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Somewhere, a clock struck twelve, the bells ringing out into the night. She dashed away across the meadow, wet with rain, eager to escape before her fairy godmother’s spell fell to pieces. Her feet soon grew soaked, her gown soiled, and in haste she dropped her shawl. Oh, she knew the story required her to leave behind a glass slipper, but glass slippers were hard to come by, and they were just so pretty she couldn’t bring herself to do it.

The prince chased after her, losing sight of her in the darkness. He plucked the shawl from its perch in the weeds and brought it back to search for clues. He hired his best forensic analysts, eager to find his lost lady love. Of course he didn’t know that after the spell broke, the shawl would turn into a spider’s web again.

The forensic team each came to the same conclusion.

The wedding took place in the palace, a quiet affair. The queen wept, as did the king, though he had his own reasons for doing so. Had the whole world gone mad? What kind of a prince fell in love with a spider?

The prince, in his defense, never expected to lift his brides’ veil and discover a spider underneath. How had his love become a spider? Had science failed him? No, it couldn’t be so. He’d danced with her, whispered sweet nothings in her ear! So he wed her just the same.

The spider suspected the prince must be mad, but life in a palace, out of the elements, with only the choicest of flies for dinner? What spider would refuse?

From somewhere high above the scene, the fairy godmother looked on, shaking her head and washing her hands of all of it. She deemed Cinderella better off scrubbing floors in a nice pair of shoes than getting mixed up with this lot.

 

 

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