‘My what?’ The teenage girl had been told all her life that fairies weren’t real and although talking mice had become normal, this was quite absurd. ‘You’re my godmother?’ She asked. ‘But where have you been until now? All these years, I needed you.’
‘My dear child, I was always around. I’ve watched you grow into the sweet young lady you are. But listen, we can’t argue about this now, you will be late for the ball.’
‘The ball?’ Cinderalla scoffed. ‘I can hardly go now. Just look at me. My dress is ruined.’
Cinderella’s mother’s once beautiful dress was now covered in dirt from the cellar. Her makeup was smudged from tears and her hair was also blackened with dust. But Bobbity knew this was no big worry for this could be solved with magic. With a quick wave of her wand, Cinders’ dress was transformed into a majestic evening gown that far exceeded the beauty of the original dress. With another wave, Cinder’s face and hair were also beautiful, although this was down to the young woman’s natural looks.
‘I can’t believe it. That was amazing.’ said Cinderella. ‘But I think a necklace would really finish my outfit off.’
Bobbity frowned. She told Cinderella to put on a scarf before transforming it into a beautiful necklace.
‘My gosh. I love it. But how will I get to the ball?’ asked Cinderella.
Bobbity thought for a moment. Then told the girl to fetch a pumpkin. ‘A pumpkin!’ Cinderella thought. Of all the things to make a carriage from, a mouldy fruit was an odd choice. But it was also an inspired choice for when Bobbity did her spell, the pumpkin became an amazingly embellished carriage. She would look like a princess turning up with this as her ride.
‘And what about horses? I’d like white horses. Pretty white horses with silver manes.’ Bobbity rolled her eyes but the poor girl deserved a perfect night.
‘Bring me your mice friends. I shall see what I can do with them.’
‘And I’ll need a footman. And a driver.’
‘Oh my. We are full of demands.’
When all the spells were done and time was really pressing on, Bobbity had one last surprise for her goddaughter. ‘These were your mothers. I hope you like them’ she said as she handed over two precious glass slippers. Cinder’s eyes widened as she laid them on the majestic pair of sparkling shoes and then as she thought of her mother, they began to well up.
‘Oh dear. Don’t cry. You will ruin your makeup again. Now, come on’ insisted Bobbity. ‘You must be going or you will certainly be late. Now listen Cinderella, please listen carefully.’ But Cinderella was not listening carefully so Bobbity gave her a pinch.
‘Listen. My magic is powerful but there are some spells that need much more power to last. All these spells are temporary. I can only give you a few hours before your dress, the carriage and everything else will change back to the way it was. You must be back home by the stroke of eleven.’
‘Eleven? But that’s so early. Can you not stretch until midnight?’
‘You must be home by eleven or you’ll be stranded at the palace. Now, go on dear. Hurry and enjoy this night.’
‘Oh thank you. And I will. And I promise I’ll be home by midnight.’
‘Yes, I know, leave the palace at eleven.’
‘Home, by eleven. Don’t forget.’
And Cinderella was helped into her carriage by the footman and they all rode off into the night. Bobbity hoped it would all go well. This might be Cinders’ one night of happiness and she was very unlikely to ever go to the palace again. Bobbity hoped there would be no consequences later. No punishment from Cinders’ cruel stepmother. That wicked woman would get what’s coming to her one day.
When the horse-drawn carriage was finally out of sight, Bobbity went home to bed but she couldn’t sleep. Filled with worry she wondered what trouble Cinderella was getting into. What if her stepmother saw her at the ball? What if she forgot the time and transformed back in front of a hall of people? Bobbity got out of bed and went outside Cinders’ home to await her goddaughters return. As the time pressed on, her worries intensified with no sign of the carriage on the road. Ten minutes to eleven came and went, and Bobbity could bare it no more and hurried off towards the palace.
She flew faster and faster along the road. And still no sight of the carriage made her heart pound harder. Then she heard the bells; the first chime of eleven. She flew even faster.
So fast that she almost missed it; the shattered pumpkin on the road. Pieces of it were scattered everywhere. She looked around and there amongst the overgrown trees at the side of the road, concealed in the darkness, a young woman lay on the ground in a filthy torn dress stroking her mice.
‘Cinderlla. Are you ok?’
‘Godmother? I’m fine. I’m so sorry I lost track of time. It was such a wonderful night.’
‘Are you hurt?’
‘No, just a little tired.’
Just then, a carriage passed on the road, travelling so fast the gust it caused almost sent the little fairy hurling into the trees.
‘Where on earth are they going in such a hurry I wonder?’ Bobbity thought out loud.
‘They are probably looking for me.’
‘Oh Cinders. What did you do?’
‘Nothing like that. I met a nice man tonight. We were dancing and he was charming. And we went out on the balcony and we kissed. And well, I was late to the ball you see and I didn’t realise.’
‘He was the prince. The man I kissed was the prince. But I didn’t know that until after. It was wonderful. But then I saw the clock tower from the balcony and it was much later than I thought and I didn’t want him to see me like this. So I ran. He yelled at me to stop but I couldn’t. And I heard him call his guards. I barely made it out of the palace before my dress changed. And when I got to my carriage, the driver was an ass. So I let the old donkey go in the palace grounds and drove the carriage myself. Luckily, the carriage itself was the last thing to change back.’
‘Well, it seems like you came very close but at least you’re safe. Let’s get you come. My dear, where are your shoes? Your mother’s glass slippers?’
‘I took them off to dance with the prince. There was no time. Oh, I can’t believe I lost them.’
‘It’s ok. Wait here.’ Bobbity reassured Cinders. ‘I’ll go to the palace and find them.’
The fairy flew off leaving Cinderella hiding in the bushes. It wasn’t far to the palace. When she got there, there was quite a commotion. The guests were full of gossip, most of which was quite unlike anything that had actually happened. They had been ordered into the main hall and not allowed to leave and there were stories of rogue knights, thieves and mystery princesses. The prince surveyed the room from the top of the stairs, shook his head and went out onto the balcony where Bobbity followed.
‘She’s not there. She can’t have just vanished.’ The Prince said to the Captain. It was the same man who was dating Cinders’ stepmother.
‘My Prince, I’m afraid I’ve spoken to everyone. No one remembers this girl. All the guests are present in the hall. I’ve sent men on the road to find her but all the carriages that arrived at the start of the night are still there. Oddly, we have found a stray donkey but no girl.’
‘Fine. Let the people go. But I will have a search of the kingdom tomorrow. I have to find her. I’ve never met anyone like her.’
‘Your highness, think of what people will say. How will we find her? We have nothing to go on.’
Bobbity had an idea. She just had to find those slippers.
End of part two.