I am so incredibly excited to share with you the first series for this year on my blog. I wrote After Ever After a few years ago. I had this idea to write a modern interpretation of fairytales after watching the movie Enchanted, and I really wanted to delve into humour/fantasy. At the tail end of last year I re-wrote the first chapter of After Ever After, and then I split it into ten parts. Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting the ten parts to the first chapter on my blog, and I’m so excited for you to meet the first character, Cindy Ella!
Don’t forget to comment below, share your thoughts and subscribe to my blog (and) enjoy part one!
After Ever After: Part One
It wasn’t even 8am and Cinderella was having a shit day. First and foremost, she wasn’t even Cinderella anymore. Three weeks ago, unannounced and against her will, she had been copied out of the glossy, picturesque, sugar-filled dream that was once her home and pasted into Melbourne, Australia.
The Department of Supernatural Services (not to mention Godmother) were responsible for this. “The Fairytale Relocation Program” they called it and Cinderella was the first to transfer. Now, instead of living in a land filled with Price Charmings, mid-night magic and wicked stepsisters, Cinderella lived amongst pretentious coffee snobs, all-black-wearing fashionista’s and unashamed bogans. She didn’t have a castle or pets for friends, there wasn’t even a musical number for her to perform. Instead, she had an apartment in Brunswick as her castle, a Grande drip coffee with two Splenda’s as her one and only love and Triple J, peak hour traffic and the mutterings of homeless people outside her apartment block was the soundtrack to her life.
Cinderella was now Cindy Ella. She was in her mid twenties, worked at Ever After Dating Agency on Queen Street and was addicted to Starbucks, late night infomercials and, above all else, her phone.
And so, Cindy Ella sat, wedged in-between what seemed like a thousand bodies, on her tram ride to her office. So much for a horse and carriage.
Because she had spent most of her night watching re-runs of The Bachelor, Cindy had woken up late, had to quickly shower, dress and dash out of the house without so much as a coffee or a quick bowl of cereal.
Cindy was becoming resentful. She remembered the first moments after she woke up in Melbourne in Godmother’s office. Her eyes were hazy, her mouth tasted of carpet and her face was covered in dried up drool. She remembered looking down at herself and then at her face in a mirror that had been given to her before she screamed like she had never screamed before.
She was hideous! Where she came from, back home, she would have been painted in expensive gauche oils, coated in a glossy film, and preened to perfection. Everything was pristine and in Technicolor and, above all, two-dimensional. Here … well, here everything was different.
She was completely changed: she had uneven skin, patches of red in places that made no sense, hair everywhere and something in-between her legs that hadn’t been there before. Granted, however, Cindy did quickly realise that she wasn’t completely unfortunate looking, her being one of the more attractive people here.
It also didn’t help that the land she was now in was a complete nightmare. In Melbourne wicked and ugly stepmothers could get plastic surgery to make themselves beautiful, pumpkins were on special at some place named Coles and strictly no one used magic. At all.
So, trying her hardest to bare through this torture for the last few weeks, you could see why Cindy Ella was already having a shitty day. All of her days were now shitty.
With her tongue festering for the taste of a drip coffee and her wet blonde hair dripping onto her grey coat, Cindy felt her iPhone buzz in her pocket. With her first smile of the day, she realised that it was from her roommate, Matt.
“Morning!” Cindy unlocked the phone and pressed the screen against her ear. “What time did you get in?”
“Ah, just now,” Matt chuckled, his voice sounding lethargic and raspy, “It was a wicked night.”
Matt was the second to transfer. Originally known as the Mad Hatter, from the land of tea parties, snooty little girls in blue dresses and bloodthirsty Queens, the Mad Hatter was now Matt. He worked at a boutique tea store in Melbourne and loved to chase the nightlife and all the trimmings that came with that lifestyle.
“Oh, I’m sure it was.” She checked her watch just as the tram came to a halt. “Don’t you have work?”
“At ten,” she heard him cough, the sound of running water filling her eardrum. “Cindy, I think I met her.”
“Who?” Cindy rested her phone on her shoulder as she got up, making her way through the maze of people to the door.
“The one.” There was a ruffle on his end. “The one, Cindy.”
“Uhuh, the one.” Cindy got out of the over-heated tram and into bitter Melbourne wind. “Care to elaborate?”
There was a beep on the other end.
“Hey, Rorie is calling me. Here,” a small beep emitted, “I’ll put her on a three way.”
“Matt?” Rorie asked, yawning and making a clicking sound with her lips and tongue. “You’re home, right?”
“Sure am,” he said. “I’m in the bathroom.”
“Oh cool, I’m just in my bedroom. How are you? How was your night?”
“His night was eventful,” Cindy replied for him. “He’s found the one.”
“Cindy?” She could hear the unsuspecting smile in her voice. “Is that you? Well, this the second threesome that I’ve had in the last twenty-four hours.”
Cindy shook her head but she couldn’t help the smile that began to unravel along her pale thin lips. Rorie was the third to transfer. In her homeland she was known as the woman who slept for centuries, infamous for pricking her finger on a spinning wheel. Sleeping Beauty. Here, in Melbourne, Rorie was infamous, not for sleeping but rather, for sleeping around.
“So that’s who left in the early hours of the morning,” Cindy said, putting an arm over her chest as she crossed to the other side of the street. She hated how her breasts jiggled when she ran. She mentally reminded herself to find something that would fix that. “I remember a woman slamming the door shut sometime around three.”
“Guilty,” Rorie said. “She was no fun anymore, so we ditched her.”
Cindy darted into the Starbucks and mouthed “the usual” to Kevin, the guy who took her order every morning. Cindy loved Kevin, though not in a ‘sing a few songs with him, kiss at the end of the movie and live together forever’ kind of love. The love she had for Kevin was like the love she harbored for her old Fairy Godmother. Kevin could make magic happen with just a few scoops of ground up beans. Magic beans of the Melbourne variety.
“Well, good on you,” Cindy nodded. “Anyway, aren’t we meant to be meeting up for Godmother at two today?”
“Yeah, well, that’s what I was calling you about,” Matt said, puzzlement in his tone. “I thought that was the plan?”
“Well, we all know how reliable Godmother can be,” Cindy moaned gratefully as Kevin personally handed her coffee order to her. The sweet tantalizing scent filled her nostrils. Kevin always gave her what she wanted quickly. “Hey guys, I’ve got to have my breakfast. Do you mind if we chat later?”
“Sure, I’ve got to have a shower anyway. I’ve got to scrub the sweat from the club off me.”
“Yeah, no worries, Cindy. I’ve got to toss this guy out of our apartment.”
“Great.” Cindy slid onto the stool at Starbucks as they all said “Bye!” and hung up.
Life wasn’t a dream come true, it wasn’t even ideal, but having Matt and Rorie helped. When Cindy had transferred she’d had a week to herself before she was summoned back to Godmother’s office to witness Matt’s transfer. As each new person came through, it both soothed and confused Cindy. Where exactly where they here? What was going to happen to them?
None of her questions had really been answered.
A text came through on her phone and, savoring the first delicious sip of her first coffee of the day, Cindy opened up her inbox.
- After Ever After: Part Two continues this Thursday the 28th of January, 2016.
- Creative credit for this incredible image of Cindy Ella/Cinderella goes to Lina Zabaleta, whose tumblr you can check out at linapoligrafia.tumblr.com – thank you SO much Lina for this unbelievable illustration!
- This narrative was edited by my wonderful editor: Kayla Marie Murphy. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for any inquiries.
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