Thanks to the Picture Prompt#2 by The Book Club. Thanks TBC for all the motivation to write!
“Definitely the prettiest at this ball!”, thought Cinders as she admired her reflection on the wall to wall mirrors of the ball room at Charming’s palace. She knew she sounded like her friend Snow’s step mom – the evil queen, infamous for poisoning her step daughter with juicy red apples. “Well, Snow deserved that”, thought Cinders as she moved away a curl that had strayed onto her forehead. Who would want to leave a kingdom to a silly pale girl that liked to prance about and sing songs all day? And it had been Cinders’ idea in the first place, to use Snow’s favorite fruit – the apple.
Cinders smiled fondly at the memory of the Queen to whom she had taken to like a fish to water. Her lonely childhood had only gotten worse when her father chose to re-marry bringing in two step sisters and a new mother into her life! Gretta and Ivanca had been prettier and well mannered compared to her and that Gretta with her almond shaped deep blue eyes seemed to have everyone under her spell. And her step mother – she hated that women who smiled a lot! The Queen had helped Cinders to get rid of them. What a task it had been to convince that Huntsman who had taken care of Snow, to also take care of these three. That done, they had created the illusion of a wicked step mother and ugly step daughters by transforming a rotting pumpkin and a couple of sick mice into her fathers second wife and her daughters. Failing to understand the sudden morphosis of his sweet wife and her lovely girls her father died of a broken heart while Cinders played the role of a victim to perfection while continuing to scheme with the Queen. Only Cinders had appreciated the genius that was the Queen’s mind.
The Queen had taught her well and the best days of Cinders’ life had been spent in the Queens chambers learning the art of conjuring up complicated spells and potions in front of the magic mirror. All had been well, until that mirror had chosen to speak the truth resulting in an avalanche of events that left Cinders alone again.
The constant insecurity and loneliness in her life would end the day she got married to Prince Charming and have the power to rule the world as she pleased! All had gone according to plan. She had created the prettiest white dress with matching glass slippers for the night of the ball and the drama that ensued after the stroke of midnight had been planned months ahead. Everything has led to this glorious day when she would be Queen. Dressed in red, a tribute to the memory of the Evil Queen, she sighed, admiring the diamond tiara on her head – a gift from the prince indicating her ascent to the royal throne. As she turned around to accept a glass of ruby red wine from a royal attendant, horns blared and trumpets were blown announcing the arrival of the crown prince.
But something was wrong. She could feel it in her bones as the air around her turned frenzy with the prince’s entrance followed by three peasants who walked in meek silence, fear writ all over their faces. She felt a lump in her throat when she saw them calm down with some reassurance from Charming.
As Charming approached Cinders, she noted a strange look on his face. Something was definitely wrong and this time she didn’t think she could conjure up a spell. The lump in her throat was making her uncomfortable and as he put out his hands towards her, the music started, commencing their dance. A glass of wine in her right and her left hand in his, her heart beat fast has he twirled her around. Even through the loud music, the shuffling of her gown, fast movements and the feeling of several hundred eyes on them, she could not miss that look in his eyes nor could she ignore the words storming her mind.
“What was that? A heart that had been broken? His heart? Can I fix this?”
As a dull headache started its attack on her being, they moved about the hall in perfectly matched steps finally stopping in front of the peasants. As she turned to look at the ragged creatures, Cinders’ world came crashing down as deep blue almond eyes looked up to greet her… That huntsman had failed again!
Time stood still as the music stopped and the prince gently removed the tiara from her head, turned and walked away. Though he spoke no words she could hear his thoughts. When the guards surrounded her, Cinders knew she would never be a Queen. The price for treason against the crown was death.
Several decades into the future, her tale would become a fairy tale of sorts – distorted to make it good enough for young children to teach them the values of being modest and humble, but then the real Cinderella continued to roam the portals of time looking for the true love that she had lost and the forgiveness that she would never receive. It was not a fairy tale after all…