Cinderella the Nude IIII
Sometimes I love my mother, like when she's properly dressing down Cindermaid; I wish I could imitate that cold look and those dire threats veiled in velvet. But sometimes I hate her.
Like this morning. Anyone could see that her plan to put one of us in the Prince's palace as a bride--I hate to admit it, but I really don't think she cared whether it was me or Annette--would never have worked. But she just said, "I expect obedience," turned on her heel, and left us, closing the door with that decisive snap I really hate when it's turned on me.
When her footsteps had died away down the corridor, I said, "Well, are you going to do it?"
"I--I suppose I should. If it works, I'll be a Queen!"
"Ha!" I snorted. "And if it doesn't, you'll be short all the toes on your left foot, and probably in the dungeon too! This time Mother's asked too much. I like my feet in one piece, thank you very much!"
Cinderella the Nude II
One warm fall evening long ago and far away, a young woman in rags lay weeping under a hazel tree that stood over a clear pond. As the stars came out, her tears dried slowly, and she sighed. "Ah, if I could only see the castle from here!" And she set her hand on a low branch of the hazel tree.
"Is that all thy wish, my dear?" said a strange, soft voice behind her.
She froze, then turned. There stood a tiny, naked, white-haired woman, knee-high to the girl.
"Who are you?" whispered the young woman, kneeling the better to see the tiny creature.
"Thou mayst call me thy godmother," replied the little woman. Despite her white hair, all her flesh was as fair and smooth as the girl's, and her eyes were the color of hazelnuts. "I have watched over thee ever since thy mother, may she rest in peace, was buried under my tree. Tell me thy sorrows, child."
And the girl, an impulsive creature, told her all: how