Once upon a time there lived lonely king whose wife had died leaving him to raise their daughter on his own. But the king was a handsome man who soon found himself a new bride.
Daniella loved her new stepmother even though she gave her rules that she did not like. Daniella was used to being spoilt by her father and treated like a princess but Marigold kept her father away from her as long as she could and made her help the maids clean.
She also admired her two stepsisters who were like their mother in every way.
Two weeks barely passed with her new family when the king had to leave to fight in the war.
“Papa please don’t leave,” Daniella sobbed, her dress becoming drenched in the rain.
“I have to Ella but I will be back as soon as the war is over. I love you more than anything else in this world and when you feel lonely and you miss me just look up at the moon and know that every night I will be looking up at that same moon and be missing you too.”
Then the king hugged his daughter goodbye and turned to leave.
“Aren’t you going to say goodbye to me?” Marigold yelled, insulted.
“Of course, I was just looking around for you.”
Tristan scooped his new wife in his arms, “Goodbye, I will be back home in no time.” Then he kissed Marigold and left, leaving Ella alone with her new step family.
But the king did not make it home. When word got back of his death, Marigold broke down and ordered Ella into doing all the housework. She hated Tristan’s little princess because he favoured her above all else.
“What did you do with my shoes Cinderella?” Angelique screamed.
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” Ella replied.
“I found them in the fireplace, burnt to ashes.”
“I did not do it, I swear.”
“Are you not the one who practically lives in front of the fireplace? Because no one else in this house goes near dirty things.”
“Tis true but I did not do it,” Cinderella pleaded. She knew that if she was accused to her stepmum she would go to bed with no supper that night.
“Are you accusing me? How dare you!”
“No I am not… I…I..”
“Well it was me or you Cinderella and I most certainly did not destroy my own shoes.”
“Well then I must have unknowingly,” Ella bowed her head and sighed. She was beat now she would eat nothing for two nights in a row.
Ella headed downstairs and began preparing the dinner for her family that she would not be able to eat.
She missed her father very much and thought about him every minute of the day but she could not understand why he married Marigold. She was vain, mean, rude and at times pure evil. I must not think such horrible things, Ella thought to herself. She is my stepmum and I love her.
At the end of each day Ella was exhausted. She ran around cleaning their big house all by herself as Marigold fired all the other help. She was becoming tired of her life and knew that she could live like this forever, Ella knew that it would not be long before she would meet her mother and father again.
One night, while Ella was cleaning, she stopped to look out the window. She noticed the biggest, brightest, most beautiful star she had ever seen.
“Oh papa, I know that is you. Please help me, I do love my stepmother and stepsisters but I am tired and I don’t know how much longer I can hold out,” Ella poured her heart out to the star. She wished with all her might for things to be different.
The following day Ella heard a lot of commotion coming from upstairs, she placed the poker in its holder then headed up stairs to see what was going on. As she entered her stepmother’s room, Angelique and Margaret were heading out with smiles beaming across their faces.
“The King of the town over is having a masked ball and I shall need you to air out the girls best dresses,” Marigold ordered handing Ella the invitation.
“Yes stepmother,” Ella said while glancing down at the piece of paper she was handed. This invitation says it’s for all the maidens in the land, does that mean I could go?”
“What! There is no way you could go, your clothes are dirty and you would just embarrass our family.”
“Please,” Ella pleaded. “I will clean my clothes and do my hair really pretty.”
“NO!” Marigold shrieked. “You will not have the time, the mask is tonight and you have to get the girls dresses in order and clean the house.”
With a heavy heart Ella obeyed her stepmother and spent the afternoon cleaning and preparing the girls for the ball.
Once she waved them goodbye, Ella walked out into the garden and sat at the bench exhausted.
She closed her eyes and when she opened them Ella saw a fairy standing in front of her.
“Why are you sad child?” The fairy asked.
“I wished to go to the ball, but my stepmother wouldn’t allow it,” Ella replied sighing.
“Well that is not fair; I’ll help you go for I am your fairy godmother.”
“But I don’t have a dress.”
“Hold out your hand.” The fairy godmother poured magic fairy dust into Ella’s hands. “Imagine the most beautiful gown in the kingdom.”
Ella closed her eyes and did as her godmother wished, when she opened them she was wearing the gown she had envisioned.
“You look stunning, I have a carriage waiting out the front for you to take you there.”
“Thank you ever so much,” Ella cried as she hugged her godmother.
“There is something you must know, at the stroke of midnight the magic wears off and you will once again be wearing your rags.”
“I promise I will be back by then,” Ella shouted while running to the carriage.
Ella looked down at the mask in her hands and put it on her face before she exited the carriage.
When she reached the top of the stairs in the ballroom Ella noticed all the maidens dancing with young men. She looked out for her family but could not see them.
As she gracefully made her way down the stairs, she noticed a handsome young man look her way and when he did this everyone in the room gasped and looked at her as well.
Ella stopped right in front of him as he bowed to her.
“Would you like to dance?”
“I would love to, thank you,” Ella politely replied.
And they danced all night without stopping to switch partners.
Marigold and Angelique noticed this and were not very pleased. They wished for the prince to notice Angelique so he would marry her, Marigold was running out of money and Angelique marrying the prince would ensure they would not go broke and be shamed.
At the end of the night, the prince and Ella took a stroll in the garden.
“I have never met anyone like you, I fear I may be falling in love with you,” the prince said gazing into Ella’s eyes.
“I may be falling in love with you too,” Ella said, her nose now brushing his.
As the prince leaned in to kiss Ella, she heard the clock strike twelve.
“I’m sorry but I must be going.” She picked up the bottom of her dress and began to sprint towards the carriage leaving the prince confused.
As she ran down the stairs one of her glass slippers had fallen off but she didn’t have any time to run back and collect it.
The following day, the prince was out scouring the land, looking for the girl who fit the glass slipper that was left behind.
It did not take long for him to reach Daniella’s house.
He tried the shoe on Margaret’s foot first but her foot was too fat. “I can fix it!” she cried. Margaret jumped up and dashed off into the kitchen, when she returned she pulled out a knife and began to cut the sides of her foot. She did not cut off too much before the prince’s guards seized her.
Then he tried Angelique but her foot was too long. When the prince looked away, she snuck the knife from the floor and chopped off her toes. “Look it fits, I just needed to wriggle my foot,” Angelique exclaimed while kicking her toes under the chair.
“I guess you must be her.” The prince walked over to Angelique and took her arm.
“Sire, her foot is bleeding,” one of Shea’s guards announced.
“Liar!” He accused and ripped the shoe off her foot revealing her mutilated toes.
Another of the prince’s guards seized Angelique then he took the shoe to get it cleaned out.
“Are you sure that is all the young maidens in the house?” the prince asked Marigold.
“Yes that is all you highness, I’m sorry we could not help you but if you don’t find whoever fits the slipper, my Angelique would make a loving and loyal wife.”
“What about her?” the prince asked ignoring Marigold. “That girl cleaning the table.”
“She is the maid, your highness. There is no way she could be the girl who left the slipper.”
“I wish to check every maiden, please bring her to me,” The prince ordered.
Ella was brought out immediately and the prince introduced himself to her. Ella recognised the man she had danced with the previous night and was shocked to learn he was a prince.
She sat down and tried on the glass slipper, knowing that It would fit.
“It is you, you are my mystery woman,” the prince rejoiced.
Then he took Ella into his arms and far away from her evil stepmother and step sisters, who were sent off to an insane asylum.