Cinderella sat on a wooden stool and took off one of her wooden clogs. Prince Charming knelt down before her and held out the crystal shoe; as Cinderella held out one foot, he gently slipped it over her toes, began to push it onto the sole of the foot and over the heel…but it got stuck!
Our poor heroine had been working all day you see, trudging around the house in her ill-fitting wooden shoes, and her feet were swollen and covered in blisters. In vain the prince pushed and shoved, and still it would not go on her foot. “Coo, coo!” a couple of nearby pigeons exclaimed, “there’s blood on the shoe! what will Prince Charming do?”
Prince Charming pulled the shoe off Cinderella’s foot and sat up straight, scratching his head. Well, this was a puzzle and no mistake.
“Hang on a minute”, suggested Cinderella’s wicked step-mother. “I know that you’ve tried putting the shoe on both of my daughters already, but really it’s no wonder it wouldn’t fit on Gretchen the first time, because she was out hunting earlier you see, and her foot was all swollen on account of her hoofing it around the hills all morning. Well, she’s gone and put her foot in some cold water now to take the swelling down; why don’t you try her foot again? It’s not like you’ll get that shoe on Cinderella’s scabby gnarled up claws”.
Prince Charming grudgingly assented, and the step-mother clipped Cinderella about the ear and sent her on her way. The step-mother turned to the kitchen, “Gretchen! Gretchen my little lieb-frau-milch! Come hither at once dear!” she cooed.
A face peeped out from behind the door frame, smiling gleefully, and what a countenance it was! Blood drained from the faces of the two servants who accompanied the prince – for although they had already seen the girl, when the prince first tried the shoe on her foot she had make-up on her face, now she had scrubbed it off; truly, a face only a mother could love!
Large, protruding eyes bulged from their puffy sockets, the irises dark red, pupils crazed with the energy of a mind long lost to madness. The nose above her moustache was long, lumpen and hairy with flared nostrils; it twitched in the air, sniffing out the air for morsels of the prince’s sweat. The wide mouth, lined with swollen cracked lips curled back to reveal a long bestial tongue curling around two rows of misshapen teeth, many of them brown or yellow, one of the bottom teeth being long enough to jut out over the top lip. She had a small yet broad forehead framed by greasy, wiry curls of hair, a large jaw, and knobbly, hairy warts which jutted out from between the spiny hairs on her long, crooked chin.
The pigeons looked at her with wide disbelieving eyes, looked at each other, then flew away out of the window as fast as their little wings could carry them. The elderly mastiff lying in the corner of the parlour, long a denizen of the house whined, turned away and hid his snout under his hind leg.
It was very apparent to all but the step-mother that this unfortunate creature had fallen out of the fugly tree and hit every branch going down; she had landed face first on the cold, hard, unforgiving ground, the midwife had probably screamed and then repeatedly beaten her about the head with an almighty fugly stick.
Prince Charming looked up, and swallowed hard. Gretchen clasped her hands together over her apron, and skipped over to the stool before which the prince still knelt. She lifted her skirts and sat down; the prince balked at her bodily stench and choked back the vomit which rose to his mouth. He looked down and saw Gretchen’s foot.
The foot was not nearly as ugly as he thought it was going to be. Yes, it had bunions and callouses, hairy toes with thick and encrusted toenails, but it was nowhere near as ugly as Gretchen’s face. He held his breath, and closed his eyes as he slowly pushed the shoe onto her foot…
…there was a collective gasp by all in the room…the shoe slid on without any resistance. Prince Charming opened his eyes and stared at Gretchen’s foot in sheer disbelief; the shoe fit!
The prince sat back on his heels, stunned as his new fiancée, her sister and mother shrieked and giggled with joy, the sounds of Cinderella sobbing and wailing echoed from the depths of the scullery beyond. What was he to do? He had made a royal proclamation that whichever woman had been at the ball that night, and whose foot fit that shoe, would be his wife.
Well, there was nothing for it then, the marriage had to go ahead.
As Prince Charming was led from the house by his future wife towards the waiting carriage, he wondered how he would explain this situation to his mother. Mother, I am to be married to this munter; no, no, that wouldn’t do. Mother, I am betrothed to this bint; no. Mother, I’m afraid I have some terrible news; no, that wouldn’t do either.
Mother, I’m frightfully sorry, but the shoe fits…
Based on a prompt from CreativeWritingPrompts.com