Tell a Fairy Tale Day: The Second Pair of Glass Slippers

In honor of Tell a Fairy Tale Day 2013, I am posting my first fairy tale story, which is also the first thing I wrote as a young writer (thought I should warn you). Here is the first of its five chapters. I hope you enjoy.

The Second Pair of Glass Slippers

ONE

Marriageable Age

A long time ago, in a land far away, or quite near, depending on where you live, there was a lush valley between tall mountains. The mountains were so tall they reached into the clouds and became like slides for the waters in the clouds. The waters slipped and fell down the sides of the mountains in beautiful cascades. Light from the sun chased water droplets down the steep slopes, and whenever a ray of the sun caught its droplet, the little droplet burst into a rainbow. The abundance of water coming down from the clouds caused all of the trees and other plants on the mountains and in the valley to grow tall and green. And, near one end of the valley, where the trees were the tallest and the cascades the most spectacular, there was a castle with many turrets and windows. The castle was made of shiny, black rock, and in the castle there lived an enchantress with her family and her servants.

Now this enchantress was not evil as many enchantresses were, but she was proud and had been brought up to believe that only royalty and exceptional nobles were really worth associating with. However, she and her husband, who didn’t hold with such snobbish ideas, were just and kind rulers to the people in their small kingdom. In truth, the enchantress did not always follow her high ideals—one notable exception was her motherly affection for an orphan servant boy, but he doesn’t come into this story. Yet, the notion that princesses should marry princes was so well fixed in her mind, that when her oldest daughter came of age to marry, it was a matter of course for the enchantress to begin searching the nearby kingdoms for a suitable prince.

This particular daughter was also rather proud, and having spent a good bit of time with her mother’s relatives, she too thought only a prince would make a suitable husband for a beautiful princess such as herself. Princesses should marry princes particularly since they are generally handsome and brave in stories, the young girl said to herself, and she made no objection to her mother’s wishes.

The enchantress sent servants to every kingdom near her own to inquire in each about the availability of the crown prince. One day she received word that a king and queen were throwing a ball in the honor of their son, who had just returned home from a long absence. They were inviting all eligible young women to attend in hopes the prince would choose one to be his wife. Her servant added that the prince was considered a fine-looking man and was expected to be a wise king.

After considering this information for a few minutes, the enchantress decided this prince would make an excellent husband for her daughter. She told the Princess Stella about the prince and then took her up to a small chamber near the top of castle’s tallest tower. This room was known as the Chamber of Enchantment and was forbidden to anyone but the King and Queen, their children, and the Queen’s assistant. The room contained the enchantress queen’s books on spells and potions and other several objects that were considered standard items for an enchantress. In the center of the room was a large, shallow bowl, half-filled with water, sitting on an ornate pedestal. This was one of the enchantress’s most treasured possessions. It was called a vidēre, and it allowed her to see things that were not present around her.

Queen Ava, as the enchantress was usually called, stirred the dark water in the vidēre with her finger and called the prince by name. Prince Charming. His image appeared in the water.

When the Stella saw how handsome and noble he looked, just as she had always dreamed her prince would look, she decided he was the one she would marry.

Stella was exceptionally beautiful, with hair as black and shiny as the walls of the castle and eyes that were sometimes as blue as the waters falling down the mountains from the clouds or as green as the leaves of the forest. Why wouldn’t he fall in love with her? Neither Stella nor her mother could find a reply to this question. The enchantress immediately ordered the dressmakers to prepare a new gown for Stella to wear to the prince’s ball.

Go to the next post for Chapter Two .