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Posted by tisviv (U15188212) on Monday, 5th November 2012
“Woe is me,” sighed Emma, as she stood in the damp kitchen, scraping the dishes with a bare twig. “Woe is very much me.”
How she had longed to go the fancy London wedding. But it was not to be – she had nothing to wear except the raggedy togs she stood up in; items of clothing that were more holes than garment.
Tears of self-pity coursed down her cheeks. Life was so unfair – Nic had everything while she had nothing. Admittedly Nic was married to Will, but even that now seemed a small price to pay for all the worldly goods and showing-off rights which the second Mrs Grundy enjoyed.
“Alas and Alack,” Emma cried.
Georgie’s guinea pig had unexpectedly given birth and she had foolishly named the offspring. “Alas and Alack, you’re for the pot later. Since there is neither Lidl nor Aldi nor Poundland within a sixty mile radius, we can no longer afford to buy food.”
Feeling faint, she sat down on the three-legged stool - knowing that soon it would have no more than two legs, since one would be needed for firewood by tea-time – and, resting her head on the sticky table, she fell asleep.
Suddenly, she became aware of a presence in the room. Turning around, she saw a large woman in a rather unflattering sequined gown.
“Who are you?” Emma said. “What are you doing in my ever-so-humble abode?”
“Cinderemmur!” The woman exclaimed. “I am your Fairy Godmother – you SHALL go to the wedding.”
Emma gasped, “But what shall I wear? How shall I get there?”
“I have already sorted the transport and garment-sourcing logistics of this situation,” the FG said haughtily. “Now, close your eyes.”
Emma did as she was told. There was a sort of hissing noise and a great deal of muttered cursing before the FG said, ”OK, you can look now.”
Emma admired herself in the mirror. She was wearing a lovely, floating creation in ice blue. On her feet was a pair of sparkling glass slippers.
“I don’t think these are very practical,” she said; “no flexibility.”
“Flexibility-Schmexibility,” said the FG, testily; “beggars can’t be choosers – who do you think I am? Shoe Shop Dot Com?”
“Sorry,” Emma said. “Um, did you by any chance magically transform the guinea pigs into horses to pull my carriage?”
“Hoity-toity!” said the FG. “You’ve got a first-class train ticket to London, so be grateful. How long do you think a carriage pulled by transmogrified guinea pigs would take? The happy couple would be divorced before you’d even reached the M25.”
Emma sat on the train, feeling rather self-conscious. Youths in various stages of inebriation were pointing and laughing at her feet. The FG hadn’t provided her with a present to take to the happy couple, so she’d gift-wrapped Alas and Alack as a last-minute thoughtful and original wedding gift. The gift was now squeaking in her handbag, causing more unwelcome attention,
The FG, after issuing the standard warning her that she must leave the reception by midnight, had stuffed a quantity of dosh into her bag, so she was able to get a taxi to the venue. The Happy Couple were getting married in Tawfeenawse Hotel in Chelsea and the reception was naturally to be held there too.
The HC were not very polite.
“I didn’t actually expect you to come, Emmur,” said the bride. “Since you sent your invitation back with the words: ‘Not a chance in hell’ on it.”
“But surely you’re thrilled to see me now?” Emmur said. “Just look at how radiant and beautiful I am. By the way, here is my precious gift to you both.”
Alas and Alack were handed over.
“I don’t remember putting livestock on our list with Heals OR John Lewis,” sniffed the groom, who was irritatingly both handsome and rich.
“They’re considered to be lucky where I come from,” Emmur said, defensively. “Not everyone can afford fancy presents. I’m the poorest and most unlucky person I know, and the most hard-done-by.”
After the gourmet platters, chilled champagne and interminable speeches, The DJ started up.
And then, the most amazing thing happened. Prince, dressed in dazzling purple finery, appeared before her.
“Wanna dance?” he said.
Emmur tried her best, but the glass slippers wouldn’t co-operate. Several times she stepped on his toes.
“Owwwaahh!!” yelled the diminutive musical genius.
Emmur’s cheeks burned. She moved away from the fireplace.
Suddenly, she heard the grandfather clock in the lobby strike twelve (The DJ was on a fag break.)
“Oh lawks! Oh heavens! OM freaking G!” shrieked Emmur. “I have to leave!”
As she stumbled down the steps from the hotel, her beautiful dress evaporated, leaving her in the clothes she’d been wearing that morning. (A pair of Ed’s jeans, a pillowcase with holes cut for arms and head, and a ferret-fur gilet.)
She had, of course, left one of her glass slippers behind. The other had evaporated, leaving her with nothing but a pair of Joe’s old socks on her feet.
Getting home was a blur; so we’ll leave it at that.
Several days later:
George was whining: “I want my baby guinea pigs, Mummy.”
“They’ve run away,” Emma said, savagely, as she scraped the last of the dripping onto to the stale bread that would serve for supper.
Having had a taste of the high-life, her poverty and misery now seemed worse than ever.
“Daddy’s buying me a dog for Christmas,” Georgie said.
Emma felt cold fury course through her veins.
“A dog? What sort of dog?”
“I’m not sure. It’s like the dog in that film; Beethoven.”
“Showing off,” Emma muttered. “Will and Nic, splashing and flashing and mashing the cash. They know we couldn’t even afford a second-hand Jack Russell. You can’t have it, Georgie.”
“But Daddy says I can keep at his house!”
“I said no and I meant no! It might lick Keira’s face and then I’d have to buy a new flannel, which I can’t afford.”
“They’re only a pound in the village shop,” George said unexpectedly.
“The village shop? Do you think I WANT people knowing I can’t afford the finest Underwood’s bathroom accessories for my family? I’ve got my pride, Georgie”
“It’s something I inherited from Nanny Shooshan – you wouldn’t understand.”
Georgie began to grizzle.
All at once, a figure filled the doorway – or part-filled it anyway. He was holding the discarded lost glass slipper in his hand.
“Prince!” gasped Emma. “How long have you been here?”
“Long enough,” said Prince, in his surprisingly deep voice.
“Have you come to rescue me? The slipper will fit me, you know it will.” She jumped up, arms outstretched towards him.
“Rescue you? Nope. I thought about it, Emmur; ‘cos you’re kinda pretty. But to be honest I don’t have room for someone with your negative vibes in my life. You’re mean, Emmur; real, deep-down mean. It ain’t just your pocket that’s empty. It’s your soul.”
Emma glared at him. “How dare you talk to me like that?! Get out of my hovel!”
“I’m going,” Prince said, “But not before I’ve given you this.”
Emma simpered. “Ohh…! For me? What is it?”
“A bill for reconstructive surgery on my foot. Glass shoes? Baby, what were you thinking?
And then, just like that, he was gone.
Posted by Campbell in Farewell Clogs (U14226916) on Monday, 5th November 2012
Great stuff - I've just read Friday's installment too. I hope you'll keep us informed of future events in Emmurdale.
Posted by Vicky S (U2258400) on Monday, 5th November 2012
future events in Emmurdale.
A plane crash? Please.
Posted by jillscasseroling to save Mustardland (U13781458) on Tuesday, 6th November 2012
Superb! Wonderful and worthy of many many golden stars!!
Posted by tisviv (U15188212) on Wednesday, 7th November 2012
Superb! Wonderful and worthy of many many golden stars!!
Thank you very much.