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Mashup Tale: The Beauty and Cinderella
Belle and Ella
Once upon a time, there was a rich widower whose most prized possessions were his two daughters, Belle and Ella.
But everything changed when the man took another wife. She moved into the rich man’s house and was mean and cruel to the girls. The father became aloof and cold towards his daughters and had eyes only for his new wife.
The stepmother fired the servants and ordered Belle and Ella to do the house chores. She called Ella “Cinderella” because she was often found sleeping in the cinders by the fireplace due to fatigue.
One night, their father announced he was going on a business trip and asked his wife and the girls, “What do you want me to bring you when I come back?”
His wife wanted jewelries and clothes. Belle wanted nothing and Ella wanted a rose.
The Beast and His Palace
On his way home, the father got lost in the forest and stumbled into a splendid but mysterious palace where he was forced to pass the stormy night. There was no one inside but there was food and a room to sleep.
The next morning, as he was leaving the palace, he passed by a rose garden. He remembered Ella’s request. He picked one red rose but to his shock, a hideous beast appeared and roared, “You ungrateful man! I welcome you in my castle and you steal my roses! You will die for what you did!”
The man desperately begged for pardon. “I did not intend to steal, Sir! One of my daughters asked me to bring her a rose and I thought with your generosity, you would not mind one rose.”
The beast said, “I will forgive you on condition that one of your daughters come here and willingly take your place.”
The man went home and told everyone about the beast. His wife said, “Since Ella is to blame for this, then she must go back there and die in your place.”
Belle protested and offered to go instead.
The Beauty and the Beast
After a tearful goodbye, Belle left Ella. The father took her to the beast’s palace and left her there. She found a room in the huge palace which was fit for a queen.
She was startled when she heard the gruff voice, “This is your room and you will find everything you need in here. I will see you at dinner.”
Belle swallowed hard against fear in her throat. I hope I am not his dinner, she thought.
There was a wide selection of gowns in her wardrobe. She chose one and with a heavy heart went down to the dining room.
The long table was laden with food, fruits, and wine. She sat there waiting until the beast appeared. She gasped when she saw the beast who asked in a gruff voice, “What is your name?”
“My name is Belle,” she replied, hiding her fear. “What is yours?”
“Call me as I am. Beast.”
He sat at the opposite end of the table and they ate in silence. After dinner, he said goodbye and left.
Belle had the whole palace during the day. She discovered a well-stocked library and spent most of her time reading. Sometimes, she walked in the garden. She wondered who maintained the palace and the gardens. There were only Beast and herself in the palace.
Belle felt that the beast had no intention of killing her. In fact, she found him kind-hearted, although lacking in manners and sophistication.
But Belle found it daunting that after every dinner, the Beast would ask, “Belle, will you be my wife.”
She was at first frightened to refuse but she chose to be honest with Beast. “I am much obliged to you but I must say no.”
He would growl but it was not the sound of anger but of anguish. Belle’s heart went out to him.
Life has become more difficult for Ella. Her father was of no help.
Ella often cried, not because of her situation, but because she missed Belle whom she thought was dead.
When the king announced that a ball was to be held at the palace, and that all young ladies in the kingdom would be invited, Ella wanted to go. The ball was for the Prince to choose his bride.
Ella asked her stepmother if she could attend the ball and she replied, “Yes, you can go to the ball, Cinderella, if you have a nice and presentable gown to wear. Now, go back to the kitchen and clean up.”
Ella knew that she could never hope to ask for a new gown so she picked an old gown that could work with a few alterations, perhaps a ribbon here and there and she would look presentable enough to attend a ball in the palace.
She worked on her gown every night after she finished all her chores in the house. On the day of the ball, Ella rushed to finish all her errands and house chores. Then she started to get ready for the ball. She thought her stepmother would take her to the palace. Last night she reminded her and she said yes.
The stepmother looked surprise when Ella appeared all dressed up. “Where are you going, Cinderella?”
“To the ball, remember?”
“Cinderella, you must be wrong. You are not going to the ball.”
“But… you said I could go if I have a dress…” Ella’s voice trailed as her stepmother pulled and tore the gown from her body.
“What dress? These rags are unacceptable in the palace,” her stepmother said.
Ella gathered the torn pieces of her gown and ran upstairs to her room where she cried her heart out.
Mirror, Mirror On the Wall
Belle soon learned that everything in the palace was magical. Beast would show her the outside world from a magic mirror in one of the rooms. Then she asked Beast if the mirror could show her Ella.
“All you have to do is ask,” he said.
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, please show me if Ella is well.” The mirror showed Ella crying over her torn gown. Belle turned to Beast. “What has happened to her?”
“Your stepmother did not want her to go to the ball. She tore her gown,” Beast answered.
“Oh, Ella, Ella…” Belle could not control her tears.
The beast sighed, “Do you want her to go to the ball?”
“How could she? She does not have a dress to wear.”
“We can help,” he said gruffly. “Ask her to stand up.”
“She can hear me?”
“Don’t tell her about me or about anything in this palace.”
Ella suddenly raised her head. “Belle? Is that you? Where are you?”
“Don’t ask questions, Ella. I am going to help you. Stand up! You are going to the ball, Ella.”
“Belle, I want to see you!” she said out loud as she stood up, turning around, looking up, trying to see where Belle was. “Are you a ghost?”
“Ella, you can’t see me. I am somewhere else. Ella, listen… you are going to the ball.”
“I don’t care about the ball. I want to see you,” Ella started crying again.
Suddenly, Ella was dressed in a beautiful silver dress.
“Belle?” Ella said in confusion and surprise.
“You look beautiful. I am sure the Prince will take notice of you.” Belle turned to Beast and said softly, “Thank you.”
A pair of glass slippers appeared on Ella’s feet and she shrieked in delight.
“Belle… whatever this is… if you are a ghost or if this is magic, I don’t care. I am so happy to hear your voice but… I want to see you.”
Beast grunted, “She is wasting time. Tell her to walk out the door and a coach is waiting for her. And there is something else she must know…”
The Glass Slipper and A Poisoned Apple
Ella was the most beautiful lady in the ball. When the Prince saw her, he would not dance with anyone else. Ella’s stepmother and stepsisters did not recognize her and they were filled with envy.
The Prince asked for her name just as the huge clock began to strike midnight, Ella remembered she had to leave the ball before midnight or her clothes would turn to rags. She hastily ran out of the palace but the Prince ran after her down the staircase.
In her haste, she left one of her glass slippers behind which the Prince picked up.
For the Prince, it was love at first sight. He vowed to find the girl. The king’s men spent the following days visiting every young lady’s house in the kingdom, asking them to try on the glass slipper but not one girl was able to get her foot into the shoe. Of course, since it was a magical shoe and would fit no one but Ella.
The stepmother was worried. She feared that Cinderella’s foot might fit into that glass slipper and she would be taken to the Prince. With her beauty, the Prince might even forget the girl at the ball and take Cinderella to be his bride.
It had been rumored that the stepmother practiced witchcraft and had put a spell on Ella’s father to marry her. Though it was not proven, it was indeed true.
She had been secretly jealous of her two stepdaughters’ beauty and had planned to get rid of them. She thought she was rid of Belle forever, but there was still Cinderella.
Alone in her room one night, she took her book of spells and in the middle of the night, a flash of lightning and a crack of thunder drowned her malevolent laughter as she held up the poisoned apple that she prepared for Ella.
It was too late when she realized that she had cast a spell of deep sleep instead of death and “one could be awakened by true love’s kiss.”
As the days passed, Belle realized that beyond Beast’s hard exterior was a soft heart. He would still ask her every night if she would be his wife and she would always say “no.”
They would walk in the gardens and talked endlessly but never about him. Belle felt comfortable with him. She had already overlooked his ugliness and had grown to really like him.
After a few days, Belle decided to check on Ella. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, show me if Ella is well.”
Belle was shocked at what she saw. “Ella is dead!” she shrieked. “Beast, Ella is dead!
Beast stared at the mirror, “Mirror, show me how this happened.”
The mirror showed the stepmother giving the poisoned apple to Ella. One bite and she fell unconscious.
Belle screamed in anguish, “Why would she do that? Why would she want to poison Ella?”
“Belle, she is not dead. The spell had put Ella in deep sleep… to be awakened by true love’s kiss.”
Belle had a glimmer of hope only to be crushed by the next image. The stepmother ordered Belle’s father to bury Ella.
“No… nooooo!” Belle screamed at the mirror. “Beast, I have to go get Ella. They cannot bury her. Help me, Beast. Please do something… I promise I will marry you if you help Ella…” Belle became hysterical.
Beast sighed. “Belle, my time is up. You don’t even know it but I am running out of time. I have been holding you here in the hope that you will marry me… but not this way. You have to want to marry me.” He added in his most gentle manner, “You have to love me… enough to marry me.”
Belle could not even understand what Beast was talking about. “Beast, if Ella dies, I will die myself.”
The Beast took a long, deep breath. He left growling and roaring in frustration and desperation. Belle felt the palace shook but she just didn’t care anymore as she slumped on the floor crying her heart out.
A flicker in the mirror made Belle raise her head. She saw the image of Beast with the lifeless Ella in his arms. She stood up as the mirror turned blank and all she could see was her own reflection. She looked more dead than Ella.
Before she could move, Beast came to the door and laboriously laid Ella on the bed. Then his huge hairy body crashed on the floor motionless.
Broken Curse and True Love's Kiss
Belle ran to him. “Beast, Beast!” The thought of Beast dying terrified Belle. She did not want to lose him. “Beast, I want you to be with me forever! I love you, I want to marry you. Beast!” she cried out loud and her tears fell on his face.
Suddenly, Belle and Beast were engulfed in a blinding light. Belle had to close her eyes. When the light vanished, Belle slowly opened her eyes and to her shock, Beast was gone and in his place, she saw the most handsome man she had ever seen. She sat frozen until the young man said, “Belle, you did it! You saved me!”
It turned out that Beast was a young Prince who was cursed by a witch for being proud, arrogant and selfish. The curse could only be broken by the love of a woman who was willing to marry him. Had Belle not professed her love for him that very day, he would not only remain a beast but he would die because he had chosen to die rather than be a beast forever.
At that instant, the whole palace transformed back to its old glory. The king and queen , and all the palace staff came to life and everybody rejoiced. Though Belle was happy, part of her was also sad because Ella could sleep forever without her true love’s kiss.
A banquet was held in honor of the Prince and to announce his betrothal to Belle. The Prince from a nearby kingdom, the same Prince who was still looking for the girl with the glass slippers came to the banquet.
He heard about the sleeping beauty in the palace so the first thing he asked was to see her. To his and to everyone’s surprise, he recognized Ella as the girl at the ball whom he loved the first time he laid eyes on her.
He could not help but kiss Ella who woke up and saw her prince charming for the second time.
Belle and Ella forgave their father since he was under a spell all the time. He walked the two of them to the altar.
The stepmother became a maidservant in Ella’s palace. All her books of spells were confiscated and burned. She was forbidden to practice witchcraft under penalty of death. She is often found sleeping in the cinders by the fireplace.
© 2015 Virgo908