Monday, June 23, 2014

Cinderella With A Twist!

Source: www.shoebuyblog.com

Her step sisters were excited. They ran across the house, admiring themselves in every mirror they came across.

“Cinderella! A lock of hair has escaped! Do something, quick” yelled one sister.
“Cinderella! I think I need more powder! Help me!” screamed the other.
“Oh girls, get ready fast. I hear the Prince is in the house next door, trying out the shoe on those silly Smith girls who live there. Oh I am sure it won’t fit them. I just hope it fits one of you” 

Her step mother had just stepped in after spending almost half an hour craning out of the window for a sign of the Prince.

Cinderella knew the slipper could fit only her. After all, she was the one who had worn it to the ball. Had the clock not struck midnight, she would have stayed on, with her prince. But alas, she had to return, for it had only been a spell, that had transformed her back into the country girl at twelve.

With a smile on her face, her thoughts went back to the ball and the time she had spent with the prince till all of a sudden she felt someone’s eyes on her, watching with intent, her every move. She turned back and caught the look on her step mother’s face just as she turned and started fanning over her daughters.

“Why did Step Mother give me that look? Does she know? No! How could she? Other than me only Fairy God Mother knows about that night. The secret was safe with her!”

Cinderella went about her chores, but no longer feeling as confident as she had been just minutes before; her Step Mother’s stare still fresh in her mind. She knew the Prince would come in any time now; quickly she looked at herself in the mirror and tried to wipe away the cinders that had settled on her face and the dress from cleaning the fireplace. That was the best she could do with her tattered dress and wooden shoes, the only attire she had ever owned.

“Knock Knock” There was a loud rattle on the door.

“Oh the Prince is here, he is finally here!” the step sisters and their mother wailed as they settled themselves in their arm chairs and waited for the doorman to let the guests in.

The most handsome man in the kingdom walked into the sitting room and looked around. Cinderella watched from the corner, partly hiding herself behind a curtain. He caught her eye and for a moment seemed distracted when her Step Mother called out

“I suppose you want my daughters to try out the slipper my lord”

She bowed down to the prince and paid her respects. Her daughters followed suit and then one by one set down on the stool waiting for the Prince’s guard to bring forward the slipper.

Not expecting a difference in this house, the Prince kept looking towards the corner, to catch a glimpse of the girl he had seen hiding behind the curtain. She had looked familiar but he couldn't remember where he had seen her.

“My Lord! My Lord! It’s a perfect fit!” cried his guard, breaking through his thoughts.

The Prince turned around, shocked at the change in events. When he had first stepped into the room, he hadn't taken much of a liking to either of the two sisters but now… one of them was the woman he had fallen in love with?

The sight in front of him did hint at it being true. The second sister sat on the stool, looking as stunned as he was. She was staring at her foot, the glass slipper sitting pretty on it. It was a snug fit.

Behind the curtain, Cinderella was shocked. How could the slipper fit her step sister? It was her’s! She had just started towards the store room to get the pair that she knew would prove the slipper belonged to her; when she heard her Step Mother speak

“My Lord, let me get the other pair, I have kept it safe in my room”

Cinderella was shattered. How one earth had her Step Mother known? She caught her eye and saw the same malicious glint that she had seen before.The slipper was brought out and her step sister put it on. It was a perfect fit!

The Prince was unhappy. He could sense something was wrong but could not place a finger on what it was. Halfheartedly he joined the group and watched the sisters jiggle around making a mockery of themselves. Was this really the girl he had fallen in love with? His gaze once again shifted to the curtain and fell on the silhouette against the drapes. A sorrowful sight she was and watching her made his heart cry. He wondered why.

***

“Oh Fairy God Mother! Where are you? How did this happen? I need an explanation! Cried Cinderella as she lay by the fireplace covered with cinders in the dark of the night.For a long time she sobbed, sleep evading her. The tears had just started to dry and the eyelids begun to get heavy when she felt a tap on her shoulder.

“Shush Cinderella, its me” a musical voice filled the room.
“Fairy God Mother! Where have you been? What is all this? How did Mamma know about the slipper?”
“So many questions! Why don’t we sit for a while and catch up? It’s been a while, the questions can wait” and Fairy God Mother settled herself into the armchair closest to the fireplace.
“No! I need to know now, why did this happen? It should have been me instead of my sister. You know that!”  Cinderella was in no mood to listen.

Fairy God Mother let out a sigh and said “Fine. Listen then. Years ago, your step mother had done me a good deed. At the ball the other night, she had recognized you. She also knew that only I could have transformed you that night. So she found me and made me pay back for the favour she had done years ago. She made me change the shape of the slippers so that it fit one of her daughters, then she stole the slipper from your shelf. I am really sorry Cinderella, but I had no choice. In the fairy world, we cannot go back on a favour done to us. I did not know back then that your Step Mother was so evil and that she would use the favour to destroy you. I hope you understand. The kind soul that you are, I am sure you would”
Saying that, the Fairy God Mother disappeared leaving behind a few traces of fairy dust.
Heartbroken, Cinderella knew she had to resign to her fate. The Prince would no longer be hers.

                                              

***

The Kingdom was celebrating. The news of the Prince having found his bride had spread wide and far. The King and the Queen had invited the bride’s family for a banquet at the Castle. Step Mother and her daughters had been dressing up since dawn. Donning colored laces and trying different hats, they had been driving the whole house crazy. Finally it was time, and they had left the house, in a beautiful carriage sent by the King.  As usual, Cinderella had been left behind.

“Welcome to our Castle!” greeted the King, offering his arm to the Step Mother and escorting them in.
“Isn't it such a coincidence? Our prince being betrothed to your daughter?” smiled the King
“I am sorry My Lord, but I don’t understand” said the Step Mother with a quizzical look on her face.
“Oh didn't you know? The Prince is really not our son. He was found in the stables, he is but the son of a commoner. And now he is marrying a country person, just like him. He wants to go back to his roots now, live the country life that he was born in. And who would be a better partner than a lovely girl like your daughter?”

The King smiled, patting his future to be daughter’s hair as he spoke.

“Mamma what does he mean? Will I not get to live in this Castle? Will I not be the Queen?” cried her daughter.
“O King! How can that be? I got the slipper changed so that it fits my-uhhhh” she gasped, quickly covering her mouth but it was too late.
“What do you mean? Are you trying to say the slipper does not belong to your daughter?” the King asked, a hint of anger creeping into his tone.
“My Lord, I just wanted the best for my daughter. The slipper belonged to my step child Cinderella. She is a simpleton and not fit to be a Queen!” Step Mother was scared, not knowing how the King would now react.

The King was now silent. He walked up and down the room, glad the Queen and the Prince had still not joined them. He had made up the story about the Prince to gauge how they would react. The Mother was cunning he thought, so must her daughter be. The Prince is simple hearted, he believes every word he is told. He trusts everyone. When he becomes the King, he would need someone by his side who is cunning and wily enough not to fall prey to the enemies. Marrying Cinderella would mean doom for this Kingdom. No, both of the royal couple cannot be simple and good hearted, one of them has to be shrewd, only then will there be a balance he thought. He turned around, the fear in the eyes of the women in front of him not escaping his attention.

“Well, I need a shrewd daughter-in-law and not a simple one. Let this be our secret, one we shall never reveal” said the King extending his hand to the Step Mother.

With disbelief Step Mother shook the King’s hand, just as the Queen and the Prince entered the room.

“There they are! Let us proceed with Lunch and fix the date for the Wedding” said the King.

 “Will you be kind enough to take my arm, My Love?” said the Prince, leading his future wife into the dining room. For the briefest second, the thought of the girl he had seen hiding behind the curtain crossing his mind.



A prompt asking for a twist in the straightforward and romantic Cinderella tale triggered of this post.

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

71 comments:

  1. Ah! Now THAT is really a twist :) AND a twist on the very basis on which fairy tales rest - the triumph of 'good' at the end :)

    Well written Seeta!

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    1. :P yeah I realized that if at the end it was good again it would really not be a twist right? :)

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  2. Commendable stuff Seeta :) And welcome to my world of twists and turns :P

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    1. It def. is a lovely world to be in Sid :)

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  3. Ohhh.. now that is indeed a twist ..

    i sometimes feel that in todays world such is life .. and what we experienced or heard in those good old stories hardly happens in the current world

    so in todays world this story is PERFECT..

    loved it

    thanks for sharing

    Bikram

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    1. Very true and that also was a reason I wrote this.. I realized relations are made on this basis a lot today then just love..

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  4. whoa! now i am wishing you give all fairy-tales the "seeta" touch.. eager to read them!

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    1. hehehe.. not sure if I will dare do it to another tale.. let me see :)

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  5. hahahah now this is what I liked!!The fairy godmother returning a favour. The sandal stolen by evil stepmother and the conspiring. Awesome

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    1. Thanks Red.. you are one of those who I thought would enjoy this one :)

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  6. Now that truly is 'twisting' a well known fairy tale Seeta, well done :)

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    1. Thanks Jairam, hope it didn't make me sound too twisted

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  7. Wow! Seeta strikes again :) I loved the twist! Poor Prince though!

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    1. Thanks Athira, yeah poor chap... but a lot of people today end up like that don't they?

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  8. Poor Prince and Poor Cinderella..caught in the web of manipulations. This would be the current version of the Cinderella tale.
    Cinderella is my favorite fairy tale, but loved the twist you gave to it.

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    1. Oh yes current tale it is... I liked Cinderella too but then I think I liked Snow White equally as well.. not that might be a tough one to twist around...

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  9. This is like the king of twists. Reminded me of Jeffery Archer's Book "A twist in a tale" its my favourite collection of short stories each with a unexpected twist. This story fits so easily in with them. But this is the perfect version of tge fairy tale for our age and times. Lovely as usual must say.

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    1. Oh that is such a lovely thing to say. imagine this being on par with A twist in a tale... wow.. you made my day Jaibala :)

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  10. A legend with a contemporary twist. K serial types. Very imaginative Seeta.

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    1. Come to think of it, anything that is evil and bad... it all fits into K serials no? That is the only content that sells today...no wonder our society is so weird... Thanks Alka, your K serial mention made me think much beyond a fairy tale twist :)

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  11. Now this is one story that still twists in my mind...

    Arvind Passey
    www.passey.info

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    1. Glad you liked the 'twisty'ness of it :P

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  12. That was an amazing twist in the tale. I am now regretting not asking you for a guest post for my fairy tales retelling series.

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    1. Oh I would have enjoyed that too! It didn't strike me to ask you either :( next time.. what say?

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    2. Definitely - will get in touch you next time I do some series of this kind. This fairy tale series is winding up this Tuesday. Unless of course you are so enthusiastic about the concept that you volunteer to pick up one of the few remaining fairy tales not covered in my series and whip up a guest post within a week's time.

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  13. Great adaptation Seeta ! I loved the way you have spun it. It definitely is modern and removes the rose colored glasses of the romantics. Hard, ruthless world as we live in today, this story is just true to our age.

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  14. LOL!!! This is wicked....and far more enjoyable!!

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    1. hehehe. I agree 100% with that ;)

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  15. This was delightful, Seeta. I just loved the twist. You know I've often wondered why the slipper did not fit anyone else. After all don't we all have common sizes? :) But I am so glad that the good finally prevailed, nonetheless.

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    1. So true! How was it possible that the shoe could not fit anyone but Cinderella? but yes, at that age it sounded perfectly plausible to me :P

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  16. Seeta, this was truly delightful :). The twist was fantastic. You know I've often wondered why the slipper only fitted one. After all, don't we have common shoe sizes? But I am glad that the good still prevailed in the end. Nicely penned!

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  17. A fairy tale for modern world. What a twist, striking the right balance in couple to face this cunning world.

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    1. Yep, like it or not we have to be this way to face the world as it is today :)

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  18. wow! The twist was brilliant.
    It was kind of sad because I keep seeing the Prince and Cinderella together!!
    But, when you think about it - this makes sense! :D

    fabulously done Seeta!

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    1. Exactly Pixie.. it does sound more practical doesn't it? How are minds have gotten conditioned to this big bad world now... :|

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  19. Whoa! What twists and turns these were?! Cinderella is my favorite fairytale just coz of the happy ending...but I enjoyed your twisted tale. Guess in today's world this is exactly the fate Cinderella would have met.
    Awesome narrative!

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    1. I think we remember all those fairy tales because of their happy endings, they made us believe that everything is right with the world... :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  20. What a great twist, Seeta! I loved reading it. Never been much of a "Cindrella meets Prince Charming" type of person, so this twist makes the story more acceptable in a way ;) I am sure you know what I mean! Keep it coming with other fairy tales too :)

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    1. You are the first person I have come across who said she hasn't been a fan of the mushy tale :P... have to think about the other tales... not a bad idea :)

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  21. Quite different than what I anticipated... but now I'm feeling like trying a fairy tale :-P

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    1. Glad I could trigger that interest in you. Let me know if you do :)

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  22. You should give this post an A-rating. Not suitable for viewers under 18. You don't wanna tell em the truth and break their hearts so early on, no? Lol

    cheers,
    CRD

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    1. ROFL... that was a funny thought but a good one at that :P Thanks CRD :)

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  23. Very very imaginative, Seeta :) Lovely manipulation and twist :) I wish the Prince and Cinderella could see through the whole thing :(
    As an answer to Rachna's question above, I guess the shoes didn't fit anyone else because it was custom-made for Cinderella :) Her marriage with the Prince was destined to happen, wasn't it ? :)

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    1. hehehe yes thats how the story is.. but tell me even if its custom made, there are feet which are of the same size right? It just makes me wonder esp. when they say the Prince traveled beyond yonder :)

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  24. By God! What a twist that was! Of course, that is how it happens in real life unlike the fairy tales. That makes me wonder if it is right to share all the fairy tales and give false hopes to all the young girls about their prince charming coming down to them riding on a horse. What do you think? Shouldn't we be more realistic with our stories? Or we should continue to have some more heart-broken girls? Just a thought that came to my mind after reading this dhamakedaar twist. :-)

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    1. Very true.. that thought has crossed my mind.. I have wondered if we make the world seem all hunky dory to our children... but then I think of us, we read these and lived in a world of bliss but then we grew up and realized that things in reality were different.. maybe it will be the same for them? One silver lining is that with fairy tales they will atleast have some moments in their life where they could believe that the world could possible be full of happily ever afters :)

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  25. Your version sounds more realistic. In fact, I was expecting the king to ask the Step mother to marry the Prince :p

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    1. Purba, trust you to come up with that. Lol! :P

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  26. Wow...still I'd love to see a "happy" ending :P

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    1. hehehe then it wouldnt have been a twist :P

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  27. Okay ..all the while I was waiting , the twist would spring in here or there but the slipper fitting ! Omg hahaha you had me there ! A lovely plot, but fairytales have a happpppy ending , and I just so wished this one had too :P

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    1. Thanks for stopping by :) well yes thats true but then I wouldnt have been able to twist it as much :P

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  28. Twisted world asks for twist in stories...... ain't it possible that Cinderella could also be a little twisted? The tale is great :)

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    1. That perspective was where I came from.. and the thought of making Cinderella twisted, now why didn't I think of that! :P

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  29. Gosh! What a twist, Seeta!
    In this cunning world, everything is not a fairy-tale... King is shrewd like Cinderella's stepmom.
    What'll the folks at Disney say! :)

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    1. In today's world I wonder if happy endings make sense at all... hehehe yup, the King turned out as bad :)

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  30. This is fantastic.. Quite a twist indeed and a very sensible one as well :) .. Poor ol cindrella,

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    1. moree real life twist I guess :)

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  31. Wonderfully penned Seeta.... but I'm feeling so sorry for Cinderella..... :-( but it would really be like that if put in the context of modern world.....

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    1. Yeah.. but I wonder about Cinderella too.. in today's world how many are really like her...

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  32. haha wat a twist in the tale.....But not ready to believe bad for my cindrella....ending the story in my mind....there was a real prince too...and he married her! And the story ends!

    :)

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    1. hahahaha not a bad one Swarn Priya. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  33. Wow! no one could imagine such a twist! Though I enjoyed the story, I feel pity for the poor Cindrella. I hope you would tell me something better happened to her.

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    1. like Swarn Priya said, lets assume she found an even more handsome and nicer prince who took her away to a far away land :)

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  34. I guess I will prefer to read this one to my daughter when she can understand! :D

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    1. Ha ha Mridula, good decision :)

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