“Eligible Females Tea Party”
This is a short story I wrote this term. It was a real quick piece of work but I really enjoy re-writing classic stories. This is a Cinderella story. If you like it please comment!
As I ran I ran a hand down the front of my gown I pondered the strange nature of normal girls that made them want to wear so many ribbons and ruffles. I turned in front of the mirror to make sure that I was fully buttoned into it. Not that I doubted I was; I could hardly breathe with the thing on. For such a fru-fru looking thing it sure felt like an iron corset, but I would endure anything for my one chance at fame, fortune, and popularity.
Satisfied that I was as done up as a girl could be I marched out of my room, promptly tripping on the hem of my frilly skirt. With a resounding Whomp that shook the whole second floor I landed in a heap.
“Lizzy honey, are you doing ok up there?”My fairy godfather called nervously from the living room.
I sighed. As fairies go, my godfather is quite grounded and not much given to twitters and flitters like my BFF Kristine’s godmother. But the “Eligible Females Tea Party” had gotten him all worked up about my future and growing up and junk.
I took stock of my ensemble. Dress- two buttons undone down the back but fine otherwise, and no rips or tears. Hair-not so great, but no time to fix. Purse-well lucky for me I think it’s relatively hard to break a purse. “I’m fine, I’ll be down in a second,” I yelled.
As I got up I could hear him humphing and muttering downstairs. He was just peeved that I borrowed a proper dress from Kristine instead of wearing the practical dress that he poofed up for me. I sighed again as I went more carefully down the stairs. It couldn’t be helped, because I simply couldn’t wear my usual, practical, comfortable clothes to the “Eligible Females Tea Party”. It was just too important.
As I entered the room, my fairy go father jumped, all embarrassed, and quickly backed away from the mirror where he had been smoothing back his salt-and-pepper hair. “Well you look lovely and uncomfortable,” he said gloomily. “We’d better get a move on or we’ll be late.”
He swept open the door and shooed me down the drive to our apple shaped carriage. I ran an appreciative eye over it as we climbed in. Apples are such a pleasing shape, not having diverted far from the classic pumpkin while having a sleeker, austere silhouette.
Sitting down I caught my godfather casting a wistful glance at out truck. It was made from a well worn sneaker and so had the vague shape of footwear. I sighed for the third time. Yes, the truck would have been comfortable, but it was not fashionable. We road in silence, his sparkly black wings twitching as he stewed over my dress. I practiced polite nothings in my head.
We were welcomed by a particularly white haired old fairy godmother. As I was lead to the parlor I found myself worrying about my godfather. I hoped he would be ok as the lone male among the fairy godmothers. I had a vivid image of him sitting sipping tea, surrounded by old ladies while they gossiped about dresses with their knitting in their laps. I shook the image from my brain and pasted a smile on my face as I demurely entered the room. The tinkle of glass and the giggles of girls met my ears. I found myself breathing deeply of the smell of buttered biscuits and chocolate cake. I could feel my stomach clenching in hunger. I had skipped breakfast so as to fit into Kristine’s dress, which was so tight that I risked popping out a button every time I moved.
As I brushed out my skirt to sit, Miss Marion Smith, who was hostess of this year’s “Eligible Females Tea Party” turned to me with a sticky sweet smile. “Well, Elizabeth, I am pleased to see that you were able to come to our party after all.”
What a load of cow patties. We both knew that she had done her best to keep me out. She fought hard for it on several fronts; saying that my parents were only divorced and there wasn’t a wicked stepmother in sight, claiming that I shouldn’t be included because I was neither neglected nor doted on by my parents, and that I could hardly be included because I had been blessed with a fairy godFATHER. But lucky for me the rules are clear. All eligible females are to be invited to the pre-ball tea party. This is presumably to make sure we coordinate our outfits so as not to clash. There are only so many times a girl can live through finding out that five other girls are wearing the same trendy glass slippers as herself.
I smiled icky-sticky back at her. “And I’m so glad you were able to get this lovely mansion back in time for the party,” She reddened slightly and inclined her head a little. It was a big, well-known secret that her stepmother had been making a bid at her fortune lately. She was suing her stepdaughter for emotional damage and demanding the house as compensation.
As I pondered hard on how I might fill my empty gut without disgracing myself, the talk turned to the ball, and His Royal Highness. I tried not to drool as the plate of refreshments came closer. I glanced around trying not to appear too eager. Observing the far side of the room, I saw that its collection of fairies, while not quite the knitting circle I had imagined, was still fairy godmotherly enough that my godfather stuck out in his suit and tie, as well as his lack of bonnet and curls. He looked as stiff as I felt as one of the godmothers waived a little lapdog in his face.
The plate came by. I took a large chocolate thingy with too much frosting on it, but I was so ravenous I hardly cared anymore. I took too large a bite, making the chocolate ooze, which forced me to gulp even more to stop it from dripping over my frills.
“Yes, well,” Marion’s high voice tinkled. “They do say that he’s not much of a dancer and he has a shy disposition. But that can’t really be true. A prince must be charming and at least have a waltz or two mastered or what good could he possibly be?” she simpered. I rolled my eyes. “Oh let the poor boy alone,” I thought as I tried to chew discreetly. “Can’t a prince have a real personality?” She wasn’t done yet ether. “But I suppose that it wouldn’t be so bad if he skipped some of the dancing and went right to the proposal. After all, we will have all the time in the world to train him in the mannerisms he should project.” (“What is he, a dog?”)
“Does it matter what he talks like?” She piped. “If he came to rescue me I don’t think I’d care about much beyond his looks. And he certainly has enough good looks to cover that issue.”
Marion gave the girl a glare that would melt ice for interrupting and continued as if it hadn’t happened. “And once we’re wed, he will be turning all the tedious affairs of state over to me of course. It is true woman’s work to look after home and homeland,”
“And now she’s promoted herself to dictator.” I thought as I finished my cake.
I looked up just in time to witness disaster.
Across the room the little lapdog made a mad lunge for their tray of cakes. My godfather jerked away just a fraction too late as the tray and its contents flew onto his lap. In just seconds he was covered in chocolate and dripping with tea. The old biddies tutted and patted at him with handkerchiefs as the dog stood gobbling his treat.
Through the twitter of surprised voices, I heard a loud snicker. Turning, I saw Marion and her cronies had come closer for a better look. “He’s quite clumsy, isn’t he?” She asked them. “But really, what can you expect from a man? It must be such a burden for you Elizabeth,” she said turning to only partially hide her smirk.
I felt my growing anger buzzing in my throat. How dare she? After all the effort my godfather and I had put into getting this far? She didn’t care how much time he spent getting everything just right for this stupid party. Then I really felt like a fool. I hadn’t cared about it either; all that energy and thought he put into my gown. I disregarded that as easily as these rotten hens. I was so concerned about playing by their stupid rules that I let them get away with too much crap.
“He might be a man who can’t tell a fru-fru from a ruffle,” I said with as much scorn as my anger could muster. “But I much prefer him to old biddies who encourage nasty girls like you to marry for fame and fortune,” Marion was stiff with shock.
“I pity the prince,” I continued. “He had better hope for his own knight in shining armor to come and rescue him before one of you bag him up like game and send him off to obedience school.” By now I was almost shouting. Even the godmothers could hear and were staring at me in shock. My godfather simply stood shaking his head, and dabbing at the mess on his suit.
Marion took a step towards me. “You heathen,” she half whispered in her shocked/polite lady’s voice. “I doubt that any prince would ever want to marry a girl like you. Luckily you won’t get such a chance after ruining our “Eligible Females Tea Party”,” she smiled wickedly. “You should leave now. And be sure that you will be banned from attending an event like this again.”
I rolled my eyes. Clearly she thought this was the worst punishment in the world. I could care less. “Who said I want to come to your dumb parties and play by your rules?” I challenged. “Maybe I’ll just go rescue the prince from you people and he’ll be so grateful that he’ll marry me instead.”
She jumped forward, her hand raised to slap my face. Grabbing her arm, I Judo chucked her over the table to land in a heap. As she let out a yelp, I silently thanked my godfather for signing me up for those lesions. And here he was at my elbow.
“I think it’s time to leave pet,” he said as he grabbed my arm. We beat a hasty retreat, leaving chaos behind us.
As we drove home I kicked off my stupid shoes and practically ripped open the buttons down the back. I sighed happily. I could breathe again.
“So what will we do now?” my fairy godfather asked me. He appeared to be to be comically resigned to our fate as outcasts. I grinned, hardly believing my own daring tonight.
“Well, first we go home and wash up,” I said. He looked ruefully down at his clothes. “Then I’m going to put on that dress you made for me and go rescue the prince,” he brightened up considerably at this.
“Just make sure to have the truck back by ten,” he said as he wiped frosting off his cuff. “I don’t hold with all this back by midnight nonsense.”
other short stories and reviews by me
- Princess of the Midnight Ball, a Book Review
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Here's a short story I wrote last term. I loved the names I found for this story. Baby name sites are just addicting. If you like the story please comment!
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