The Fairest In the Land

The Fairest In the Land

A Story by H

this is not a snippet { and i am still editing it etc :| }



She whistles the tune to a Disney film she can barely remember, its cheery woodland creatures and feather fingered maidens a tribute to another time, another frame of mind.

She takes a warm shower to open her pores and hears her godmother calling.

“Come, Marie, when you’re ready. Dinner is almost finished.”

She shampoos a few minutes, rinses, and steps over the rim of the tub and into the fading steam. She turns off the water and towel dries her hair, taking only an occasional glimpse at her reflection.

Locked with moisture, Marie’s hair lacks the energetic curls and twists it usually has. She wraps a towel around her bare body and grins into the mirror. She promises herself  that she will do something completely out of the ordinary tonight. Something adventurous.

In the kitchen, her godmother hums as the snappy scent of arroz con pollo sifts into the air. Marie tip toes through the hall naked, giddy and ecstatic. It is unusually warm for an autumn evening in New York City, and Marie is dry before she reaches her bedroom. Once inside, the towel drops to the floor. The radio blares and the Disney song is lost in a trove of Easy Bake brownies and pink hair clips. Instead, Marie bounces along to Rock the Casbah in her panties. She paints her lips red and drags a smidgen of charcoal across her eyelids. It is the work of an adolescent, but the beauty products serve their purpose. With the aid of Seventeen Magazine, Marie has transformed herself into a glimmering silver swan. She delicately realigns her godmother’s make up along her bureau and adds a tamer to her wild hair. A trickle of sweat runs down her brow. Marie pushes open the window and leans over the fire escape.

“Marie, wouldn’t you like something to eat?”

Marie leaps over her bedside table and intercepts the doorway.

“Not now,” she says, “I’m getting ready!”

“Apurate, chica!”

Marie watches fondly as the little woman walks down the hallway. She turns to her mattress where she laid our her outfit for the evening dance and groans. Her dress is crushed beneath two great beasts, tattered from the neckline down.


“You could go as a pirate.”

A small gathering has formed to mourn the loss of Marie’s dress. They look on solemnly as her godmother examines the tear.

“Shut up, Carr. You never have any good ideas.”

David Carr, tall and smartly dressed, has been a friend of Marie’s since childhood. Jordan Baker, their irritated cohort in the French maid getup folds her arms and scowls. 

“It can be fixed,” she says. 

“Yes,” says Marie, “but not in time for the dance.”

She burrows her head in her hands.

“It’s all your fault you goddamn cats!”

The orange tom she points at looks smug. As much can be said for it’s partner.

“You could go in the towel,” David offers weakly.

Jordan rolls her eyes and spreads her hands over her lap decisively.

“She can just wear another dress.”

Marie’s mouth opens and closes. Nothing. She doesn’t need to explain. There is no other dress.

Then, as if Marie’s godmother has anticipated this, she rises from her seat and says: “I believe I have something for you Marie.”

She disappears into her bedroom, and after rummaging around through her closet, she returns with an evening gown that puts Marie’s original costume to shame.

Marie fawns over it and tries it on at once. The other dress is quickly forgotten and the cats do not hesitate to mark their territory.


“What do you think?” Marie breaths, admiring herself in her bedroom mirror.

Jordan a thin, pale girl who’s nose looks like a maraschino cherry sunk between her eyes admits that she has been outdone.


She means it. Marie looks fabulous. The knee length gown accentuates her curves and shapely legs while the deep red brings out the color of her lips.

“Absolutely perfect. It looks like it was made for you.”

Marie’s godmother smiles and urges her friends to eat a little before they go. Jordan declines, but David accepts the offer graciously and engulfs a portion suited for a small family in less than half an hour.

The clock strikes eight.

Marie and Jordan slip on their pumps in girlish excitement as David waits by the front door.


Her godmother emerges from the kitchen and squeezes her  shoulder with a sudsy hand.

“Remember to be home at midnight.”

David tries to conceal his incredulous laughter as the three friends leave the building.


A cluster of fat pigeons welcome them upon their arrival in Jordan’s clunker, a 1979 Buick Skylark. Marie steps out into the dampness and inspects the parking lot. Everyone, it seems, is already inside. Jordan follows, her face falling when she sees the mechanic beauties her jalopy is surrounded by.

David shrugs.


They pull on their masks in perfect unison and draw near the school. It blares colored lights and throbs with the fast paced boom of drum machines and bass. They enter from the front, swallowed into the abyss of the gymnasium.


“He’s looking at you!”

Jordan throws her arm over Marie’s shoulder. The constant flash of the strobe light reflects upon her clammy skin. Her face has the lazy drunk's expression.

Marie gazes into Jordan's watery eyes and sniffs the contents of her plastic cup. She puts it down on the table in front of her without a second glance. Somebody spiked the punch.

“Jordan, you’re drunk.”

With a dash of hope, Marie looks for her other friend, but she can’t find him within the sea of sweating, bouncing bodies. Something slithers out from behind her.

“Don’t you have anything better to do?” Marie snaps, crossing her arms.

“Yes, actually,” David remarks gallantly.

He points to a petite blonde wrapped around his arm and grins.

“I’ll see you in school. Be safe.”

They slip out the back and Jordan is upon her again. This time with determination. There’s a mischievous glint in her eyes. She wheels Marie around to face the center of the gymnasium, crushing a number of Halloween decorations in the process.

“He’s looking at you,” she repeats, pointing toward a large dark shape across from them.


Jordan hiccups.

“Shane Omen! He hasn’t taken his eyes off of you since we came through the door!”

Marie can make out the arch of his shoulders and his proud posture. He was looking at her, and when he had her attention a wry smile blossomed onto his pixie like face.

“He’s down right gorgeous,” Jordan whines, “and-- oh look! He wants to dance with you. You are so lucky.”

Marie doesn’t hear her over the rush of blood in her head. She can’t deny herself the excitement. Her heart is thumping rapidly--dancing with Shane Omen would be something out of the ordinary. Something adventurous.

A slow paced song begins to play and Omen hands his drink to one of his friends.

“Oh, damn.”

Omen slides on a simple black eye mask. He looks like an extravagant criminal, the way he slips through the crowd like smoke.


She can hardly breath. He towers above her, gleaming in his white suit like some holy man. When he holds his large hand out to her, the rest of the world disappears completely. He smiles like a hungry wolf.

“May I have this dance?”

His voice has a sensual huskiness to it and his eyes are dark--dangerous. Marie nods and lets Omen twirl her onto the dance floor. He’s an excellent dancer. His movements are gorgeous and fluid. Marie becomes conscious of her own clumsiness, but Omen seems to enjoy it. He laugh a big bear laugh, a hearty laugh when she treads on his feet.

The hungry wolf bares his teeth and whispers something in her ear.

Marie smiles sheepishly. She has no idea how long they’ve been dancing, only that her feet feel as though she’s been stepping upon knives. The last of the students linger at the back entrance and eventually disperse.

“It must be nearing midnight,” she says lightly, “I need to find my friends and--”

“You’re not leaving yet.”

He's pressing his hand forcibly to her waist, his face nuzzled into her neck.


She comes to the conclusion that it wouldn’t do any harm. She’ll just explain to her godmother that she had been swept off her feet by prince charming--and how charming he was!

The full moon dips through the gymnasium windows, casting a canopy of light over discarded cups and plates. Omen looks beautiful under its pale light. Marie doesn’t object when he goes in for a kiss. He’s surprisingly bearish, his tongue writhes like a snake in her mouth. Marie pulls away and licks her lips. Omen thrusts his mouth to hers. Their jaws knock together as he pushes against her. She waits with a racing heartbeat.

His hands are running down the length of her torso, rubbing her hips, finding their way under her gown, grabbing her a*s. His fingers have scaled every part of her unexposed body.

“This is…a bit too much for one dance.”

His mouth grazes her neck, his fingers tightening their grip upon her collar bone.

“Please, Shane.”

He doesn’t listen. He grunts and holds back her arms. Marie fights to hold back the tears, but they win, and they spill over

“Shh,” he urges, “I only want to see…”

With his free hand he tears Marie’s feathered mask from her face.

He grins like a jack lantern.


“Leave me alone!”

She claws a path down the stairs to the lady’s locker room.  Her godmother’s mascara is running down her face in globs. Marie searches for the railing in the dark. Dreading the sound of the falling footsteps.

She can hear the wolf breathing.  

Marie scurries forward. The pumps are burning her feet. Her tears are burning, her throat is burning. His hands feel like flames lapping her wrists.

“I’ll f*****g kill you.”

The wolf pulls her in close.

“Do you hear me?” he demands.

Marie turns to fend for herself in the only way she knows how. The heel of her shoe collides with the soft flesh of Omen’s balls. His pride and joy. He staggers back, nursing his balls with his hands. A switchblade twirls onto the floor.


Marie stands motionless; a marble statue under the dim light of the moon.

“Get over here you f*****g b***h!”

A wad of muscle in his neck tightens. He is not in as much pain as he seems to be. With one hand at her throat and another at her breast, he rams her into the metal lockers until the left side of her face is battered and a fresh, purple bruise is spreading across her arm.

She wheezes in agony. Every breath she takes feels as though her rib cage has cracked and her windpipes have collapsed.

The world is a convoluted arcadia and the locker room her cold and sudden grave.

“You like that?” he mumbles. “Huh? ‘Cause you tell anyone-- if you even whisper it to yourself--”

Marie wriggles in his grip. Omen chuckles.

“I’ll know. I’m not letting you out of my sight.”

He rips open the front of her gown.

Marie thrashes away from him. She digs her pumps into his shins. She shuts her eyes and kicks ruthlessly until she can’t feel anything moving. Until the entire room is still.

Marie allows herself to take a peek. The wolf is crumpled onto a bench. He's gasping for air and clutching her shoe to his abdomen.

Marie exhales slowly and removes her other one.

There are no words exchanged between them. No regards. They stare at each other until Marie turns her back on him and limps out.


She breaths in the scent of wet early morning air and shudders when it fills her lungs. Marie throws her arms up into the sky. She's a bloodied and battered child of the stars.

Marie races down the avenue barefoot. She's exhilarated by the pain of the rush, and then like clockwork, Jordan’s Buick pulls up to the curb.

The window rolls down and Jordan’s pale face appears. Her dishwater eyes are wide and bright like headlights.


She's sputtering, rushing from the car and offering Marie her jacket.

“What happened? You’re all--what the f**k happened?”

“Oh hell,” she says, biting her lower lip. “Do we need to get you to a hospital? I’ll call David. Your godmother!”

Marie crumbles into the passenger seat.

“No,” she chokes, “I don’t want…”

She breaks off here and Jordan starts the car.

“Let’s just go for a bit of a drive.”

They ride in silence. Jordan’s tapping her fingers against the steering wheel and Marie’s relaxing into the car seat.

The Buick screeches to a halt in front of a run down diner and Jordan turns to face Marie.

“What happened to you?”

Marie shakes her head.

“You can tell me,” Jordan snaps, “I’m not your f*****g godmother, okay?”

Marie shakes her head again, “You're not stupid.”

“But who, Marie?” Jordan asks, “who?”

Marie leans over Jordan and starts the car again, then waves her hand.

Jordan drives.

“I didn’t know him,” Marie says in the midst of the silence.

Jordan’s mouth forms a small ‘o’ as she turns onto the freeway.

“F****r. Did the cops get him?”

Marie pauses.


“Serves him right, that son of a b***h.”

The sun peeks over the rooftops like a dim candle flickering in the distance.

“At least you had that dance,” Jordan mutters to herself.

“Where does the time go? And where did your other shoe go?"

Marie hugs the pump to her chest and smiles. She bends her neck toward the sunrise and hums a merry tune.


© 2011 H

Author's Note

{ retelling of cinderella. }

My Review

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Featured Review

This was awesome! I love how it didn't turn out to be another typical love story, but one where our princess is hunted by the big bad wolf... Shane Omen. Wasn't that a character in Mean Girls? The progression of the day and evening, from excitement to terror, was brilliant! There's really not much for me to critique, quite honestly. I enjoyed it a lot :]

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Not a bad story. A little polish and it will be pretty tight. Not much on errors and the flow was nice. Not a bad read.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Nice revision! That's where it's done, but you know that! ;^)

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is sickeningly good. Alot of great lines and describtions "the world is a convoluted arcadia" You write well for your age. The connection between lust and terror makes for a goddamn brilliant theme. Kudos:)

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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wow cool, I like it at fiest I thought it was going to be like every other story then it changed.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is brilliant!
Such description.
I love how you move the story along at a good pace and the characters are awesome.
Great write.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

great. totally loved it. and to the girl below Shane Owens was from mean girls not shane omen

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

this is really excellent! i have a feeling that in the last chapter when shes smiling, shes thinking about shane omen. like she enjoyed it or something, its quite morbid.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was awesome! I love how it didn't turn out to be another typical love story, but one where our princess is hunted by the big bad wolf... Shane Omen. Wasn't that a character in Mean Girls? The progression of the day and evening, from excitement to terror, was brilliant! There's really not much for me to critique, quite honestly. I enjoyed it a lot :]

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Here I go. Grab a coffee or Kool-Aid (whatever the kids are drinking nowadays) this may take a minute:
an occasional glimpse at her reflection isn't narcissism, it's demure and connects to the title the way its supposed to. Well done. The way you set up this character is crafty, girl. From the moment she steps out of the shower until her last smile at the story's end. Character is everything.

She's dry before she gets to her bedroom. Pretty common where I live (7% humidity) and a nice touch seeing that it's warm for an autumn evening. I also like the arroz con pollo; these are touches that breathe life into the writing.

I also like the choice of the word "trove' as in a trove of Easy Bake brownies and pink hair clips. Aside from the fact that the sentence is sheer poetry (Easy Bake Brownies like a little girl that still believes in princes and princesses), the word trove is defined as a store of valuable or delightful things and properly evokes the fairy tale mood here. Choices like that help the visual character of your writing. Very nice.

First problem: amateur adolescent. She's either one or the other. Most people between 13 and 21 are professional adolescents. She's either applying make-up like an amateur (which isn't bad considering how demure she was in the bathroom) or like an adolescent (naive or unsophisticated) which may work better for this piece.

Second Problem: I would like to suggest changing "Well, rapido." to something else. It comes off like Spanglish. If she's Caribbean (Puerto Rican or Cuban) it's more likely going to be "�Apurate, chica!" If she's Mexican, "�Corrale, tiznada!" or "�Con prisa, muchacha!" if you want to be more Hispanic neutral.

Possibly not a problem at all: Her dress is smushed beneath two great beasts. Yeah? Who? The Fat Boys? A griffin and an ox? It may be too fine a point, I admit, but you could give the reader a small hint ;^) for clarity sake. Obviously, you reveal who ruined the dress in the next section. Maybe say "her dress is smushed beneah two great beasts, Frank and Stein" or whatever she's named her cats, but again, it might be too fine a point.

The cats do not hesitate to mark their territory-- perfect!

Last problem: Then Jordan folds her arms pretentiously. One cannot do that. She can gesture in a flamboyant manner because the attention isn't on her, if that's her personality, or she can wave her hands about dramatically because she's upset about the torn dress, but she cannot fold her arms pretentiously.

Love this description: Jordan a thin, pale girls who's nose looks like a maraschino cherry sunk between her eyes admits that she has been outdone. Love it!

The clock strikes eight. (Uh-oh!)

1979 Buick Skylark-- a classic.

Shane Omen is a nice twist. Not a prince charming after all, a wolf. Smart writing, girl. From Section III to the end-- on the edge of my seat!

We need to find a graphic novel publisher for you, hon. Seriously.

ttyl xo

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Enjoyed reading it...especially how each event unfolds and ties in together well...thanks for sharing this with's great!

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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14 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on August 29, 2009
Last Updated on April 5, 2011



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