The Red Crystal Shoe

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"We always long for a fairytale in the world full of nightmares" Like any enthusiastic teenage of her age, Elena has a goal which she want to reach desperately. She aspire to be a top ballerina dancer, but her classmate come in between like a thorn making her insecure and jealous. The desire to be in limelight forced her to plan against her classmate. On the day of execution , she find a fairytale 'The Red Crystal Shoe' in her old cupboard. What will happen when this twisted fairytale turn her life in 360°. What will she chose after reading the tale - the motive of characters or the moral behind the story.

Fantasy / Thriller
Age Rating:

A Frantic Fairytale

Loosely based on The Red Shoe by Hans Christian & Cinderella
Genre - Traditional literature
Subgenre - Fantasy & Thriller

Elena glances the red ballerina shoes with a smirk plastered on her face. Wrapping the box in a shining paper, she sticks name slip on it. With love, Elena’ She writes on it, this is going to be the best gift for Diana. Tomorrow is going to be the final performance, her classmate Diana was selected as a finalist. Her mind went into overdrive and picked up the hidden memory of how she snatched her place after defeating her. Elena has the only goal in her life, she wants to be the most famous ballerina dancer. Whenever she stands with her ballerina shoes, her body flowed with itself in the rhythm of melody as if it is the only way her body truly know to speak. She was grown up as an introvert, because of the passion of performing good in dance. But onstage, her personality turns into a vibrant and colourful one like a peacock dance when rain poured down without caring about the surroundings. Dancing was like breathing to her. This was the only thing which gets appreciated by people around us especially her mother. Dance engulf her all pain and agony like a black hole. Little did she realised the black hole is always like a dense forest filled with pitch darkness.

Her all dreams get shattered, the world crashed down on her when Diana gets selected instead of her. She decided to turn her final performance in trash from these red shoes, she wants her to nonstop dance like Karen of ‘The Red Shoe’ until her feet get chopped. She wasn’t a believer of fairytales but definitely heard them from her grandmother. She neither wants to be a sacrificial lamb nor a caged princess, being an evil witch is better than this.

“So, Are you going to snatch the place which belongs to anyone else?” Her trance broke as she heard a sweet yet enchanting voice. She looks here and there like a maniac after not finding the source of the voice. “Where are you looking?” Again voice echoed in her room as she glances the small sparrow sitting at the hanging branch, near to her window. Rubbing her eyes numerous times, she tried to come out of the dream. How can it be possible? How can a bird talk like a human? She thought while pinching on her arm. “Don’t need to get stunned. I can talk” The little sparrow fly and sit on the box of red shoes. “You are definitely an evil magician who wants to cast his spell on me” Elena shout but little sparrow didn’t even budge. “Somethings happen at a particular time. So, don’t try to snatch other belongings unless it comes to you” The little sparrow said spreading her wings and get sit on one of her shoulders. “Hey, you little creature. Don’t try to preach me good and evil. If being a good person means to sacrifice one’s own happiness then I want to be evil who know to snatch what she likes” Elena said jerking her from her shoulder as she flies around her, round and round.

She was getting frustrated by this uninvited creature. She mercilessly holds the sparrow in her hand. “Who are you?” She asked furiously. “You will get to know later” The little sparrow muttered while struggling to come out of her hold. “Did you read ′The Red Crystal Shoe’?” Little sparrow asked as Elena leave her after registering the unusual name. “Isn’t the fairytale called as ‘The Red Shoe’ " Elena questioned. “Not that one...” Little sparrow replied making her confused. “Follow me, I will take you to that journey” Little sparrow said enthusiastically as Elena starts following her. She took her to the old basement in her home. As she opened the doors, the webs sticking on it get stuck with her hand. She closed her eyes in frustration and turned back to go, denying to believe on this weird creature. The little sparrow moved her wings, making way for her in between of spider webs.

Little sparrow flew toward an almirah in a corner. Elena walked in the same direction. The almirah looks old, dust was so thick that it built a layer over the racks and the fragments of cobwebs hanging from the side. It looks creepy, Elena wondered that the book was fairytale or a witch-tale. Bound in red leather, cracked and dry with age, the thick book smells like dust. The pages within are brittle and what remains of the book’s original stitch. Elena picked up the books with her slender fingers. She opened it and turn the page. “Once upon a time...” She mouthed as she starts reading it aloud.

Once upon a time, there lived a little girl name ‘Claire’ who is kind and beautiful. She worked hard to earn a living for her and her mother. The only valuable thing which she owns after her mother’s death was the crystal red show. Everyone heard that those shoes were magical, they grow in size as the tiny girl grow. Those were last sign of her mother, she gifts her before her demise. She gets adopted by a rich lady who adopts her out of sympathy after looking her in the funeral of her mother.

When she reached the huge mansion, she met with the real daughter of the lady. Her stepsister Amber was a spoiled brat who gets everything by hook or crook. As two girl grow up together, Claire becomes a kind lady while Amber as a stubborn and snobbish person. Amber has a habit of taking everything which belongs to Claire. She thinks that as a real daughter, she deserves everything best.

And Now those red crystal shoes caught her attention. Even she tried to make those red shoes designed with silk but it didn’t turn out like crystal ones. This enraged Amber as the crystal one shine more and look ravishing. “I want those shoes” Amber ordered to her, who was dusting the showpieces. Claire gets confused for a second and looks around to find shoes. She is well aware that Amber like exclusive things. “Those red crystal shoes which you are wearing” Amber point out making her horrified. “But these are my mother’s last sign,” Claire said meekly making her furious. Amber looked at her with eyes burning in flames and throttled her neck. Claire gasped for breath while patting her hand on her arm. Amber pushed her in a response making her fall down on the floor. She forcefully took out those crystal shoes leaving her trembling figure behind. Claire didn’t expect this, those shoes belonged to her then how can she show her right on them. Tears rolled down from her eyes, making her sight faded. She rubbed her eyes for wiping tears. She isn’t going to let her take which belong to her. She made a fist in determination and moved toward her room. “These shoes belong to me,” she uttered snatching them from her hand who was adoring the shoes. Amber looked at her with a deadly glare. “Did you forget the favours of my mother?” Amber said in rage as she looks on in dilemma. “You can’t give me these shoes and my mother gives you the place in our family” She added making her drown in guilt. “Fine, Do wear them once and return this” Claire said on which she slightly nods her head. Claire was unaware of the evil plan going inside her head and return the crystal shoes to her. Amber smile in contentment after looking at the shoes. She glances at Claire and then pushed her through the balcony. “They will never come off when you dance” Claire cursed as tears slipped from her eyes, which she took lightly. This creates a lot of chaos, but Amber’s mother labelled it as a suicide for saving her daughter.

After three months, there is a party going to be organised for influential people of the town. Sliding down those gleaming crystal shoes in her feet, Amber twirls while giggling. But her legs start swaying in the zig-zag path without any rhythm. She tried to stop her legs but they were uncontrollable. She moved to the ballroom while dancing in a weird manner making her mother worried. All the people of the town present there said that the girl gets possessed. Amber dance the whole night even after all the people leave. Her tensed mother with some of the servants tied her to chair but her feet still move in an abysmal rhythm. Amber starts getting tired, her legs tremble with continue moving. Sweat starts dripping from her forehead as she remembers the curse of Claire. “They won’t come off,” She said to her mother who was trying to take the shoes. She was regretting to snatch the thing which belongs to Claire. “Mom, Strike off my feet with red shoes. That’s how only I can repent my sins” Amber requested as tears made a way through her eyes. Her mother’s breath gets hitched thinking her only daughter’s condition. If she doesn’t cut off her feet, her daughter died a tragic death by dancing. Amber confessed her sin, and the mother struck off her feet with the red shoes on them. The shoes danced away with her feet, over the fields into the deep forest.

“Happiness cannot be achieved by snatching it from others ”

Elena read the ending quote of the book. The similarity between Amber and her shook her to the core. Is this how she is going to end up after turning evil. What type of fairytale it was? It was dark, creepy yet the moral opened her eyes. “I was going to become like Amber. How?” Elena said as she looks here and there but the little sparrow was nowhere found. The books in her hand get vanished by own. What was it which she experienced just now? Who was that sparrow? A bellwether which lightens her way. She didn’t want to achieve her goal like this. Wiping her tears, she decided to wait for the things which belong to her destiny. She moved toward her room and tear off the wrapper. She took out red ballerina shoes and throw them on the dustbin. The pins which are placed inside the shoes neatly, make a clinking sound as they get collided with the steel wall of the dustbin.

She picked her white ballerina shoe determinedly. She will definitely going to become top ballerina dancer but from her own hard work. Her movements flowed with a dazzling grace on the rhythm of the music. She could feel her soul become one with the music and she unleashed her emotions into her dance. She needed this as badly as she needed to breathe.

Words Count - 1829 words

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