Big Glass Mistake
The prince had been attacked. It had happened suddenly at the July Ball. The culprit had thrown their weapon directly at his face then fled from the scene, the carriage disappearing into the ether late in the night. There was no record of the culprit’s arrival, no invitation on the guest list. The King, horrified at the threat on his son’s life, locked down the castle and forbid him from leaving. Terrified for their own lives, every nobleman and women started fortifying their own houses or planned to immigrate to safer pastures.
The Prince rarely complained about his confinement. In fact, he would rarely move from the window of his gilded cage in the castle’s tower, hand on his chin, sighing at the distance. Captain Tomas Duarte, dressed in a purple and red uniform with a metal chest piece and a sash marking his rank, walked towards the prince, a food tray in his hands. He set it down on a table and stood beside the Prince and placed a hand on his shoulder.
“Captain, I thought… Did I stuff it up? Have I offended her?” The captain thought back to the ball. The pure joy he saw from the lifelong brooder.
“I’ve tried to get you on the saddle hundreds of times. If you felt something now, then I promise you, she’s the one. We don’t know the entire story. Maybe she has her own reasons for what she did.”
The prince looked at his feet and felt the bandage on his head.
“Captain, I know I’m still inexperienced and I’ll admit I’ve never known much about the fairer sex. But I think if a woman throws a glass slipper at my face then bolts from my castle like she’s seen the Holy Ghost, then she probably wants nothing to do with me.”
The Tremaine estate had once been an extravagant palace, a gigantic testament to all that French Baroque could truly accomplish. The outside, an exquisite imitation of the Luxembourg palace’s 16th century design, the inside, a perfect blend of silk tapestries with delicate and intricate Moorish tile work combined with new Chinese ceramics from the Far East to unite the aesthetics of every in-vogue art style of the last three centuries.
All that remained now was dust, torn cloth, mice and a girl long abused by her stepfamily. On the night of the ball, the daughters of house Tremaine met and fell in love with two English navy captains. The family packed everything and scarpered to London only two days later. They would never be seen in this little French kingdom again. She did not celebrate that her tormentors had left. She did not weep for her house in ruins. That magical night, where an incredible woman transformed her into a princess with a wave of a wand, where she rode in a pumpkin carriage and spoke with a wonderful stranger, was over. Yet she did not cry over that either. She rolled up her sleeves, got her cleaning kit and started on making her new home more livable, all on her own.
But not for long. Just one day later, a loud knocking came from the door. Behind it, an old woman dressed in blue robes with a wand up her sleeve and two heavy bags by her side. She forced her way in as soon as the door opened.
“Hello, my dear Cindy! I heard about your family and I thought to myself, I thought, am I her Fairy Godmother, or am I her fairy Godmother? Well, what kind of Godmother would I be if I left you alone now?” She said cheerfully as she marched through the house. Cindy stood by the door, blinking.
“Wait… I… What?” Cindy dashed after her.
“Hang on! You can’t just move in here! I don’t… actually even know who you are! I don’t even know your name!”
“Just call me Gran, sweetie. Gran the Godmother.” She said, setting down her bag. She flicked out a wand, tapped the case once and, boom! Blankets, clothes, books and a cubic ton of knitting wool exploded out and floated into softly into their new places. Cindy once again stood still, too flabbergasted to move. Gran took one look at her, then flicked her wand out of existence and embraced her.
“I found you too late the first time. I thought I could make up for it in one night but now, I know that was a mistake.” She releases Cindy then cradles her face.
“I’ve let you down, but I’ll do anything to make up for it.” She held her close one more time. Cindy stood still for a moment, but then sunk her face into Gran’s shoulder.
The two tried to make the most of their fresh life. Cindy continued clearing the remains of the house while Gran cooked their meals and knitted wool blankets and carpets to make the house feel less empty. They were not the intricate designs that once covered the estate, but they made Cindy feel more at home than ever before. It was certainly interesting, to see cheap and cozy wool covering gold and silver decadence.
Two days later, Gran answered the door for some more unexpected guests: the royal guard, scouring the land for a blonde woman, considered armed and dangerous.
“We will pay you for any information you can provide, but for your own safety please do not approach her! Good luck and thank you for your time.”
“Oh, it’s no issue at all, darling. Be safe! Bye-bye!”
She waved them off, closed the door… Then screamed after Cindy like a soprano at an opera house.
The two shut themselves in the remains of the wine cellar, away from prying eyes and ears.
“You were supposed to leave some token, so he could find you, then calmly head back to your carriage! I didn’t think you bean royalty across the face with a solid glass object then run like you stole something!” yelled Gran, stomping towards Cindy.
“I didn’t know he was the prince!” Cindy yelled back, backing into a wall, “And I didn’t have a token that wouldn’t disappear after midnight! Also, why were the glass slippers the only thing that lasted past midnight? You couldn’t have given me something that lasted more than a few hours?!”
“I blew my budget on the slippers. I had to rent the rest and midnight was the deadline- don’t change the subject, why did you throw it?”
“I didn’t want to bloody throw it. The thing slipped from my hand while I was yanking it off. How am I supposed to take something off that’s molded to my goddamn foot?”
With a sigh, she slid down the wall, cradling her face in her hands. She thought back to the gala.