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Cindy -- A Modern Fairy Tale
(****, M/F, Severe, severe caning, true love)
A fanciful retelling of the Cinderella story. (Approximately 7,210 words. Originally published 2003-12.)
Once long ago there lived a beautiful little girl named Cindy. She had large blue eyes and long hair of gold like her mother. But one day, the day before Cindy was to become a teenager, her father was eaten by a huge wolf. Her mother, upon hearing this awful news, collapsed into a state of shock and never recovered.
Thus poor little Cindy found herself suddenly jerked from her harsh but cozy life in the mountains to the teeming city where she was forced to live with a distant Aunt. The distant Aunt disliked Cindy because she was so much prettier than her own two daughters, who were spoilt and vain and quite ugly. She resented the extra mouth to feed and therefore rarely did, preferring to nourish Cindy with frequent cruel strokes from her long rattan cane. She made the young girl do all the chores in the house (including her own) and wouldn't hesitate to punish her for the slightest failure in her duties.
Now most young girls in Cindy's situation would have become depressed and morose, but not Cindy. Instead she whistled and sang and seemed to be very happy, for she had been taught that one must never let circumstance get you down. And though the mean Aunt doubled the chores and whipped Cindy's bare bottom almost daily, it did not deter the perky girl's spirits. It drove the Aunt and the sisters to distraction, so they decided to ignore her and pretend she didn't exist.
Life continued in this manner for Cindy for several years. Her days were long and difficult. She was up before dawn fetching the wood for the fire and water from the well, relieving the hens of their eggs and the cows of their milk, and watering and feeding all the animals. By the time her Aunt and sisters had awakened Cindy had hot breakfast on the table. If Cindy didn't (which was unfortunately often the case, as the farm animals were never very predictable), she found herself bent across the kitchen table, knickers down around her ankles and skirt up over her head, and Aunt's thin cane leaving red stripes of pain across her bare buttocks.
On the days when breakfast was ready on time Cindy usually still found herself weeping and gasping from the sharp kisses of the cane, as it was almost inevitable that Aunt would find something inadequate about the meal. Perhaps the bread was burned or the porridge too hot. It didn't really matter. Aunt caned Cindy because it amused her, and there was nothing Cindy could do but wince and wiggle her beautiful bare bottom in supplication and hope for mercy.
One day Cindy awoke with a special sense of excitement. Today was her sixteenth birthday! As she fed the chickens she imagined a beautiful white cake like the one her mother had promised her for her thirteenth birthday, a celebration that had been forgotten in the midst of mourning and grief. She knew she'd get no such cake from her Aunt, but she hoped at least she'd be allowed to eat some breakfast today. She was so hungry!
There was also the matter of the Ball. The Prince had announced he was looking for a wife and had invited all of the single women in the county to a huge celebration at the palace. Everyone was invited -- no one was to be refused. Cindy had secretly been sewing herself a gown late at night after everyone had gone to sleep and it was nearly finished. Surely Aunt would let her attend the Ball.
But alas! Cindy's Aunt was livid when she discovered that it was the girl's birthday. Sixteen was courting age and Aunt knew that Cindy would have no lack of suitors. This enraged her because it served as a painful reminder that her own two daughters, at eighteen and nineteen no less, were still husbandless. She caned Cindy twice as long after breakfast that morning, despite the fact that everything was on time and virtually perfect. After the caning she produced a leather belt and proceeded to lash Cindy's bottom and legs for a good half-hour for her "birthday spanking" as she called it.
The sisters watched and giggled the whole time, scolding the pretty girl and encouraging their mother to really punish Cindy for her "naughtiness." But far worse than the whipping was the sight of the two girls trying on their expensive ball gowns and talking about what a wonderful evening it was going to be. Cindy realized from the way they spoke that no one expected her to go.
"Please, Aunt," she begged finally, "mightn't I be allowed to go to the Ball if I finish all my chores? It's just for a few hours."
Her Aunt stared at her in astonishment and the sisters cackled. "But you have nothing to wear!" said Aunt finally.
"But I have made myself a dress!" Excited, Cindy raced to her room and returned with the dress, almost completely finished. It wasn't fancy, but it was clean and elegant, and Aunt saw instantly the sparse material would show off Cindy's delightful figure.
"Why it's scandalous!" Aunt cried. "It will barely cover your bosom!"
Cindy looked crushed. "I'm afraid I ran out of cloth."
"Ah? And where did you get the cloth!"
"I took it from the scrapes you threw out," said Cindy proudly. "It was very difficult piecing everything together and making it come out right and took me months but it's almost finished."
Aunt hissed cruelly. "You stole it! You stole those scrapes from my own garbage heap! How dare you!"
"No!" pleaded Cindy, but Aunt was already approaching with her long leather strap. Reluctantly but obediently, Cindy knelt and bared her bottom for the whipping that she knew was to follow. But after just a few dozen strokes Aunt stopped and Cindy looked up in surprise. Aunt had picked up the dress and to Cindy's ultimate horror she tore it to pieces. She tossed the shredded remains into the fire and Cindy wept as she saw all her dreams vanish in a puff of smoke.
"You must learn not to steal," scolded Aunt sternly. "If you had asked me for those pieces of cloth I might have given them to you but you had no right to just take them."
Cindy nodded, knowing it was pointless to argue. "But may I go to the Ball?"
Aunt shrugged. "Like that?" She waved a gnarled hand at Cindy's stained and shapeless rags. "Certainly, _if_ you finish your chores."
Cindy smiled with joy. "Oh, thank you Aunt!" She hugged the large frame of her Aunt.
"Fine. Now shut up and get this floor cleaned. It is filthy!"
* * * * *
The next morning Cindy became very depressed for the first time in many years. For once her boyant spirit was crushed. In her hand was the list of chores to be completed before she could go to the Ball. The list was over twenty items long, and many would takes days to complete. There was absolutely no way she would possibly finish by the next night. Cindy worked herself to the bone all day and as long into the night as she could but she eventually found herself falling asleep. She wasn't even a third finished. There was no way.
Saturday morning began with her oversleeping and not having breakfast on time. She took her caning with her usual good spirits, but she resented the strokes this time because she really had tried her very best and didn't feel she deserved it.
After the punishment, Aunt told Cindy she and the sisters were going to be gone during the day to dress and prepare for the Ball that evening, and that she had better not show up unless all the chores were finished. Cindy nodded and plotted in her mind that perhaps she could still sneak away, though she dreaded thinking what awful punishment her Aunt would give her for such disobedience.
Cindy worked impossibly hard all day long and managed to complete a good two thirds of the list by evening in addition to cleaning her rag of a garment the best she could. It still looked like nothing more than slave rags but it was all she had and she'd wear it proudly. But when Cindy was preparing to leave she was surprised to hear horses. Aunt was returning! Cindy rushed to pretend to be hard at work scrubbing the kitchen floor. Suddenly she was lifted up and pulled by her hair. She was taken to the attic and locked inside, Aunt laughing and telling her, "See you in the morning, you lazy tramp!"
Cindy collapsed in a heap among the dusty furniture and cobwebs and began to cry, really feeling sorry for herself. She heard the carriage leave and knew that it was truly over now. She could not go to the Ball despite everything her Aunt said and all the work she'd done.
Suddenly there was a flash of light and Cindy looked up in surprise to see a tall man staring at her. He was very pale and beautiful with rather feminine features. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Cindy!" said the man.
"Up here, crying as though there was no hope. There is always hope. You have always thought so before. Why do you not believe so now?"
Cindy looked at the man in bewilderment. "It's hopeless, now. I've tried everything. I tried being good, I tried being sneaky, I tried to work hard, but nothing worked. It's all over now. The Ball must be starting right now."
"It's never hopeless, Cindy. You ought to be spanked for even thinking such a naughty thing!"
"Oh," said Cindy, blushing and looking at the ground.
"Do you know who I am?"
"I'm your fairy godfather," said the man with a little curtsey.
Cindy smiled at him. "What does that mean?"
"It means, my dear, that you are going to the Ball!" With the snap of his fingers there came a puff of light and the door to the attic popped open. Cindy stared in amazement. She climbed down eagerly.
"But how will I get there? It's already so late!" There was anther flash and the man pointed to the window. Cindy looked out and saw a magnificant carriage with a half-a-dozen black stallions in front and its own footman and driver.
But there was still more. With the wave of his hand Cindy's frail dress disappeared (leaving her embarrassingly naked for a moment) only to be replaced by a gorgeous white gown made of the most expensive silk. It fit prefectly and was held in place by a purple sash that added color and dash to the dress. Crystal slippers completed the outfit and Cindy could barely breathe she felt so wonderful.
"It's incredible!" she exclaimed finally. "But my chores..." Her godfather smiled and snapped his fingers. Instantly Cindy noticed the floor was spotless, and the huge pile of clothing she had been instructed to wash was clean and folded. All her chores were finished! She laughed and hugged the man. "Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!" she gushed. "I've never been so grateful in all my life!"
The tall man held up his hand. "Please wait before you thank me. I'm sure you are aware that there is no free lunch. There is a price for everything."
"But I have no money!"
"That doesn't matter, because I don't accept money. No, I want your spirit, girl."
"Yes, your will. And nothing exposes a girl's spirit as a sound spanking, as I am certain you are aware. A girl being spanked is completely selfless and obedient."
Cindy stared at the fairy in amazement. "You want to spank me?"
"Yes. One sound bare-bottomed hand-spanking for each magic I did: the dress, the carriage, the chores, etc., claimable at my leisure. Do you agree?"
The pretty blonde didn't even really care. Hand-spankings didn't sound very fierce. "Whatever," she said with a toss of her head. "If I can go to the ball it is worth any price, even a spanking."
"Good. There is one other consideration, however: you must be home by midnight. At the stroke of twelve this dress and the carriage and driver will vanish. Do you understand?"
"Huh? Oh, sure. Can I please go to the Ball now?" Cindy was rather impatient. She'd never actually been to a real ball, but all the stories she'd heard made it sound incredibly beautiful and romantic. Perhaps she'd get to dance with a real gentleman, or even -- dare she think it -- the Prince himself?
* * * * *
The Ball was even more wonderful than Cindy had dreamed. The carriage stopped outside the magnificent stairway that led to the entrance to the palace. When Cindy got out she was escorted up the long red carpet by two footmen who treated her with all the dignity and respect deserving a queen!
The inside of the ballroom was even more fantastic. The ceiling was so high it made Cindy dizzy to gaze upward and she was almost blinded by all the sparkling chandeliers. The main floor was crowded with hundreds of couples dressed in elegant gowns and suits moving slowly to the music of a full orchestra.
Cindy was flattered when several men immediately came to her side, bowed and kissed her hand, and asked her to dance. She picked one of the gentlemen, a tall young man with a dainty black mustache. He gracefully led her out onto the dance floor and as they danced he told her his name was Charles, and that his father was a Count. He asked her questions but she answered rather vaguely, telling him her name was Cindy and that was all. No sense spoiling her chances at snagging a good husband by revealing that she was only a lowly housemaid!
After the dance with Charles, Cindy danced in turn with Frederick, Sir Thomas, Anthony, and Arthur, but she was surprised to discover that while the men were handsome and charming and even polite, none of them melted her candle, to use a naughty euphenism she'd overheard from one of her cousins. It seemed all they could talk about was kingdoms and royal politics and complain about the incessant complaints of the lower classes.
"Why do the peasants think they deserve more money for their labors?" Sir Frederick had coughed into her ear. "They ought to be happy we pay them at all. You'd think by now the poor would have learned their place, but they cannot stop complaining." Cindy had smiled thinly and nodded politely, but inside she was seething and wondering when was the last time Sir Frederick had to carry two dozen buckets of steaming water up three flights of stairs just so the mistress could have a hot bath in her bedroom.
Cindy danced with Charles again after the others, finding him the least objectionable of the men she had met, and it was with him she sat afterward and daintily ate the rich sweetbreads and thick slices of roast lamb that were part of the food available to the guests. The red wine was fruity and delicious, but everything was quite heady to poor Cindy, who unfortunately hadn't eaten food like that in years. She soon became slightly tipsy and very gay.
Seeing a golden opportunity, Charles eagerly took her glass and ran to fill it for her again. Cindy waited quietly, humming along with the orchestra seated near her and feeling warm and happy inside. A sudden sharp pain on her right ear startled her and she was pulled to her feet by a furious Aunt.
"How dare you show up here!" screamed the woman. "Where did you get this dress? Who did you steal it from? Answer me quick or it will go worse with you!"
"I-I-I don't know," muttered Cindy in confusion, her eyes filling with tears. She could see all her dreams and plans for the wonderful evening fading into white-hot strokes of the cane on her bottom.
"Liar!" cried the Aunt with unbelievable rage. Whether this was because her two daughters had yet to be asked for a single dance or because Cindy looked so lovely in her white gown is anybody's guess; the point is that the woman was in a fury beyond reason. She dragged Cindy away from the crowd and up the stairs in search of privacy. Behind them plump Dullina leapt at the chance to take over for her pretty cousin, a startled Charles reluctantly accepting the dance, his eyes watching the large woman take the more attractive girl away.
Cindy was crying by the time Aunt had led her upstairs to the royal restrooms, away from the general bustle of the crowd. She knew that Aunt would punish her horribly and probably never forgive her for disobeying her, but far worse was the knowledge that Cindy's Ball experience was finished -- she would get no more chances to dance with handsome young men.
Aunt wasted no time finding an empty waiting room and seating herself upon the broad sofa. She quickly dragged Cindy's thin figure across her ample lap and proceeded to lift Cindy's skirt and bare her bottom. Cindy wiggled and kicked her legs in fear and anticipation of what was surely to be the most embarrassing spanking of her life, and Aunt caught sight of the crystal slippers. She snatched at them eagerly, taking them off the girl and proceeding to use the flat sole as a spanking implement.
Cindy howled and kicked as the shatter-proof glass walloped her tender bottom over and over again. Aunt was furious, and in a lousy mood to boot, and she didn't spare poor Cindy one little bit. On and on she spanked, working herself into a serious sweat.
* * * * *
Now at that moment outside this chamber passed a young man. He was in a hurry, walking rapidly, his forehead creased in serious thought, when he heard the terrible sounds emerging from the waiting room. Startled, he boldly went to the door and opened it, remembering at the last moment that this was rude, even though he was the King's son and in his own home. He attempted to close the door at this realization but found his eye distracted and hypnotized by the awesome sight that met his eyes.
A large woman was seated on a sofa in a corner and face down across her lap was a gorgeous young lady. The girl was being soundly spanked with a glass slipper. The girl's shapely buttocks were bared and glowing scarlet. But even more amazing than that was the girl's reaction -- she was crying, to be certain, but it was not a panicked wild cry; it was a quiet sob of despair that caused the Prince's heart to nearly split in sympathy. He instantly knew this girl was not crying because of the spanking, but because of something much deeper.
Without a thought of the consequences the Prince pushed open the door. "She's had enough, Ma'am," he said to the woman, carefully helping the weeping Cindy to her feet.
"Why how dare--" began the woman, and then she froze, terror filling her features. "Oh my! The Prince! Your highness, I beg your pardon!" She fell to the floor and began to kiss the Prince's boots.
"Please," he growled with irritation. He smiled at Cindy. "Are you one of my guests?"
"She most certainly is not!" exclaimed Aunt rudely, pushing herself in front of the speechless Cindy. "She's nothing but a lazy servant girl who ought to be beaten for even being here."
The Prince glared at the woman. "I believe I asked _her_," he said pointedly, pushing Aunt aside. The woman collapsed onto the couch in shock. The Prince smiled at Cindy. "Well? I do believe my father's invitation extended to any single female in the kingdom, even a 'lazy servant girl.' Are you my guest?"
Still stunned, Cindy nodded. She was too terrified to speak. Imagine, the Prince himself talking with her!
"Good," said the Prince. He held out his arm. "May I have this dance?"
Cindy took the arm and followed the man in a daze. Her bottom still ached from the spanking and her face felt blotchy with tears. She'd lost her slippers and walked in her bare feet, but walking beside the Prince she felt she was floating on air. As the two entered the main ballroom there was a respectable silence reserved for the entrance of the guest of honor and son of the King, and Cindy felt like a queen. She was terrified of all the people staring at her but the excitement was dizzying.
At a nod from the Prince the orchestra began a new tune and the Prince began to dance with Cindy. For a moment Cindy was too nervous and too intimidated to follow the steps, but the Prince smiled at her so kindly that she blushed and began to relax. Soon the two were dancing like old partners, each intimately aware of the other's presence.
"You are very beautiful," said the Prince.
Cindy blushed and looked away. Surely the Prince could not seriously be interested in her, a poor servant girl!
The Prince could not get the image of the girl out of his mind. He saw her naked, upside down, her bottom red and swollen from spanking, her graceful face spotted with heavy tears.
"Why were you crying?" he asked.
Cindy was shocked at the question. "You mean upstairs?" She blushed crimson. "Because it hurt!"
The Prince shook his head. "No, that is not why. Tell me why."
If the man had slapped her Cindy could not have been more shocked. She stared at him in astonishment, halting in mid-dance step, unware that hundreds of couples also stopped dancing out of respect for the Prince. Cindy tried to comprehend what he said. She knew it was true -- the slippering had not been that painful after all, though it had been humiliating -- but she was very surprised that the Prince was insightful enough to have been able to see that part of herself so clearly so quickly.
"I--" she started to say when there was a loud BONG!
"What was that?" she cried in alarm. BONG!
BONG! "It's the clock. It is midnight," said the Prince. BONG!
"Oh no!" BONG! Without stopping to think of how it must look, she turned and ran for the door, dodging frozen couples and leaping through the orchestra pit. BONG! BONG! BONG!
"Wait!" cried the Prince. "Where are you going?" BONG! He ran after the mysterious girl, snapping his fingers at his guards. BONG! "I don't even know your name!" BONG!
The girl had reached the main entrance, her way barred by two burly soldiers armed with long pikes. She came to a stop and glanced back toward the Prince, horror on her face. BONG!
Instantly Cindy's beautiful gown vanished. One moment she was an elegant lady at a Ball, as fine as any princess, and the next she was a nude seductress with a scarlet behind. The crowd was stunned. Even the Prince froze in disbelief. The girl's sleek beauty took his breath away, as did the unmatchable expression of mortification upon her face as she realized her situation.
With a cry of dismay the girl turned and slipped between the startled guards who were too enamored by the girl's sudden change of habit to chase after her. Two full minutes of silence passed while everyone in the ballroom feared to breathe. Waiters froze in mid-step, couples stopped and stared, conversations dangled, and the orchestra paused in mid-chord.
Then the Prince let out a cry. "Get her!"
As soldiers scurried from all parts of the palace after the naked girl, the guests began to move and chat again. Murmurs swept the ballroom. "Who was that girl?" "Was she a witch?" "Did the Prince actually dance with that tramp?" "Did you see her bottom? I swear it looked like she'd just been flogged!"
* * * * *
The search proved fruitless. The girl had vanished into the night, running through the woods. As nearly the entire town was at the ball there was no one who had seen her run past, and the Prince even failed to find the large woman who had been spanking the girl, for by the time he thought to search for her, the woman had departed.
He did find the slippers, though, abandoned upstairs in the room where the girl had been spanked with them. The Prince took the shoes and vowed to discover who they belonged to. He spoke with his father, the King, and upon receiving his father's blessing, the Prince set out with a troop of soldiers to visit every home in the kingdom and discover whose foot fit the shoes.
Weeks passed without any luck. No woman fit the shoe. Rumors spread through the kingdom and everywhere the Prince went crowds of young ladies gathered to try on the shoes, hoping for a fit. The Prince was growing tired and frustrated.
Finally he visited a town near the palace and vowed that after this town he would try no more for a while. He had almost convinced himself the girl was nothing but a vision, a figment of his imagination. He could scarcely remember what she looked like. He knew she was beautiful, but her face was gone from his memory. All he could remember was her sweet bottom, red and glowing, peeking out from underneath that glorious white dress as her mistress soundly spanked her.
But this last town was also a failure. No one matched the shoe. He ordered the men to leave and as he was getting on his horse a young woman showed up. She was far from attractive, having a pale complexion and a red nose that was slightly too big. Her teeth were crooked and her voice was scratchy and harsh.
"Please sir, you must come and let my sister try on the slipper," she said. "It will fit, I assure you." The Prince was tired, and did not feel like going, but the girl seemed convinced, and so he went.
She led him to the remains of what had once been a fine house at the edge of town, but had now fallen into disrepair and neglect. They were greeted by a large woman whom the girl greeted as "Mother." The woman struck a vague chord with the Prince, though he couldn't tell what stirred his memory. He certainly didn't _like_ her -- she was smarmy and oily, bowing and scraping constantly, and kicking her daughter when she didn't obey fast enough or bow low enough.
Inside the house it was dark, the room lit by a single dismal candle in the far corner, and the Prince had to squint to convince himself that the figure seated before him was indeed a young lady. She was plumper than he'd remembered, and the face was chunkier and less elegant than his memory told him, but she did have golden hair. Could she be the one?
His heart dipped at that thought, and he resolved to speak to his father about toning down the lighting at future balls -- and watering down the wine. This task would be much easier if he'd been clear-headed at the ball and the chandeliers hadn't made just about anyone look at least respectable, if not handsome. Once again, the image of the girl that came to the Prince's mind was not the pretty but vague figure he had danced with, but the red-bottomed beauty he'd seen upstairs.
The girl before him stuck out a fat foot and he offered the shoe. She grunted as she struggled to force her foot into it. It was obvious it didn't fit but the girl was determined, pushing until her face turned purple.
"Just give me a moment," she panted.
The Prince tried to let her down gently. "No need to force it."
"I've gained a little weight since the ball, that's all."
"Take your time."
"Perhaps it's these stockings -- they are rather thick," said the girl. The Prince turned away while the girl removed her stockings -- trying to look sexy and seductive while do so, and failing miserably. She tried on the shoe again, to no avail. The Prince stood up to leave. He didn't fail to notice the panic this threw into the annoying mother.
"I told you not to eat all those sweets!" she scolded her daughter. "Now look what you've done! Your own slipper won't fit."
"It's okay, Madame," said the Prince. "Her foot's simply too large."
"Nonsense," began the woman, but her protest was cut off by the entrance of a serving girl.
Normally the entrance of a serving girl would have no more been noticed by the Prince than the entrance of a fly at mealtime. But there was something remarkable about this girl. She had a presence that demanded attention. That she was completely unconscious of this made the attention all the more demanding.
The remarkable thing was that she was singing. Not humming or whistling, but singing. She didn't sing quietly, either, but with her full voice, as though she was on stage. Her voice was lovely, and it rose and fell with the grace of the wind. The words were beautiful poetry about the magic and mystery of love, and the tune was sweet and sad and haunting. From the first few notes the Prince had no doubt that he'd be hearing that melody in his sleep that night.
The girl was dancing as she sang, oblivious to the audience. She carried a heavy basket full of laundry in one arm, braced against her hip. The clothes were fresh and dry from the line outside. On top of the garments were a collage of wild flowers, pinks and yellows and whites and purples of the most wonderful hues. In the dim room the color was like a bright light had been lit. The Prince even thought he could smell the flowers, fresh and clean, full of sweet rain, or perhaps, he reflected, it was the girl?
The servant paused at the large table and proceeded to place flowers into a clay vase, singing all the while. The Prince stared, entranced. He saw that the girl was healthy and youthful, with long golden hair that glowed like a lake under a full moon. Her figure, as she danced and swayed to her music, was lithe and the Prince found himself wondering what she looked like without her stained and battered servant garb.
His reverie was broken by the craw of the old mother, who was screeching at the top of her lungs. "How dare you, you wretched, wretched girl!" she cried. "This is the crown Prince, son of the King, heir to the throne, and you don't even bow! Foolish girl, I shall flog within an inch of your life tonight!"
The girl was so startled she dropped the laundry basket. Her face went pale, then crimson when she saw the Prince. Her mouth fell open and the Prince saw she had lovely lips and teeth.
"My Lord," she stammered, stunned and aghast. She fell to the ground prostate, forehead against the floor, the curve of her backside the highest point of her body.
"Please," said the Prince, shutting the old mother up with a wave of one royal hand and extending the other to the servant girl.
The girl trembled and blushed as she took his hand and slowly rose. "I know I must die, my Lord," she said meekly.
"Not if I have any say in the matter," he said with a soft smile. Slowly, the girl smiled back, and it was like a sledgehammer had been driven into the Prince's chest. He recognized the smile. It was her! The girl from the ball. He was certain of it!
"You were at the ball?" he asked gently.
With a quick, nervous glance at the mother, the stood up straight and nodded. "Yes, your highness."
"No!" cried the mother. "It's a lie. She was here, working, all night!"
"Not true," said Cindy bravely. "I arrived at the ball late, but I was there, and I had the honor of dancing with you, my Lord."
"Then you must try on the glass slipper!" cried the Prince, certain that his quest was over.
At that moment there was a scuffle from the corner and Dupine gave a triumphant cry.
"See! It fits!"
The Prince stared in disbelief at the purple, swollen, distended flesh encased within the slim crystal enclosure. The girl must have been in agony, but she had managed to put on the shoe. Her mother stood behind her, gripping her arm so tightly the fingers dug into her flesh.
Dupine got to her feet and stood tentatively.
"No!" screamed the Prince, too late. There was the sound of glass breaking. Shards lay scattered around the swollen foot. "What have you done!"
"It... it was an accident," howled the girl, her flushed face revealing her misery.
"No matter," said the mother quickly, grasping the Prince's arm in a conspiratorial manner. "You saw that it fit her and that's all that really matters. It's obvious that she was the girl from the ball. Cindy, go fetch us the best wine from the cellar. We must celebrate."
The Prince shook his head. "She's not the one at all." His eyes went to Cindy, and then back to Dupine. "Let's go out into the sunlight where I can see the two of you properly."
"Such harsh light isn't good for her," inserted the mother. "She has sensitive skin."
"I don't mind, my Lord," interjected Cindy.
"Shut up," said the mother. "Go fetch that wine!"
"No," commanded the Prince in a voice that brooked no argument. "Everyone outside. Now."
In the late afternoon light the difference between Dupine and Cindy was astonishing. The Prince couldn't believe he'd been fooled, even for a second, into thinking that there was even a chance that Dupine had been the girl at the ball. But there was still the matter of proof.
The Prince snapped his fingers and his carriage driver quickly ran forward. At a word from the King's heir he retreated to the carriage for a moment, then returned bearing a second crystal slipper.
The faces of Dupine and her mother were crushed with disappointment. Cindy grinned with delight and clapped her hands. "You have a second shoe!" she cried happily. "You will see; it will fit me perfectly."
But it was not to be. For as the driver passed Aunt the woman's foot flashed out, catching his ankle. The man went flying, the shoe spiraling through the air. Everyone watched with various expressions of excitement, horror, and despair as it descended with a splittering crash against the hard cobblestone walkway.
"Oh dear," murmured the old woman. "The last shoe is gone. Such a tragedy. Oh, well. At least we know for certain that my daughter, Dupine, is the Prince's true love."
"No!" cried Cindy, kneeling beside the shattered glass and weeping. "It's not fair! It's just not fair!"
"Hush, lazy girl. Shut up and go fetch us that wine!" The Aunt pulled back her foot to kick the hapless girl when the Prince adroitly stepped in front of her. It happened so quickly and so smoothly that the woman kicked the Prince instead. Her face went ashen as he grimaced and rubbed his shin furiously.
"Oh my Lord!" she cried, kneeling before the man. "I am so sorry!"
The Prince's eyes were cold. "That is plainly evident, madame."
"I didn't mean--"
"Of course not." He stared at the woman for a moment. "It was you, at the ball, in the parlor upstairs. It was you I found spanking this delightful wench."
The old woman went pale and shook her head. "No, sire, it was my daughter Dupine you remember."
"Then let us devise a test," said the Prince with a smile. "Dupine, get over your mother's knee."
"Do as he says!" hissed the mother, grabbing Dupine's ear and dragging her. She propped up a foot on a stump and drew Dupine across her leg. Dupine squealed and kicked violently.
"No, put me down! You can't do this!"
Her mother ignored her and proceeded to lift the voluminous tails of her dress and push them back until Dupine's knickers were completely uncovered. At a curt nod from the Prince, the knickers came down.
"She's got a nice fat bottom," said the Prince thoughtfully, "but it's not as red as I remember it."
"I can fix that, sire!" cried the woman, and she went to work paddling her daughter with her large palm.
Dupine, who hadn't been spanked in years, howled in pain and terror. "Please stop!" she screamed. "Stop!"
For a quarter of an hour the woman spanked her wiggling daughter while the Prince watched carefully. Dupine's face was nearly as red as her backside, her eyes swollen, her skin streaked with tears, her hair disheveled. Her mother was drenched with sweat, her hand swollen purple, every slap hideously painful, yet she continued to desperately spank her daughter.
"Is that enough, sire? Do you recognize this lovely crimson shade?"
"Hmmm," murmured the Prince. "I'm still not sure. Perhaps you are not striking her hard enough? Perhaps an implement is needed?"
"Quick, slave, fetch me the paddle!" cried the Aunt. Cindy, though used to carrying out orders at lightening speed lest she earn herself a thrashing, outdid herself this time: she was back before the echoes of Dupine's fresh cries of horror sounded.
The paddling was merciless and brutal: Aunt blistered her daughter's rump until the weals cracked and began to bleed.
"Surely that's enough, my Lord," panted the exhausted woman, even her greed moderated by the horrible sight of her daughter's purple and black backside.
"Of course," sighed the Prince. "But what of your other daughter?"
Aunt frowned. "But she wasn't the one at the ball, your Highness. She has dark hair."
"Ah yes, of course. But she would be useful for comparison."
The woman didn't dare argue, but snapped her fingers for Dullina. The terrified girl shrank away, but the Prince's guards were quickly behind her to lend her support and encouragement. In a moment she was upended, her knickers removed, and her big bottom jiggling a painful tune to the rhythm of the wooden paddle.
"Now she's definitely _not_ the one," said the Prince after an eternity, shaking his head as Aunt released the sobbing Dullina, who simply collapsed to the dirt and lay there, her blistered ass twitching.
"What about her?" leered Aunt, pointing a crooked finger at Cindy. "Doesn't she get her bum reddened as well?"
"Of course," smiled the Prince. "I must see her as she was that night."
Cindy groaned in dismay as Aunt clutched at her, dragging her by her golden hair and eagerly beginning to strip her of her rags. The filthy cloths fell away and the lithe form of the girl was exposed. Her porcelain skin was magnificent, her waist slender, her hips full. Her breasts were splendid, the perfect size for a man's hand to grip. Her buttocks were of such roundness as to take away the breath of all who watched, particularly the men.
For a second, the Prince saw the nude figure at the dance, poised to run, frozen in shock and embarrassment, her perfect body brilliantly illuminated by the countless glittering chandeliers. He smiled.
Aunt grinned lustily as she worked Cindy over her lap, arching the girl's bottom high. She gripped the paddle tightly and lifted it high.
Suddenly the hand of the Prince was there, outstretched, welcoming. In shock the woman relaxed as Cindy took the hand and got up from her lap.
"May I?" said the Prince. At a nod from his head, the Aunt was yanked off the bench and the Prince sat down.
"Of course," blushed Cindy. With the graceful movements of a cat she slid across his lap. Her splendid bottom was his now, bare and vulnerable, ready for blistering.
But the Prince did not use the paddle. With his palm he caressed her soft flesh, rubbed and massaged her buttocks. He spanked her lightly, lovingly, and Cindy cooed and purred in contentment. For a long time it was just the two of them. They were oblivious to the world around them. Neither saw Cindy's two sobbing cousins or the livid Aunt who growled and spat like an angry cat.
Eventually, the Prince stopped spanking his sweetheart, and the lovely Cindy sat up in his lap and boldly kissed his mouth.
"You will marry me?" asked the Prince.
"You know the answer," panted Cindy as she embraced him.
Aunt screamed in outrage. "Your Highness, you cannot be serious. She's a common whore! A lazy, useless slut. She must be beaten daily for her wicked thoughts!"
"It is you who will be beaten daily," said the Prince. "You kicked the son of the King, do you not remember?"
The woman went ashen. "My Lord!" she gasped. Her knees buckled and she fell to the ground.
"Take her and her lazy daughters away," ordered the Prince. "Have them whipped daily for thirty days and then chop off their heads!"
The three women screamed as the guards grasped them and began to drag them away.
Cindy leaned and whispered urgently in the Prince's ear.
"Wait!" he cried. "My fiance is merciful. Do not execute them. Imprison them in the dungeon and whip them daily, and in due time we shall sell them as scullery maids."
He beamed at Cindy. "Won't they make excellent slaves?"
It was an exhausted and spent young woman who stumbled from her lover's bed in the middle of the night. Her long blond hair flowed down her lithe, nude form as she walked along the balcony in the moonlight, the gentle breeze cooling her hot skin.
She turned the second hottest portion of her anatomy to the night air, mooning the moon, while her hand rubbed the furry vee of her front.
"Hard at work again, my dear?" asked a voice.
Cindy whirled to find a man watching her from the darkness. She clutched at her body, wrapping her hair protectively around herself. "Who are you?"
"Strange you don't remember your own fairy godfather," said the voice, and the man stepped into the light. She recognized him instantly.
"It's you!" cried Cindy with relief. Her voice changed to concern. "Oh no! You've come for your first payment?" She clutched at her sore tush.
The fairy smiled. "Oh no, I just stopped by to say hello. It's your honeymoon, after all. From what I've seen of you and your husband, I might be a long time in collecting my debt."
"Oh," sighed Cindy. "Thanks for sparing me. The Prince just cannot get enough of my red bottom."
"Not regretting your fate, are you?"
Cindy grinned. "Never. Though I do miss the occasional breakfast caning."