Prompt Day # 42: Burst someone’s bubble, big time.
The prince and the mysterious woman danced the night away. She was beautiful, no she was stunning. Her golden hair flowed in ringlets from a perfect bun that sat on the crown of her head. Her blue silk gown swayed with the music and her glass slippers tinkled ever so lightly as her tiptoes glided over the marble floor. She smiled and blushed, her doe eyes peeking up to make eye contact for just a moment before dropping them to her feet as a proper lady should. She had said not a word and yet, he’d fallen madly in love with her. She was perfect and she would be his perfect queen. He had already decided he would announce at the end of the ball. After all, isn’t that why his father had thrown the ball in the first place? Isn’t that why every single eligible maiden in the kingdom had been invited? Even the lowly serf maidens had been allowed to come. It was a new generation his father had said, by royal decree, any woman in his fine Kingdom was good enough for his boy. And really, the King had already exhausted his efforts to find a princess from another kingdom. His son’s vanity and selfishness was known throughout the lands. The boy was in no risk of choosing a low-born for his wife, however. That is what the witch his father had secretly hired was for. She stood watching in the shadows and any maiden who had been magically or otherwise transformed to appear above her class, was immediately pointed out and the prince steered clear.
She had already proved her worth as earlier in the evening; the Prince had struck up a most fascinating conversation with a somewhat plain but not entirely unpleasant looking girl in the gardens where he came upon her admiring his exotic and unusual flower collection. She knew and could name every species of flora in the royal greenhouse and when he spilt his wine, she knew just what to do to save him from an embarrassing stain. He wanted to spend more time talking to her, getting to know her better because he found her most interesting and the longer they spoke, the more attractive she seemed to become. The witch, ever vigilant, signaled to his father and the boy was steered clear and onto the lass who had just arrived in a glorious round silver and crystal carriage.
Forgetting his plain garden girl completely, the prince soon was smitten with the radiant beauty from the pumpkin-shaped coach. He hadn’t even noticed that the girl said nothing but he hadn’t exactly given her a chance either. He told her all about himself, about his trophies he’d won fencing and riding. He told her about his hunting skills and of the many jousts he’d championed. He tried to tell her about all the servants he had but he could never count all that well so he changed the subject. He told her about his library full of books that had never even been opened!
At 11pm, he whisked her away from the crowd to the highest tower and showed her his Kingdom. He told her it was likely the biggest she would ever see and he told her she was going to be the luckiest girl in the world when he gave it to her. She smiled a lovely white smile and nodded. He kissed her. Her lips were thinner than he’d imagined they’d be and it wasn’t the kiss he’d hoped for but she was gorgeous and he decided he could learn to live without many kisses.
Just then, when he was about to open the window shutters and proclaim that he had found his bride, the clock struck twelve. She gasped and pulled away from him. She ran down the tower stairs, losing a glass slipper on the way. The prince watched helplessly from his tower as she leaped into her unusual means of transportation and rode away.
The following day, after nursing quite the hangover, the prince dejectedly climbed the tower to look at his massive kingdom as he did every day. There, on the stairs, almost tripping him was a dainty glass slipper. He picked it up and examined it. The fog of the night before cleared. This shoe belongs to the mysterious beauty he had been courting all night! If only he had remembered her name. Perhaps he had forgotten to ask…it didn’t matter though, because he had her shoe! All he had to do was visit all the households in the kingdom and try on the shoe and marry the first girl it fit! It was a brilliant and fool-proof plan. (Now, you or I might have sent out a royal notice asking any lady who wore that particular size and recalled wearing a glass shoe to the ball last night to come to the castle for a fitting and to meet the prince again, but I told you, this guy wasn’t exactly concerned with intellectual pursuits.) He through open the shutters on the tower window and called out to his kingdom that he would be visiting all the households in order to find his bride. He held up the shoe and declared he would marry the beautiful girl that wore that shoe last night and could fit her foot into the shoe today.
It was late into the third day of the search when they came upon a small farm house in need of repair.
“’Tis unlikely you’ll find your maiden here, M’Lord” said his father’s senior advisor who had been sent with the boy to ensure he didn’t make a mistake.
“I said I am going to every house in the kingdom and that is what I am doing! You can’t tell me what to do anyways, you’re not my father!” The prince stomped his foot at the man. “Now, you go up there and knock on the door and order all the eligible maidens out here this instant! I don’t care if she is poor as long as she is beautiful! And my girl last night was beautiful and I want all the other princes to be jealous of me!” So, the advisor did as he was told.
The farmhouse was inhabited by an old farmer and his three daughters. All three were quite plain but pleasant and the prince recognized the oldest as the young lady he’d spoken to in the gardens. The one who fascinated him with her knowledge of botany (the prince had learned that word from her as well). He went to her first even though he knew it was unlikely because she was so plain and the girl he remembered was so beautiful. The shoe did not fit, nor did it fit either of her sisters.
“Is this all the eligible maidens in this house?” The king’s advisor asked the old farmer.
“Well, there is our milk maid, but she did not attend the ball last night. She, well, she was but a poor orphan I took in and, we just didn’t think it appropriate that she attend the ball.” The farmer stammered.
“Bring her here, this instant!” The prince ordered. The farmer nodded to his eldest and she went back into the farmhouse only to return minutes later followed by a buxom blonde with ringlet curls to her waist and cheeks the color of roses. It was his beauty, the prince knew it immediately. She smiled to him and he dropped to his knee with the slipper. She held her dirty but dainty foot out and the shoe fit as if it had been made just for her.
“My princess and future queen, I knew I would find you again. Allow me to take you away from all of this and bring you to my castle where you will be pampered in the manner your beauty deserves. Marry me?” He asked. Again she nodded, biting her lip and tearing up.
“My Lord Prince” the farmer began “she is indeed a beautiful girl but…” The prince held up his hand.
“I shall hear no more! Advisor, marry us at once! I cannot have another prince come after hearing of my fiancée’s matchless loveliness and try to steal her from me.
And so they were wed, right there with the farmer and his daughters as witnesses. The kiss was short but sweet as the prince just did not like the way the girl kissed with her lips all tight against her teeth. But he reminded himself, the rest of her was amazing and kisses weren’t everything.
“Oh My God!” She finally said in a nasally, valley-girl drawl. “I am totally like a princess now. I told you guys I could totally be the queen someday. But you all said no way. You all said I was too under edge-a-cated or whatever, but so what because he said I am beautiful. So who cares about anything else like your stupid plants, Ella or your dumb books, Belle? And like he has the tallest tower of any prince anywhere and like he said I would have the whole kingdom to rule and so I was thinking…” She turned back to the prince now, “that like, I want to make all the people paint their houses pink and like with all this glitter trim and stuff. OMG, can you even imagine how amaze-balls this place would look? The prince stepped back and snorted. What was going on here? This was not the sweet, quiet girl from the ball; this was some horrible child-like brat. She did not get to pick the colors of HIS kingdom. She didn’t get to make those decisions, he did! She was still going “…and the horses will all be either pure white or pure black, I don’t like those spotty ones and we are totes going to have pizza like every night and I’m gonna make a rule that people have to throw skittles when I walk through the kingdom. And I want one of those magic mirrors that tell me that I am the prettiest girl all the time and I want that witch to come live with me in the castle so she can make sure I stay pretty forever and like never get old and wrinkly and nasty….”
“Wait! What witch?” the advisor asked
“The one that came to me last week and told me about the ball and said I could probably be the princess if I let her help me and she totally did. She got me them bitchin’ glass shoes and taught me how to walk in them—OMG, Prince, you should have seen me; I broke like 12 pairs trying to learn how to walk. Finally, she had to put a magic spell on my feet. Then I didn’t even have to think about walking anymore! My feet just like totally knew what to do and they did it. It was so crazy!” She continued on as the prince stared dumbfounded at his new wife. He was already sick to death of her and he hated the way she talked and the way she thought she could make all the decisions. The advisor, realizing that the witch had double crossed them, was initially furious and was about to send for the royal army, but instead he watched the prince as the boy came to the realization that beauty is truly only skin deep and wealth and power is as fragile as a glass slipper; one in which his new wife now wore very well.