My daughter (aged 15) and I have decided that we’re sort of tired of the Cinderella story and won’t be seeing the new zillionth remake. Honestly if a man can only recognize a woman by her shoes I don’t want my daughter dating him. I did like the version with Drew Barrymore called Ever After (1998). So I’m taking about ten minutes to pound out my own version of the story. Stay with me folks, I’m making this up as I go.
Cinderella as told by Vampire Maman
Once upon a time there was a man without a wife. He was alone in the world with his small timid daughter called Elenore. As a horrible judge of character and a wimp who couldn’t raise a child on his own, the man married a woman who only loved him for his money and social standing. It wasn’t a lot of money but enough to put them in the top 25%.
Then the man went off on a business trip and died, leaving his daughter with her step-mother. The step-mother didn’t know what to do with this girl who obviously had a bad case of OCD. It was annoying but at least the house was spotless. On the other hand the girl was weird and uncomfortable to be around. She talked to animals and was always plucking daisy leaves saying “he loves me, he loves me not.” Even worse she was plucking wings off of flies and calling the poor creatures crawls. She would say strange things to people when they went out in public like, “my father’s flesh has liquified and he is now nothing but worm pocked bones.” Once she told the Baker that she’d like to sleep his oven and wake up as ashes.
From there on out Cinderella, as everyone called Elenore now, was never taken out anywhere. In fact she was the poster child for the expression you can dress her up but you can’t take her anywhere.
Ten years passed and the two step-sisters and Elenore all grew into beautiful young women. Lizzette the eldest of the girls was gifted in music. Manon the youngest of the three was gifted in art. Elenore kept her talents hidden from the eyes and ears of the world.
On the first day of spring the King announced there would be a grand ball in honor of his eldest son Prince Edward. And low and behold ALL THREE young woman received invitations.
Lizzette and Manon cringed at the though of Cinderella showing up talking of death, dressed in black and telling fortunes to all of gloom and doom. So on the day of the ball they locked Cinderella in her room and went to the ball alone. When their mother asked where Cinderella was the sisters said she’d gone to a party with her stoner friends.
The ball was splendid! Women in flowing ball gowns danced with handsome men wearing tails. It was a magnificent site and oh so romantic. Lizzette caught the eye of Prince Edward and they danced for an hour. Lizzette was enchanted and falling in love but it wasn’t to be.
The doors to the great ballroom opened and in stepped a stunning woman in a black gown decorated with black crystals and bows. All eyes were on her as Prince Edward approached and took her black gloved hand. The Prince and the woman in black danced alone on the floor, slowly like two people in love. The lights dimmed and eventually the room became black. When the lights came back on the woman in black was gone and Prince Edward stood alone. In his hand was a single black glove.
Night after night Edward became more pale and weak. He laid in bed whispering about the woman in black as he clutched her one black glove in his hand.
Lizzette heard the news and went to her room and cried herself to sleep. She was sure she was the one. She was sure she’d met a man who could dance through life with her.
Manon talked to her friends but none of them could figure out who the mysterious woman in black had been.
Cinderella sat in her attic room wondering where her missing glove was. She retraced her steps down the narrow dark streets leading up to the palace but found nothing.
The next day the sisters, along with fifty other young women who’d attended the ball, were summoned to the palace in hopes that one of them had been the woman in black.
Manon saw Prince Edward first. he lounged on a couch, handsome but weak. “Did you wear black to the ball dear girl?”
What an idiot thought Manon. Of course she didn’t say that out loud. “No, dear Prince Edward I did not. If I may speak freely dear Prince?”
“Speak my dear,” he said softly in almost a whisper.
“Forget the girl in black. My sister Lizzette loves you heart and soul. You went to school together. You know her. You have a lot in common. Why go after a woman who would run away from you?”
As Edward nodded his head as if to say no, Manon noticed two small red spots on his neck. She almost gasped but held her breath.
Next Lizzette came into the room. “Edward, my dear friend, what has happened to you?”
He took her hands in his, dropping the glove on the floor. Lizzette picked it up. She recognized the scent of the lotion of the owner of the glove. Then she noticed the red marks on Edward’s neck. “Oh no, she didn’t change you did she?”
“I have not changed my dear. Only my heart that seems so enchanted…”
Lizzette put her arms around his neck and cried.
The skies outside grew dark and a cold wind blew open the door. A girl in black, as black as cinders came into the room. “Lizzette is in love with you. Don’t be a fool and marry her. And no Lizzette, I didn’t change him. I only drank his blood. If I’d had any idea he’d be such a pansy ass about it I would have never gone to the ball.” Then she took back her glove and left the room.
As she walked back through the woods on the way home. This was one of the only places she’d ever felt calm and normal. It wasn’t easy being different. As she turned the corner around a grove of blooming dogwood trees she saw a figure dressed in black. A tall handsome man, dressed in black, with shaggy black hair and piercing blue eyes stood before her. He smiled showing dazzling white fangs.
Cinderella stopped and put her cold hands to her heart.
He held up a black glove. “You dropped this one too.”
“You’re like me,” Cinderella gasped. “You’re a freak like me.”
“Not a freak my dear, only different.”
Lizzette and Edward lived happily ever after. Manon went on to become the director of the National Art Gallery. As for Cinderella, she found love as well in her cold dark mysterious stranger.
And THAT my friends is the real story of Cinderella.
That was an interesting start. Maybe I’ll expand on it later.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman.