A princess of the woods, they called her.
A tattered white dress, dark flowing hair...this is what she was known for. Some would even claim they saw her, a flash of white dashing by. But when they looked, there was nothing there.
Her name was Ivory.
Her parents had sent her away, to live in the forest, when she was very young. And Ivory had found herself in a tree house in the Fairytale Woods, alone aside from a few creaking floorboards.
But there was one room inside of her tree house she could never unlock.
A door that refused to budge.
And somehow, Ivory knew that what lay beyond that door was important. For years, she spent her days searching for the key.
One day, she wandered farther into the woods than she normally did.
And she stumbled across something she hadn't seen before.
Ivory had caught glimpses of her reflection, but she had never seen herself fully until that moment, when she peered into the mirror.
The mirror asked her, "What do you want most?"
Ivory pondered the question, all the while staring in bewilderment at her face, her tattered dress--the one that had come in the suitcase she had found in the tree house. That suitcase had contained only a few items, but they were all she had to piece together her identity. She knew from the crown she was a princess, but nothing else. And she couldn't remember her past life.
The only vague memory she conjured whenever she tried to remember her life before the woods was a castle shrouded in mist.
What did she want? Ivory thought of all the things she could ask the mirror. Anything her heart desired...anything....
And because she couldn't make up her mind, (and because she didn't want the mirror to grow impatient with her and take back its offering) she said, "I'd like to have a dream, please."
"Very well," the mirror replied. "It is done."
Ivory felt inside her coat pocket and her fingers outlined a bottle through the faded fabric of her gown.
Ivory extracted the bottle and looked at it delightedly. She had a dream now. And she could use it however she wanted.
But what to use it for? She had so many dreams.
"Thank you, Magic Mirror," Ivory said kindly. But the mirror had no reply.
Ivory pocketed the bottle once more and returned to her tree house.
As she sat on her bed, wondering what she should wish for, her eyes landed on the door that she always longed to open.
And she knew it would be foolish to use her dream so soon, but she couldn't help herself. She had to know what was behind that door.
"I dream to know what is behind the door," she whispered into her bottle.
Immediately, it began to hiss, and purple smoke billowed from its top.
And a key appeared on Ivory's bed.
It was beautiful--silver and ornate. She picked it up carefully and, with trembling fingers, inserted it into the door she had always longed to enter.
Her heart pounded and she thought, What if there is nothing behind here? What if I wasted the Mirror's gift for nothing?
But her heart told her otherwise.
And she twisted the knob and stepped inside.