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Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal

"Someday my prince will come. . ."

0 · 469 views · located in Courtyard and Gardens

a character in “The Wonderland Institute v2”, as played by hollywood

Description

Lips of the finest rose red and skin like the purest of virgin snow. . .
Image
(art by Irene Horrors)
But it is that beauty that comes at a price . . .


FULL NAME: Diana Margaret Blumenthal

ALIASES / NICKNAMES: 'Snow White', Di, Didi, Snow, Mary

PLACE OF BIRTH: Born in Belgium, the family soon moved to the East Coast of the United States following her mother's death

DOB: September 25 1995

AGE: 22 years old

FAMILY: Celeste Blumenthal (mother) deceased; Frederick 'Freddie' Blumenthal (father) living; Dolores Blumenthal (nee Sander) (step-mother) living

OCCUPATION: N/A

BLOOD-TYPE: AB +

CRIMINAL HISTORY: Attempted suicide, attempted murder/manslaughter (of her step-mother), assault on another person (step-mother), animal cruelty, which all of these charges are untrue but there is (false) evidence to support otherwise

MENTAL DIAGNOSTIC: Generalized Eating Disorder (not technically anorexia as her fear isn't from being overweight), Bipolar I Disorder, diagnosed or suspected PTSD and / or severe anxiety disorder

SUPERNATURAL POWERS: Unknown to her, but she can summon certain kinds of animals by song (mainly birds)

TRIGGERS: Eating is something that often easily sends her into an anxiety episode, mostly foods that are solid or great quantities (really anything that reminds her of the night her step-mother tried to kill her). She does not eat much to this day, only soup broths, juices, and bread on occasion. She still gets sick sometimes eating, regardless. Being grabbed or touched is another easy way to upset her, as it causes flashbacks to her abusive home life. Loud voices, shouting, being yelled at, being cornered, all these things give her bad flashbacks that will almost definitely give her an anxiety attack. The name 'Dolores' and similar sounding names.

IDEAL ENVIRONMENT AND STIMULI FOR THEM: Snow is most comfortable when she is not alone but also has a safe and comfortable distance between herself and someone else. This is usual a span greater of arm's length away, where she cannot be grabbed. This does not always effect her, but can and does on occasion. She enjoys having her back to the wall or generally in a position where her back is not vulnerable. She likes to be covered, mostly with blankets or jackets, as it invokes the sensations of hiding successfully from her step-mother in / under her bed and in the laundry. Having people too close to her or feeling exposed upsets her.

PERSONALITY: Diana aka Snow never really got the chance to come into her own. From a young age, she was abused, and because of this it really damaged her and how she would have normally developed her personality. What we could say of this alternate reality Diana who was not nearly killed several times, who knows? Perhaps a bubbly and happy-go-lucky girl with a song on her tongue and her heart on her sleeve. But the Diana we know today is no such a girl. Diana is reserved, skittish, and generally uncomfortable of all those around her. She is very emotional, quick to change between varying degrees of the emotional range, but is a lot of the time more prone to sorrowful fits of tears and self-harm. What might lurk of her personality appears to be saved for her 'little men', the dwarf men who she invented as a child to soothe her terrified mind. When she speaks to them, she is either alone or greatly distressed, rapid words that portray what the girl might have been like if she had not suffered the life she had. There is, strangely enough, some moments where she comes around to those that inhabit the institute. Her heart is vulnerable, she may beg and cry she isn't supposed to be here. She may become hysteric and shove fingers down her throat to safe herself from a poison she believes is in her stomach. She can be manipulative at times if she is sound enough to try and get her way from someone.

HISTORY: Diana was born an only child in Brussels, where her mother would die only years into her life. The death was extremely distressing to her father, who felt so wounded that he was unable to stay in the country and made the drastic decision to move to the United States. There, six year old Di and her father tried to start a new life. It was not long after unboxing their belongings that her father met a woman by the name of Dolores and things quickly moved between them. While Dolores appeared kind, she seemed to randomly spout hurtful things to Diana when her father was not around. Diana didn't understand why this happened, but as a child she thought not much of it and said nothing to her father about it.

The two were married when Diana was seven years old. Hell moved in with Dolores after the honeymoon was over. Abuse started almost immediately after Dolores joined the household, picking times when her new husband was not around to be utterly nasty and hateful to her step-daughter. As time went on, things did not improve. Physical violence ensued, beatings, starvings, general tormenting behavior. The first time Dolores tried to kill Diana, it did not go noticed by anyone. Not enough poison, made Diana just sick enough to stay home with what her father thought was a stomach flu. With him picking up with work again, he was spending less and less time at home, which gave Dolores a lot more time to torture Di. Burns, psychological torture, cuts, beating the girl with whatever she could get her hands on, Dolores was getting increasingly more violent towards her step-daughter. And yet no one was any the wiser about it, as Dolores had long since made it clear that if Diana told anyone, especially her father, about what was going on she would pay two men to kidnap her and kill her and she'd never see her dad again.

Life became a nightmare, and it would be in her early teen years she began to recede into her own imagination for protection from the terrible reality she faced. She imagined a group of little men defending her from her step-mother's attacks, about her size at age thirteen, men who would sing with her and tell her that things would be okay. That was her way of coping, pretending these men were there somewhere, protecting her, caring for her, loving her. Even as fists rained upon her, when knives jabbed her, slaps and kicks and voice shrill piercing her ears, she thought of those men helping her. She eventually gave them all names, talked to them when she was alone and scared, whispering in the night how she wanted to run away and live in the forest away from everything.

The next attempt on Snow's life also was unnoticed, mainly because her father wasn't home at the time and, since Snow had been missing a lot of school for a few months now, no one at her school paid it much attention. This time, Diana knew it had been her step-mother's doing. Her belly felt like it was on fire, her lips were dry like sandpaper. She truly thought she was going to die. But she woke up the next morning, dehydrated and aching, alone in the house. Her step-mother had fled, thinking she had actually killed Di this time. Diana didn't know what to do. Dolores eventually came back and found the girl still alive and in a rage at this snatched Di up by the hair and cut as much of it off as she could. Seeing that Di loved her long hair (and it had finally grown back from the last time), she cried for hours. She was terrified by this point, and it was several days before her father returned from his travels for work.

The only thing Snow knew to do to avoid being poisoned again was to not eat. Once a plump and shapely girl, within a year she had dropped so much weight she looked like a skeleton. This got people's attention, especially her father's. He was horrified at the thought that his daughter was anorexic, blaming the media when he should have been worried about the threat that lurked within his own house. He talked however with Dolores on what they should do, and of course this inspired Dolores to try one last time at taking Diana's life with poison. The intense hatred and jealousy Dolores felt for her step-daughter truly knew no bounds, as she told her husband that she would make Di's favorite foods and try to encourage the girl to eat.

Satisfied with his wife's apparent solution, as she acted very sympathetic and concerned for Diana's well-being, he truly had little choice but to go the next day on his work trip to leave Dolores and Diana alone. The food was prepared, but it was not a favorite of anyone's on this earth. Sludge, garbage, literal shit; all this and more was mixed up with tons of rat poison. Diana tried to hide but being so frail she could not fight off her step-mother. Dolores forced her into a chair at the kitchen table and tied her down, shoving the waste down Snow's throat with the hopes that finally she could eliminate her. Vomiting was probably what saved Diana's life that night, but truly at what cost? She was taken to hospital where they were able to save her. Police came to question her. It was now, she had decided, to come clean, to tell her entire story to the cops. She was so afraid, so hurt. She missed her life in Brussels, missed her mother, her real mother. But going in to question her, they already didn't believe her. Dolores had told her side first, and it included how Di was a pathological liar and a danger to herself and others. Dolores had convinced the officers that Di had tried to kill herself that night by eating poison, an impressive show of tears and hysterics that made her story completely believable. Everyone feared for Diana after hearing her step-mother's story, believing the girl was a suicidal anorexic who had, according to Dolores, on several occasions threatened her step-mother with blades and blunt objects. Diana couldn't understand how it was all happening. More lies about Diana having started to kill animals in the back yard when her father was away, displaying concerning behavior in her seclusion from her peers and teachers, 'self-harm' wounds on her body from the cuts and burns. It all happened so fast she felt completely blind-sided. They locked her up in The Wonderland Institute and she's been there ever since.

RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER INMATES: Currently none worth noting.

PROGRESS: Since being institutionalized, Diana has gotten horribly worse in her mental health. Seeing she was already suffering abuse and intense anxieties related to that abuse, the Wonderland Institute has secured a dark and dangerous mindset for her. Her little men have now manifested into auditory hallucinations that she knows are not real but has gotten so desperately lonely and afraid that she submits to the delusion to console herself. Currently, medications are being tested on the patient to see what will work, along with speech therapy. She is not very cooperative with treatment as she feels she doesn't belong in the institute. She also is paranoid the staff is somehow working with her step-mother to finally kill her, so she is generally distrusting and can become hysterical if not properly sedated.

So begins...

Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal's Story

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Character Portrait: Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal
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Thinking. Thinking. Thinking. That’s all there was to do in this place was think, think, think! You could think yourself to death in here. She figured that was the last thing these people would want you to do, seeing how they seemed so eager to ‘cure’ everyone. A tension of annoyance worked into her arms, in her shoulders; frustration. She didn’t need to be ‘cured’. Diana Blumenthal did not belong in this place for the criminally insane. She was NOT criminally insane! Her damned step-mother was the lunatic. Years of silence, of putting up with the torture of that demented woman, all to end up in another prison where the same thing was happening again. It wasn’t fair! It was enough to drive her back into tears. How long had she been crying this time? It had to be hours. She could bawl like this for hours on end, consumed by the misery of capture. This was no place for her, she didn’t need to be in here. HER! She should be in here instead. It was suffocating, how unfair it all was. No one was going to believe her after what that wretched woman said. “A pathological liar! She’s crazy, just on the brink of a psychotic fit!” She was not crazy! She was not dangerous! Well…. Not until she came to The Wonderland Institute. Things seemed to only go from bad to worse. What sorrow it was to be Diana Blumenthal. At least it was a little bit better than the home she left behind. It appeared that some of the staff wanted to truly help. Even as they didn’t believe her pleas, trying desperately to convince of the truth she knew. Nods and soft, careful words that were only to assure her that they understood. But they didn’t! They just wanted to keep her calm. They all thought she was a liar. And that was the entire damnation of this hospital (NO, more like a PRISON!). No one here was going to believe the truth, and so it was that Diana was contained for the rest of her days in the bright casing of a padded, featureless cell. She hated these walls… They were seamless, no indication of where wall and floor and ceiling ended. It made her head hurt sometimes, staring at these walls. But there wasn’t much else to do besides stare and think. How did they expect people to get better if they held them in these maddening rooms? She wanted to cry! Oh, wait… she already was…

Clock chimed. Voices rose and fell and sound sound sound. She covered her ears at the shouting. How she hated it when people yelled. It constricted her throat, made her heart pound against the inside of her chest. A trembling began in her arms, bracing herself upon her simple bed. Breathe, breathe. It was what she had been told to do, take deep breaths and focus on something else. She was finding it difficult this time, however, to even it out. She knew who it was, all of the ones yelling. Firstly, that man, Peter. Oh, she had heard of him before. The famous one. She remembered friends of hers having clippings of him from the magazines. It was a surreal thing to know he was here, what he had done, what he was going through. Fresh tears pooled in her eyes; absently, irritably she wiped them away. Then the old man, that Don Quixote. The two of them were nowhere near the worst of the people being detained here. If they weren’t so loud and boisterous she would rather like them. Their outlandish behavior was enough to give her panic. Another voice, distant. The Salem boy. Honestly, she was grateful so many of these patients were relatively tame, as far as she knew. Not like that horrible woman they kept down in the basement.---- She dug her fingernails into the skin of her forearms, feeling the breath in her chest lodge, shaking ever-so-slightly with the anxiety that pulsed through her. No.. No, she couldn’t think about that Cheshire person down below her feet. She’d fall into an episode if she did. Sometimes remembering where she was, the people she was surrounded by (the dangerous ones at least) made her sick inside. Because honestly there was no escaping this place. This was probably going to be the place where Diana was going to die. The thought did not help her relax. Fingernails continued to cut into her skin, forcing herself not to stop when she knew blood was being drawn. It was a way to get control. Fighting her own body to become calm again. Pain, blind pain, burn burn burn it was all she knew. Hands flew away and grasp both sides of her head. The anticipation was filling up inside her, rumbling and threatening to tear her apart. Blinking, thinking, staring, clear the mind, stop. Stop. STOP. There were footsteps. Diana stood up, pushing away from her bed- What she thought was the staff outside was nothing more than her newfound hallucinations. Yes, the dwarfs had been her creation all along. Yes, they comforted her greatly. But this… she was losing control of them as they traversed the edges of her reality.

Snow white! It was Edgar, the brawniest of the seven men in her mind. He was not visibly there, but existed as voice conjured at the corner of the room. Snow, my dear, you need to calm down. Her eyes flickered at the window in her door: empty corridor. She didn’t really want the staff to see her talking to herself. That wasn’t going to get her out of here anytime sooner. But she was alone. “Eddie, what are you doing here? Where are the others?” She spoke to air. There was no one there to look at, as the voice talked as if it was coming straight from the inside of her skull now. In the cottage in the woods, dear Snow White. Don’t worry about them. We’re worried about you, princess. Please, you must calm down. They’re coming! Curiosity was carved into the ivory face of Diana’s. It couldn’t be time already for them to do inspections. It felt too early in the day. But she never doubted Edgar, knew he of all the seven men would never lie to her. “Please,” She whispered, dropping her words very low, almost inaudible. “Talk to me, Eddie. Just talk to me and I’ll be fine… Won’t you.. Won’t you sing?” His voice was the lightest of all, cheerful and kind and was able the warm her heart. When the singing started, it sounded as if it was coming from the opposite end of a tunnel; reverberating, bouncing around the walls inside her head. But it was working. Her fingers loosened their grip, each inhale was smoother, her heart rate returned to relatively normal. Dancing, lilting songs in her head. Was it bad that was what it took now to help relieve her? She.. really was going crazy in here. A worry for another time. Float off and wait for whatever was going to happen to happen; she laid back on her bed, gazed up at the pristine ceiling. Waiting.

And yet her waiting did not last very long, as the sirens overhead blared like hellfire. Immediately Diana lost her tranquility, the song drowned out by the alarms raging, and reacting to this by crushing her hands over her ears and giving out a loud scream that was lost to the sounds flooding through the building. Panic came back so strongly it was like being struck by a speeding car. Snotty sobs and she flung herself up to her feet, staggering to the door where she tried to see what the hell was going on. That alarm was screaming down into her own throat, so damn loud that it was making her chest tight as a spring. Faintness swam over her. She wouldn’t pass out, not if she could help it. It was always one thing right after the other, non-stop madness in this fun house. What was going on now?

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Character Portrait: Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal
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The alarm stopped. Thank god the alarm stopped. She felt as if the damned thing was reaching down inside her throat and pushing against her lungs. It quickly receded its pressure inside her, but she now was quivering like a leaf in a storm from how deafening the siren in her holding cell had been. Palms remained clamped over her head, waves of dizziness crashing and rolling over her as if she had been tossed into the sea. Cold. It was a feverish sensation, burning frost that crept over her skin, bled into her pores, wanted to tear her apart by vein and muscle and sinew. Near hyperventilation. On the brink of fainting, she weakly drifted to the edge of her cot again and fell into it, tears new and hot rushing down her cheeks and into the bare mattress and disappearing into darkening spots below her face. Swallowing dry air. She needed to collect herself again before the doctors or orderlies saw her like this. She needed to appear mentally better than she was, or at least what they expected her to be. But how she shook and cried and felt like bones barely held together by pallid skin. Breathe, remember that. Just breathe ------

You’re going to be alright, Snow White! A chorus of voices began its chanting, the rounds of cheers in their loving way, the little men she could envision in her mind’s eye were encouraging her to stability again. They all had different voices, ones she could tell apart by sound alone, and it was all of them coaxing her, wanting her to come back around. Shaking, shaking, she stilled slightly as they continued to speak to her. As her breathing eased, slowed, she hummed a soft tune and the dwarfs sang along with her, joining her fragile, quiet melody and furthered her into a sense of calm. She was still cold, but that didn’t have much to do with the alarm. Arms wrapped around her body, legs drew up to her chest in a slow motion. Still. Heart calm. She felt better, as well as she could right now. A little shivers. But better.

When she finally could, she pulled herself back up into a sitting position, legs out against the plastic-like bed, narrow and white as undisturbed snow. The hem of her gown, a basic outfit given by the Institute, was not even as white as her own skin, lying against her bone-thin thighs. Her hands traveled from the fabric of her clothing to the tops of her legs, hands just as thin, skeletal almost if not for the food they at the hospital had been able to get her to eat. She was so.. Weak. She knew these about herself, and she hated it. Nothing she could do. A thing of light, nearly nonexistent, a shaft of moonshine in the vast night. Either this, or painful, slow death. Who knew when it might come, that fatal last bite? Her stomach grumbled, her heart was tight.

Check the halls again, princess. Edgar again. It was as if he were just at her ear, a tone hushed and insistent yet gentle. Another voice. Make sure it’s safe. There’s crazy people all around! Martin, the man with the growly words. He was defensive but it was of her that he was, quick to be protective. There goes one now! She didn’t understand. Confusion taut to porcelain features. Standing slowly, making sure she could do so without crumpling to her knees, she moved cautiously to the door again. She hadn’t even made it to the little window before a gold and tan blur dashed by her cell, disappearing from view. Blinks in surprise. Who could that have been? Was that what the alarm had been about? Faster she walked, peeked through the barred slot, and saw Peter Banning running in gleeful abandon down the corridors. A gasp, the delicate hand flew over her open mouth. He had gotten out. Was he.. Escaping? Was it happening? Could… she too escape?

There was really no moment of actual calm for Diana here in this place. She hadn’t known true calm since she was a very young child. It seemed every instant there was something else going on. Peter Banning had escaped and she was now afraid of what reprimands she and the other patients would face because of his erratic behavior. That hope faded immediately to fear. Why did this have to be her life?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Liddle Character Portrait: Dr. Cassius LaMontaigne Character Portrait: The Cheshire Character Portrait: Dr. Jacob Grimm Character Portrait: Peter Banning Character Portrait: Aldric Von Hardt Character Portrait: Scarlette Binme Kapuce Character Portrait: Jafar Character Portrait: Jack Winters Character Portrait: Till Eulenspiegel Character Portrait: Dr. James B. Hook Character Portrait: Vitas Warmoon Character Portrait: Don Quixote Character Portrait: Penny Sattely Character Portrait: Dr Henry Jekyll/Mr Edward Hyde Character Portrait: Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal Character Portrait: The Genie Character Portrait: Doctor Frankenstein Character Portrait: Dr. Theodora Verde Character Portrait: Belle LeFaun
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#, as written by Rulke
GM POST

It had been a chaotic and long day, not the longest, but still pretty exhausting. Once the damage had been measured by the staff it was realised Cell Security needed to be updated with The Wolves Pit practically being rebuilt after Aldric almost escape attempt. While this went on during next two weeks.

Alice received word of a Juvenile Behavior Therapist interested in the position. Being, Peter Banning was still an issue with Jack too being a problem it did seem rather like a good idea.

Unfortunately, the problems outweighed the good, Salem, one of the inmates committed suicide the week after.

Alice, though, was steadfast, despite these major complications. Many would have buckled under the intense pressure from this all, but after her last breakdown, she seemed to attempt to keep herself coordinated. Even odder was when someone mentioned Cheshire or regarding progress of that patient, a nostalgic smile traced over Alice's lip. Something weird was certainly happening, but without further investigation, there was no need to overreact.

In the past when Cheshire was mentioned, Alice's sadism seemed to emerge quite prominently and she got angry and demanded cruel and unusual punishments for Cheshire. Now though, seemed rather calm, some may say downright intrigued by the progress. Some Doctor's have noticed her giggling and commenting during the staff meeting, 'Oh yes, she is such a wicked thing." not a lie, but the way it was said, suggested something of less towards nature.

It has been two weeks since the incident, cells have rebuilt and refitted, Aldric out of his coma and it has been reasoned by Jekyll, Warmoon and even Alice that perhaps Aldric could get outdoor privileges. It is believed that this could resolve much of his cabin fever and also provide the freedom he needs while under supervision. Of course, with this, the Garden now had to be just as warded heavily with magic. But, that was not difficult to do.

Unbeknownst to everyone, the darkness down within the crypt was stirring, it felt the weakness growing within all. Oh, how the boy who cried, cried so hard for it to stop. But now his only sound was the swinging from the metaphorical Gallow's Pole. It must work slowly, and not rush, especially as many of these magic users, if they knew, could strengthen this prison, this cell so not even the maddening cruel voice could speak in their darkest thoughts. Oh yes, it would be patient and in time Wonderland would become the Kingdom of this new Earth with the twisted aberrations of subjects that made up inmates and staff.

Once it was free, only once it was free

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Till Eulenspiegel Character Portrait: Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal
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TWO WEEKS. It had been two long, excruciating weeks. To Snow, it was almost hard to tell how long it had been, endless days and nights that blended seamlessly together to make her feel disconnected from reality, the rest of the world. Two weeks. Two days. Two months. She hadn’t heard from her father in those two weeks, an event that often helped her keep track of the days. It was unusual for him to not come by, as he always made time to visit her weekly. It inspired a paranoid dread in her, fearing for him, fearing the worst. What if her step-mother had killed him? The deranged woman would, she’d do it to get revenge on Snow. Seeing how she avoided the food given to her as often as she could, Diana’s step-mother could be getting desperate. What if father was dead? She couldn’t call anyone, couldn’t ask. The staff wouldn’t have told her anyway. The consequence of knowing that information would be catastrophic. There was no way to be sure, not unless she saw him with her own eyes. She would have to wait, spend her days full of agonized anticipation for her father’s visit, burn inside with hunger as she forced herself to eat only the bare minimum to even stay alive. It was like slow death. She looked like it, worried lines in her face, dark circles under her eyes like bruised marble, wide brown eyes like a doe’s, startled nearly by everything around her. It was hell.

It made her feel a little bit better to be allowed time outside. When she was a girl, spending time outdoors was a great relief to her. She could hide away from the reach of her step-mother, climb up the tallest trees, hear the birds singing, the sun warming her face like a warm kiss. It was a forgotten bliss to be outside. The gardens of the Institute were a strange comfort, while she still felt confined within the hospital’s walls she could for a time pretend things were not as they truly were. She could revive memories of her childhood where she felt safe and joyful, let those feelings come to life inside her and find a moment as close to peacefulness as she could get. While she was not dangerous, not as severe a threat as the others who lurked within Wonderland, she still was observed by staff as she strolled about in an almost trance-like silence, possessed by every flower, tree, and small creature that went by. She walked the grounds, walked them again, let the sun creep across the sky, listened with childlike, dewy eyes watching the birds that flitted from the treetops and chirped their sweet birdsong. And on her ninth circuit around the gardens she finally felt her thin legs grow sore and thought to stop and rest. It was a habit of hers to push herself to continue on strolling the grounds when she was tired, but now with a keen eye keeping watch, the harmful behavior folded to what her body actually needed. She took to a bench of warm wood and floral designs in the iron work, a bench that reminded her of nice little parks where children played and everything was pleasant and happy. Sitting there, she became aware of how tired she made herself walking for as long as she had. There was a part of her that was glad to feel something other that sorrow and panic. Soreness was an old, familiar feeling, bordering on the negative in memories of being beaten or struck. She didn’t want to think about that. Clear the mind. She closed her eyes and just listened to the nature around her, wanting to regain some semblance of what she was before. Find peace. Feel calm, a moment of respite.

If she were sinking into any sort of feeling, it did not last very long. A shout snapped her eyes back open, blinked, looked around and saw another patient not that far away from her. She had to think for a moment to place him. The weeping man was Till Eulenspiegel, a name she had seen scribbled on a clipboard weeks ago (Was it weeks? Days? Months? The uncertainty bothered her.) in passing when one of the staff had passed her door during inspections. She didn’t know very much about him, not that she could remember, but the sound of his crying disturbed her. The suffering of the other patients always did greatly upset her. At the passing of the Salem Boy, even though she hadn’t known him she had burst into a fit of sobs. To hear this man now drove a pain into her heart, unable to ignore it even as the sound wound a tension into her bones, the common anxiety returning to her. She couldn’t just sit there.

“Don’t do it, Snow!” She had been just about to get up, but the voice stopped her, almost commanded her into stillness. Confusion drew her eyebrows down, a pucker of pale pink lips, angling her head down as if listening inside herself. She couldn’t answer, not with so many people around, but she didn’t have to wait long. “It’s not safe to talk to these people. They’re crazy, princess! They’ll hurt you!” Martin. He always was discouraging when it came to her sympathies. He thought she was too naive, too trusting of other people. Perhaps he was right. She couldn’t argue with him, and none of the other little men were trying to stand up to him. They.. didn’t agree with him, did they? Were they too worried of upsetting her? “Please, just stay safe!” It was almost as if he knew she was going to ignore him. Of course she knew her tender heart was what had gotten her into this mess in the first place. Of course her caring nature was a weakness. She tried to resist giving too much to other people, especially in here, but she couldn’t just let someone suffer. She knew what it was like to be in pain and have no one try to help. She stood up, and the voice of her little grumpy man fell into total silence. The sun shone brightly on her back, illuminating her silhouette, a harsh shine on her black hair. His wild crying unnerved her, but she spoke like thin glass,

“E-excuse me… Are.. you alright?”

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Character Portrait: Till Eulenspiegel Character Portrait: Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal
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Till sunk further into the grass, embracing it as the land swallowed him whole. It felt like marshland, damp with the blood of three hundred rats and drenched with the odour of rotting flesh. The songs sung by each one written across his mind, Till wanted nothing more than to be drifted away by them.

Then a new song begun, one that seemed extraordinarily delicate but rife with bravery. Most importantly, one that he hadn't heard before.

Heart pumping blood at nauseating rhythms, Till laughed as he lightheartedly recited a tune akin to a drunk.

"Oh Danny Boy..." he mumbled a couple words under his breath, "The pipes, the pipes are calling, ahahaha..."

As he unfurled his face from the shell of his arms, be opened his eyes and looked directly at Snow's as he laughed away. However his eyes were red with tears and while his laugh never once broke into sobbing it was obvious that he was rampantly producing tears. Otherwise, Till's expression showed great hilarity.

"Me? Alright?" He giggled like a child. "You're the one with the bleeding heart... Heheheheh..."

Till slowly pulled himself up while maintaining his jester's gaze unto Snow until he was sitting on the grass. He dug his nails deep into the soil, ripping up clumps of dirt. She appeared in eclipse, outlined by sunlight. While he couldn't put names to faces, he could feel her thoughts through her voice. Focusing on it was all he could do to alleviate his stress. His tears decreased significantly.

"Why'd you say anything? Why does the bleeding heart still have blood to spare? I spilt all of mine. Hah."

Through his mask of smiles and tears hid a stare with a curious intensity. As he ripped up more grass, Till would tilt his head as he observed Snow's behaviour.

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Character Portrait: Till Eulenspiegel Character Portrait: Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal
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A silence encased her, fragile and uncertain. He spoke in fits, an immense suffering marked in his face that made her want to recoil in quiet horror. His words left her unsure of his meaning. Was he mocking her? Trying to frighten her? She stood there without immediately replying, assessing what she could even say to him. See! the voice came back, quiet, quiet like an insistent breeze in the night. “Look at him! He’s nuts! He’s going to hurt you!” She notably took in a sharp breath, dispelling the voice to the air and therefore returning her mind to silence. Watched him, quizzical and reserved, hands held towards her body as if shielding herself, maintaining space. He seemed to return her curious stare tenfold, piercingly as if looking through her. Her glance fluttered away, the ground where clumps of dirt and grass were torn from the earth, the sky that stretched infinitely overhead. She found her voice again,

“I suppose I do. Not much, though…” She spoke as if trying to figure herself out, avoiding his gaze as if he might have been accusing her of something. Still, she muttered, “You were shouting… about something. Something about a pipe… Do you play?”

When she did finally meet his eye again it was a muted anticipation, readying for a joy in finding common ground, one that she felt so strongly attached to. Music, singing, for years had been a kind of escape for her. It lulled her into a sense of fulfillment, of losing oneself to sound that came from the effort within. Maybe asking him about something such as that would calm him. She wasn’t sure if it would work, but she would feel accomplished in doing so. Maybe she would gain a friend in this hellish place that was threatening to destroy her simply by being detained there. Maybe he could help her resist any of the staff that were working with her step-mother to kill her. An ally in a place like this would give her a great relief.

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Character Portrait: Till Eulenspiegel Character Portrait: Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal
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The pipe? Did she talk about the pipe? Oh, thank God.

The girl on a whole didn't intrigue Till all too much. He was mostly ambivalent towards her, but the chance for conversation must be savoured. And there was something in her voice that caught him with a chorus of layers waiting to be peeled back and examined. Like a progressive rock ballad, or one of Beethoven's. Perhaps a more observant fellow would pick up on the changes in breath or subtleties in the eyes.

He dug his fingers once more, jagged into the grass.

"Oh, the pipe..." His hands relieved themselves from the soil. "Yes, I play." As if on cue, Till shot up onto his feet and danced around Snow. Light and whimsical like a harlequin. "And oh boy, you should hear it! Centre stage: The Pied Piper! Bringin' showmanship and musical perfection to a neighbourhood near you!" Like a wind up toy coming to a stop, Till slowed in front of Snow. A hopelessness invaded his eyes as his hands started fidgeting once more. "As if, right? Heheh... You play the pipe too or somethin'?"

But why had she mentioned the pipe? What if it was a trick, like one of Till's? What if she knew where it was? Was she keeping it from him? What if she brok-
No, surely not. Her sound was genuine. Not one of those corporate shills pumping out manipulative tunes to drown the masses, this one held true struggle.

Till recalled the Salem boy, and what happened to him. Honestly, he hadn't cared for him all too much. Norhing new there. But it didn't sit right with him. The Salem boy hardly had a chance to show his potential, even for a rat. And Till knew that should he have been a couple years older, they would have made great friends. That night, Till did not cry or tremble in terror in the absence of his instrument. He instead pondered how great the boy's song could have been, and whistled amongst the howling wolves.

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Character Portrait: Till Eulenspiegel Character Portrait: Diana 'Snow White' Blumenthal
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The suddenness of his movements startled her, a flinch she could not disguise as anything else. Rigid, she was unmoving in his spontaneous, energetic leaps about her, even as she became aware that this was no threat to her but an outburst of happiness. Even then, she found it hard to relax. Abrupt actions such as those were too deeply rooted into a place of fear, the anticipation of pain. She tried to listen past that disabling fright, forced herself to give the smallest of smiles as he chirped giddily about that which she had partially suspected. A musician. The Pied Piper. It was curious, the life that such memories revived in him, something she took notice of, as well as how such light drained away like a quickly receding sunset as reality returned. His question met her ears in the same manner in which the roaring of the ocean rumbles from far away. A shiver up the arms, a tingling numbness as a sense of a chill over took her, something she couldn't tell if it were an internal or external change. She realized she wasn't breathing deeply enough and drew a silent, long breath as if about to plunge into that pale sea.

“A pipe? No… No, I.. only ever sang.” Words like glistening, silver wires; thin, a trick of light in and out of being. “A singer, that is. I loved to sing.. And I still do, sometimes. Helps me…” Hesitation, her voice fell into a momentary hush as she tried to decide just how much about herself she dared to expose. Should she tell this man about the comforting voices that lulled her into security? The lurking presence of her step-mother who at any moment could destroy her, working among the staff in secret? No. She didn’t want to make herself feel unnecessarily vulnerable. Not yet, not when she didn’t have to. She still had no idea whether Till was an actual threat to her or not, even if she desperately wanted a companion in this hellish institute. It would be nice to have someone to trust, but she was not a fool. Besides, who even knew if he would believe her? Her little men did not come to advise her, did not comfort her worried indecision. A small betrayal wedged itself among the pain of a rapidly pounding heart. But she went on, a little firmer of tone, “It helps me relax. It can be a difficult thing to do in this.. place.”