I have some very old stories that have languished for a long time. Some were corruptions of fairy tales and looking back over them, I thought some weren’t actually terrible. I doubt anyone will publish them, especially this one, so I might as well let them loose here.
Roobee sent me a link to something I’d written a long time ago and forgotten about in the intervening years. Pity, or I could have a whole lot of grim fairy tales by now. Anyway, the corruption I had planned then for Cinderella’s story didn’t turn out that way. It was a bit more… bawdy.
This is it, and be warned – it’s not one for the easily offended.
Cinderella, the uncensored version
Once upon a time there lived a girl called Cinderella. She lived with her wicked stepmother and her two ugly sisters. I don’t mean just plain or unattractive, I mean mirror-cracking ugly. These were a pair of real gompers, with faces that had to be toned down for Halloween parties. Their mother was worse, if that can be imagined. It’s better not to try, believe me.
Cinderella had a real tough time of it. She had to do all the heavy work around the house, all the cooking and cleaning, dealing with the huge wheelie bins full of rubbish that her stepmother would push at her when she wasn’t looking. Her sisters liked to hide in the bins and jump out at Cinderella. It’s no wonder she was a nervous wreck, having to face two uglier versions of Oscar the Grouch when she went outside.
Sometimes Cinderella sat in her room and wondered why her stepmother and stepsisters hated her so much. Was it because she was lazy, as they often said, or perhaps it was because of the time they had caught her with the teddy bear? Anyway, the less said about that little episode, the better.
The night of the King’s Ball arrived, when the eligible Prince Charmin was to choose his bride. The ugly sisters bounced with excitement, dressed in the finest, most expensive clothes, as they prepared to leave. It made no difference. You could still see their faces. What’s more, it was best not to look too hard at their jiggling bodies, since there was as much sideways motion as vertical bouncing. The overall effect it generated was similar to seasickness, but worse.
Cinderella’s stepmother fetched her a hefty whack across the ears and told her to mind the house, clean the toilets and not to get involved in unnatural relationships with stuffed toys while they were out. With her nose in the air, since that was the only place with enough room for it, the wicked stepmother and her two pig-ugly daughters went off to the ball, leaving Cinderella alone.
“I never get to go anywhere.” Cinderella said as she stared at the closed door. “Those fat tarts get all the fun.”
Suddenly there was a Poof!
Cinderella turned around, since the poof was behind her, and gasped. Hanging in the air, fluttering gossamer wings, was a tiny round man. His cheeks were puffed out, and he wore a smart black suit. Under his arm was a battered violin case.
“Who are you?” she said.
“I am your fairy godfather, sweetie.” The fairy grew to normal size, and perhaps a little beyond, as he spoke. “You may call me Brando.”
“Wow,” Cinderella said. “You must have been the poof I heard.”
“Yes, that was me. Still is, really.” Brando winked at her. “Anyhow, I’m here to send you to the King’s Ball.”
“Send me? Aren’t you going?”
“Been. To both of them” Brando snickered. “Right, we’d better get started. Dress first, I think.” He rubbed his chin. “Hmm, it’ll need work. Shit-stained rags are just not the in thing this year.” With a wave of his violin case, her rags transformed into a beautiful blue gown.
“It’s wonderful.” Cinderella did a twirl. “It still smells of shit though.”
“So does Prince Charmin. He won’t notice.” Brando looked around. “Now for some transport. Where do you keep the rats, mice and pumpkins?”
Cinderella folded her arms and scowled. “I’ll have you know there are no rats or mice in this house. I keep it as clean as a new pin. As for pumpkins – yeuk. I think there’s a cucumber in the fridge though.”
Brando rolled his eyes. “We’ll just have to make do. You get the cucumber and I’ll find someone to drive it.”
Baffled, Cinderella went into the kitchen and pulled the cucumber from the fridge. It was a bit soft at one end but still mostly edible. Brando appeared behind her.
“I found your driver.” He held up Binkie, her three-legged teddy bear.
“What are you doing? Don’t hurt Binkie.” Cinderella grabbed for the bear as Brando threw it into the air. He aimed his violin case, there was a flash, a kapow, and the scent of aftershave filled the kitchen. Cinderella blinked. Binkie had grown to life size, and he was alive. She looked down and smiled. His middle leg, her favourite one, had stayed the same size.
“Meet your driver,” Brando said.
Cinderella held up the cucumber. “What about this?”
“Impressive.” Brando nodded. “Bring it outside.”
Cinderella followed him out into the darkened street. She laid the cucumber beside the kerb, as he instructed. Brando’s violin case flashed once more and the cucumber became a long, low sports car. Green, pinstriped, and a little soft at the rear end, but a sports car nonetheless. Binkie climbed into the driver’s seat.
Brando shook his head. “He’s supposed to hold the door open for you. Never mind, just get in.”
Cinderella climbed into the passenger seat. At once, Binkie floored the accelerator and the car disappeared into the night, leaving Brando in a cloud of dust.
“Oh, no,” he thought. “I forgot about Prince Charmin’s problem with bears.” He shrugged. “It’ll work out. I wonder if there’s any Babycham in the house?”
Brando was just finishing off the last Babycham when the door flew open and Cinderella stormed in. She was dressed in rags, flecked with bits of cucumber.
Brando slapped his forehead. “The midnight thing. I keep forgetting.”
“Great job, you fat queen.” Cinderella grabbed an empty Babycham bottle and threw it, narrowly missing Brando. “We were doing about eighty, then suddenly we were sitting on a cucumber. It wasn’t nice.”
“What about Binkie?” Brando ducked another bottle.
“He’s following. He’s developed a bit of a limp, because of friction burns.”
“You seem remarkably unharmed.” Brando raised his eyebrows.
“I landed on Binkie.”
“Oh.” Brando pursed his lips. “So, anyway, how was the ball? Did you meet the Prince? Did you lose your shoe?”
“Lose my—“ Cinderella frowned. “That’s a euphemism I’m not familiar with. Yes, I did meet the Prince. He’s wonderful. Although I doubt he’ll speak to me again, after what Binkie did.”
Brando closed his eyes.
Cinderella paced the kitchen floor. “It was disgusting. I mean, I know he’s a bear, but really. I thought they only did that in the woods? Using the Prince to wipe though – eech. We had to run like hell.”
Brando sighed. “Can’t be helped. What about your shoe? Did you lose it?”
“No chance.” Cinderella snorted. “I mean, even if Binkie hadn’t done what he did, I don’t think the Prince is that fast, you know? Not on the first date, kind of thing.”
Brando opened his eyes. “What are you going on about? You were supposed to leave your shoe behind, so the Prince would scour the kingdom looking for the girl it fits.”
Cinderella stopped pacing. “You’re talking about a real shoe, right?”
“Oh.” She looked down at her feet. “No, they’re both here.”
“Damn.” Brando slipped from his chair and landed flat on his face. He stood up in a hurry, trying to look as if he’d meant to do that.
“What?” Cinderella shook her head. “You said nothing about leaving a shoe behind. You know, I think you should have explained a lot before I set out this evening.”
“Okay, okay. It was all a bit of a rush, you know.” Brando developed a sudden interest in his wings.
“Anyway, I doubt the Prince will have to scour the kingdom. His men should lead him right here.”
“Why?” Brando looked up from his examination of his wings. He smoothed out a crease as he spoke. “Why would he come here? You forgot to leave the clue.”
“I told you what Binkie did. They chased us, that’s why we were speeding.”
“So the Prince is coming here after all?” Brando’s eyes twinkled. He ran into the hallway.
Cinderella followed, to find Brando preening himself in front of the long mirror opposite the coat rack. “What are you doing?”
“Making myself presentable. You should do the same.” Brando cast a glance over Cinderella’s torn, stained and cucumber-spattered dress. “Well, as far as you can.”
“What for? I’m only going to get arrested.”
Brando huffed. “No you won’t. Trust me.”
A hammering on the door made Cinderella jump. She stared at the door, then at Brando.
“Well, don’t just stand there. Open it.” Brando tried to suck in his paunch, but failed. He stood facing the door, a tight smile on his lips.
Watching Brando through narrow eyes, Cinderella opened the door and was immediately pushed back against the wall. Three soldiers marched in, followed by a short, moustachioed sergeant with a tall furry hat.
“Where is the miscreant?” he demanded, with sufficient volume to be heard a mile away. One of the soldiers pulled the door back, revealing Cinderella. “Aha! Clap her in irons.” The sergeant assumed a smug expression.
Two of the soldiers held Cinderella by the arms. All four of them snapped to attention as the Prince entered, dressed in a crisp white suit. The sergeant addressed the prince without looking directly at him.
“Your Majesty, we have apprehended the miscreant,” he shouted, then continued in a lower voice. “We would have caught her sooner, if you hadn’t insisted on changing before leaving.”
The Prince waved a pair of gloves in the sergeant’s face. “Now, I could hardly have come out as I was, could I? Not with that—that smear all over me.” The prince glanced at Cinderella, then noticed Brando, who grinned and bowed as far as his paunch would allow.
“Brando! Is it really you?”
“It is, Princey. In the flesh.” Brando spread his arms wide. “More than most, if I say so myself.”
The prince waved his gloves at the sergeant again. “You may go. I won’t be needing you again tonight.”
“But—“ The sergeant gaped. “The miscreant. What about her?”
“Oh, I forgive her. Let her go.” The Prince paused for a moment, then turned to the still-gaping sergeant. “Are you still here?”
The sergeant’s face became heart shaped—red, bulbous and covered in pulsating veins. His moustache quivered. After pointing his shaking finger at Cinderella’s nose, accompanied by an assortment of grunts and squeaks, he stomped out of the house. The soldiers followed.
Cinderella closed the door and leaned against it. She blinked as the Prince hugged Brando. “You two know each other?”
“Oh, yes. Brando and I go way back.” The prince smiled, one arm vainly trying to reach around Brando’s shoulders.
Cinderella shook her head. “So what was all this about, tonight?”
Brando disengaged himself from the Prince’s grip and stepped forward. “Well, it’s like this. Princey and I were, you know, very good friends. The king didn’t approve, obviously, since he expected Princey to marry and produce an heir.”
“That’s why we had the ball. I was supposed to pick out a wife, you see.” The Prince fanned himself with his gloves. “From that collection of ghastly dowagers.” He moved beside Brando, and took the fairy’s hand in his own. “Actually, though what your bear did was awful, it did give me an excuse to get out of there.”
“As I was saying.” Brando shot the Prince a ‘shut-up’ look. “The king had me banished, so I couldn’t go to the ball myself. I had to find a way to get my Princey out of there.”
“Hold on.” Cinderella held up her hands. “So it was all some little scheme of yours? All that fairy godfather stuff, the cucumber, the dress. All so you could meet up with him?” She indicated the prince with a jerk of her thumb.
“Yes.” Brando assumed a smug expression and squeezed the Prince’s hand. “Rather clever of me, don’t you think? Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’d better run. The King’s bound to realise what’s happening as soon as his men report back.”
“Oh, that won’t be a problem. The soldiers don’t know you.” The Prince smiled, showing expensive dentistry.
“But you said my name, dear.” Brando propelled the Prince towards the door. Cinderella blocked the way.
“What about me? You can’t just build up my hopes like that and then walk away. What about Binkie? He’s still out there somewhere.”
“Don’t worry about Binkie. He’ll come home.” Brando pushed Cinderella gently aside.
“How? Won’t he have changed back into an ordinary stuffed bear by now?”
Brando opened the door. He winked at Cinderella, tapped his finger on the side of his nose, then he and the prince disappeared into the darkness.
Cinderella stood at the open door, her lip trembling, and watched the dark outlines of the trees sway in the breeze. A distant shout of indignation sounded, followed by Brando’s voice.
Cinderella curled her lip. It sounded like Binkie was on his way. She ducked inside and closed the door as a taxi halted outside the house, and ran to the kitchen.
The bottles Brando had emptied still lay around the floor. Fortunately the ones she had thrown hadn’t broken, so it was the work of moments to pick them all up and transfer them to the bin. Then she turned her attention to the pieces of cucumber littering the floor. She had just wiped up the last fragment when the kitchen door opened.
“I see you’ve done very little this evening.” Her stepmother’s shrill voice cut into the air. She walked to the fridge, eyeing the damp patches on the floor. “Not a particularly good job of washing the floor. Do it again.”
Cinderella sighed. She wished Brando had done something magical to her stepmother and stepsisters, preferably something involving hot spikes.
Her stepmother opened the fridge, stared for a moment, then slammed it closed.
“Where’s the Babycham?”
“Oh.” Cinderella’s jaw dropped.
“You little slut. You’ve sat around drinking our booze all evening. No wonder you’ve made such a mess of the floor.”
Cinderella ducked as her stepmother grabbed a broom and swung it. She was less lucky with the return stroke though, which caught her squarely on the side of the head. Her stepmother grasped the broom in both hands and prodded Cinderella with it.
“Get to your room. No supper tonight, and no breakfast tomorrow. You’ll make bacon and eggs for us in the morning, and I’ll watch you to make sure you eat nothing. Then you can go shopping. Your sisters will go with you, so you don’t sneak any food.” She gave Cinderella a sharp jab in the ribs. “Now get out of my sight.”
Cinderella ran up the stairs to her room. She fell onto the bed, tears streaming down her cheeks. This wasn’t how the story was supposed to go. She should, by now, be on her way to the palace to marry the Prince. Instead, she had been blamed for Brando’s Babycham binge and was likely to suffer for days, maybe weeks, as a result.
The deep voice made Cinderella sit up and wipe the tears from her eyes. She gasped at the sight of Binkie, standing just inside the open window. His fur looked a little scraped, threadbare in places, but sliding at speed along country lanes did that to a bear.
“Binkie! You’re back.” Cinderella jumped off the bed and ran to hug her bear. “You’re still alive. How?”
Binkie put his arms around Cinderella and guided her back to the bed. “Brando called it ’compensation’. I’ll be a normal stuffed bear in daylight, but I’ll come to life at night.”
As she lay back on the bed, Cinderella forgave Brando. He wasn’t such a selfish fairy after all.
I hope the formatting survives the transition from Word. Finally, if you’re offended, well then you shouldn’t have read it, should you?
There will be more of this kind of thing coming in the future.