October 30, 2017 at 6:48 pm #1114007ItzprinceModerator
It’s wrong what they’ve written about us. I don’t have a cruel bone in my body, and neither does my sister. Just because the masses aesthetically prefer the stereotypical slim, gorgeous, leggy blonde with the saucer sized brown eyes and that sugar coated voice – they cast people like me and my sister aside and label us bitter and twisted. Ugly even. They’ve said we were jealous of her and called us vile names. Believe me, there’s nothing to be jealous about. She’s the evil one – and the ugly one, at least on the inside.
Fie upon those Grimm brothers for portraying the story from such an unkind perspective in the first place. But I guess it doesn’t matter because I’m going to set you straight right now.
Her real name is Ellen. She came into our lives sixteen years ago in the form of a precocious two year old when our mother married her father Frank. I don’t know what mum saw in her father. We thought he was a pompous ass right from the start. But I suppose mum was lonely after our no-good dad ran off with the Queen’s lady in waiting. I guess it was hard trying to raise us on her own, struggling with bills, trying to provide me and my sister with the right schooling and social credentials to make it in the world. Up until she married Frank, she could never afford the designer dresses we needed, and she didn’t have the connections to get us invitations to the exclusive balls where we would be seen and noticed.
From the moment Ellen became part of our family, things started to go wrong. Tiny, sweet little “Ella” as her daddy called her, was the focus of all attention. She made sure of that. To say she was “naughty” would be like saying Vidal Sassoon is a barber. Even at an early age, she knew exactly how to pin the blame on us for just about every misdemeanor.
Once, when she was about 5, she smeared Frank’s moustache wax all over the floor in the bathroom, causing him to slip and break his arm. She told our mother that she’d seen us using it on our ringlets. Yes, moustache wax is great for holding curl, but we’d only sneak a tiny bit every now and then. To be punished for something we didn’t do was foreign to us at the time – but it was a circumstance we would find ourselves in many times in the years to come.
Another time, she pulled the porcelain buttons off her best Sunday frock and hysterically tried to blame it on me. Mysteriously, those wretched buttons were discovered in my jewellery box and I was punished by being forced to clean the kitchen floor every day for a week!
Her favourite form of amusement was planting her dolls or other toys in our room, then running to her father crying…saying we’d teased her relentlessly and stolen her things.
Sister spied on her through the keyhole one day and saw her counting gilders on her bed. She would periodically take them from her father’s pockets, and we both feared that she was planning to frame us with them.
Innocent, cute little Ella. The girl everyone loved to love. But of all her malevolent attributes, there is one that surpasses the rest. Would you like to know how she got her nickname? The stories say it’s because we made her sweep the cinders from the fireplace, hence the Cinderella tag. This is unequivocally a pile of vile smelling horse manure. Those delicate hands have never held a broom, believe me! Miss Cinders got her nickname because amongst other things, she’s a pyromaniac. Her favourite thing, aside from making our lives miserable, is lighting fires.
The first one was the kitchen drapes. I’ll never forget it. She was about 10 years old. It was a bitterly cold day and all the fires in the house had been lit. I remember her running screaming, terrified from the kitchen to the parlour…
“Daddy, stepmother…an ember has leapt from the fire and the drapes are ablaze…come quickly”
It was a great act, executed with aplomb, but sister and I weren’t fooled for a second. When mother and Frank ran to the kitchen to extinguish the fire, she turned to us with an evil smile.
“Hey, you gorgons. My day is complete but for one small thing. It would please me so…if only I could have made it appear that YOU were responsible for this. No matter. Next time perhaps…”
The fire destroyed the velvet drapes and scorched the table. Luckily mother and Frank were able to put it out before it caused even worse damage.
But that day, her father… and our poor misguided mother awarded her celebrity status.
“Oh, what would have happened if Ella hadn’t been in the kitchen, and raised the alarm. The entire house could have burned down, and we all might have perished. Dear sweet Ella. Our darling brave little Ella!’
So I guess the stories are right about one thing. We hated her.
Sister tried to tell mother what she was really like. But it was futile. Her charm had even enveloped our own mother. She would curl up at mother’s feet and gaze into her eyes.
“Oh dear stepmother,” she would drool. “ How cruel of fate to deprive me of my own mother whose sweet face fades from my memory each day. But how kind of fate to replace that face with yours…I am truly fortunate.”
By the time Cinders was 15, she could do no wrong in either Frank’s eyes, or our mother’s. The older she grew, the prettier she became. And the prettier she became, the more control she had over everyone. Mother stopped going to her previous great lengths to provide us with the best clothes. Instead she would pick on us.
“You girls really should try to lose a little weight. Ella is so slim. How do you expect to marry a prince if you both look like hogs”
“Your hair looks most unbecoming these days…you should spend more time brushing, as Ella does”
We couldn’t believe how things had changed – but sadly we could do nothing about our situation.
The annual Queen’s Gala Ball was forthcoming. The most splendid, star studded event of the year. An evening of gaiety, dancing, fine food and wine… and most importantly, lots of eligible courtiers ripe for the picking,m the most eligible of which was the Queen’s handsome son, Prince Charming. Both Sister and I dreamed of just one dance with him. Nay, we even dared to dream of marrying this gorgeous creature. Sister and I waited anxiously each day for our invitations as we looked forward to the magnificent event. Then they arrived. Sister collected the mail and there, dusted with gold, bearing our names were three invitations – including Ella’s! Our worst fears were realised.
Sister’s immediate thought was to toss Ella’s invitation into the fire. But as I pointed out, this would just arouse suspicion and all fingers woule point at us.
“No, I’m afraid we’ll have to accept it. We don’t stand a chance dear sister. Once Prince Charming sets eyes on her conniving little face, he’ll be smitten I’m sure.”
“Hey, I have an idea…” offered Sister. “We could have her kidnapped.”
I was a little shocked at Sister’s suggestion. She, being so gentle of nature. Then she added.
“At least until the Ball is over…and we’d make sure she wasn’t harmed. Intentionally anyway.”
I must admit, it wasn’t an entirely outrageous idea, but valuing my role as the sensible, intelligent one I could only offer weak words of encouragement.
“No dear sister. The only thing we can do is trust in ourselves. We have class and style. We will be radiant, captivating and we will truly outshine her.”
And toad farts smell like rosewater.
The next two weeks passed in a flurry of excitement. There were dress fittings, shoe fittings, hair style appointments and much protocol to learn. Sister and I practiced our curtsies, and perfected the art of using a fan. We polished our elocution, shined our deportment and buffed our manners until we were gleaming examples of perfect etiquette. As always, we left Ella to her own devices. We neither offered our help, nor commented on any aspect of her own preparations.
On the morning of the big day, our dresses arrived. I took delivery of three magnificent Ball gowns. Jewel encrusted, shimmering works of art, they had cost a small fortune and we couldn’t wait to put them on. They were quite heavy, and as I carried them upstairs to the dressing rooms, I tripped on the top step and accidentally caught my heel on the skirt of Ella’s dress. I fell forward and the dress tore from waist to hem.
“Oh dear God in heaven!” I cried. “Sister come quickly – I’ve ripped Ella’s dress”
Sister ran to my aid, her face a pasty white.
She clapped a trembling hand over her mouth.
“You are SO dead!”
“Thank you for the news bulletin dear sister but what are we to do. Everyone will think I did this on purpose.”
My sister could offer no comfort, only to say I should tell the truth.
“They’ll understand” she said. “It was an accident. They know you wouldn’t do something like that on purpose. Come on, the sooner we get this over with the better”
Then I remembered why I have always been portrayed as the sensible, intelligent one.
“No, I have a better idea dear sister. Get me the Yellow Pages.”
Sister ran to the parlour and came back with a hulking edition of the Magical Kingdom, Zone Three Yellow Pages.
I thumbed furiously through it until I came to the Disaster Relief section and found what I was looking for. Fairy Godmothers. There were some 20 listed, all with varying credentials. Some promised Rags to Riches relief…some specialized in Species Alteration, both temporary and permanent, and others did across-the-board wish granting. I picked one with her own advertising banner Godmothers R Us. I phoned the number and spoke to a kindly, older woman, explaining my plight.
“Yes dearie, I can help. We actually specialize in Ball packages. Very popular this time of year. Not cheap you understand, but the price includes the dress, shoes, hair and makeup plus luxury coach transfers to and from the event. Conditions apply”
Sister and I clapped our hands in glee.
“Oh do come over right away”
I bundled the torn dress into a bag, shoved it under my bed, and hung our gowns in the closet, just as Ella appeared in my bedroom doorway.
“Have the gowns arrived yet?” she sneered
“Er…no not yet. Ella I just wanted to say how pleased I am that we’re all going to the Ball. I know it’s your first event of this magnitiude and I know you’ll have a wonderful time. In fact, sister and I have arranged a special surprise for you.”
Ella curled her top lip and scowled.
“What for? I have no doubt that you’ve been scheming madly to sabotage this event for me in some way, however, with or without your “surprise” I will be the Belle of the Ball. Furthermore, when the Prince sets eyes upon my beauty, and my stunning gown, he will become besotted and ask for my hand in marriage.”
She turned to leave, but not before spinning around to pitch one final insult.
“We all know of course that one cannot make a silk purse from a pig’s ear, but perhaps there may be a creature or two of porcine persuasion at the ball who may glance in the direction of you two sows”
With that, she giggled and flounced off to her room.
Sister sat on my bed and burst into tears.
“Don’t let her get to you. She’s a nasty little viper and we all know that what goes around comes around”
“I just wish it wouldn’t take so long in coming!” she sobbed.
“Come come now…don’t cry – your eyes will be puffy and you won’t look your best”
I comforted her as best I could and just as I managed to help her out of her misery, there was a cacophonous scuffling inside my wardrobe. I threw open the door, to reveal a tiny, but plump elderly lady. Her silver hair was pulled back in a tight knot and her cherry coloured cheeks glowed as a wide smile beamed from her face.
“Hello dear – I hope I’m in the right place. I’m your fairy godmother – from Godmothers R Us.”
Sister and I helped her from the closet and closed the bedroom door.
She immediately notice sister’s red eyes
“My my dear…why so sad?”
The concern in her voice brought on a fresh flood of tears, and I had no choice but to explain the whole story to the fairy godmother. I found myself pouring my heart out about Ella’s nasty demeanour, her cruelty toward sister and me, her evil pranks and her selfish acts.
The fairy godmother listened and nodded sympathetically.
“Well my dears, we never advocate violence when it comes to granting wishes, but as it happens, I’m wearing my steel-capped winkle pickers today, so one word from you and a swift kick could find itself connecting with a certain spoilt butt. But for now, lets get this show on the road. I need a couple of rats, a pumpkin, and that torn dress and a few other bits and pieces…”
When we had assembled the items, we were told to find Ella.
I tapped on her bedroom door and was greeted with an irritated…
“Get lost, I’m putting my makeup on”
“Ella, your gown has arrived, and our surprise is ready…it’s in the kitchen…do come…”
“You’d better not make me late…”
Ella presented herself in the kitchen wrapped in a thick, fluffy kimono.
“Well? What’s this surprise and who’s the gnome?” She looked a little startled when she noticed Fairy Godmother – both sister and I immediately noticed a look of suspicion in her eyes.
“Why I’m your fairy godmother.”
“And just what do you think you can give me that I don’t already have…?”
“I’m here, at the request of your kind sisters, to make your first Gala Ball an unforgettable event.”
And with that, she waved her wand. Ella’s kimino turned into the most magnificent spectacle of a ballgown, we had ever seen. A whirlwind of shimmering pink satin and lace, encrusted with tiny pearl buttons. Much more splendid than the one I had torn. She tapped the pumpkin and the cage containing the two rats. With a puff of smoke, they disappeared, only to reappear as a fabulous horse drawn coach in the front driveway. Ella was speechless – but just for a moment. She looked down at her dress and the gorgeous glass slippers adorning her tiny feet. Her face exploded into a bright beaming smile.
“This is SO COOL!”
Then just as quickly, the smile disappeared and she turned to glare at me.
“Okay. What’s the catch. Why all this…for me. Not that I don’t deserve it of course, but ordinarily, you wouldn’t take the time to throw a cowpat at me. Explain.”
Fairy godmother stepped in.
“Why Cinderella…you doubting Thomas. Your sisters are pure of heart – and this is their gift to you because they love you as their own flesh and blood. But you’re correct. There is indeed a catch. When your sisters purchased the Gala Ball package, I neglected to explain about the conditions pertaining to the time clause in this package.”
“Time clause? What’s that all about?”
“Quite simply my dear, it means that you must leave the ball by the stroke of midnight.”
Ella’s face contorted into a frown.
“Midnight? Are you kidding? Things are just starting to rock at midnight. No-one leaves a Gala Ball at midnight. No way.”
The fairy godmother smiled.
“Sorry honey, but if you don’t leave at the stroke of midnight, your splendid outfit and your carriage will turn back into their previous form, right where you stand”
“So…so you mean this getup is only a loaner?” spluttered Ella “What a royal rippoff!. I KNEW you two were out to get me.” she screamed, pointing a manicured finger at sister and me.
“Look forget it. I just want my original dress, and I’ll take a carriage to the ball. No conditions.”
“Sorry lovey. What’s done cannot be undone – till midnight. ”
The fairy godmother glanced at her watch.
“Oh my…I must fly – I have a frog to turn into a prince… and a crisis at a gingerbread cottage. A fairy godmother’s work is never done. Now you all be sure to have a great time”
And in a puff of smoke, she disappeared. Sister and I exchanged glances.
“Well, we’d best get dressed. See you later Ella”
And we left her standing in the kitchen.
The Ball was truly an outstanding event. Sister and I had a marvelous time. The best ever. We didn’t get to dance with the prince but something much more wonderful happened. It was on that enchanted night that we met our present husbands. Not swine, as our step sister had intimated, but two handsome brothers – both noblemen …tall of stature and kind of heart.
“A break at last!” as sister so succinctly put it.
And Cinderella? Well as history reports it… she did indeed dance with the prince, but only once. She spent much of the evening sitting down, rubbing her feet which were badly blistered from the glass shoes. She did leave the ball at midnight, losing one of those glass slippers when she tumbled down the castle stairs. And yes the prince went to extraordinary lengths to find its owner. Not because he wanted to return it, but because HE wanted the other one… and her beautiful dress as well! The Queen’s one and only son made a special announcement that night. He chose the gala ball as his “coming out of the closet” party.
I would be untruthful if I said unfortunately, but Ella is currently incarcerated in the D--k Whittington Memorial Asylum for the criminally insane. After the ball, she was caught lighting a fire in the Royal Castle. She was in bare feet and wearing her terry toweling kimino.
I am so glad we didn’t take the “happily ever after” option on that Ball package.
Dora BonaOctober 30, 2017 at 6:51 pm #1114010ItzprinceModerator
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