her name comes not only from the color of her hair but also that she has worn the blood of her enemies.”

“That’s exactly why I’m looking for her,” Jack said. “She has a long, long list of vanquished monsters and villains. I have one more for her list.”

The bartender shrugged. “Don’t come crying to me if she breaks your nose,” he said. He knocked on the bar in a particular rhythm. “Knock like that on the door to the backroom over there.” He pointed.

Jack nodded. “If this goes well, I’ll order your finest ale,” he said.

“And if it goes poorly?” The bartender asked.

“I’ll order several of your cheapest,” he said. “But I’ll need a room either way.”

“I’ll have one prepared,” the bartender said. “Good luck.”

Jack nodded gratefully and headed to the door in question. He carefully knocked exactly as the bartender had indicated and waited. A woman’s voice from within yelled “Enter!” Jack pushed open the door and stepped inside, shutting the door behind him. The room was warm and full of smoke from the burning herb. There were two beautiful but hardened women sitting at the only table. They were empty plates and plenty of empty mugs scattered around. Both women were dressed casually, their cloaks and jackets slung over a chair near the fire. One woman had pure white hair and porcelain white skin. The other had scarlet hair and her skin was a darker brown. The barmaid was sitting on the lap of the one who had to be Rose Red and the two of them were in the middle of a deep kiss.

“I don’t mean to interrupt, Ms. Red,” Jack said. “but I have a business proposition for you.”

Rose Red pushed the barmaid off of her lap and pressed a coin into her palm with a smile. The barmaid left the room, giving Jack the stink eye. “And yet you did interrupt,” Rose said. “This had better be good.”

“Ah,” Jack said. “Should we not talk in private?” He glanced at the white-haired young woman whose eyebrow rose in response.

“Anything said to me can be said in front of my sister,” Rose said. “Out with it before I make you regret knocking on that door.”

“I need help with a giant,” Jack blurted out.

“A giant?” Rose asked. “I’ve never tangled with a giant before. What’s your name?”

“My name is Jack,” Jack said.

“Wait,” the white-haired lady said. “Jack? Giants? You’re not that Jack are you?”

“The one with the beans?” Rose asked with a smirk.

“That was my father,” Jack said. “His story has become somewhat exaggerated but he did steal from a particular giant and killed him somewhat incidentally. He died years ago but the giant’s family wants vengeance now. They would not only harm me and my mother but they want to level the entire town of Spriggin where I’m from.”

“Well,” Rose said. “Your father was a thief and probably deserved their revenge but you can hardly be blamed for his actions. What’s your plan, Beans?”

“I am putting together a team to accompany me while I parlay with the giants,” Jack said. “If that’s unsuccessful then I need fighters who can get the job done. I don’t want to further the cycle of violence but – ” Jack said, leaving the obvious unsaid.

“So you want me for your team do you, Beans?” Rose asked.

“The team really does not work without you,” Jack said.

“Flattery,” Rose said. “Will not get you as far as coin.”

“My father squandered a lot of his ill-gotten gains before he died but I have turned what was left into a thriving business,” Jack said. “I’ll pay your fee.”

Rose nodded. “It sounds like fun,” she said. “What do you say, Snow? Do you want to come with us?”

The white-haired lady shook her head. “I have a kingdom to get back to,” she said.

“Come now,” Rose said. “Leave the crown for a little longer. We spend so little time together these days.”

“Fine,” Snow said. “I’ll come with you. You may need my particular skills too.”

“You’re welcome to come too,” Jack said. “I’ll pay. Does that mean we have a deal?”

“We’ll draw up a deal when I’m sober in the morning,” Rose said. “For now, get the hell out and send the barmaid back in.”

“Right,” Jack said and headed for the door.

Snow White’s (Scary) Adventures

August 5, 2019

Recently, I have been watching shows like Defunctland and Yesterworld and I am starting to branch out from there to like-minded shows. All of these shows delve into the history of theme parks and their rides and attractions. They mostly explore those attractions that have been removed from theme parks. As I explained in my review of Defunctland, they explore things through business decisions, tactical decisions, and creative decisions. All of these decisions effect each other, obviously. It has been endlessly fascinating and has inspired me a lot in my own creative choices. However, it has also served another purpose. It has let me know in great detail that my memory was correct when I was scared by rides.

I have spoken before on a particular nemesis of mine when I was a little child but let us set the scene a little more. There was a time before my brothers when I spent a lot more time taking joint vacations with my mom, my uncle, and my cousin, Brantley. Brantley is the oldest of the cousins on my mom’s side and over time she became a sort of leader when there were eventually six of us. Early on, there were just the two of us though and she and I were fast friends. I remember in particular a visit to New York City together and a visit to Walt Disney World. The visit to the Magic Kingdom (aka the real happiest place on Earth) had a lasting effect on me even though I cannot remember a lot of it now.

Disney parks are an experience as many of the good theme parks are. When you enter, you are entering another world, a self-contained city of pure entertainment. There is so much to do that you could spend a week there and not finish doing absolutely everything. It has always been this other world that I have been interested in and not exactly the actual thrill rides. I do not remember riding Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, or any of the particularly big rides. I know we went on some of the more sedate rides for sure. I vividly remember It’s A Small World and I am strangely not very annoyed by the song now because I was inoculated to it young. I think I almost remember going on the Jungle Cruise which seems like it would be a fun time. Journey Into Imagination is an attraction that has really stuck with me. I remember going on Pirates of the Carribean and getting scared while in line but once the ride started, I was enamored by the fun scenes unfolding in front of me.

When Disney created the Fantasyland section of the park, they wanted to adapt their movies based on popular fairytales. That is why the icons of Disneyland and Disney World are both storybook castles (Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella respectively). They ended up creating a bunch of rides based on Disney animated movies where the riders took the place of the main character of the movie. (Which ended up flooding the park with complaints). When I visited in the early nineties, one of those rides is the focus of this post: Snow White’s Adventure. While on the trip, at some point my mother and my uncle went off to do something. In order to occupy we children, we were put on one of the dark rides. How scary could Snow White be? Well, there is a reason why they changed the name of the ride to The Scary Adventures of Snow White in 1994.

The ride would not be so bad if they had simply followed the movie. Instead, they made it into a straight horror movie. Instead of only showing up once, the Wicked Witch (the Evil Queen in disguise) shows up tons of times. Her animatronic jumps out at the riders over and over, cackling with murderous glee. Among other things, she tries to offer the riders the iconic poison apple, tries to ram them with a minecart, tries to attack them head-on, and finally tries to smash them with a giant boulder. She is more like Wile E. Coyote than the sneaky witch she is in the movie. My little heart could not take it. The relentless witch and the ominous darkness of the ride sent me into full-on panic mode. I ended up covering my eyes and crouching down into the vehicle to make myself as small as possible. If I had even thought of coming back up for air, I swear I heard the witch cackle and call out “Don’t Cover Your Eyes, Sweetie!”

I swear that last part happened even though I cannot find it anywhere on the Internet. In fact, the first results in google are my own blog from a previous claim I made. Still, I have irrefutable and well-researched evidence that proves that the ride was scary. Many people have backed up those words and I have now seen plenty of footage. The witch was relentless and hilariously and needlessly aggressive. I look back and laugh now but I was pee-my-pants scared during that ride. I really believe that it was one of the formative moments that led to me being a fan of the Horror genre. Which is not to say that I was scarred by the experience but maybe somewhat inspired.

I do not blame the Imagineers who made the ride for making it scary. In fact, that was kind of a theme in Fantasyland. The rides there were scarier than the Haunted Mansion ever was. Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan’s Flight were originally also pretty scary. It is alright to scare children a bit. A little darkness shows them about the world in a safe way. I also don’t blame my mother as she had no idea and was there to hug me afterward and assure me that it was going to be alright. I was in the sunshine and everything was safe. At least, safe from the Evil Queen and all the imaginary horrors that would become an obsession later in life.

Scary Rides

November 14, 2016


This is where the haunt takes place. It is actually an abandoned section of the city.

My experience with the Nevermore Haunt was an interesting one. The experience was amazing as those kinds of experiences always are if you let them. I do not want to go into detail about what happened inside the haunt just in case some of it is used again next year. My first reaction even before going through was pride. I love any sort of fiction that has to do with Baltimore and journeying through a pastiche of Poe’s Baltimore was attractive even if I was going to get the bejeezus scared out of me. While I waited in line with my brother, we heard a lot of thunder and a lot of screams from inside the haunt. Every so often, we would hear the door from the lobby into the haunt slam behind the next guests to walk through. It brought up memories.


There are so many great videos out there if you do not have the money to actually visit parks.

I have a somewhat interesting history with rides and attractions. I explained in the The Houses That October Built review that I have a fascination with both rides and attractions. I have studied video, narratives and behind the scenes photos for a lot of haunted house and theme park attractions. However, I never liked actually going through these things as a kid. I was a nervous kid. Maybe it was caused by always being the smallest kid growing up or maybe my vivid imagination just would not let me take the risks. Mentally, I knew there were very few real risks but emotionally I knew I was in great danger.


Just as disappointing and disconcerting as most experiences with Scooby-Doo

Roller coasters were never my thing. The rush was never really attractive to me but I understand if other people like them. I remember being goaded into riding The Scooby Doo! coaster at Kings Dominion as a smallish child. I believe it is now called the Woodstock Express. I remember dreading the whole thing as we waited in line. This will become a theme in this post. We got onto the ride and I did not enjoy myself in the slightest. I was frightened and shaken and when the ride was over, I got a nosebleed as I started out the exit. I would associate this nosebleed with roller coasters for a long time. When my brothers became obsessed with The Big Bad Wolf coaster at Busch Gardens, I always abstained. When it came to the Shipwreck Falls ride at Adventure World, I was happy to watch it splash down instead of riding it.


This does not make me anxious now. It calms me.

I love Disney World. I have never been to Disney Land or any of the overseas versions but Disney World was a magical place for me when I was a little boy. It was also a very frightening place at times. At a certain age, everything is real to you which even includes animatronic characters that are created to look fake as all heck. In fact, I did not even have to encounter any animatronics to actually be scared. I remember standing in line at The Pirates of The Carribean long before Johnny Depp was actually that big of a movie star. This was the OG Pirates ride and the lobby was like walking into a cavern full of lamplight and the sounds of chill but vaguely dark music. I got scared just waiting in line because the place was enclosed and the anticipation of going on a ride scared me. We almost did not go on the ride but we eventually did and I enjoyed it even if it did make me nervous.


Putting this here to remind you how terrifying childhood can be.

The strongest memory I have of being afraid of rides is pretty ridiculous. I was a small child but even if I was not, I would not be ashamed and I would own the memory. I got scared on the Snow White ride. It was during a trip to Disney World with my mom, my uncle and my oldest cousin. My uncle and my mom clearly thought that they could catch a short break by putting my cousin and I on a baby ride for a few minutes. So she and I climbed into a little car and went into the Snow White ride. It did not take long for me to get overwhelmed and eventually I was covering my eyes and waiting for it to end. I clearly remember the witch crying out “Don’t cover your eyes, sweetie!” and I believed then that I was going to die. She could see me. She could see me and she was displeased with my behavior.


Kids these days, their rides don’t threaten to steal their souls.

As a side note, I did some research while looking up some of the attractions for this post. I feel a little better knowing that the ride is actually called Snow White’s Scary Adventures though it does bring up interesting questions about where my mom was. I know she had the best intentions. I think I rode the pre-1994 version and in retrospect, I am glad that I had my eyes closed because the ride does end with the Witch (fictionally) killing the guests with a giant gemstone. I feel a little vindicated about being afraid of that ride even if it is full of statues and good voice acting. While the experience did scare me, it actually probably sparked my interest in the way things are put together and probably led to me being a better artist.


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