Thursday, October 19, 2006

Creepy, Conniving Cinderella

I started writing this in response to a creative writing prompt that was suppose to "prompt" me re-write a fairytale in a comical way. However, this is what came out as a result. I was very surprised at myself when I re-read this. I have no idea if I'll finish the story or not, but it's definitely been an interesting excercise...

The dusty, filthy, mud-splattered road that cut the Village in half was empty, completely empty. Except for the mild traffic of crows, not scared off at all by the crude scarecrows posted hurriedly to protect the villager’s crop, the whole town looked quite deserted and to be truthful-grim and haunted.
It was onto this street, shivering in the icy cold air with only a permeable shawl on, that Megara walked, holding an old bucket for drawing water out of the half-frozen well.
It was half-way through November, and the weather was already as cold as January.
Some predicted that this was a bad omen. Others told them to shut their traps and stop listening to such lies.
Megara was a rather homely girl, or so said the villagers, and she lived with her only living relations-her Aunt Sinistra and her cousin Fiona (who was her own age-six).
And you might ask-why was Megara given such a laborious task at age six-to draw water from the well, I mean. The truth of the matter is-though they were her only relations, Megara loathed her aunt and cousin more than any foul thing on the earth. She liked doing chores-mostly to escape the long lectures of her aunt and the sniggering and finger-pointing of Fiona. Megara didn’t mind doing the really hard chores, either. In fact she was very good at it, better even than the drip-nosed maid that Aunt Sinistra employed to clean the house and cook the meals. But Megara didn’t mind the drip-nosed maid who gave her the orders to draw water, either. In fact, the crows settling in all around her at the well didn’t provoke her, either. Most people thought crows an ill omen. Megara thought them very intelligent creatures that meant no harm.
That’s what Megara’s only problem in life was, you see. Though level-headed and logical she was, Megara always managed to get herself dragged into the very middle of every mess possible. Megara was trying to not dwell on that fact as she let the bucket be lowered into the cold, stone well and heard a thin soprano voice behind her.
“Er...Excuse me miss.”
Megara drew the bucket up again, frustrated. Who could be out on a morning like this? And what could they possibly need from her?
She thought she’d heard a distinctly adult voice behind her back, but as she pivoted around, she saw a girl, no older than herself, standing in front of her-in even more tattered and Mis-matched clothes than she was.
Megara wrapped her shawl around herself tightly. Though she did not believe in ill omens and ghosts and such, she was still a child, and the sight of this girl made her almost believe.
The girl was an apparition-deadly pale with eyes a very faded color of blue. She was dressed in the manner of one of the village babies that had died from fever or famine-in a flowing white gown, white-blonde hair that was streaming everywhere, barely pulled back with dried flowers. She looked like she’d been buried for perhaps thirty years. Megara suddenly wished she’d believed that crows were ill omens-for she saw all of them gather at once around the ghost, and she did not seem at all bothered by them. In fact, as one perched itself on her shoulder, she looked at the great black bird and smiled. Her teeth were very, very white.
Megara was dreadfully afraid. She would have run away, except that she couldn’t move.
The spirit looked at her and frowned.
“Is there anyone at this village named Dreary?”
Megara couldn’t talk. The ghost smiled and that seemed to coax the words out of Megara’s mouth.
“Dreary? Oh, you mean Drury. Yes, my aunt and cousin and I have that name in common.”
The girl considered this for a moment.
“Is there anyone named Giles Drury?”
Megara knew who she meant. Giles Dreary was her father’s unfortunate brother who decided to marry Sinistra and then croaked within a year past the wedding.
“He died before I was born...” Megara said solemnly.
“Pity,” the girl said strangely, as if she wasn’t sad at all, “I’ve just found out that he is my father.”
“That’s impossible!” Megara explained, “I saw his grave....”
But the spirit did not look in the least concerned.
“Very well, take me to your family.”
“But....”
The spirit snapped, making Megara walk very quickly towards the middle of the Main Street. Megara tried to stop herself but she couldn’t.
Megara wanted to cry. She didn’t want to have to introduce this ghost to Sinistra and Fiona...she didn’t want to spend another minute with this....
“By the way, since you are my cousin, you can call me Elena. What is your name?”
“Megara Drury” she answered quickly, hoping the apparition would just stop talking.
When they approached the Drury Manor, at the edge of the Village, the spirit made a noise in disgust.
“This is where my father lived?” Megara shrugged and pounded her fist on the rotting wooden door. Megara knew that the manor had long been this way-filthy, dilapidated, ill-cared for, but somehow when Elena mentioned it, Megara felt offended that someone had sneered at her home-the home she worked so hard to clean.
The drip-nosed maid opened the door, though Megara did not call her “the drip-nosed maid.” Instead she called her by her name-Dora.
“What took you so long, huh? And where’s my bucket? And who’s this?”
Before Megara could even begin to answer, Elena dipped a graceful curtsy and said in her most adult voice, “I am Elena Elliora Esmeralda Drury, daughter of Giles Drury and Elvira Eleanora Elisa Fantasma.”
Dora looked as if she’d just been slapped in the face and her wide eyes widened. She made no reply.
“You must be the maid,” Elena said with her mature voice, “Please go announce me to my stepmother, and invite us in for a cup of hot tea. My cousin and I are thoroughly frozen.”
Elena snapped, and Megara could guess what would happen next. Yes, Megara was very good at noticing things-all sorts of things, especially things she would rather not have noticed.

8 comments:

Sookie said...

Hem Hem,
I just re-read it. And there are many grammatical errors that will need fixing....please be forgiving.

Erin said...

That is very intresting....I am curious to see how it would turn into the story of Cinderella! What do you/did you plan to have happen next?

Sookie said...

The Drury family, Sinistra and fiona, will have to adopt Elena into their family because she has proof of his stating her as his heir. Much to their, dispair, though, because Elena has some interesting talents that go unobserved by every one except Megara. That's really all I've planned. How it develops into Cinderella is still something I'm toying with in my head. Now that I have my other blog (click under construction to see), that has a writing focus, I'll be posting it there. I just don't know how far I'll get on this, since I have some other things planned too...

Erin said...

that is so cool - I hope you keep writing it!

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