Emma couldn’t sleep. That afternoon when she’d seen Henry, he’d mentioned something about a mysterious piece of glass he’d found when he’d been trapped down in the mine shaft, and for some reason she just couldn’t get it out of her head.
Sighing, she sat up and turned on the light before quietly walking across to where her red leather jacket was draped over a chair. She slipped her hand into the pocket and pulled out the piece of paper Henry had given her during their conversation. She was unfolding it when there was a gentle tap at her door.
“Come in,” she called softly.
Mary Margaret slowly opened the door and poked her head through the crack, smiling apologetically. “I couldn’t sleep and I saw your light on so I thought I’d bring you some hot cocoa.”
“Thanks.” Emma gestured for Mary Margaret to come in then resumed unfolding the paper.
“What is that?” Mary Margaret asked curiously as she handed Emma a mug.
“I’m not sure. Something Henry saw when he was trapped in the mine shaft.”
“May I see it?”
Emma shrugged and let Mary Margaret take it while she took a sip of her hot cocoa. She watched as Mary Margaret frowned at the image.
“What is it?”
“I’m not sure,” Mary Margaret said slowly. “Something about this seems awfully familiar. It’s like I’ve seen it, or something like it, before.”
“That’s the thing, I have no idea.” Mary Margaret handed the paper back to Emma. “I’m probably just tired.”
“Yeah,” Emma said distractedly, accepting the paper again. “Probably.”
“Well, I think I’ll try to sleep again. Have a good night, Emma.”
“You too,” Emma said while still staring at the paper. “Thanks for the cocoa.”
Emma barely heard the door click shut. Something about Mary Margaret’s reaction to the image was niggling at her. If Henry had seen it in the mine, how would Mary Margaret have ever seen it? Unless it was something she knew from before…
Emma winced. What was she thinking? She’d been spending too much time with Henry - the curse wasn’t real. It couldn’t be.
Still, as Emma crawled back into bed, a niggle of doubt crept into her mind.
When Emma woke a few hours later she was aware that she’d been dreaming but she couldn’t remember what the dream had been about. It was still dark outside and the only light in the room came from the moon shining through the window, reflecting on the wall across the room. Emma’s eyes narrowed as something glinted. What did she have over there that could possibly catch the moonlight?
Curious, Emma crawled out of bed and nearly laughed aloud when she discovered that the glint had come from a jewel that adorned Henry’s fairytale book. Bemused, she shook her head and brought the book back to the bed with her. She sat for a while flipping idly through the pages, periodically pausing to glance at an illustration or skim a few lines of text.
Suddenly she froze, her heart racing as she came to an image of Snow White entombed in the forest with the seven dwarfs surrounding her. Emma traced her fingers over the intricate pattern on the glass casket. The design was very unique and yet it seemed incredibly familiar.
Emma gasped and sprang from the bed. She quickly grabbed Henry’s drawing from the night before and brought it back, laying it beside the illustration. To her combined amazement and disbelief, the pattern Henry had drawn seemed to match the style of the pattern on the casket in the illustration. How was that possible? Could it be that there was some truth to Henry’s tales after all?
The niggle of doubt she’d felt before she’d fallen asleep began to grow. Suddenly it felt important that she know for sure. This was a start but she needed more; some kind of proof either way. Emma grabbed the book and the image and shoved them into her bag along with a flashlight. She knew exactly where to begin looking.
Regina was wrenched awake by the ringing of her phone.
“What is it?” she barked, annoyed. Whoever it was had woken her from a most delicious dream.
“I… I’m sorry to wake you Madam Mayor, but you told me to call if I ever saw anyone near that old mine again.”
Regina stiffened. She should have dealt with the mine when she’d had the chance, but she’d been too distracted by Henry’s rescue to take action right away.
“Who did you see and when?”
“The new Deputy Sheriff, Emma Swan; about ten minutes ago.”
Regina scowled. Of course it was Emma. It was always Emma. That girl and her constant meddling were really beginning to drive her crazy. “I’m on my way,” she said brusquely, climbing out of bed. “Oh, and Leroy. Don’t mention what you saw to anyone else.”
Emma tugged one last time at the rope she’d tied to a tree a few meters away from the mine shaft where Henry and Doctor Hopper had been rescued a few days earlier. It was flimsy, but it was the best she could do in the dim light and with minimal equipment.
Moving with precision and care, she carefully tugged the safety grating free and prepared to lower herself down. She knew she’d have to move extremely slowly and carefully so as not to cause the mine to collapse any further. Taking a deep breath, Emma secured her bag and began her descent.
The first 500 meters went so smoothly that she soon forgot to take continued care and as she bumped her shoulder against the side of the shaft, everything began to shake. Emma closed her eyes and held her breath as debris and dust fell around her and plummeted to the bottom far below.
Despite the increased danger, Emma continued to lower herself into the mine. She knew it was foolish but she wanted the mystery cleared up one way or the other and this was her best clue. Suddenly she heard a tearing sound and she felt herself start to slip further toward the bottom. Another tear and the rope snapped.
Emma’s heart raced as she began to fall, gaining speed as she plummeted deeper and deeper into the earth. She had a moment to reflect on how she felt a bit like Alice falling down the rabbit hole before she landed on something cold and hard with a loud thud.
The force of her impact seemed to upset the stability of the mine and once again everything around her shook. Emma quickly tucked her head under her arm, wincing as she felt heavy rocks and soil rain down on her.
As soon as the dust settled she tried to stand.
“Ugh!” Emma cried out as she felt searing pain in her leg. “Shit.”
She collapsed and looked dismally at her right leg. It was sticking out at a funny angle and it hurt like nothing she’d ever experienced before.
Swearing under her breath Emma dug in her pocket for her phone. Her heart sank when all she felt was the cool fabric of her jacket. Her phone must have slipped during the fall. Careful not to move too quickly for fear of hurting her leg more, Emma scrambled around on the ground, using her hands to feel for her phone.
“Ouch!” she exclaimed as her hand hit something sharp and it cut her. She groped in her bag with her other hand, pulling out the flashlight and shining it in front of her. She squinted as the light reflected back at her.
Glass! Whatever it was that she’d cut herself on, it was made of glass, and it wasn’t small.