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Once upon a time in the town of Buttercup, there lived a beautiful young girl and her father. The girl was called Cinderella, but was known to everyone as Cindy. Her father considered it to be old-fashioned and so she came to be known as Cindy, very few people actually knew this was not her real name. Her mother had died during childbirth, a mistake by the hospital resulted in Cindy's father George suing them for a large amount of money that enabled them to live very comfortably.
As Cindy was his only daughter, George tended to spoil her a bit, she grew up wearing Versace, her twelfth birthday present was a haircut at Nicky Clarke's and by the time she was sixteen Cindy had picked out the sports car she wanted.
George was quite young when Cindy was born, he had managed to preserve his looks quite well and with his money he was considered rather an eligible bachelor, indeed only a couple of years ago he was nominated in a high profile magazine for bachelor of the month.
In the end it was one of the people from Baywatch that won, but it certainly helped raise his profile in the husband hunting circles. In particular he caught the eye of a certain Mrs Ursula Jefferies.
Although she had humble beginnings Mrs Jefferies had managed to marry well. She had twin daughters that were around Cindy's age by her wealthy first husband, who had mysteriously disappeared during a cruise in the Caribbean.
Mrs Jefferies had met George at several social occasions, the more she saw of him the more she wanted him, and more importantly she wanted his money. Their meetings became more and more frequent until just after Cindy's sixteenth birthday they announced their engagement. Within six months they were married.
The comfortable four bedroom house Cindy and her father had shared was sold and replaced by a huge ten roomed mansion. Ursula, now Mrs. Jones, was not at all happy about George having a daughter as it meant she had to share George's attentions with another person, something she had never had to do before. Along with Ursula also came her two very trashy daughters Tina and Tanya. They were as jealous of Cindy as their mother. Cindy had been a very sweet young girl and had grown up into a very attractive young woman.
CAlthough Cindy herself was not aware of her beauty the twins knew all too well that they were ugly ducklings next to Cindy's swan. This fact didn't stop them trying to outshine her though, they invested heavily in make up, clothes and beauty treatments, but where Cindy was able to carry off barely there make up and stylish, simple clothes with ease, the twins had more trouble, usually by going way over the top.
The first New Year the unhappy family spent together they were invited to a big party thrown by a neighbouring family. The twins got very excited at the prospect of going to a proper adult party and spent the weeks up to New Year scouring the shops for dazzling new outfits that would put Cindy in their shadow.
When the evening arrived, they put on their outfits and went along to Ursula's room to show her. Now, although Ursula was a money-obsessed man-hunter, she did have a little taste in clothes, unlike her two daughters who thought that full length dresses decorated with fluorescent sequins would create their desired effects.
"Oh my god, pass the sunglasses, what the hell are you wearing?" Ursula screamed.
"Don't you like it? It's Vivienne Westwood" said Tina with a little twirl.
"Like it! It's hideous and I bet it cost a bomb, where's your monstrosity from?"
"Mine's Lacroix, far more tasteful than Tina's don't you think?"
"No I don't, go and take them off and put something decent on."
"We don't have anything else."
"Nothing better than Cindy."
"Then go and borrow something of hers." She suddenly smiled. "After all, you are sisters now; she should be willing to let you borrow anything of hers, shouldn't she?"
"Oh mama you are clever"
"I'm having that gold dress of hers"
"No you're not, I am"
They ran off still arguing to Cindy's room where they promptly emptied the contents of her wardrobe all over her bedroom. Cindy sat on her bed and watched them, knowing there was nothing she could do but clear up after them.
When they had finished tearing her room apart, taking with them two of her most prized dresses with them, Cindy quietly walked along to her father's room. When she opened the door she found Ursula already in there talking to him.
"Darling there you are. Why aren't you dressed yet? We're having some drinks downstairs before leaving; you will be ready won't you?"
"Yes father, I was just coming to talk to you for a minute but it doesn't really matter." Cindy didn't want to tell her father about Tina and Tanya in front of Ursula, as she was bound to defend them and turn the situation round so that Cindy would come out in the wrong.
"Cindy can I pass on the thanks of my daughters, I'm sure they wouldn't have thought to do it themselves."
"That's all right it wasn't too much trouble really." Cindy said. Although this obviously wasn't true, as anyone could tell by the expression on her face.
"And what good deeds have you been doing now my pet?" her father asked.
"The twins didn't have anything to wear tonight so I lent them something of mine."
"Isn't she a little treasure." said Ursula with a sickeningly sweet smile "The clothes the twins had chosen were quite inappropriate. I'll go and start the drinks if you like so you can have that little chat you wanted." She left still with an unusually happy look on her face.
"What did you want to talk about dear?" asked her father whilst trying to fasten his bow tie.
"Here let me do that." Said Cindy. " It was nothing really, the twins just left my room in a bit of a mess after borrowing my clothes."
"I'll speak to Ursula about them tidying it up. Thank you for doing that." He straightened his tie in the mirror. " I never was any good at doing it."
"Don't worry about speaking to Ursula about my room, it won't take long to sort out." She gave him a peck on the check then left to get ready.
Meanwhile downstairs Ursula was preparing her own sort of drinks. Whilst humming a little tune to herself she extracted a small packet of white powder from her bag, she emptied it into a whisky glass and topped it up, she then added the ice and said: "Lets see if this doesn't make it a memorable night." Then let out a chilling cackle.
An hour later they were all sipping drinks in the sitting room. The twins were whispering and giggling in the corner, Ursula and George were talking by the fire and Cindy was reading a magazine. The peaceful scene was suddenly shattered by George choking and coughing violently
"Father, are you all right? Did you swallow some ice?" Cindy asked rushed to his side. George was unable to answer as he slid slowly to the ground his face started turning an ugly shade of blue.
"Someone call an ambulance, he's dying!" Screamed Ursula.
When the ambulance arrived ten minutes later it was too late. The paramedics walked into a room that was silent except for the sound of Ursula's noisy sobbing. All they had to do was remove the body.
The funeral was held five days later. As George had left no will everything he owned was left to his wife Ursula, Cindy was not to receive a penny.
Soon after this Ursula fired all the hired help. The same day she summoned Cindy to her room. Cindy knocked on the door. "What do you want?" Ursula called in an annoyed voice.
"It's me Ursula, you sent for me." Answered Cindy peering round the door slowly.
"Come in Cindy, we have to talk." Her voice was dark and menacing. "Now that your father is dead, there will be no more mollycoddling of you. I expect you to pull your weight around this house, you will do exactly what I tell you, understand?" This was not so much a question as more of a command. "You can start by cooking my daughters and I dinner tonight, I believe the cook went shopping last night so there is no need to buy any more food for a while, but in future it will be your job to make sure we have enough food." Then almost as an after thought she added: "By the way, I had to sell your car. You will have to use the bus to go into town".
"You sold my car! Why?"
"It was an unnecessary luxury that I think you can do without. Also, as you will be doing extra housework I thought you would be able to manage without your TV video and stereo, so I gave them to Tina and Tanya." Cindy's face turned pale. "That will be all for now. There is a list of your other jobs on the kitchen table, please make sure they are all completed properly by the end of tomorrow. Close the door on your way out."
And that was how Cindy's new life began. Ursula was right, she no longer had any time to watch TV or listen to music. Her days were filled instead with hoovering, dusting and cooking, all of which she had to fit in around the desires of Ursula and her daughters. They treated Cindy like a personal slave, making her do even the tiniest of things that they couldn't be bothered to do for themselves. The twins especially loved it as it gave them a feeling that they were better than Cindy, something they had longed to be all the time her father was alive.
One day, several months later, it was announced in the news that the great footballer Gary Westwood was moving to the area and to get to know the locals he was throwing a massive party that weekend which everyone was invited to. The twins of course went crazy when they heard this news, they ran about the house screaming:
"I'm going to make him fall madly in love with me!"
"You! He wouldn't touch you with a barge pole, not with skin like yours anyway."
"How can you talk about me having bad skin when yours is twice as bad, and you have cellulite on your thighs!"
"I might have cellulite, but at least I don't have stretch marks."
And so the bickering went on. Cindy also heard the news. She was a local she reasoned, there was no reason why she shouldn't go to this party also. That evening, after taking the plates back to the kitchen from the sitting room where Ursula and the twins ate every evening whilst watching television, she asked Ursula about going to the party.
"She can't go!" Cried Tanya.
"Why can't I? I'm a local in fact I've lived here longer than you so that means I have even more right to go than you!" Argued Cindy. It was very unlike Cindy to ever argue back against anything said to her, so this little out burst caused some surprise to the others in the room.
"Mama, you can't let her talk to me like that." said Tanya.
"I think you should punish her by not letting her go to the party." said Tina.
"No girls, I think Cindy has a point. She does have every right to go to this party and I shall let her..."
"Mama!" Both girls chorused together.
"If you'll let me finish. I shall let her go on the condition that all the housework is done and that she can find some thing decent to wear." The last proviso was added because of the fact that most of Cindy's going out clothes had either been taken by the twins, never to be seen again, or they had been sold on the basis that they were totally unnecessary. Her wardrobe now consisted of two pairs of jeans and several old tops that were only fit to be worn about the house. "Now does that sound fair to all of you?"
"Yes, I suppose so." Said Cindy. She was already worrying about how she was going to finish all the housework, knowing that they would all add extras to her already massive load in an attempt to stop her going. What she would wear hadn't even crossed her mind yet.
Saturday morning came. Cindy got up extra early so that she could get an early start on her usual jobs, she still hadn't worked out what she was going to wear. She had hoped that if she was able to complete all her jobs early and satisfactorily, then Ursula might let her borrow something from either her wardrobe or persuade one of the twins to let her borrow something. Most of their outfits would be too big for Cindy's petite frame, but over the months she had become quite handy with the sewing machine and felt sure that she could adjust it to fit.
When she awoke she found a list that Ursula had written the night before giving instructions on all that she was to do today. It was filled with orders such as, defrost the freezer, take all four cars to the car wash, sort the airing cupboard out. Jobs that could easily have been left for another day. Her heart sunk. Cindy now knew for sure that Ursula didn't want her to go to the party and that she was going to do everything she could to stop her. "Well it's not going to work." Said Cindy, out loud "I'm going to that party and I'm going to meet Gary Westwood and he will fall in love with me. You can't stop me, I'll show you." It was with this that she set about her fearsome task. First was the freezer as she knew this would take the longest. Then she started about taking the cars to the car wash, the nearest one was five miles away, there was also three sets of speed cameras between there and Cindy's home. On her first trip Cindy slowed whilst going past, but then she realised that time was ticking on, she was going to have to break some rules if she was to be finished in time for the party. After that she drove at an average of ninety miles an hour there and back, only breaking slightly for corners and not at all whilst in the speed camera areas. It was a good job that Ursula had invested in the latest cars with all the safety features and especially ABS braking, otherwise Cindy may not have been around to go to the party.
Finally all her jobs were done. It was six o'clock and Cindy was just reloading the freezer back up when Ursula came in holding a basket of clothes she wanted to be ironed.
"I want all of these to be done before we go out tonight, I can't decide what to wear so I'm going to have to try them all on, that's why I want them ironed first."
"I've finished all my other jobs." Said Cindy eagerly.
"Really." Said Ursula slowly. "And have you found anything to wear yet?"
"Well not really, you see I was hoping..."
"I'm sorry but that was part of the deal, no clothes, no party"
"But I was hoping I could borrow something of yours, or maybe something of the twins. I know they would be a bit big, but I could take them in." This was possibly one of the worst things that Cindy could have said, a reminder that Cindy was slimmer than Ursula and her daughters hammered the nails into a box that was already virtually closed. There was no way that Ursula was going to let Cindy go to the party now.
"Borrow something of mine!" She cried enraged. "I wouldn't lend you anything of mine even if you had no clothes at all, the cheek of it. Bring those clothes up to my room as soon as you've finished them, and make it quick!" She barked out the last order, then turned and stormed of upstairs leaving a tearful Cindy down in the kitchen. Just as she was hanging the last of Ursula's dresses on it's hanger the twins piled into the kitchen with armfuls of their own clothes.
"Mama says you'll iron these for us."
"You'd better do them well, Gary will think I'm a real tramp if my dress is even the slightest bit creased."
"He'll think you're a tramp anyway." Her sister said smugly.
"Well at least I won't be a tart, not like you wearing a top so small it might aswell not be there."
"I'll bring these up to your rooms when I've finished." Said Cindy. She had enough to cope with at that moment and didn't need the twins bickering in her ear at the same time, she wanted to be rid of them as soon as possible.
"Well don't be too long, I have lots to do."
"Making yourself look good, you'll be there all night."
"Don't be so horrible."
The twins left Cindy to do their ironing and think about the wonderful time she could have been having but for the selfish, slavemistress she had for a stepmother.
Ursula and the girls left the house an hour later, predicting what a wonderful time they would have just loud enough so that Cindy would hear. As soon as they had finally slammed the front door shut Cindy sat down at the kitchen table and started crying her heart out. She had been crying for a full half an hour when suddenly she heard a loud engine outside, she got up and looked out of the window. Parked in the drive was a large, powerful looking motorbike. Stood next to it was a small, slightly rounded figure. As the figure walked towards the kitchen door they took off their helmet, to Cindy's surprise the rider turned out to be a woman of considerable years. She ran to open the door.
"Ah Cindy! At last we meet." The woman said with a smile.
Cindy, although pleased of the company, was a little taken aback at the womans .familiarity
"I don't mean to be rude, but who are you? What are you doing here? And how do you know my name....?"
"All in good time my dear, all in good time. Now first of all let's put the kettle on and have ourselves a nice cup of hot tea, I expect you could do with one after all that crying you've been doing."
"How did you know I'd been crying?" Asked Cindy amazed.
"I know everything about you, I'm your Fairy Godmother."
"Fairy godmother, oh please, I am seventeen you know, I stopped believing in fairies and Father Christmas a long time ago."
"Oh I don't know. Young people today, you think you know everything, It's like I was saying to Ted the other day, that's Father Christmas to you by the way...." She went to go on but was interrupted by Cindy.
"Who are you? Some crazy mental patient that's been released into the community a bit too early." Said Cindy, who was now starting to get rather worried and also a little cross at this strange woman, who had waltzed into her house, then started talking about Fairy Godmothers and talking to Father Christmas.
"Well the rudeness of it, I don't know. Listen I am your fairy godmother, you want me to prove it? Well fine." She suddenly launched into a quick, matter of fact summary of Cindy's life up to this moment. "You are Cinderella Jones, you were born on 18th May 1981 at Buttercup hospital, father called George who passed away very suddenly at New Year, mother called Mary who also died, this time in childbirth, I think we can skip the in-between years up to this evening. You wanted to go to the party Gary Westwood was holding tonight, but because of that horrible old hag you have to live with you can't go, which was why you were crying your eyes out when I came along just now. Now did I make any mistakes? Because I know I can sometimes, I'm gatting on a bit now, the memories..."
"You really are my fairy godmother aren't you?" said Cindy. She had listened to everything her fairy godmother had to say in open mouthed amazement.
"Of course.Oh look the kettle has boiled, shall I make the tea?"
"But I didn't put it on!" Cindy spun round to see the kettle sat on the side with steam pouring out.
"Well if we were to wait for you to put it on we'd have been here until the cynics finally gat around to realising that pigs really can fly. So I did it myself instead. By magic of course" she added.
"You mean pigs really can fly?"
"Of course my dear."
Cindy had been so dazzled by everything this strange visitor had already told her, that she felt quite capable of believing this last comment. She suddenly realsied that she still didn't know why she had been visited.
"Why are you here? You didn't tell me before."
"So that you can go to the party of course."
"But I have nothing to wear, no way of getting there, my hair is a mess, I know you have magic powers but I really think it's going to take a miracle to make me look good enough to make Gary fall in love with me."
"So you want him to fall in love with you, of course the timeless wish of girls everywhere for centuries, it never changes." Said the Fairy Godmother wistfully.
"But surely you've seen him. Don't you think he's is absolutely amazing?" As she started talking about Gary, describing him and the life she had dreamed about with him, a magic glow began radiating from Cindy and spreading through the room. Cindy suddenly became aware of it and stopped mid-sentence.
"What is that?" she said looking round the room.
"That is the magic you are creating" said her Fairy Godmother "All your good feelings. You see if you want something bad enough, something good that is, it creates a magical presence and with a little bit of help from my spell book we can do anything we want." She smiled and added: "I take it in your case it would be that you can go to the party and that Gary will fall madly in love with you. That last bit won't take much magic though, you would be the most beautiful girl there even if you went like you are now."
"You mean I can really go!"
"Of course, I'll need a few props though."
"What sort of props?"Cindy asked. The knowledge that she might now be able to go after all had made her very excited and the glow coming off her was increasing in brightness and was starting to move faster and further about the space around them."
"Well, let me try and remember. A pumpkin, do you have one of those?"
"We don't have any pumpkins." Cindy's joy started fading.
"That marrow over there might work, it will probably just be a bit stretched, Now what about mice?"
"Not in this house! Although Tina has a hamster" A sly look crept over Cindy's face.
"Now you're getting the picture my girl, of you go and get it while I try to remember the rest of the spell."
When Cindy returned with the hamster, the Fairy Godmother took it outside along with the marrow and put them on the driveway.
"Right then Cindy, start thinking all those wonderful thoughts you were thinking before and let's see if we can't work some magic." Cindy closed her eyes and started to think as hard as she could about everything good in her life. She remembered all the good times she'd had with her father before Ursula came along, she thought about meeting Gary and him falling in love with her then finally she started thinking about the future all the wonderful things that could happen to her if she could be rid of her evil stepmother. Soon enough the magical glow reappeared. It moved slowly towards the marrow and the hamster who was sat patiently by the marrow as if waiting instructions. The Fairy Godmother started chanting mysterious words softly at first then louder and louder until she was singing out loud. Then with a big bang the marrow and hamster exploded in a big ball of sparks.
"Oh no!" Cried Cindy. "What have we done?"
"Don't worry my dear it's all part of the spell"
As the sparks cleared Cindy could see a car appearing not just any car either, a long silver stretch limo, next to it stood a very smart chauffeur who had more than a passing resemblance to a hamster Cindy thought.
"Looks like I'll always have to use a marrow instead of a pumpkin if that's what you get." Said the Fairy Godmother who stood admiring her handiwork.
"But I still don't have anything to wear." Cried Cindy.
"Do not fret little one, I have it all under control. Now we do need something to model it on. Do you have any old dresses that could do with a bit of touching up. You know I'm sure I should apply for a job on one of those afternoon shows where they do makeovers on peoples wardrobes, I could work real magic, literally." She said with a little chuckle.
"I don't have any dresses, they were all sold or given to the twins who've ruined them."
"I don't really think that any of Ursula's clothes are really your colour. You're a summer person, she's winter you see, it just wouldn't work. Where else could we find a dress?" She tapped her chin in a thoughtful manner.
"There's a box in the attic with lot's of my mother's things in, there might be something in there."
"Good idea, lead the way."
In the box was exactly what they were looking for. A strappy, floor length dress that matched the exact colour of the limo.
"It's beautiful!" Exclaimed Cindy.
"Your mother was wearing this the first time she met your father"
"How do you know that?"
"I was there, they didn't know it of course, but I saw it all. They were a beautiful couple just like you and Gary will be. Or maybe not if we don't hurry up and get you there. Slip this on, now think those lovely thoughts one more time."
The magic started again and before she knew it Cindy had been transformed into an indescribable beauty. Her hair was piled on top of her head in a most becoming but extremely fashionable style, it was held up by a glittering diamantï¿½ tiara. The dress fitted impeccably, showing of Cindy's perfect figure. On her feet were a pair of sparkly silver sandals that gave her whole appearance a fairy tale look.
"Oh you look so perfect!" Said the Fairy Godmother with a tear in her eye. "Of you go now and remember be home by midnight!"
"Midnight! The party will just be getting started by then, you sound like Ursula, telling me what time to be home."
"No, this is important, my magic only lasts until midnight, After that you go back to being like you were before. If he loves you'll both find a way."
"That sounds so old-fashioned, but if it's the only way I can go then I'll have to do it then won't I." She smiled. "Thank you. I'm so grateful I can't tell you"
"Of you go, the sooner you get there the sooner you can pull him." Said the Fairy Godmother.
"Have a good time." She called after the Limo as it pulled out of the driveway and onto the road up to the house of Gary Westwood.
The music could be heard as Cindy's car turned into the road. Gary had earnt a lot of money during his career as a footballer he had numeous sponsorship deals and was worth several million pounds. This was evident as Cindy pulled up to the door. It was a massive house, no expense had been spared in decorating it. As Cindy walked into the hallway and through into a large room that was being used as the dance floor, she wasalmost too busy looking around her in wonder at all the beautiful paintings and ornaments to notice that almost everyone and especially Gary had stopped what they were doing when they saw her come into the room. She turned to face her audience unsure of what to do. She stood for a moment with everyone watching her until Gary came over to her and asked her if she would like a drink.
"I'd love one, thank you."
"I'm Gary Westwood and you are?"
Cindy didn't seem to be the right name for a person dressed like this. It didn't do justice to a person who could walk into a room and make everyone stop what they were doing so instead she said:
"My name is Cinderella."
"A perfect name for a perfect girl."
"That's so corny." Said Cinderella. "Tell you what let's forget the drinks and go straight onto the dance floor."
"That sounds like a good idea to me." It was obvious that Gary was so besotted with Cinderella that she could have suggested jumping off a cliff and he would have done it. Once on the dance floor Gary turned out to be an amazing dancer an although it had been a long time since Cindy had done any dancing she soon remembered everything and theywere the centre of attraction. People kept trying to push in and dance with one of them but they just carried on as if there was no one else in the room. The Fairy Godmother had certainly worked her magic on them. It was as if they were made for each other.
After several hours on the dance floor Cinderella thought her feet would drop off. She suggested they got the drink she had been promised at the beginning of the evening. She was also worried that she hadn't seen Ursula or the twins yet. They were no cause for worry though, when they had first arrived all three of them had tried throwing themselves at Gary in one way or another, Tanya quite literally, Gary however was having none of it and made it quite clear he didn't want them near him whereupon they proceeded to vacate to the bar and drown their sorrows. By the time Cinderella arrived they wouldn't even have recognised her let alone be able to say anything to her.
Gary went to fetch the drinks while Cinderella sat down at a nearby table. Her feet were aching so much that she decided to ease the silver sandals off for a few minutes, just to relieve them so she could dance the night away with Gary. She had succeeded in taking one of when Gary came back with the drinks.
"Would you believe it's almost Midnight, you've been here nearly four hours and all I know about you is your name, that you are extremely talented on the dance floor and that I want to marry you." Said Gary as he sat down next to Cinderella.
Cinderella hardly heard any of the last bit that Gary said. As soon as he said it was nearly midnight she panicked, she had to be home soon! The magic would wear off! She didn't want that to happen, she wanted to remember the night as it had ben up to that moment, absolutely perfect. Then she heard him say he wanted to marry her!
"I want to marry you too, but I have to go!" Cindy was almost in tears as she stood up, there was no time to put her shoe back on, she didn't want to let him see her cry. Also she didn't know when the magic would wear out.
"Don't go! We'll get married!"
"I have to go." Then remembering the Fairy Godmothers words "If you love me like you say you do, you'll find a way" said Cinderella . Then she was gone out of the house and into the limo that sped away into the night.
Gary was left on the doorstep looking out into the night after her. As the car lights disappeared into the distance he turned and made his way back into the house and back to the table they had shared. As he walked slowly through the masses of people he kept his eyes to the ground, he only had eyes for Cinderella and if he couldn't see her he didn't want to see anyone. It was only because of this that he made the discovery of her shoe. Something glittered out of the corner of his eye. Her shoe! If he could find a person that had the other shoe, for they surely must be originals, possibly even designed especially for the wearer, then he could find Cinderella.
Meanwhile Cinderella was at home getting ready for bed. The spell had broken just as she had arrived home. The marrow and the hamster reappeared, the dress and tiara disappeared. The only thing that remained was the one shoe left on her foot. She hid it away carefully under her bed so the twins wouldn't find it. She then went to bed, only to be awakened by Ursula and her daughters coming in at four in the morning in a very worse for wear state. She discovered the next morning that they had roused themselves from their drunken stupor at around two thirty in the morning when all the other guests were getting ready to leave. They had then decided that they wanted the party to go on for longer and ended up causing a lot of mess and quite a few damages before getting thrown out.
When Ursula was recovered enough to realise the full extend of what had happened she blamed it all on her daughters and insisted that Gary came over for dinner one evening as an apology. Quite understandably he was not at all keen to accept this invitation but he finally ran out of excuses and felt obliged to accept. Cinderella was not told of this invitation as Ursula had a plan to withhold the fact that they would be having a guest until the day arrived then let Cinderella try to put together a meal in time, when she of course failed, she could make her look bad in front of Gary and totally ruin any self-confidence she had left.
Gary meanwhile was beginning a hunt for the shoe that matched the one he had found the night of the party. He took out a full page advertisement in the local paper. There were plenty of woman that came forward claiming to have lost a silver shoe that night. Fortunately none of them matched the one in Gary's possession. This attempt was lost on Cinderella though as Ursula thought the local paper was "a load of rubbish" and refused to buy it, rendering Cinderella oblivious to the attempts made by Gary to find her.
When it became clear the newspaper ad. wasn't going to work Gary tried putting out a plea on TV. Cinderella was not able to see this either as she had had her TV taken away many months ago. Finally after weeks of trying Gary gave up hope of trying to find Cinderella. No one had even heard of Cinderella as they all knew her as Cindy. Cinderella was close to giving up hope of him finding her too. She did not know the lengths he went to to find her.
Finally the day arrived when Gary was due to go to dinner at Cinderella's house. She got up in the morning just the same as any morning. It was only when Ursula came breezing into the kitchen with an evil look on her face did she guess today was to be any different.
"Tonight we will be having a guest for dinner, he is no ordinary guest, but one I think you will be very anxious to impress."
"Who is it?" Asked Cinderella, intrigued by Ursula's build up.
"Gary Westwood, that's who." She then left the kitchen, she thought to leave Cinderella feeling complete horror at having to prepare a meal for a person like Gary, when in fact the first thing she did was start running round the kitchen screaming with joy. She didn't prepare any of the meal instead she sat dreaming about all the different ways she was going to tell Ursula she was leaving to marry Gary. So busy in fact that she didn't notice that magical haze that was starting to gather around her. It was late afternoon when the kitchen door sprang open and her Fairy Godmother appeared.
"So he's finally found you then."
"Fairy Godmother, he's coming to dinner!"
"I know. So what are you going to wear?"
"I hadn't thought of that, What am I going to do?"
"Have you still got the shoe and your mother's dress?"
"Yes. Do you want me to get them?"
"Yes let's see if we can create some more magic shall we?"
Cinderella brought the dress and the shoe back down into the kitchen.
"Now, what time is he coming?"
"Well it's half past five now so we'd better get our skates on then hadn't we?"
Within minutes the Fairy Godmother had a delicious smell coming from the oven. Pots suddenly appeared on the cooker and the kitchen looked so clean it could have been a showroom kitchen.
They were about to start on Cinderella when Ursula's loud voice could be heard coming towards the kitchen. Cinderella turned to warn the Fairy Godmother but she was nowhere to be seen.
"So Cinderella what are we having to eat tonight?"
"Why don't you look in the oven and see for yourself"
Ursula couldn't believe her eyes when she saw the massive spread Cinderella had prepared.
"Very nice." She complimented begrudgingly "I'd rather you kept out of the way tonight, just serve the food then leave, it is mine and the girls way of apologising to him and we don't need anyone else there to cause trouble." The truth was that Ursula rather hoped that as Gary had been unable to find the girl he really wanted to be with he would settle for second best, either herself or if she was not to his taste then one of her daughters.
Cinderella was not at all displeased at this request in fact it fitted in quite well with her plans, though she tried not to show this to Ursula.
"I'm expecting him any minute so you might want to start smartening yourself up." These were Ursula's final words before leaving the kitchen.
"Well what are you waiting for you heard the woman let's smarten you up." The Fairy Godmother was saying.
"Where did you go?" Asked Cindy. Slightly mystified as to how she managed to disappear and then reappear again so quickly.
"I didn't go anywhere, I just made myself invisible."
Suddenly Cindy heard the doorbell chime, Ursula had one of the tacky ones that played a different tune each time, it also meant it was hard to ignore.
"Quick! he's here!"
"Okay, calm down, calm down. Remember how we did it, nice thoughts." She waved her magic wand and Cindy was transformed into Cinderella once more. The tiara was in place, the dress fitted perfectly once more, the only thing missing was the right shoe. Cinderella held the left one in her hand.
"Go get him Cinderella" Said the Fairy Godmother, once again close to tears.
Cinderella walked along the corridor to the hallway where she knew Gary would be waiting to be shown in. He had his back to her when she opened the door, when he turned and saw her his mouthed opened in surprise.
"I've been waiting for you Gary."
"I've been looking for you. Will you marry me?"
"Of course. And I promise I won't run away from you this time."
He walked over to her, kissed her gently on the cheek and said "I'm never going to let you out of my sight ever again." He then picked her up and carried her out to his car. Ursula and the twins stood in the doorway watching in horror as Gary placed Cinderella in the passenger seat then reaches into the back seat and brings out the shoe to match the one Cinderella was still holding in her hands. Cinderella put them on before waving goodbye to the people and place she had longed to be rid of ever since her father died.
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