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Aug 10, 2020 8:22 PM
Turquoises in the woods.
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Tick, tick, tick, tick.

 

There is a manor, in a village at the very edge of the woods. Within that manor, there is a beautiful young maiden, and her wicked stepmother, and her moderately wicked stepbrother. She is wearing a nice, informal little white dress; her stepmother is wearing an elaborately poofy and spiky black gown with truly excessive cleavage; her stepbrother is out of the room.

”So you spilled paint all over my ballgown,” she says.

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She nods, solemnly.

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“And accidentally threw the backup ballgown that I had sewn and hidden in my closet, into the pond.”

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“I did, your honor, I can’t deny it.”

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Her hand clenches and unclenches; a bird outside the window makes a distressed sound and falls over, dead. Wings strain against the confines of nonexistence, itching to appear; talons do the same.

“I am not a judge, or jury. I may be an executioner.”

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“Oh, my poor little Cindy-poo-poo, did somebody think that they were actually going to go to the ball? Silly Cindy! Festivals are for people who have anything to wear.”

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“Would you prefer to die by sword, or by poison. I am flexible.”

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“I’m a major character, pumpkin, I can’t die until act three. But I do have a spare gown in just your size! - just wait one moment while I go and fetch it, would you?”

She strides out of the room, and returns, in short order, with a dress.

 

It is... poofy. And an outrageously tacky shade of bright green. And extremely frilly. There are little attached bells and ribbons in wildly mismatched colors, and seven tiny little stuffed animals sewn onto seemingly random patches of fabric.

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“I see that you have chosen ‘torture’. Please hold while I fetch the scalpel.”

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“Pumpkin, has anyone ever told you that you have no sense of fiscal responsibility? You’ve already gone through two perfectly decent gowns, and the costuming department can barely afford to fund this ‘festival’ at all - you should feel lucky that you don’t have to go to the ball in a little paper bag labeled ‘dress’. Kids these days - back when I was a darling little child who had never done anything wrong and definitely hadn’t stolen large amounts of money from my parents, I wore tacky dresses with stuffed animals attached and I liked it.”

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“Wear this one, then. I will not.”

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She grabs a cane from a nearby stand, puts her hand over her eyes, hunches over, and starts waving the cane around, blindly.

”Get off my lawn, youngster!”

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“Stop.”

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“Never!”

She raises herself up from previous stance with a flourish, and takes on a fencer’s pose. She starts making quick, probing little jabs with her cane and practicing elaborate footwork, as if wielding an unusually wooden sword.

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Cinderella sighs, and backs away steadily, grabbing a pot of lentils of a nearby desk to block the strikes of the cane.

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The cane smacks the pot from the side, instead of jabbing at it from the front -

- and it goes flying into the fireplace, lentils pouring out in a sweeping motion and plopping delicately into the ashes.

“Now look what you’ve done!”

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“I believe you just confused first person and second person pronouns.”

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“Pumpkin, I’ve never seen a first person in my life. I don’t exist.”

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“That would make many things more sensible. The universe, for instance, and my sanity. Will you let me go to the ball in an ordinary dress.”

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“I will - if you help your stepbrother with his abominable outfit, and place each and every lentil that was in that fireplace back into the pot, within two hours time. Have at it!”

She sweeps dramatically out of the room.

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Her stepbrother awkwardly sidles into the room.

”I’m sorry about her.”

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“I am not surprised.”

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“I really do need help with my hair and outfit, though - if you want compensation I’m prepared to give it -“

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“Is this yet another one of your attempts at flirtation.”

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“... yes?” he tries. “Look, you’re hot, I’m hot, we’re not actually related, I don’t see why we can’t -“

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