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Guess who's writing again? (And, you know, logging in and stuff.)
This is the first story I have finished in a while, but--theoretically--the first in a series of fairy tales, be they retellings (like this one) or originals (non of which I've finished yet). So, here's the first one.
This is the story of Cinderella, but it isn't quite the version you've grown up with. Because sometimes, the bad guys don't lose. Sometimes the good guys don't win. Sometimes the fairy tale princess is not the person you expected her to be.
And sometimes, the wicked stepmother is not as wicked as you might think.
Snow was falling. It was the dead of both winter and the night, a time when most people were asleep in their cozy, warm beds. And yet, there was still a light on in one cottage’s windows. There was still a man outside, chopping wood for a fire. There was still a woman working the dough for a dozen different tarts. There was still a little girl screaming for a warm treat, for a hot bath, for a new doll.
Outside, as he swung the ax down again, split yet another piece of wood, her father made a mental resolution. This is the last time, he thought. The last time we’ll be up in the middle of the night. We can’t take the strain of this any more. Next time, we will say no.
Inside, as she kneaded and shaped little rounds of dough, her mother shook her head. She had been deprived of sleep, yet she was still awake. No more, she thought. I can’t take this any more. We’re perpetually exhausted, never happy, and even the last-resort money is running low. This will break us if we don’t fix it.
All of these thoughts had run through their minds many times before. Each time, they would wonder how they got back to putting themselves through the things they did.
And every time, just as she saw that her parents were close to refusing her demands, the girl would stop, smile an angelic smile, and tell them that she had changed her mind. It always worked. They forgot their anger, and she still got what she wanted. The child’s smile was like a siren’s song: charming, irresistible. The girl herself was like a siren, despite living on land. She had been beautiful since birth, and all who saw her were struck by it.
People’s reactions and treatment had taught her at an early age that she was special. She grew up knowing that people treated her differently, and she knew that it was because of her looks. She knew that none of her friends were treated as well as she was, and she decided that that made her better than them. And so she was spoiled throughout childhood by anyone and everyone she met.
No one realized that, like the siren, she could be deadly as well.
“Mother! Don’t you dare leave me! You can’t just leave us like this!”
“I’m sorry, Cindy, dearest, but… She’s gone.” His voice cracked as he spoke. “Your mother… Is gone.”
“No, Daddy! How am I—how can we—? I want her back! Bring her back, Daddy!”
“I’m sorry, honey, but I can’t. No one can…”
The news traveled as quickly as news can. Her mother had been a kind woman, and all were sad to hear of her passing. Few, however, were surprised—the woman had been quite sickly for months. No one was sure what had caused her illness, but the truth found itself creeping into the backs of more than just a few minds.
Everybody heard her screeching demands at night. Everybody saw her angelic smile the next morning. Everybody saw how this series of events was taking its toll on her mother, who looked grayer, waner, more faded every day. The connections were easy to see.
And yet, even after the funeral, all were still drawn in by her smile.
“This is the house.”
I couldn’t stop myself from taking in a little gasp of surprise. It was nothing like the mansion he had had me picturing before the wedding, more a large cottage. He must have been hoping to fool me into thinking he had more money than he did so I wouldn’t leave him the way the others had. But the cottage was also much better than any mansion I could have imagined. Its walls were white, save the ivy creeping up towards the roof. It was like something straight out of a fairy tale.
He looked at me, worried. “Is it not to your liking?” he asked, clearly misreading the wide-eyed expression I was wearing.
I smiled and kissed him. “Christopher darling, it is very much to my liking,” I told him. I grinned as he led me up the stairs to the door.
“Come in, then,” he said before pushing the door open. I made to step inside, but he swept my feet out from under me and carried me through the threshold in his arms. We were both laughing as we set foot into our house for the first time as a married couple.
The laughter stopped at a loud cough from the room we had just entered. Christopher put me down—gently, but hurriedly—and spoke. “Helena, this is my little angel, Cynthia. And Cindy dear, this is your new stepmother. Now, I know that you loved your mother as much as I did, but meeting Helena has really helped my heart to heal. I hope she will help you to recover as well.” He smiled.
The girl looked me up and down once before speaking. “Thank God you’re home, Father,” she said, no longer looking at anything in particular. Her voice had a rather bored edge to it. “The new maid was terrible. Now we can send her off.”
“If you wish it, dearest. I’m sorry, though—I had heard that she was excellent. My sources are usually quite trustworthy, too…” Christopher stepped out of the room, presumably to fire the maid.
I smiled at his daughter. She did not return it. Instead, she looked at me like I was far beneath her. “Hello, dear,” I said, a little unsettled by her expression. “I notice that your father called you Cindy—do you prefer that name, or shall I call you Cynthia?”
“I would prefer it if you did not address me at all.” The smile dropped off my face at once. She turned after she spoke, but I thought I caught a smirk forming on hers before she began to walk away. “If you must, however, you may call me Cynthia. Perhaps even Mistress Cynthia?” I could almost hear the smirk in her voice now.
“Hmm. That was quite and interesting encounter,” I said to myself as Christopher came back into the room.
“Seems Cindy did not get along very well with the maid,” he said as he approached. “She told me that she was planning on quitting as soon as I got home, and only barely resisted the temptation to abandon Cindy a good two weeks before my return.” A kiss and a smile created a pause before his next words. “So, you’ve met my daughter now. What did you think of her? And when do I get to meet yours?”
“Samantha and Daniella shall be arriving in two days. You know the stories—they love their animals so much, they can’t stand to leave them any sooner than they have to,” I replied, carefully avoiding answering his first question. “It is such a shame that you cannot accommodate them here. Sam and Dani would so love to be able to see them every day.”
“Cindy would not be able to stand them, I’m afraid,” he replied, a rueful expression on his face. “She has dreadful allergies.”
“That is rather convenient,” I said under my breath.
“Sorry, didn’t catch that?”
“How about a tour of the rest of the house before the girls get here?”
“The house is not that large, Helena. With two days to waste, we would have to inspect every inch of the place to take up all that time.”
“I was hoping, actually, that we might focus on the bedroom?”
He laughed and scooped me back up into his arms. “To the bedroom, then!” he said with a grin.
“Dani! Sam!” They ran to me, and I caught them in a tight embrace. “I missed you.”
“We were only separated for three days, Mother,” Sam replied.
“This house is fantastic,” Dani said. “Good choice in new husbands, Mother,” she continued, a wicked grin on her face.
“Come and meet Christopher,” I said, trying—not very hard—to stop my own smile from showing as I led them into the house. “Chris?” I called as we stepped through the doorway. “They’re here!”
I heard footsteps coming closer. They were too light to be Christopher’s. “Oh no,” I said quietly. I didn’t want her tainting my daughters’ opinions of Christopher before they even met him.
Cynthia simply stood in the doorway, giving us that condescending look that seems to be her default expression. Daniella was the first to break the silence stretching out among us.
She gave her a small curtsy, as was polite. “Hello,” she said, “I am Daniella.”
“And I am Samantha,” she said, giving Cynthia the same curtsy Dani had. “We’re your new sisters.” She smiled, clearly expecting a smile or curtsy in return. Cynthia did not respond. She merely turned around and walked away. “Well now,” Sam continued, looking disgruntled. “That was just uncalled for.”
“Please do not judge Chris by his daughter,” I said. “He is very sweet, I promise.”
“As opposed to his daughter, who would make a lemon pucker.”
They did like Christopher, however. He was polite, kind, and entertaining to talk to. The girls were almost glowing when we left. Daniella congratulated me on my choice once more before they headed up to their new room to unpack.
Posted on: 2009/6/22 1:50
|Re: Midnight Ball||#2|
“Yes? Oh!” Sam and Dani ran up to me in the hall, eyes red from crying. “What’s wrong?”
“We’ve only been here a week,” Daniella said, “but I already hate it here.”
“It’s not Christopher, and it isn’t the house, either. Those are both perfect,” Sam added.
“The problem is Cynthia.”
“Oh no. What has she done this time?”
“For starters, she treats us like servants,” Dani said, glaring at the wall beside me. “When she finally told us her name, she told us we were to address her as ‘Mistress Cynthia.’”
“And then she made us take over all of the chores Chris gave her, in addition to our own!”
“Why did you two not refuse?”
“We did!” Samantha cried indignantly. “But she took revenge.”
“She ripped the bodice right off my favorite dress, and the skirt is torn in two!”
“And I tried to hide my jewelry from her, but she found it! Now I keep finding the charms from Daddy’s bracelet all over my room.”
“She left them for you to find?” I asked.
“Yes. She said she wanted it known that she wasn’t a thief, but that we would pay if we didn’t do what she said. Mother, the loops are all broken, and the chain is in pieces, and the lion’s head is mangled, and I keep finding more bits in all of my things.”
“I hate that she’s doing this, Mother. I hate her. I want to do something to stop her, but I don’t know what will make her stop short of killing her, and I don’t think Christopher will appreciate that much.”
“I know the feeling, dears. I know it well.” I sighed. “I will go and speak with Christopher. Maybe he can do it, though God knows why he has let it go on as long as it has.”
Chris was in his study, pouring over some forms. He put them aside at my knock and waited to hear what I had to say. I paused for a moment, unsure of how to put things, but spoke soon enough.
“The girls… They miss their animals, Christopher.”
“They’ve only been a week. Surely they can adjust?”
“It is not just that, unfortunately. I am sure that in a positive environment, they would find things to take the places of their animals while they are here, but… Cynthia seems to be making things difficult for them.”
“How so?” he asked, frowning.
“She seems to be addressing them as servants,” I said. I was a little hesitant to do this to him, but there was little I would not do for my daughters’ happiness. “She forces her chores onto them and becomes quite angry if they do not comply with her wishes.”
“Cindy is a forceful little girl,” he said with a chuckle.
“You do not understand. When your daughter is angry at mine, she destroys their things. Dani’s favorite dress—”
“I’m sure you can fix it,” he said. “You are amazing with a needle.”
“But I should not have to be fixing anything, Christopher. And it is not just the clothes, either. Before he died, Sam and Dani’s father gave them each a piece of jewelry he made himself. Sam got a little golden charm bracelet. Now she is finding the charms ripped off the now-broken chain strewn about the room. I cannot fix that, and the marks will never go away.”
“I am sure it can be repaired. There are many expert jewelers in the city.”
“And the chores she is forcing my children to do?”
“Well, she isn’t used to having to do work around the house. We hired maids, but I thought that with more people in the house, we could save a little money…”
“Alright, I understand.”
“Do you, Chris?”
“I do, I really do. It’s just that… It is rather difficult to refuse her anything.”
“You are sweet,” I replied, backing out of the room. “You just need to be a little more authoritative.”
I took half a step before I noticed that I was not alone in the hallway. Cynthia was standing there, and she had an expression on her face that I had never seen before. She was smiling in a most dazzling fashion. The smile really brought out the attractiveness that was so often covered up by the disapproving look she generally wore around Sam, Dani, and I.
“Oh, Mother,” she said. Already surprised by her smile, her use of the word “mother” in application to me almost made me ask if anything was wrong. “I am so very sorry about the chores. I did not mean anything by it. I must beg your forgiveness in this matter. I would so hate for there to be any hard feelings between you, my sisters, and myself. I will try to change, I promise.” She gave me a curtsy—the first since I had arrived—and walked away, her graceful step clear in the lasting daze in wake of the smile.
I blinked and went back to the bedroom. That smile was not something that I had seen before, and it was not something that I wanted to see again. Its power was so strong that it was almost magical. It certainly did explain Cynthia’s spoiled nature.
I sighed and bean trying to think of ways to break it to Sam and Dani that Cynthia would not be stopped by Christopher any time soon.
Posted on: 2009/6/22 1:55
|Re: Midnight Ball||#3|
“It is not hot enough yet!” Cynthia’s voice carried across the house from the bathroom, in which she was doubtless lounging in the tub, to the kitchen, where my daughters and I spent most of our time in the three months since we moved in. With a sigh, Samantha picked up the kettle we had set to boil water for tea. As she left the room, Daniella focused on continuing to peel the potatoes in an attempt to not see her sister forced into such a menial task. I kept my eyes on my needlework and attempted to keep my tears from falling so as to avoid ruining the stitching.
Christopher had left two months previously, and our relationship with his daughter had deteriorated even faster than I had expected them to. I almost regretted marrying him at this point—I had known that he would often be away, as the trading business requires much travel. I had not, however, expected the atmosphere at our new home to be so tense, so resentful.
The first month had been bearable. Though my daughters, Daniella especially, would never fully comply to her orders, the threat of the destruction of their most treasured possessions led to a certain degree of submission. With Christopher there to hear it, the worst of the shouting had been avoided. Without him, Cynthia had no restraints. I wished that I could be the one to stop her, but each time I tried, she gave me that hypnotic smile and a dose of respect followed almost immediately by the resuming of her normal behavior. I suspected that if I did manage to get out a proper reprimand, she would ignore it all the same.
Sam returned and silently filled the kettle again. “Tea will be a while again today,” she said quietly. As one, we all sighed.
That night, I stayed up later than the rest to try and lessen the chores. Cynthia went to sleep earliest of all, but I sent Sam and Dani to bed early as well. They deserved a rest after all of their work. I headed to my room after cleaning the dishes, washing the floor, and folding the newly cleaned laundry. A voice came floating out of the darkness just outside my door.
“Dani? Why are you not asleep?”
“I would like to talk to you about something.” She paused, and I waited for her to continue. “How long will Christopher be gone?” she asked.
“Another month, I believe. There was a problem of some sort that delayed his return.”
Her eyes were unfocused, staring off into the distance as she responded. “When he returns, there may be fewer people in the house than when he left.”
“I am thinking of running away, Mother.” Now she was looking straight at me. “I do not want to stay here anymore.”
“Sweetheart, I know that things are bad, but we are trying. We do still have each other, and Christopher when he comes home—”
“Mother, I do not think you understand. Every night, I have a bag packed with everything that I might need to just leave this place. I love you, I love Sam, and Chris is amazing, but… I see the bag when I awaken and I think that I can’t leave. I unpack. But then I leave the room and I see her. She says something that I should be able to ignore, but I just cannot do it. Every morning, I repack. I clean the house and think only of the fact that if I left, I might end up doing those same chores—and yet the reward would be so much greater because it would not be for her. I fall asleep to the sound of Sam crying, and all I can see is that bag, waiting for me to leave. All I can think of is how satisfying it would be to finally be rid of her. And the then the sun comes up and I do it all over again. I am tired of this, Mother. We deserve better than this, you know we do. Everyone deserves better than this.”
“I know, dear, I know. I just—”
“I know that you’re trying. But I also know that it isn’t helping enough. We are changing, Mother. She is changing us. I do not want to stay here and see Sam transform into a girl who does not have the courage to stand up to anyone when she used to be as outgoing as I am. I do not want to stay here and see myself turn bitter. I do not want to stay here and see you killing yourself trying to hold us together. I cannot take it anymore, Mother. I know that this is not the best way to fix things, but I don’t know what other solution there is.” Daniella wiped away a tear. “Good night, Mother.”
The next morning, I left early to go to the market. The day would be very busy, and I wanted to have a chance at getting fresh produce. Any news that I had missed throughout the week would also be told to the crowds along with any new stories.
When I arrived, a large group had gathered around the crier. Most of the crowd were women, and they all looked excited. The crier seemed happy with the reaction his news had inspired. I came closer.
“Tha’s right, in just over a month. Make sure to bring your daughters, ladies. The prince can marry whoever ‘e wants, remember. She merely has to catch his eye and she’ll be royalty!”
“What is happening in a month?” I asked.
He smiled. “Why, a royal ball, milady! The king an’ queen figure our prince ought to be betrothed by now, so they’re holding a ball to find a worthy lass for ‘im. The festival starts on the first day of the new month and the actual dancing will be the night of the third. You ought to go even if you don’t have daughters you want to marry off—there will be food and entertainment a-plenty, after all. Free, as well.”
I grinned. It was the first news that had made me happy since Christopher left. “Thank you for the information, sir.”
“It is my job, miss,” he said, tilting his cap.
The smile stayed on my face as I continued my shopping, which included a number of yards of new cloth as well as the fruits and vegetables I had come to purchase. I had ball gowns to make.
Somehow, Cynthia heard the news before me. “Make my dress,” she demanded.
“Very well then,” I replied. She walked away, so she did not see the smile that appeared on my face. I would make her dress, but she had not told me it had to be particularly beautiful—and if she had, I had no reason to obey a child’s demands when she was so often unreasonable. I would make her a dress, but Daniella and Samantha’s gowns would outshine hers by far.
The smile grew as I imagined her expression when my daughters finally proved themselves to be her equals—betters, in this case. They were not unattractive, just not stunningly beautiful. They were pretty, but their self-confidence was much lower than it had been when they had arrived. I knew firsthand how much difference getting dressed up makes—once they were ready for the ball, they would be radiant.
If Cynthia had wanted to make sure she looked spectacular, she would have made her dress herself.
Posted on: 2009/6/22 1:57
|Re: Midnight Ball||#4|
A single month was rather a short time to make three dresses. I had to leave the chores to the girls, and I still was not sure that I would finish in time. I was glad that I would, at least, not have to worry about finding jewels that would match—Christopher would be back just in time for the ball, and he would be bringing many of the goods he had found on his journey with him. It would be a simple matter to find the right accessories.
The days flew by despite the fact that they consisted almost entirely of long hours of sewing. In the end, I got them done with about a day and a half left before the ball began, just before Christopher arrived home. Cynthia greeted him first. Her entire reunion with her father consisted of her telling him how excited she was about the ball and how sure she was that she would make an impact on the prince. She fell upon the jewels almost immediately and was absorbed in them for the rest of the night.
“So, I hear that you have been quite the seamstress this past month,” he whispered into my ear as he held me.
“I have indeed. I had to do something with my hands to keep from missing you so much,” I replied, smiling.
“Come,” he said to the room at large. “It’s late. Let’s all go to bed.”
The next morning, I slept in a little later than usual to make up for a few of the late nights. When I awoke, Daniella and Samantha were tidying up their room and Cynthia was missing. I took the opportunity to allow them to see their dresses.
“Can we try them on?”
“Of course.” I smiled as they immediately reached for their dresses and hurriedly but carefully put them on.
Daniella’s dress was a deep, midnight blue accented every so often with a silver starburst. The material had a silky feel to it. It flowed outward, but not so much that it looked like it was a hoop skirt. In fact, it moved just enough to make it seem as though she was wearing a patch of the sky. Samantha’s dress was simpler, but no less beautiful. It was a white dress with diagonal black and white stripes of sheer material. It was more tight-fitting than Dani’s but flared out slightly at the bottom.
The two were practicing their dancing when Cynthia returned. The expression on her face changed at least four times in quick succession—I thought I caught shock, envy, and anger before she recollected herself. She gave us a bland kind of smile and reached for her dress. She came back a few minutes later wearing it.
I had to admit that she did look beautiful. Hers was a blue so pale that it was almost white, styled in a slightly more traditional manner than the others. The bodice was beaded so that it sparkled as she turned. “Good job,” she said grudgingly. “I suppose.”
“You suppose?” Daniella said, still spinning. “Mother is amazing with a needle.” She grinned and came over to embrace me. “It’s perfect and amazing and I love it, Mother. The measurements are all right and everything.” Sam stood where she was and nodded, a huge smile on her face.
“The skirt is a little too long and the sleeves are too short,” Cynthia said. “They will need fixing before I can wear it to the ball.” With that, she left, presumably to go and find jewelry that matched.
“I am much more excited than I thought I would be,” Samantha said. She looked much happier than she had the past two months as well. “I think it will be a wonderful time for everyone.”
“It ought to be,” I replied. “You two will be the most beautiful ones there.”
“You flatter us, Mother,” Sam said.
“For good reason,” I replied.
We could hear the preparations for the festival going on into the night. The noise made it difficult to fall asleep, and when I did, I found my dreams full of dancing and feasting. When I awoke, it was later than usual, and I was still just as tired as I had been when I went to bed that night. I yawned and got up, deciding that the mostly relaxing day ahead would give me the energy I would need for the night.
Christopher was out taking advantage of the merchants’ happiness to see if he could secure some deals on food for the next few nights. I took Sam and Dani out to see if we could find anything that they thought would match their dresses better. Somehow, going out did not hinder my recovery at all, and we had a good time as well. We headed back to the house about an hour after midday to begin getting ready for the ball. When we entered the room with the dresses we each had a different reaction, though each of us was shocked and horrified.
I dropped my handbag. Sam screamed and burst into tears. Dani simply stared, an expression of incomprehension on her face.
Both hers and Sam’s dresses had been attacked with a knife. If the cuts had been at the seams or some other less obvious place, I could have fixed them easily, but whoever had done it had deliberately made it hard—impossible—to fix. The cuts were long and ragged. Pieces of both dresses were strewn about the floor.
Cynthia’s dress was almost completely untouched. There was a small section of the stitching along one of the preexisting seams that had been sliced but would take almost no time to repair. It was obvious who was responsible.
“Oh, honey,” I said, embracing Sam where she sat, sobbing. “I am so, so sorry. This is my fault—I should have known that she would hate to not be the prettiest one there tonight...”
“This is in no way your fault.” Dani’s voice was cold and steely. “This is all her fault. She just cannot… She won’t… She—”
“Hello? I have returned!” Cynthia’s cheery voice made me want to gag.
“Speak of the devil,” Dani said, “and he doth—”
“Oh my God!” Cynthia clapped both of her hands over her mouth. The bag on her arm gave a glass-like clink as it moved. “What happened?”
Daniella scowled. “You need to practice your acting, you stupid, horrible—”
“Well now!” Cynthia said, letting her arms drop. “That was rather uncalled for. My dress is ruined as well—”
“You know full well that that little tear will take only a minute to sew back up,” I said, still holding a crying Samantha. “How could you do this, Cynthia?”
“Excuse me? There is no way you can try to pin this on me! Like I said, whoever it was got my dress too. I think that they are just trying to frame me. I think it was one of them!” She pointed at Sam and Dani in turn.
My hand balled itself into a fist automatically. “How dare you! How dare you accuse my daughters of being as base, as immoral, as… As corrupt as you are!”
She glared at me. “You watch your mouth with your superiors,” she said.
“I’m home! Oh, no!” Christopher came into the room, his smile dropping. The scene could not have looked good—the dresses were in ruins, and I was about ready to strike his daughter. She, however, took the opportunity to get him on her side before he even knew what happened.
“Daddy, it is terrible!” she said, grabbing his arms. “Someone came in here and tore the dresses! What will we wear?”
“Oh, well…” Christopher said, thinking. Poor thing had no idea what to say—he was hopeless with clothing. “You could fix them, I suppose… Couldn’t you?”
“Oh, of course! You are so smart, Daddy!” The smile wiped away the realization that this was quite an obvious solution that would not work for Dani’s or Sam’s, but made him feel brilliant for thinking of it. “Mother can do it. She is amazing with a needle, after all.”
“Yes, of course. Helena, can you get started on that? I’ll go get our things ready for tonight.” He left the room.
“Well?” Cynthia said, condescension immediately returning to her voice.
“Fix it yourself.” I led Dani and Sam back to their room. “Now, I know that nothing you have now is quite as fancy as those gowns back there,” I said, “but you two are beautiful in anything you wear, and there is nothing wrong with your other dresses.” I pulled out the more attractive dresses as I spoke. “And, should you wish to have a little revenge or just do not want to wear any of these, it would give me great pleasure to take all of Cynthia’s wardrobe and hide or destroy anything that you do not want to keep for yourselves.”
This got a weak chuckle out of Sam and a smile from Dani, which was the best I could hope for, given the situation. “Just think. You could make a wonderful impression on the prince tonight, and he will marry you and we’ll all be able to move into the castle, where it will be easy to lose her in an abandoned room or push her out of a tower window.” This comment got an outright laugh out of both of them. I smiled and left them to choosing their dresses, saying that I would be back soon with jewelry to select from.
I continued looking around the room after I had the jewelry boxes. “Christopher?”
“Have you seen my mother’s glass figurines? I wanted to ask for a little luck for tonight, but I cannot seem to find them…”
“I haven’t seen them for a few days, but I’m sure they will turn up. I don’t know where else they could be.”
I sighed and left with the jewelry. The girls would just have to get their luck from somewhere else.
Posted on: 2009/6/22 2:00
|Re: Midnight Ball||#5|
“We’re ready!” The girls had finally chosen jewelry to match their second choice of gown and gotten dressed. They still looked beautiful, but they would not make nearly as much impact with these dresses as they would have with the others. They were much less fancy and I worried that they would feel underdressed; but then, I reasoned, they looked perfectly fine, and from there it would be the conversations they had with the prince that mattered.
“As am I,” Cynthia said. She looked beautiful as well, though her look was rather ruined by the smug expression she had when she looked at Daniella and Samantha. She did a little spin, and I noticed that her shoes were very… Sparkly. Not a word usually used to describe shoes.
“Cynthia, where did you get those shoes?” I asked.
“Oh, these?” she said, not pausing. “They were my mother’s. Fabulous, are they not? Real glass and everything!”
But I had already made the connection between her shoes and the bag she had brought home earlier. “I thought you were going to practice your lying,” I said coldly. “Or maybe it just does not work as well when you are not aiming that smile of yours at us?”
“Excuse me? How dare you accuse—”
“If there is one artisan in the town we are all most proud of, it is our glassblower. He is known far and wide for making pieces that are functional as well as beautiful, and he does not waste his time working slowly, either. My mother’s glass has been missing for days, because they were at the glassblower’s being turned into those shoes.”
“These were my mother’s!”
“And yet I am sure that your father has never seen them before in his life.”
“Please. For a merchant, Father was surprisingly bad at inventorying Mother’s possessions. There are all sorts of things that were hers that he does not know about.”
I had stopped listening. I grabbed a sweater and stepped outside. Before long, I was in front of the glassblower himself.
“Hello, Helena. How are you today? Looking for an accessory to complete one of your girls’ outfits for tonight? Bit last minute, though, don’t you—”
“Did Cynthia come by with glass figurines she wanted melted down and turned into shoes?” I asked, not caring that I had interrupted him.
“What?” The hesitance before his next words was a dead giveaway. “Of course not.”
“Oh, really? So the fact that my mother’s glass is now missing and she has mysterious new shoes is just a coincidence, is it?”
“Your mother’s? But—”
“What, did she smile and say it was alright? Did she say they were hers? You probably did not even question her—she is just so easy to believe, her and that smile of hers, even when you know what she is saying is not true.” I walked away without waiting for a response. He probably would not have been able to give me one had I waited.
When I arrived back at the house, I opened the door to a tense silence. The girls knew that I was angry, and they were waiting to see what would happen next. Cynthia was completely calm—she seemed to think that the glassblower would have kept her secret, or at least that Christopher would be her shield yet again.
I walked straight past them to the kitchen. Sitting on the table was the bowl of mixed beans I was planning on drying while we were at the ball. I picked up the bowl and walked back to the room they were waiting in.
I walked over to the fireplace and poured the beans into the ashes. “Separate them,” I said to Cynthia. “Then you can come to the ball.”
“You heard me. Separate them. I will return at midnight to make sure that either it is done or that you are still sitting in front of the fireplace sorting them out.”
Christopher came running at the call. “Yes, honey?”
“Cynthia here is not going to the ball with us,” I said, cutting across her. “I am afraid she has spilled the beans into the fire, and they will have to be picked out before she can go.”
“Surely it can wait, Helena. We have all been looking forward to this for a month, after all,” he said.
“Alright. She can go with us if she can find my mother’s glass. If not, then she separates the beans.” I looked directly at her as I continued. “Heaven forbid if they were, for instance, turned into shoes.”
“Cindy? What is she talking about?”
“My shoes, Daddy.” She showed them too him. “They used to be Mother’s, but they match my dress, so I decided to wear them.”
“They were hers? I don’t remember seeing them…”
“They were in the box with that necklace and the bracelet. Remember them?”
“Oh, yes, of course… Helena, I was a bit lax when I took the accounts of Cindy’s mother’s things. Every once in a while, something of hers will just pop up.”
“And has Cynthia found all of these mysterious items?”
He frowned. “Well, yes, but—”
“Like I said, she can go with us if she can find my mother’s figurines.”
We watched as Cynthia left the room. We watched as she came back. Her hands were empty, but she had changed out of her gown and into the only dress she had for working in. It was a little too small and a bit ragged, but it did not get much work with my daughters and me in the house to do her chores for her. She sat down by the fireplace and began picking the beans out of the ashes.
“Now, Helena, I think that this is getting a little bit out of hand,” Chris said.
“This time, it is my decision, Chris,” I said. “It was my mother’s glass, and it is my daughters who have been taking over all of your daughter’s duties while she lounges around doing nothing. This time, she will do what I say, not just what she wants.”
“I am about to go call the carriage. I believe you wanted to come? Or would you like to stay as well?”
Posted on: 2009/6/22 2:02
|Re: Midnight Ball||#6|
The ride over had been rather uncomfortable, it was true, but it had been worth it to see what a great time Sam and Dani were having at the ball. I looked over at the dance floor, where Sam was, at that very moment, dancing with the prince. Dani had had her turn and was dancing with one of the other courtiers.
Suddenly, the doors opened once more. Like everyone else in the ballroom, I turned to see who the late arrival was. A girl—blond, rather attractive—stepped down the stairs. She was wearing a pale blue gown and matching elbow length gloves. She held the railing as she walked, but she seemed poised enough not to need it. With her other hand, she held her skirt up so she would not trip. I caught a glitter as she walked.
I watched as she stepped into the middle of the dance floor, heard the musicians begin playing once more. The prince took her hand, leaving the girl he had been dancing with to find a new partner as the song resumed.
"It can't be her, can it?” I asked myself. “She was not to leave the house until the beans were sorted, and there is no way she could have already finished."
“I hate to say it, Mother, but I am not surprised.” Dani had sat down beside me. “She never listened to you before, so why would she now?”
“Well then. I am still going to be home at midnight to catch her when she returns. You can stay, though. Just because I am leaving early does not mean that you should have to miss out on the entertainment.”
“No, I’ll go back,” she replied. “It should be fun to watch, and I have done plenty of dancing since we arrived.”
We sat in silence for a few songs, watching the crowd. After the end of each song, another woman would approach the prince and ask for a dance. He refused them all.
“It looks like he has chosen his new wife,” I said. “I am sorry it was not you or Sam.”
“It is quite alright. I talked to him when we danced. He wouldn't know the difference between a man juggling and if the balls were flying of their own volition. I do, however, fear for the state this kingdom will be in when the two of them are in charge."
I laughed and checked the clock. Midnight was only about a minute away. “I think we should leave now. We can return for Samantha later.”
As we stepped out of the doors to the ballroom, we heard the clock strike the first count of twelve. We turned to see Cynthia pushing the prince away. It was not something anyone around them expected, so no one moved out of her way in time. She crashed into someone and fell. “Time to go,” Dani said. We set off running for our cage, eager to beat Cynthia back home. As we ran, I noticed a carriage painted a rather bright orange. It was rather shoddily put together, probably by the town boys who were manning it.
“I think I found her means of transportation,” I said as we stepped into our carriage. It started moving at an acceptably fast speed. We arrived back home before the orange carriage. I opened the door and stepped inside.
“That ain’t good,” a voice said. I looked into the room and saw that a trio of boys was clustered around the fireplace, sorting the beans.
“Hello,” I said. Thank you very much for letting Cynthia out of the house when she was supposed to stay here. Now, kindly get out.”
They ran. There was a crash in the foyer. I walked back toward the door to see Cynthia, wearing her ball gown, pushing herself back up off the floor.
“Hello, dear,” I said.
I smiled. “Get back up to your room. Your sister and I have to go back to the ball to get your father. We will see you shortly.”
She sighed and started to walk away. I noticed that she seemed to be limping—her steps were uneven.
“But, Helena, dear, I still think you are overreacting. Maybe she just didn’t know where the figurines were?”
“Christopher, I am telling you, she was at the ball. She was the girl who danced with the prince from her arrival until midnight, when she left.”
“But you can’t be sure it was her,” he said, frowning.
“Her shoes were made of glass—”
“You were too far away to see them clearly.”
“They glinted in the light. And besides, she was wearing the gown that I made for her. I designed and sewed it myself—there is no one else in the entire world with that dress.”
“But still, Helena—”
“Will you please just believe me this time, Christopher? This time, there is evidence, even if you refuse to see it.”
“Very well, Helena. I believe that she was at the ball.”
“Thank you.” But I could tell that he was resolute in his disbelief.
The carriage pulled up to the house once more. We stepped into the house. Cynthia sat in front of the fireplace, picking at the beans in the ashes. She had done something in the time I had been gone, for her dress, which had been fairly clean when I had last seen it, was covered in cinders.
“You see, Helena? She is still here.”
“Or she just came back.”
“Good point. But unless you were here to see her—”
“…Oh.” He frowned, clearly trying to justify this on his mind. “Cindy dear, what do you have to say for yourself?”
“Daddy, I have been here the entire time. It was just so frustrating! I could hear the music from the ball, and all I wanted to do was go and see the prince. Daddy, what if I was the one he would have liked the most? We could have all gone to live in the castle…”
And, again, he believed her over me.
Posted on: 2009/6/22 2:03
|Re: Midnight Ball||#7|
“The prince is coming! He’s coming, he’s coming here!”
“What?” I asked. The boy was not someone I recognized, so I did not know how truthful he tended to be.
“The prince is coming here!” he said excitedly. “He had men sent ahead to tell the towns. I volunteered to help ‘cause one man said he’d give me some candy. It sounds really yummy, too.”
“About the prince, child. Why is he coming?”
“Oh, right. There was a lady at the ball he liked. He wants to marry her. She left a shoe. Real pretty, it is, and sparkly, too. He said it would only fit her, and when it does fit someone, he’ll marry her.”
“Thank you for the news, child. Tell the others. I am sure they will appreciate the notice.” I went back home as quickly as I could. There were many things I could do with this knowledge. I could send Cynthia away, but surely Christopher would find some way to let her meet the prince. He would want her to be able to meet the prince once, since she missed the ball… I could let her stay and marry the prince, but then she would live a happy life she really did not deserve. But…
“The prince is coming to the town,” I said to the room at large when I entered the house. All three of the girls were there, and each of them had a different reaction.
“Do we have to see him again?” Dani said.
Sam merely nodded and continued staring out the window. I was not sure if she had even heard what I said.
“He is?” Cynthia said, excited. “Why? Did he choose a woman to be his bride? Who is it?”
“The one he danced with, who lost a shoe. She must have been awfully clumsy to drop a shoe and leave it behind, though, do you not think?”
“Or just stupid,” Dani said.
Cynthia glared at us, but I spoke before she could do more than open her mouth. “Where is Christopher?”
“He went out,” Sam replied.
“And when will he be back?”
“For dinner, I think.” That was still hours away… Plenty of time for the prince to arrive and leave. True, Cynthia did know he was coming now, but. Anything could happen.
We sat in an almost-silence, punctured mostly by Cynthia sighed as she looked at the clock, until I finally told her to stay in the kitchen, where there was no clock for her to check every few seconds. I quietly locked the door behind her. Soon enough, we heard the sound of the horses’ hooves hitting the cobblestones. I answered the knock quickly.
Three men, each in the livery of the royal family, stepped into the room. One held a scroll, one a cushion with something that was covered resting on top of it, and the third held nothing but his sword. They seemed rather bored. I would bet with some certainty that, blunt as the sword was, it had been used multiple times already today to fend off the girls who were either so eager to see the prince or so maddened at losing their chance to marry him that they tried to get too close to him.
The one with the scroll unfurled it and read it in a clear voice that was a little too loud and proclaiming for the room. “The prince has chosen a bride. The woman he danced with throughout most of last night’s ball is to be his wife. She left this glass slipper,” at which point the man removed the cover, revealing the sparkling shoe, “behind at the ball. The young woman whom it fits shall wed the prince immediately.”
“Where is the prince now?” Sam asked, curious.
“He has become rather depressed that he has not yet succeeded. He sent us ahead, and wishes his princess to know that he will be only minutes away when he is discovered.”
“If he just came, he could cut time out of the searching, you know,” Dani said. “Since he danced with her for so long, he should be able to recognize her. There are probably many girls who look nothing like the one from the ball who still tried on the shoe.”
The man shrugged. “It was declared that every eligible young girl try the shoe on.”
“But that system wastes so much time that could be spent doing all sorts of other things to help the people of this kingdom,” Sam said. There was a bit of an awkward silence as the man shrugged again.
It was broken by a series of pounding knocks on the kitchen door.
“What was that?” The man with the sword asked, eyebrows raised.
“It was probably accidental,” I replied. “I asked the servants to clean up in there, since we are having a gathering later.”
“I see. Anyway, about the shoe…”
“Yes, about that. The thing is, that shoe—and its pair—are mine,” I said.
“Then it should fit you, should it not?” He held the shoe out.
“No, it will not—they were not made for… Oh, alright.” I gave up on trying to explain what I meant—a story that would seem too complex to be true—and took the shoe. I attempted to slide my foot into it, but Cynthia’s feet are just abnormally small. I can only assume it came from her mother, because Christopher’s feet are a normal size.
I handed the shoe back. “Does either of your daughters wish to marry the prince?” he asked, holding the shoe out to them.
“Not particularly,” Dani replied.
The officials were flabbergasted. “But… But every eligible young woman in the kingdom must try it on!” the one with the scroll said. “You will have been the first to refuse! And what if it is you? How could we go back to the prince?”
“Alright, alright!” she replied, grabbing the shoe. “If it will stop your panicking, I will try it on. I don’t see the point, though. That girl was blond, and neither my sister nor I are.” She pulled the shoe on to her foot as she spoke. Just as we knew would happen, it did not fit. “See? Here, Sam.” Sam took the shoe next. It did not fit her either.
“Are there no other young women here who would try the shoe on?” he asked.
“My stepdaughter,” I replied. “But as she was not at the ball,” I continued, my voice loud enough to carry through the closed kitchen doors, “there is not really any point in her trying it on, is there?”
“And where is your stepdaughter?”
“Shopping out of town. She was not home when the news of your visit came, so we could not stop her leaving until after you arrived.”
At that point, a rather desperate sounding knock came from the kitchen.
“What was that?”
“Just the scullery maid,” I said. “She does tend to make noise when she cleans…”
The knock came again, a little stronger this time. “She seems to want to come in,” he said uncertainly.
“Just ignore it,” I replied.
The next was the first in a series of loud, very deliberate knocks.
“Let her in.” It was an order.
“Fine.” I unlocked and opened the kitchen door. Cynthia, who was still pounding away, fell into the room. A wonderfully graceful entrance for our future queen.
“I want to try on the shoe,” she said quickly. She spoke even before she pushed herself up off the floor. She was probably worried I would interrupt with some story or another, but she need not have bothered. I did not know how to stop it now. Unless… It was drastic enough that I considered just letting it go, but the fact that my mother’s glass figurines—so well-made that the animals’ fur seemed almost real—were gone made my decision for me.
I took two steps forward as Cynthia took the shoe from the official. The first was normal, and took me closer to them. On the second, I deliberately stumbled. When I moved my arms to regain my balance, my hand hit Cynthia’s. As she had just grabbed the shoe, her grip on it was not yet strong, but the official’s had already slackened. The shoe went spinning out of her hand.
The glass was strong enough to walk in, but not strong enough to take that fall. It shattered.
“Oh, no!” he yelled. He walked over to the spot where the shards lay. Cynthia watched, mouth open in shock, as he shook his head. “It is not possible to fix.”
“I am so sorry,” I said, head down. I knew that they could not see the small smile I wore, and I could not hear it in my voice, either. “I did not mean to… I just lost my balance and… I am so sorry.”
“As am I,” the official said. “I am sorry, but it does not seem as though you will be able to try the shoe on. Oh, how will we tell the prince we have failed?”
Cynthia frowned, and then suddenly smiled. “I think that I can fix this,” she said.
“How?” he asked, confused. “It is shattered, irreparable.”
“But I do have the other shoe.”
I sighed. I had been hoping she would not remember until it was too late, and she had not for the first minute or so. But it seemed that it was inevitable. I watched as Cynthia ran to her room and came back, walking carefully, holding the other shoe. She put it carefully onto her foot, which she showed to the officials. It fit perfectly, of course.
“We have found her!” he cried. He turned to the man with the sword and said, “Oh, you must go and fetch the prince at once. We shall stay here and await his arrival.” The man turned and left. We were left standing there in silence: two smiling royal officials, one overly smug princess-to-be, and three step-relatives, none of whom were at all happy. All too soon, more hoof beats came to our ears.
The door slammed open. “Oh, my princess, my queen!” the prince cried, embracing Cynthia as soon as he spotted her. “I have found you at last! We shall be wed immediately, and you shall live in luxury. I do not know how you stood to live in such squalor as this for as long as you have.”
“I would like to point out the fact that you do not know how long she has lived here, sire,” one of the men said.
“It matters not. Any amount of time, be it minutes or years, is far too long for her to have lived anywhere but in my arms, in the castle.”
“Maybe if your dear princess had helped out with the work some, the house would not be in quite such… ‘squalor,’” Dani said.
“My betrothed, working?” The prince looked horrified. “We have servants at the castle for that! I would prefer that her hands, delicate and soft as they are, remain as such.”
“Oh, spare us, please,” Dani said.
The prince stared at her. “You are quite rude,” he said. “Darling, how did you ever stand to live with these terrible people? And how did you ever manage to escape them long enough to come and dance with me at the ball?”
“Well, dearest, I must tell you about the whole of that magical, enchanting night I spent in your arms.” I wondered how he was not suffocating in the overdone sweetness in her voice. “First, my wicked, wicked stepmother made me separate these beans she spilled into the fireplace while she and her daughters went to the ball. I spent a few long minutes sobbing as I tried to finish the task in time for the ball, but I just could not do it. And all I had were the rags they gave me, and they were covered in the ashes from the fireplace! What could I have done? I was resigned to stay.
“But then, my fairy godmother came. She summoned three doves, who finished sorting the beans in moments. Then, she transformed my rags into the beautiful dress I wore, and my bare feet were enveloped in those beautiful glass shoes.” I was rolling my eyes almost continually now—the beans the boys had not finished sorting were still in the fireplace, though he was not looking, and I knew where the shoes and the dress had really come from.
“And she used her magic wand to turn a pumpkin into a marvelous carriage for me, and the driver and footmen were transformed from mice. But she told me that the magic would only last until midnight. That was why I had to run away.”
“Oh, darling! The things you went through, just to see me!” He held her tighter to himself for a moment, than looked back at Sam, Dani, and me. “What shall we do about your family, dearest? Shall we punish them for their terrible behavior?”
“My dear, I do not think it would be fitting for us to punish them. We must be kind to our subjects, after all,” she said. “But… I do think that we should do something. What if we stopped them from living in the castle with us?”
“That sounds reasonable. You, peasants!” he said, directing his words to us now. “Did you hear her? You are forbidden to enter the castle!”
“No problem here,” Dani replied. “Living with her for the months we did was bad enough. No sense in prolonging the agony.”
He frowned. “You confuse me. I will be taking my leave now. Darling, we shall send a servant for your things, if you want them. We can give you new belongings to go with your new life at the castle.”
“Oh dearest! Let us go now!” His horse was just outside the window. We watched as he swung himself up onto its back and gave her a hand so she could sit behind him. They rode away toward the castle as the sun set. The officials followed.
We were left in the house, waiting for Christopher to return to tell him the “good news.”
“That was so sickening, I might just kill myself if only to get it out of my head,” Dani said, her eyes closed and her hand on her forehead.
Posted on: 2009/6/22 2:06
|Re: Midnight Ball||#8|
The next day, Cynthia was scheduled to return to the house. She would be accompanying the servant who was coming to collect her things. She was only going to be there to see which belongings were fashionable enough to bring with her.
A letter from Christopher saying that he had been delayed had arrived last night. He would be returning at about the same time as Cynthia was.
That hour rolled around fairly quickly. Christopher arrived home first.
“Hello, everyone!” he said as he carried his purchases into the house. “I’m home!”
“Welcome back, Christopher,” I said, stepping into the room.
“Where are the girls?” he asked. “The house seems rather quiet.”
“Sam and Dani are upstairs. And Cynthia… Is not here.”
“Excuse me? What happened? Where is she?”
“The prince came and claimed her as his true love, or some other nonsense like that.”
“What? That’s wonderful! Oh, Helena, why are you not excited? We are all going to go and live in the castle!”
“No, you are not.”
We turned and looked at the front door, which Christopher had left open. Cynthia stood there, accompanied by a servant who held a large set of satchels. She nodded inside and pointed out her room. The servant entered it, though he seemed confused. Doubtless, he did not know what to begin packing.
“What was that, dear? We aren’t…?”
“Well, Daddy, you are going to come and live in the castle, but they are not.” She waved her hand at the room behind him. Sam and Dani had come down and were now standing beside me.
“Why not?” he asked, confused.
“She does not like us, Christopher,” Sam said.
“And we are perfectly alright with that,” Dani continued when Chris opened his mouth to reply and, probably, deny that statement. “We do not like her either.”
“I do not want them in the castle ruining our dream life, Daddy.”
“And we might just tell the real story about the night of the ball. Thievery and bribery are not quite as fantastic a story as a fairy godmother,” I said.
“Nothing, Daddy. They are simply jealous. You should pack as well—you will be moving soon.”
“But, Cindy, can’t you do anything about this? I do not think I want to live so far from my wife…”
“But Christopher dear, Cynthia here is the one who told the prince to ban us from the castle,” I said.
“Now, about that name you just used,” Cynthia said.
“What, Cynthia? Or Cindy? Both are names we commonly use for you.” I asked.
“Both. The thing is that neither of them fit my new life. My name is Cinderella now.”
“Cinderella? Really?” I said, eyebrows raised. “It sounds ridiculous.”
“Really, dear. Your mother did choose the name for you, and I would love it if you could honor her by keeping the name. It is one of the only things we have left—”
“No!” she shouted. “I am going to be a princess, and I want to have a princess’s name! You will call me Cinderella!” She stormed out of the room and into her own before we could say anything more. I could hear her yelling at the servant for not packing anything yet. He must have picked something up, because she yelled, “Not that, you stupid fool!”
“Well, Christopher. It looks like we will soon be saying goodbye. You will be living in the castle, a place we are forbidden to set foot in,” I said.
“I suppose so.” He sighed. “Helena, why did you have to say those things about her? If you hadn’t made up those stories, I’m sure she would have—”
“And you still believe her? Even when you know that she went to the ball without my permission? Will nothing be enough for you to believe me, just once?” I shook my head sadly. I loved Christopher, but I knew what had to be done. “Then I suppose this really is goodbye. Dani?”
“Do you still have that bag packed?”
“Yes.” She looked confused.
“Then you can help your sister pack once you finish. Take anything you want with you—we will not be coming back any time soon.”
“What? Helena, don’t do this.”
“Christopher, I do love you, I really do. And I know you mean well. It is just that I cannot be such a far second to your daughter. You would believe the sky is red if she told you it was.”
“But, honey, I—”
“Please do not deny it. I simply do not want to get hurt any more. I do not want my daughters hurt any more. I wish you luck for your new life at the castle with the royal family. I only hope that you will be able to stay there and live a full life there. I do hope that they have as many servants as the prince implied, because I would not want you to grow old alone, with no one to take care of you.”
“Do not deceive yourself, Christopher. Now that she is engaged to the royal treasury, she will have no time in her life for anything other than luxury, and she will especially not have time to take care of little old you. I do not wish to be anywhere in this kingdom when she comes to rule it.” I went to our room to pack my things. He kept arguing while I did; I said nothing, made no attempt to stop his words. I did not stop gathering my belongings, either. Soon enough, the three of us were packed.
“Christopher, I hope you do not mind terribly if we take the carriage with us.”
“We are leaving, Christopher. But it will be easier this way. You know that I have enough funds of my own to make a fair life for us somewhere else, and you did not stop me when I asked to take some of your merchandise. Will you let us take the carriage?”
“Daddy! Why have you not packed yet? I do not want to have to wait for you, and I am almost done!” the princess-to-be yelled from inside.
“You should make your decision quickly, Christopher. You heard her.”
He sighed. “Goodbye, Helena. Goodbye, Samantha, Daniella. You were wonderful daughters, if only for a few months.” He turned to the coach driver. “Take them wherever they wish to go. Stay with them for as long as they need or want you there.”
“Goodbye, Christopher,” I said as I stepped into the carriage. “I will miss you.”
He waved as the carriage moved away. Just after we turned the first corner—just after Christopher left our vision—we heard another shout from the house. It was the last time we would have to hear her yell, the last time we had to hear her voice.
I settled back into the seat of the carriage. It was time to decide where our new life would start.
Posted on: 2009/6/22 2:08
|Re: Midnight Ball||#9|
Okay, I finally got the time to read this, but I've only read the first post so far.
Wow, you weren't kidding when you said it was different. Cindy is such a brat.
I love your writing though, and I'll read the rest later!
Posted on: 2009/6/23 1:57
|Re: Midnight Ball||#10|
I did warn you it was long.
She was designed to be one of those people you just... Y'know, hate.
Posted on: 2009/6/23 3:13
|Re: Midnight Ball||#11|
Huge wall of text for the win! I can read loads of them all day!
I really love the way you write. I'd just wish for moar!
Keep it up.
Posted on: 2009/6/23 6:12
BA English Language Studies (on-going) ~ Twitter: @winchystardale
|Re: Midnight Ball||#12|
That's pretty awesome.
Thanks! I have the beginning of another story done. I should be continuing with that one soon. (Hopefully. XD)
Posted on: 2009/6/23 17:41
|Re: Midnight Ball||#13|
Okay, done reading the second post! Sorry I'm reading it in sections, but this way I can comment on each part in detail.
I really love how you turned the story upside-down. Looks like Cindy's the evil little girl after all. I like how you switched up details like the stepsisters being the ones who love animals when in the original Cinderella, it was she who loved them.
Great work! Reading more later.
Posted on: 2009/6/23 19:04
|Re: Midnight Ball||#14|
I just read the whole thing and I absolutely HATE Cynthia! She's such a spoilt brat! She killed her own mother!
Anyway, your writing is fantastic! I hate those "normal" fairytales. I always found some fault with them. This story is amazing. Much better than those fairytales.
Posted on: 2009/6/23 21:53
I don't care if you hate me, I'll always be here for you.
|Re: Midnight Ball||#15|
@Raika: You can read it as slowly as you want. Just don't blame me if you have a desperate need to continue after reading a post or something. And I'm totally going to take that compliment even though that particular detail...was accidental. :/
@Destiny: Thanks! Although one of the main reasons I came up with the idea wasn't finding flaws in the original, it was just my liking of retellings.
And sarcasm. Sarcasm comes into play all over my life. XD
Posted on: 2009/6/23 23:35
|Re: Midnight Ball||#16|
i think this was the most clever fairytale i've ever read :] i loved it!
cindy was just terrible though.. i feel bad for her poor father and mother.. haha at least she's the princes problem now :]
Posted on: 2009/6/25 3:46
|Re: Midnight Ball||#17|
Woot, I finally finished reading it! Amazing job, Rena! That was really, really good.
You should definitely write more stories.
Posted on: 2009/6/25 6:16
|Re: Midnight Ball||#18|
I'm reading it by parts. So far so good. It's nice reading inversions of well-loved tales, like Gregory Maguire's Wicked. )
Posted on: 2009/6/25 11:04
Love is love no matter who you find it in.
♂ + ♂ = ♥
♀ + ♀ = ♥
♀ + ♂ = ♥
Put this on your signature if you agree.
|Re: Midnight Ball||#19|
Thanks everyone! That really means a lot.
(*high five* for my lame reply. XD)
Posted on: 2009/6/25 20:05
|Re: Midnight Ball||#20|
that was a great story Rena. I loved reading it.
Posted on: 2009/7/1 5:48
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