“No, thank you,” the scullery maid said in frustration.
“Come on,” the fairy godmother wheedled. “You need me!”
“I have everything I need here. Now leave me be.”
“I can’t do that. You’re my charge, and it’s my duty to do whatever will make you happier.”
“You want me to be happy? Then go away!”
“Nope, not an option. I have to give you things and find a way to change your life for the better. I’m not leaving until I figure out what it will take to do just that.” The fairy crossed her arms and stared down the girl.
“Hmm, well I could use a sturdy pair of boots that actually don’t pinch.”
The godmother’s mouth dropped open. “Boots,” she said in a dead voice.
“Yes, preferably brown so they go with more outfits.”
“Boots. You have access to nearly unlimited power, and you ask for boots.”
Cindy nodded. “That’s all I need.”
“Wouldn’t you like a pretty dress and an invitation to the ball?
“I already have those things.”
“How about some friendly animal friends?”
“I’m allergic to pet dander.”
“I’d only break them or lose one. Besides, those are not as useful as boots.”
“I’m don’t like fruit.”
“What? What kind of person doesn’t like fruit?”
“This kind obviously.”
“I could make you a beautiful carriage, complete with driver and footmen.”
“I have no use for things that disappear at midnight, fairy!”
“I could make something permanent. Want a magic horse?”
“Can you make it not have dander?”
“Then no thank you.”
“What do you want then? I can’t leave until I do something that will improve your life.”
“I really could use those boots.”
“Ugh, fine. I’ll make your stupid footwear. But, they are going to be magic boots!”
“I don’t need…”
“Shut it! This is what we call compromise.”
Cindy closed her mouth and sat down in her dressing chair. The fairy concentrated a moment, then waved her wand, perhaps a little harder than necessary, and the air around the woman’s feet shimmered.
“Take off your shoes.”
The girl complied. The shimmering changed to a glow. It grew slowly brighter until both women had to look away. When the light finally faded the scullery maid wore a beautiful pair of brown boots, well cut and perfectly fitted.
“You are the bane of my existence, and I’m glad my obligation to you is fulfilled. I think I’ll let you figure out the magic of these damn boots. I will NEVER see you again; you ungrateful wretch.”
With that, the fairy vanished. The girl immediately took off the boots. She pulled up several floorboards, revealing a large stash full of strange, glowing objects. Digging around a moment, she found a shining cloth and quickly used it to wrap the boots tightly before putting both into the hole. She secured the boards in place again and pulled a rug over them.
“You can come in now,” she called.
Her husband peeked into the room. “Is she gone?”
“Yes, it was a close one this time.”
“What did you ask for?”
The man stared a moment, then started laughing. “I bet she didn’t like that.”
“Not at all. Maybe I made her mad enough to remove me from her list. She said she was never coming back.”
“I doubt it.”
“Me too. It sucks having a forgetful fairy godmother.”
“It goes beyond forgetful. She is very old, poor thing. It’s very kind of you to keep this room and wear those old clothes for her.”
“I don’t like tricking her, but she gets so upset when I wear my nice dresses. Making her happy is the least I can do after all she’s done for us.”
“I’m sorry, my love. Shall I send for your chambermaid? The ball starts in an hour.”
He crossed to the door and called to the servant.
“Are you curious about what the boots can do?”
“No! If her gifts weren’t meant to change my life, I would use them. Remember that time I took the magic sword and ran off for a month chasing dragons?”
They shared a laugh at the memory.
“No, I’m never using anything she gives me again. I like my life just the way it is.”
The door opened. “I have your gown ready, your Majesty,” the chambermaid announced.
Cindy’s husband, the king, kissed her hand and turned to leave. “See you at the ball. You should wear the glass slippers for old times sake.” He ducked to avoid her thrown hairbrush. “Happy fiftieth anniversary,” he said, quickly closing the door behind him.
Sometimes I like to write stories that are almost entirely dialog, that can be read without being confused by who is talking. I didn’t quite succeed, but I’m happy with the result, though it’s a rough draft.
This piece was written in Firehouse Subs one Sunday as I ate lunch before heading to my writing group. The place was packed and loud, but somehow I had a random Cinderella idea pop into my head, and I grabbed my spiral and started writing.
It originated with watching an elderly woman and thinking about dementia. It’s a serious subject, but what-if questions started popping up. What if the fairy godmother became forgetful? So a story was born. I hope it doesn’t offend anyone dealing with a friend or family member with dementia.