This story is paired with “Snow White” from Children’s and Household Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. For best experience, download the LithoReader for your iPhone or iPad and get NonBinary Review for free.
Stepmothers expect the Electra complex
to dethrone them, but never Blancanieves’s.
She produced for herself a mechanical penis,
paraded it in front of the Bundespolizei,
suctioned out the eyes of the envious men
with her limbs of a Vishnu,
circumcised the chaos of the townswomen’s
vaginas with a mass-produced mandible.
“My queen, you are the baddest bitch,”
her possessed mirror professed to her
every time she opened the fridge for comfort.
She would rap with the agility
of an Eminem, wordplay like a Nicki Minaj,
and fall asleep as Kanye sleeps after a concert.
Putting a tentacle of her gear inside her mouth,
she remembered to recharge the batteries of her
Auto-Tune menstruation for traditionalism.
“You won’t be in top form in a few years,”
the mirror said one day after Blancanieves’s
stepmother came back from a Beyoncé concert.
“Buy out more Republicans
to support your stem cell cosmetic care.
Get a vaginoplasty. Or kill Blancanieves.
Use Florida’s Stand-Your-Ground law
in your defense.”
The Queen crushed a few Xanax,
made an appointment with her chiropractor
that week, hired a private investigator
to make a list of Blancanieves’s favorite clubs,
the overpriced stores where she liked spending
the King’s mula. She gave orders to kidnap the man
Blancanieves hired for her private Brazilian waxes.
When one of the Queen’s guardsmen
texted Blanca that Mafiosi were on their way,
she ran into a Louis Vuitton boutique
at the mall, escaped into a back-alley,
and there she met seven Central Americans
who were on their 30-minute lunch break
from the kitchen
where they made a living with papers chuecos.
They dressed her up as one of theirs,
fed her tostones and arroz con habichuelas,
and Blancanieves’s looks, at least momentarily,
vanished behind sweat she collected
from the overtime hours in which she swept
the entire restaurant, threw out endless bags of trash,
did stacks of dishes, and supplemented her income
as a nanny. She drank rum and coke with the seven
men, who were at least a foot shorter than her.
The men often fought over whom would pop her
güerita cherry first, but often they fell asleep
on the phone, between calls to their families across
the border, a pile of calling cards collected to make
Blancanieves’s bed in the only bedroom they had.
All the Latinos slept in the living room,
and Blanca found herself having to pay for a gym
membership to take her showers, since her friends
also fought over turns to use the bathroom.
The Queen discovered Blancanieves was still alive,
unlike the lie she’d been told in which Blanca ran
in front of a pickup in Miami. She considered
wearing the robotic penis costume as she planned
her visitation, but she knew she couldn’t make it
too obvious. Instead, she dressed up as a Jehovah’s
Witness, trained on humility with a theater coach,
and studied the Scriptures online. Blancanieves’s
roommates were at work when she heard
a knock on the door. But since she’d been trained
to be their spokesperson in case la migra showed up,
she hastened to open the door, her perfect English
putting to rest any signs they’d all gone into hiding.
The Queen told Blanca she was bringing
the Lord’s word (B. failed to recognize her.)
She offered Blanca a few pamphlets she stole
from a preacher outside a supermarket,
and Blanca felt so guilty for running away from home
she started to sob on the Queen’s recently
dry-cleaned suit, and they both turned to the TV
to watch a Spanish courtroom show.
Surprised with Blanca’s newly honed cooking
skills, which Blanca confirmed with her microwaved
potage, the Queen asked to use the restroom,
she needed to check that her suit wasn’t ruined
or her flawless skin subverted under her makeup.
She summoned the voice from the bathroom mirror,
who then played a Vine of how Blancanieves’s
future would play out perfectly like a Reese
Witherspoon romantic flick, but with Kristen Stewart
playing the lead role, sending the Queen on a diatribe,
only overpowered by Blancanieves’s shriek
in the living room. When the Queen reached
Blancanieves, Blanca had fainted over a page
discussing in detail the 144,000 that shall
be saved. If there was a subject Blanca
was exaggeratingly terrible at, ‘twas math.
Because it sounded like a big number,
she couldn’t contain the emotional baggage
she’d been posting up to that point on Facebook.
The Queen was terrible at checking
other people’s pulses, so she walked away
to avoid being bothered, assuming
Blancanieves dead from an infarction.
Apples don’t make it to this part of the story.
They’re overpriced. And princes
won’t show up to the ‘hood unless there’s game
to pick up or drop off, or a bag of weed to secure.
As soon as the Magnificent Seven found Blanca
seemingly without a pulse on the hard floor,
they called a brujera to revive her.
The brujera said Blancanieves had suffered
a concussion and that a trip to the state hospital
would suffice. Blancanieves recuperated,
but the Queen never recovered from the lawsuits
that came after her for impersonating a Jehovah’s
Witness or for refusing to pay the private detectives
for their services. At the hearing,
Blancanieves brought charges against the Queen
for emotional distress and was paid a large sum.
She used the money to pay an attorney to procure
her seven friends green cards. All this time,
Blanca had picked up Spanish and a few criollo
recipes. She used her charm to establish her own
restaurant chain. The voodoo mirror remained
with Blanca for many years to come,
giving her advice on the use of anti-aging creams,
poor pronunciation, or warning her
when a new wannabe rapper was in town
to take away her crown,
which Blanca defended like a merciless Shiva
of the Flipmode Squad or a Gwen Stefani,
but with longer hair extensions and less appropriation,
seven agents by her side to protect her from all
the copyright lawsuits that would soon head her way.
Roy Guzmán was born in Honduras, and currently teaches English composition in Miami, FL. His work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in The Acentos Review, BorderSenses, Compose, Drunken Boat, and Red Savina Review.