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The ball was wonderful, it really was. I spent all my time with a girl named Cinderella, who was dressed in a gorgeous blue gown and was wearing the most peculiar shoes. They were made of glass, and I was amazed she could walk in them without breaking her ankle…or the shoe. We were dancing, and having a grand time, when suddenly, the clock chimed and she started to run. What? It was only midnight. Most of the parties I go to are still in full swing at three am!
But as she ran down the steps I discovered that she had left her shoe behind. It glistened in the moonlight, but the bright orange carriage was already galloping away. So, I convinced my father to send out a royal proclamation to find this enchanting girl. He was so happy to find that I had finally chosen a bride, that the parchment was signed later that hour. I got word that they had found her at a shabby little cottage off in the woods, working as a servant to a rather suspicious lady. But, whatever. She was beautiful, and that’s all that counts, right?
The next time I saw her, BAM, she was walking down the aisle. A white dress had replaced the blue gown, but Cinderella was still wearing her trademark glass heels. She was dazzling. I hardly heard a word that the priest said, and soon enough we were kissing and married. That just about brings up to date.
Now, the wedding is over, and we are standing in the terrace, watching the fireworks. She clears her throat, “Charm, You’ll never guess the life I had to endure before I got here.” She is clinging to me, and I stroke the soft skin of her arms.
“No? What was it like?”
“My stepmother and step-evils were horrible. They made me do all the work around the place. Ella, mop the floor. Ella, make my bed. They even called me Cinders-Ella when the step-evils made me clean out the fireplace.” Hmm. So, her real name is Ella, not Cinderella? I made a mental note of that so I can make sure to avoid any confusion in the future.
But she was still talking, “They never allowed me to have friends over. I ended up befriending the mice that lived in the attic with me.” Ok, that is a little weird. But maybe they were tame mice…
“And they weren’t even tame!” Ok, maybe not pet mice… but everyone has their quirks, right?
“And then they helped me sew up a wonderful pink dress, but the step-evils and Stepmother tore it apart. But, good news, my fairy Godmother showed up. She gave me the blue dress, the glass shoes. She even turned my mice into horses and my dog into a coachman. SHE TURNED A ROTTING PUMPKIN INTO A COACH!” Ella shrieks, laughing.
O-kay… maybe this girl isn’t the best woman to marry. Maybe there was a reason the stepmother wanted to keep her as a servant and tell everyone that she was a step daughter. Maybe there was a reason to keep her at home…
“Charm, you seem distracted,” Ella says, studying me. And you seem… drunk? I think in reply. But, no, all she and I had been a little sip of champagne, no more.
She continues, “I am just glad you don’t think I’m crazy.” Well, you spoke too soon.
“Guard!” I call through the door.
“Sire,” says the guard, addressing me.
“Take her to the doctor. She’s mad.” I tell him. Cinderella is still playing with the diamonds on her dress. “And, uh, tell my father that there needs to be another ball…”