By Bri Jackson
A while back there was a young man who went by the name of Sir Elton of Cinder. He was born in raised in this small kingdom far, far way. As it was a generational trade of his family, he studied to become the advisor to the king. He was educated by his father and his grandfather in geography, business, and political science. With Sir Elton’s Help the King of Cinder avoided many wars, excelled in trade with neighboring kingdoms, and cared for his people in an inimitable way. One day when the King and Sir Elton were alone they began contemplating.
“You know what,” asked the King, “I never would’ve been a great king without you.”
Sir Elton blushed and replied, “No one could compare to you my liege. Your majesty, your heart, ambition, and loyalty to your people is the sole foundation of your thriving kingdom. That had nothing to do with me.”
“Your modesty is becoming, Sir Elton, however I feel a great deal of debt. Ask and it shall be yours; anything you desire shall be given to you as compensation your astounding character,” answered the King.
They both were silent for several moments, and when Sir Elton couldn’t come up with anything the King offered his prized possession. He offered his daughter Alice’s hand in marriage. A wedding was arranged before Sir Elton had the chance to object.
Elton’s family was very wealthy, but they were happy to accept the money given to them in return for convincing him to marry Alice. He, not wanting to disrespect or offend the King, married Alice. He treated her with the utmost respect: he kissed her forehead on occasion, fetched her whatever she needed, and devoted his life to pleasing her. However he felt a void in their marriage. One night Elton called her into their bedroom chamber.
“Have you called for me?’’ Alice bellowed into the room. She glistened in the light that shone through their enormous windows and danced around with her shadow.
“Do you love me?” Sir Elton asked her honestly.
“Well don’t be preposterous, of course I love you. You’re my greatest friend; a friend whom is always there for me. You’ve assisted my dearest father in everything and kept him alive all these years. I owe my life and more to you,” she answered with pride.
He smiled and said, “But are you in love with me, Alice?”
She pondered a while, not fully understanding his question and not knowing how to answer. She couldn’t dishonor her father’s wishes and she definitely couldn’t dishonor Sir Elton. She was silent and the silence overwhelmed her. Alice began to weep hysterically and fell at Sir Elton’s feet.
“Woman why do you weep? One doesn’t have to be in love to love and one doesn’t need love to marry,” he spoke with uncertainty as he’d always dreamed of true love from the time he was a boy. Elton, not wanting to lose his composure in front of her, turned quickly to walk into a different room and sob.
“Wait, Sir Elton,” Alice said before he could leave, “I am with child. I have not been with any other man, and I am with child.”
He ran to her and lifted her off of her feet. They were both smiling and spinning around in each other’s arms. Hope lied behind both of their eyes.
After several months, Alice gave birth to a healthy heiress.
“We should name her Cinderella,” said Alice as the baby reached for mouth, “she will be a little piece of Cinder.” Sir Elton agreed and it was decreed that the new royal family had begun. All the people of the land marveled at Cinderella’s beauty. She had roaring tides behind her eyes and hair as golden as could be. Her curls danced violently atop her infant head. She was said to have the gift of character detection. She could tell someone’s character just by their touch and she cried a violent cry when someone evil held her.
The old King of Cinder had stepped down from his position and peacefully passed his crown down to Elton.
“I have nothing but faith in you my boy. May you have an advisor as Great as I did.” The king said as he placed the crown on Elton’s head.
“He does,” stated Mason of Cinder. He was to be the advisor to King Elton in the coming years. “OOH, is that the darling princess Cinderella? May I hold her?”
Alice willingly gave Cinderella to Mason. The instant he touched her swaddling clothes Cinderella howled a merciless howl. Everyone in the room turned toward the scene and Alice took back hold of her baby. In an instant Sir Mason Took out his sword and stabbed the Old King suddenly. King Elton and the Royal Guard were immediately involved in combat with Sir Mason and his army. Sir Elton ran to Alice’s aid.
“Go! Bring Cinderella to the stables. I will meet you there.” Sir Elton kissed both of their foreheads and pushed them toward the exit doors. Alice down the grand stairs to the stables and hid with Cinderella. She was sobbing and incoherent when she realized that Sir Elton was planning to flee the Kingdom of Cinder if he couldn’t defend it. She ran and left baby Cinderella in the stables to go collect the family heirlooms.
Sir Elton failed in the defense of his Kingdom as many members of his army had turned on him instantaneously. He had no choice but to flee and to instruct his people to do the same. He ran to the stables only to be met with the corpse of his Queen. She was face down in the hay with the family heirlooms and a gaping wound in her back, as if she’d met a foe when entering the stables. Elton broke down and cried, for he truly loved her. He would miss her smile, and her beauty; she was his source of happiness. Then he remembered Cinderella. Where could she be? He searched for her and when he finally came across a blue bundle in an empty stable he sobbed into it hysterically thinking she had died.
“My dearest Cinderella,” he said unable to speak. In that moment he heard a giggle. Cinderella was still alive and reaching for his nose. He clung to her and escaped the kingdom. He undressed and picked up the garments of deceased citizens. He held Cinderella closer than ever as he finally left the Kingdom of Cinder.
Sir Elton remarried, unbeknownst, to a heartless woman. He didn’t love her and the great sadness of the death of his loved ones and his failure as a king killed him. He no longer had a will to live and believed Cinderella to be in good hands, so he committed suicide when Cinderella was seventeen years of age.
His wife ‘mourned’ his death, but as he had no money and nothing for her to inherit she couldn’t really care less. She treated Cinderella like dirt, making her clean up after her and her two daughters. She constantly discouraged Cinderella and even beat her violently. The only thing keeping Cinderella alive was the memory of the stories her father used to tell. He said that one day she would bring honor back to the family and the Kingdom of Cinder.
Cinderella never gave up. She had read in the family library about these things called fairies. They were magical creatures that granted wishes to the weary and helped give riches to the poor. Surely they could help her on her quest to conquer the new king of Cinder. One day while reading a book of spells she conjured up a fairy.
“Why, hello there darling” the fairy said in an enchanted voice.
“Hello. I need to defeat an evil king and I need your help.” Cinderella stated bluntly.
“Somebody likes to get to the point, huh?” the fairy said, smiling.
“Yes, now can you help me or shall I find a genie?” Cinderella droned sarcastically.
“Well there is the ball tonight. You’ve heard of a ball haven’t you? It’s this special party for the richest of the rich at the King or Queen’s castle, depending on what kingdom you’re in,” the fairy informed.
“Get me there and I will owe my life and my honor to you,” Cinderella said bowing,
“There will be no need for wagers, dearie. I shall perform without recompense as I can hear the desperation in your voice.” With that the fairy preformed her magic. She turned pumpkins into a carriage, mice into drivers, and Cinderella’s rags into garments fit for a queen.
Cinderella got into the carriage and allowed it to take her to the king’s castle. When she arrived everybody stopped. All eyes were on her as she descended the grand stairs that led to the ballroom. She walked over to the refreshments table and watched the room of people watching her. They quickly returned to their dancing and someone tapped her on her shoulder.
“Don’t I know you?” the girl asked her; it was one of her stepsisters.
“No I don’t believe you do.” Cinderella said with a fake accent. She walked away and was suddenly met with a white jacket.
“Watch where you’re going please.” She scowled and tried effortlessly to get up. A hand was lent out to her and she soon realized that it belonged to the Prince. He was smiling the same smile she’d seen in the town’s newspaper. He offered her a dance to which she greatly declined. Dancing was not her mission tonight, she knew royalty from every kingdom would be in attendance and that included the King of Cinder.
“Oh c’mon. The least I could do is dance with you,” he smiled cockily to which she scowled and began to walk away. He grabbed her arm, turned her around and said, “Entertain a prince on his last day of being single.” She obliged and they began to dance. She soon realized he wasn’t at all a bad guy. They liked the same pieces of literature, had the same political views, and both danced with two left feet. She was truly happy and almost forgot her originally mission which was to find Sir Mason.
She instantly fled from the Prince to find Mason. The Prince followed her and eventually caught up to her. Panting he said, “Don’t run, my father requests an audience with you.” Cinderella was horrified. Seeing her facial expression the prince answered, “I’ve told him I want to marry you, if that’s alright.” Cinderella smiled and walked with the Prince to his father’s chambers.
“Is this she? The beautiful maiden who will help rule my kingdom and who holds my son’s heart? Come shake my hand,” the king said. Cinderella went to shake his hand and as she did she felt a jolt of energy race through her veins. She flashed back to Sir Mason trying to hold her as a child. He was here in the flesh and he was to be her father in law. She scowled but immediately came up with a plan. She returned to the party and put poison in a drink. She gave it to the guard claiming that the king had requested it in their private audience. The guard was obedient and gave the drink to Mason who died instantly. A hysteria broke over the entire ball as everyone was fearful that the killer remained in attendance at the ball. The Party guest assumed it to be a guard who gave the drink to the King, but he lie dead next to the king with a gaping hole in his back. Cinderella ran away from the party and in the mass hysteria left her glass slipper with a bloody heel behind. The Prince sent out a kingdom wide search for her and eventually found her.
“Oh, Charming, I came back to the chamber after we had left to talk with your father and I saw the evil guard laughing over your beautiful father’s corpse. I didn’t know what to do so I stabbed him in the back with my glass slipper,” she confessed and then cried into his garments. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her passionately. He took Cinderella back to the castle and married her. She got revenge on Mason and ruled over Cinder with the character and spirit of Sir Elton.