Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Cinderella, Fairy Godmother
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words August Rush Prequeal:
Word Count: 904
Date Written: 5 August 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
Often times, she looks at these damn shoes and wonders. Why didn’t she just throw the damn things away when she had the chance? Why didn’t they both break? Why did she have to be so naive, so utterly stupid, and save the one shoe to prove that she could have worn the one that did break? Why did she place all her chances of happiness on a man?
She hadn’t seen another way out at the time, Cinderella knows. She had wanted so desperately to escape her stepmother’s tyranny, but she realizes now she could have ran away long before her life reached the low point that it had. She should have just left everything she’d known and treasured her whole life and started out anew. She could have ran away easily. She could have escaped any of those numerous nights that she had stayed up late working while her stepmother and stepsisters slept or any of those times they had been away, partying and dancing with people just like the ones who fill her courtroom now.
“Excuse me? Queen Cinderella?”
“Yes?” she answers tiredly, looking down at the simple, peasant girl dressed in rags. The girl looks up at her with big, blue eyes full of hope, and Cindy wonders if her own eyes ever looked like that. Had she ever been so naive, so gullible, so full of hope? Obviously she must have been. She wouldn’t be here otherwise.
“I was wondering . . . ” the girl begins nervously.
“Yes?” Cinderella says, out of patience as she always is these days. She stays tired now, exhausted not by spending hours toiling on her hands and knees but from the expectations placed on her by people she barely likes. There’s no longer any mention of love, not even between herself and the Prince, who’s now the King and her husband. She has a kingdom at her beck and call; yet, she feels like she’s the one always dutifully answering everybody else’s calls.
“Does it really take a Fairy Godmother to make your dreams come true?”
“No.” The word escapes her before she can stop it. She pauses for a moment, pondering, but it is the truth. It’s about time someone other than herself knew the truth. “If you ever see a Fairy Godmother, kid, run like heck.”
The little girl’s eyes widen even more. “What?!” she almost cries. “Why?!”
“Because they’re going to convince you that all your hopes are tied to doing one thing. That’s a lie. No woman’s hopes should rest on a man, even if he is a Prince.” Her blue eyes turn out to the ballroom floor where she watches her husband dancing with other women. “Or a King,” she mutters.
“Really? Why not?”
“Because,” she answers, looking back at the startled child, “we are each responsible for our own happiness. Your only obligation,” she continues, realizing the truth of her words as she speaks them, “in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. It’s not to make your Prince or your stepmother or anyone else happy. It’s to make yourself happy, and you can’t do that if you’re trying to become something you’re not to please someone you don’t even know.”
The girl looks at her long and hard. “If you really mean that,” she asks, “why did you become Queen?”
“Why indeed?” Cinderella muses aloud. She turns back to watching her husband, her glass shoes dangling in one hand. She watches him spin one woman after another around the floor, never looking up at her, never even so much as thinking of her. The girl melts back into the crowd of people around her.
Cinderella watches her Prince, and as she watches, she thinks. She ponders, and she finally realizes and accepts the truth. This whole venture was a mistake. She wasn’t happy here, and she never would be. She glares down at the shoes in her hands, then sits them both down on the floor by her lonely chair. Let someone else find them; let someone else have their lives turned upside down, inside out, and away from what they truly desire by these things and their creator as they have done to her.
Cinderella stands and begins to edge out of the crowd. She expects, at any time, to be stopped, but no one takes any notice of her. She is still, after all, only the poor girl who became a Queen through marriage. Their Prince may have thought he loved her, but the townspeople owe her nothing. The royalty look down their noses, and if any suspect that she is unhappy, they feel it is her just due for infringing where she does not belong. Only one actually watches her departure, and as the Queen flees, the mice of the castle swiftly following her bare-footed flight, one lone girl smiles in the crowd of dancers.
She smiles and melts away, vanishing into thin air. Her job here is done after all; her Cinderella is grown, free at last to make her own decisions and find her own happiness as she always should have been. She could have told her when she had been younger that making the Prince love her could not make her happy, but Cindy would not have listened to her then. Now she knows the truth, however, and her Fairy Godmother can finally go find another child in need of her help.