January 30, 2011

Shattering the Glass Slipper by Amalina Anuar

       Cinderella sighed. Today would mark the end of six years. Six years of waking up every day before her husband, Prince Charming who had now become King Charming did, to contemplate her life in the royal museum as she stared at the pair of glass slippers in front of her. Six years since she first saw his harem of mistresses who she had lost track of after the tenth one appeared. It was more than six years ago though that she had wanted to leave this palace. To everyone else, it was beautiful with its turrets, towers and sparkling moat but ever since she had tied the knot with her philandering husband, it was a place that held her captive with its numerous amount of guards, her foolish and superficial ladies in waiting, suffocating her with all the etiquette and rules, restraining her from being who she really wanted to be.

       Of course, she had known what she was getting into. Cinderella had known the consequences of marrying Prince Charming, who at that time was still a renowned Casanova. If Prince Charming were actually a nice person, she would have felt guilty for having an ulterior motive in marrying him but if there was anyone one person in the world that was not aptly named, it would have been him. He was about the most contemptible person on earth. Even the people of the kingdom detested him. She on the other hand, was completely likeable. So likeable in fact, that the she was the only reason her husband had not been dethroned yet. And for her, this was terrible because it completely ruined her plans. It had been agreed when they first drew up their marriage contract that they were only to remain married for five years but after that span of time had passed, it had been more obvious than ever to King Charming that she was a pivotal factor in having a long reign.

       Before she knew it, their contract had been renewed and she stuck in the marriage for another few years. And not for the first time, she regretted marrying him just to get away from her stepfamily. She stared at the cursed shoes and she was so focused on it that Cinderella barely heard someone come in. She barely blinked as that someone placed a hand on her shoulder. Cinderella wasn’t scared of him because his presence was one of the few things that made her life enjoyable along with extra rich chocolate brownies which she occasionally snuck into her chambers. Her tutor, James, had been with her for six years and had been her only friend in the huge castle. Now, he was also going to be her accomplice, adding yet another job description to his resume along with royal tutor, jack of all trades and her ex-lover. Yes, her ex-lover. It was one of the worst kept secrets in the kingdom but no one had blamed her for her actions. She had half-expected to be thrown in the dungeons once King Charming found out but he barely batted an eyelid, which was extremely good fortune. 

“Are you ready?” He asked her. She nodded and gave him one last hug. It had been decided that he would stay behind to stall the guards as she made her escape to freedom. Cinderella picked up the glass slippers and threw them forcefully at the wall, shattering the well-crafted shoes into a million tiny shards.  The alarm rang loudly and as she ran to escape from her dwelling for the past six years, she felt fantastic. Cinderella felt amazing, getting rid of the last symbol of her marriage that was probably doomed from the start.  Her marriage was already shattered and now, the one object that brought her into marital hell was now shattered too. It was to be a new symbol for her, an emblem of emancipation.

        Cinderella ran all the way through the enormous castle, being knocked off her feet as she crashed into King Charming. She got up slowly, not needing to look to know who had unfortunately bumped into. Cinderella would have cried, for she was already near the castle gate. She would have cried for she was so close, yet so far.  Cinderella would have cried, except that she refused to. She was far stronger than people would make her out to be and she certainly was not going to give up, not when the sounds from outside the castle walls were starting to taunt her, not when the fresh air was starting to tantalize her sense of smell, not when the clear blue skies were already calling her name.

       She refused to stay here for any longer. Six years was long enough and she would be free of King Charming even if she had to put all her limited secret martial arts training to good use. She ripped her floor-length skirt off, revealing the fitted pair of pants made out of a material called denim underneath. Her childhood dream was to become a fashion designer and if they ever made it out of this castle, this would be her first product design. She had already thought of a name, skinny jeans. She thought it had a nice ring to it. Cinderella almost laughed as she saw the shock on King Charming’s face. The thought of a woman wearing pants was an outrage to him.

        Cinderella couldn’t believe she had actually stayed married to such a chauvinistic pig for so long. She would have chided herself for being so foolish when she was younger but she had more important things to think about. For example, her escape route out of the palace as the reinforcements for the guards would be here any minute now. There was no more time to hesitate. So she did the most illogical thing that anyone could do if placed in her current situation. She charged at her very soon-to-be ex-husband and pushed him out of her way. King Charming was not exactly the best example of fit and it was quite easy for her to kick him into the wall as he tried to pull her back by her rucksack. She ran, picking up speed as she could hear King Charming shout for the guards to give chase.  She ran faster and faster through the city, making her way through throngs and throngs of people until she was out of breath. However, she couldn’t stop now as she was not out of the woods yet, literally.

        And then, Cinderella realized something as she finally stopped to catch her breath in the forest. No one was coming after her. No one was trying to stop her. She thought it was very odd. She knew that her face was recognizable by hundreds and thousands of citizens of the kingdom. It was even more bizarre that she had not heard the thunderous noise of the horses of the cavalry echoing behind her. She had distinctly heard King Charming order them to catch her at all costs. Cinderella would have pondered on the matter some more but decided that it was of utmost importance to flee the kingdom first. She planned to escape to the neighbouring country and seek refugee status but there was no way her plan could succeed if she never made it to that country. So she picked up her rucksack, letting the trees camouflage her being and disappeared quietly.

       Cinderella sighed, a sigh of contentment this time. It had been more than a few months since her flight from her motherland and she was ecstatic to have found work as a dress designer in the new country she was in. Her life in her small, cramped home was a far cry from the life she had once led as a princess in the palace but it was a start. She had received word that her friend James had not landed in any trouble for helping her escape. Then again, having a Prime Minister for a father certainly helped in matters. She went back to her sketch which was a new design for a pair of pants. Her skinny jeans had caught on as a trend here but she was never one to be complacent with success. So focused was Cinderella on her drawing that she barely noticed her assistant telling her that there were a few of her old countrymen waiting outside. She started to become fearful and could almost hear her heartbeat drumming out the tune of the death march inside her chest. However, with a whole lot of courage and maybe some idiotic fearlessness in the mix, she bravely opened the door to a sight that was truly unexpected. She saw James and a few others kneeling in front of her, shouting with utmost pleasure the phrase she had heard quite a few times before.

       “All hail Cinderella, new queen of the Kingdom of Charming!”

       And Cinderella lived happily ever after.

No comments:

Post a Comment