Hello, hello! How are you lovely people doing? (Isn’t that sort of a rhetorical question though?)
I have some writing and photos for you today.
First up, Beauty from Ashes. Beauty from Ashes is a short story I’m working on. It’s basically a medley of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, ’cause you’re never too old for fairy tales, right?
I’m still looking for a picture that fits my idea of Cinderella. Hopefully next time I’ll have it.
Enjoy the first part!
Beauty from Ashes
“Cinderella!” a whiny voice rang out from upstairs, “Come up here at once!”
I sighed. It was all I could do not to run out the door; not to run, run, run, and never come back. I would never have to answer to my stepsisters again. But I wouldn’t survive and I knew it. Even though my life was miserable here, at least I had a life, if you could call it that. I heaved my tired body up the winding staircase. With every step, the arguing voices grew louder.
“I said I wanted roses first!”
“Did not! You stole my idea!”
“Oh no I didn’t. You just won’t give me credit for anything, Anastasia!”
“That’s because you never have any good ideas! I’m going to have roses, whether you want me to or not. So there!”
I could hear Lady Tremaine shushing her daughters. “Now girls. If you are ever to impress the Prince, you absolutely must control your tempers. Anastasia, you will have red roses, and Druscilla, you will have white ones. Listen to Mother, dears. Don’t be like that nasty Cinderella who never obeys anyone.” Lady Tremaine directed this last remark at me as I entered the room. Anastasia and Druscilla instantly forgot their enmity in their mutual delight at my poor, embarrassed face.
Lady Tremaine didn’t lose a beat. “Cinderella, go fetch twenty red roses and twenty white roses for your sisters. If they are to have dried flower crowns for the ball, we must start preparing them now. Go, child! Don’t just stand there looking stupid! Away with you!”
The girls snickered and turned back to their preparations. Oh how I wished I could join them! As the date of the Prince’s ball drew ever nearer, our household was in an uproar over the various preparations necessary to present Anastasia and Druscilla at their finest (which wasn’t saying much). But though I had begged and pleaded, Lady Tremaine refused to let me go to the ball. It was an unnecessary expense, she said. But the King had ordered all eligible maidens to come, I protested. She only scoffed at this, saying I was hardly “eligible” with my dusty, ash-stained face and dingy clothes. I chose not to point out that all that could be fixed with a bath and a new gown. I knew when I had lost. I knew because I always did lose and always had lost, ever since the day my father died.
I stomped outside, gritting my teeth to keep from exploding. At least I got to visit the forest. I picked my way sluggishly to the two lush rosebushes in the middle of our woods, trying to drag out my freedom. When I arrived, I plucked the roses as slowly as possible, carefully avoiding thorns. I had only gathered the red roses when a crackling noise made me freeze in mid-pluck. Some great animal was snuffling and stomping its way through the woods. It drew nearer and nearer to me, but I was afraid to turn around. My heart pounded madly in my chest like a captive bird desperate to escape. Finally the crackling stopped. The beast was so close I could feel its hot breath on my back.
I just had to turn around.
Immediately I wished I hadn’t. I was face to face with an enormous beast – what looked like a cross between a bear and a lion.
It was by far the most terrifying thing I had ever seen. My breath came in ragged gasps; my sweaty hands clutched the roses as if to protect them.
Then the beast spoke.
“Who are you?” it questioned in a deep, growling, voice. If I hadn’t been terrified out of my wits before, I was now. A talking bear?
I gulped. “M-my name is Ella, Sir… Sir…”
“Call me Beast,” it snarled.
“My n-name is Ella, Beast.”
Beast growled menacingly. “Very well, Ella, give me one of your shoes.”
I blinked. “Excuse me? But, Sir – I mean, Beast, these are my only pair! My mother will be furious! Please, may I give you my hair ribbon or-”
“Your shoe. Give it to me.” His voice left no room for doubt. I passed him one of my forlorn slippers with trembling hands. He nodded and continued, “If you want this back, you must return to this place tomorrow at this time. Or else-” he opened wide his mouth and roared like a lion.
I shielded my face with my arm. Sweat plastered my yellow-gold hair to my head, and tears streamed down my dusty face. “Yes, yes Sir – I mean Beast. I will do that. I promise I will. Please, please may I go now?” Beast nodded his huge head.
I lost no time in racing back to the safety of home, sobbing with terror all the time. When I was halfway there it occurred to me that I hadn’t picked any white roses. Nevermind. I was NOT going back there, no matter how angry Druscilla would be.
But the worst part was, I had promised, and my promise was backed by the terrifying threat of the Beast’s roar. I had to go back tomorrow, like it or not.
There! I hope you liked that! It was a lot of fun to write. 🙂 More parts are coming up soon!
And now for my BIBPC entries. I know the first one is late, but since Megan is my sister, she’s already seen my photo. Yay for sisters! (Unless the sisters in question are Anastasia and Druscilla.)
BIBPC #4 – Category: Broken
OH MY GOODNES IS HE NOT ADORABLE?! Oh. Right. Perhaps I should explain that the bunny isn’t “broken” like that. It’s just a technical way of saying “spotted.” And you thought… Shame on you! 😄
This is one of our five baby bunnies, a. k. a. cuteness itself. I believe my brother Logan chose this one. He named it “Higgledy Piggledy” for some strange reason. Don’t look at me! 😄 Never fear, a bunny post is coming up soon with lots more juicy details and fluzzy pictures.
BIBPC #5 – Category: Old Things
Last night we acquired a few lovely, ancient books from my great-grandma. One is called “Human Use Geography.” I find that quite funny. Human Use? As opposed to what, penguin use? 😄 But seriously, it’s a really neat book! There are notes and names and scribbles all throughout the book, and some pages are practically falling out.
This would also have been a good photo for the “Broken” category. Broken is often quite beautiful, isn’t it? We’re all like old books in that way, I guess – broken but beautiful. 🙂