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An Enchanted Evening

 

( I )

 
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Chapter 1

Hello. I'm Princess Cinderella. I live in the palace with the Prince, and my life has been a dream come true.

Long before I met the Prince, however, I led a very different life.

I grew up in the country with my father, where I spent the days riding my horse and the nights listening to Father's fantastic stories about magic and castles. Father loved me very much, but he was lonely.

One spring, he married Lady Tremaine. I welcomed my stepmother and my stepsisters, Drizella and Anastasia, into our family. But they didn't like me at all, no matter how much I tried to be nice to them.

When Father passed away, Stepmother forced me to become a servant. I woke every day at dawn and worked until dusk, scrubbing floors, making meals, and waiting on my family.

The chores were very tiring, and every day I dreamed of a better life -- one where I'd be happy again.

The animals of the house became my only friends. Two cheeky mice, Gus and Jaq, were my constant companions.

Chapter 2

One day, as I was scrubbing the floors, there was a knock at the door. I put down the brush and carefully walked over the wet floor to answer it.

Just as I was about to turn the handle, a voice called out 'Open in the name of the King !'

I opened the door to see a messenger from the palace. He handed me a letter.

It was from the King !

the letter was an invitation to a ball ! The King wished to introduce his son, the Prince, to the women in the kingdom. He had invited everyone to attend.

I couldn't wait to meet the Prince ! I remembered Father's stories and dreamed about dressing up for a royal ball. It would be so much fun !

I rushed to the parlour to show the invitation to Stepmother. Drizella and Anastasia tugged the invitation out of my hand, yelling 'You can't go !'

'The invitation says every woman,' I reminded them. They were always trying to leave me out of parties and dances, but I was determined to attend this one !

'I see no reason why you can't go,' Stepmother interrupted, 'if you complete all of your chores and find something suitable to wear.'

I couldn't believe Stepmother would allow me to attend the ball !

'Thank you so much !' I said to her.

I was so excited about the ball that I practically skipped up to my room. I unpacked my only fancy dress: an old one that had belonged to my mother.

It was dark-pink with white ruffles at the sleeves. Gus and Jaq thought the dress was old-fashioned. But I knew that all it needed was a little work to be perfect.

I imagined living as royalty.

I wouldn't have to wear ugly rags anymore: I'd have plenty of dresses for every occasion.

I couldn't wait to go to the palace !

Father had described it as a beautiful place. I might even meet someone at the ball -- and fall in love !

My sisters interrupted my thoughts. 'Cinderella ! Cinderella !' they shrieked.

The dress -- and my dreams -- would have to wait.

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