*Disclaimer: Um . . . I made this story and it's characters up out of my head. The plot isn't exactly mine you know since it's basically Cinderella, only really really really totally not. Um . . . I think you should know the difference between stuff I made up and stuff I didn't. Like, if I used Mcdonalds, you oughta know I don't own it. Oh yeah, if I have to make up like a design of a necklace or something like that, just picture it how you would, cause I ain't that great at stuff like that. I just figured it'd be better to have some detail. Please r/r. Thanks y'all.*

Once upon a time, there was a young lady named Kierra fa Vivencia. She was noble-born, her family almost as rich as royalty. She knew no love-only hate, trickery, and deception. She grew to be cold-hearted, and married another noble, a kind, warm-hearted young man. He thought her sweet and beautiful. After they married, she let him know her true self. He put up with her, only to be used. They had a daughter whom they named Cinda.

Cinda is who I am here to tell you about. My good friend was kind enough to right my story for you, so here I am to tell you hers. I should probably mention that, as I and my family are, Lady Cinda and all her family, friends, and everyone in her kingdom are dwarves. She always said, "They don't understand what they're doing. They think they aren't hurting anyone with all that rubbish about fairy godmothers, and pumpkins turning into carriages, and wicked step-mothers and ugly step-sisters. Peter and Geoffrey weren't exactly pretty, but they weren't mean, ugly step-sisters." She always wanted her twisted tale righted, and, as she let the truth be known about me, I, Snow White, will now tell you the truth about Lady Cinda Rella.

Lady Cinda fa Gergia grew up in a world of lies. Work and lies was all she knew, but she knew also the difference between lies and honesty, right and wrong, and, most importantly, love and hate. She hated no one, loved everyone, but didn't neccessarily like everyone. She had her mother's looks, and her father's heart of gold. She loved her father, that much is true. Her mother she disliked very much. When her father was away, which was often, her mother would make her work until every bone in her body ached, her hands were raw and bleeding, and she was ready to cry. Lady Kierra didn't care about her daughter. Her main goal in life was to be as wealthy as possible, and have Lady Cinda marry into royalty. How she expected Cinda to marry royalty when her time was spent scrubbing floors, only she knew.

One day, Lady Cinda's father went out, never to return again. Cinda was miserable, and it wasn't long before Lady Kierra found another nobleman to take her father's place. His name was Sir Phillip. He had two sons, identical twins, who were older than Cinda by only two years. They had light brown hair and brown eyes, and were, in my opinion, very handsome. Peter was more rebellious than his brother, Geoffrey, but they were both very sweet and kind-hearted, like their father. Sir Phillip, too, was often away from his home, leaving Lady Cinda and her step-brothers to work long and hard. Lady Kierra used Cinda for cooking and cleaning, and Peter and Geoffrey for fixing and building things. There was also a stable boy named Alexander. He was as tall as Peter, and he had sky blue eyes and short, blond hair. Lady Cinda knew of him, but they were not allowed to speak. Lady Kierra, though she treated Cinda as a servant, said that Cinda was a lady and would never mix with commoners-especially a commoner as common as Alexander.

This is where our story really begins. You know the background and the characters. Now you shall know what is to make this story different from any other version you have ever heard before. The true story of Lady Cinda Rella.

Sir Phillip had just gone out on a hunting expedition. He was to be gone for a fortnight, and so, once again, Lady Cinda and her step-brothers were left alone with Lady Kierra. Immediately, Lady Kierra put them to work.

"Cinda, scrub the floors. Peter, Geoffrey, fix that door in the library. Don't just stand there gaping at me, get to it at once! Go!"

Peter and Geoffrey hurried to the library and Cinda began to search for the water pail. Lady Kierra watched her, with a wicked smile playing on her face. Finally, Cinda found the pail-empty. She sighed and walked outside to the well.

"Cinda! Cinda!" Geoffrey was trying to yell quietly out of the library window. Peter hit him on the back of the head and Cinda left the empty pail sitting by the well. Then she hesitantly walked over to them.

"Yes?"

"We need nails. Could you go find Alexander in the stables and ask him to find some for us? Please?" Peter asked.

"But I'm not allowed-"

"We'll cover for you if she begins to wonder. It's all right, it's only Alexander. Please?" Geoffrey pleaded.

Cinda sighed once again and nodded. Peter and Geoffrey let out relieved sighs as she walked toward the stables. She felt as if she were walking on hot coals, or shattered glass, or something of the sort. She was just waiting on Lady Kierra to scream at her. However, she reached the stables without Lady Kierra noticing.

She opened the door, then looked at her surroundings timidly.

"Lady Cinda!"

She jumped and looked toward the person to whom the voice belonged.

"Pardon me. Alexander, I presume?"

"Yes, yes, of course, Lady Cinda," the boy said as he stepped out of the shadows. She saw the sunlight glint off of his short blond hair, and she thought for sure she'd seen a twinkle in his eye-then dismissed it to be the sunlight's glare.

She stared at him for a moment as if he'd grown another limb. She couldn't help feeling that she knew him from somewhere-he looked terribly familiar. She just couldn't place it, for she knew she hadn't ever been allowed to even catch a glimpse of him.

"Lady Cinda, are you ill?"

She slowly shook her head, as much as to say no as to get him out of her mind. He seemed to her something like a memory from a dream.

"If you please, Sir Peter and Sir Geoffrey would like some nails, please?"

He softly chuckled at her nervousness.

"Have you got it backwards, miss? I thought I was the servant here?"

She blushed and tried to break her gaze from his caring blue eyes.

"Pardon me. It's Lady Kierra again."

"Lady Kierra? Your mother?"

This time she did turn away from him.

"I suppose so. I'm supposed to be fetching water to scrub the floors, but Peter-pardon-Sir Peter and Sir Geoffrey nearly begged me to come here. I must be on my way soon."

She looked up at him and he was staring at her questioningly. When he noticed that she had observed this, he turned away and began to rummage through things. She waited patiently, and he finally emerged with a small leather pouch. He handed it to her triumphantly.

"This should last them a bit, shouldn't-" he began, but was cut off when she shrieked.

She had a look of sheer terror on her face and she dropped the pouch, sending nails all over the packed-dirt floor.

"Lady Cinda?"

She never ceased to stare at the pouch, pale as the whitest dove. She pointed and he saw a large brown spider crawling around the outside of it. He laughed.

"Alexander, don't just stand there! Kill it at once! Please?!"

He gently let the spider crawl onto his hand as he began to walk to the door of the stable, still laughing. He let it go on the grass outside and walked back into the stable. He walked back in, smirking at her ghost-white face.

"Harmless little things. Don't worry, it's gone," he added, holding up his hands as if to show her they were empty.

"Forgive me, I do tend to overreact sometimes," she said as she knelt down to gather the nails into the momentarily forgotten leather pouch. She brushed her hair off of her face. "I sometimes feel it is the fault of Sir Peter. He seems to find joy in tormenting me with creepy, crawling little-What are you laughing at?"

Alexander had burst out laughing as Lady Cinda rambled on. She wasn't aware of what he was laughing at until he knelt down beside her. He looked at her cautiously, then put his hand up to her cheek and wiped a bit of mud off with his thumb. He kept his hand there as they gazed into each other's eyes.

A few seconds later, they were interrupted by Lady Kierra screaming, "You wretched girl! I strictly forbade you to ever see this-this-this common stable boy! What are you doing here? I told you to scrub the floors. Now get off of that dirt immediately. Away from him at once!" She walked over briskly and took poor Cinda's earlobe by her fingernails. Then she pulled Lady Cinda out of the stables muttering about the "stupid, silly, wretched girl" that she would never get married off. Alexander gawked at the sight before him while Lady Cinda looked at him pleadingly, though she knew he couldn't do a thing for her.

When they were outside, Kierra-for I do not wish to call her a lady-pushed Lady Cinda toward the well, before realizing that she had been observed by more than Alexander. Sir Phillip was home early, for what reason she couldn't care less, and Peter and Geoffrey were standing by him. The three of them looked furious, but Sir Phillip looked angrier than Peter and Geoffrey put together. They weren't alone. Kierra rushed to Sir Phillips' side.

"So glad you're home, dear, what-"

Kierra was cut short when Sir Phillip pushed her away.

"'Lady' Kierra, I have just received a letter that I thought was very . . . disturbing. I was told that you put your daughter and my sons to work when I went away. Of course, a lady of your noble blood and station would never do anything like that. Never would she force her own beautiful, noble daughter to scrub floors until her knuckles bled, or yelled at her until she began to cry herself to sleep every night. No, she wouldn't, would she?" Sir Phillip said in the awful silence. Lady Cinda had been listening in awe. Then she began to get water from the well, to fill the empty pail, as much to hide her face from them in shame as to give Kierra what she deserved. She was unobserved at first. Kierra was shaking her head, yet she had turned an odd shade of red. Sir Phillip began his speech again. "Of course not. So I decided to come back and be sure my boys were wrong. And I came back to this. Certainly not noble behavior, that from a lady-Lady Cinda, what are you doing?"

Cinda looked up in surprised embarassment.

"Filling the pail."

"But, Cinda, why isn't a servant filling the pail?"

"Lady Kierra wished me to scrub the floors, sir. We have no servants but the stable boy."

His face clouded up in rage. She turned back to her task and saw out of the corner of her eye, Alexander. He was peeking out of the stable door.

"Kierra, this will be stopped. She can't even call you 'Mother'."

"Of course, Phillip."

"Sir Phillip to you. And there will be an end to this. You are to go with these men. They will take you to the palace so the King can decide what to do with you."

Kierra's face turned an even darker shade of red.

"You can't do that!"

"Of course I can. Now be gone. I shall take care of Lady Cinda as if she were my own. Go. And never come back."

Kierra looked as if she was about to throw a tantrum, but she held her head high and walked off to be shoved into an old carriage. The men drove away, leaving Lady Cinda alone with Sir Phillip, Sir Peter, Sir Geoffrey, and-

"You! You there! The stable boy, I assume?" Sir Phillip called to Alexander. He, after making sure that Kierra was long gone, reluctantly trudged over. "What's your name?"

"Alexander, sir."

"Oh, yes, yes, I remember. James' son. Yes, yes. That old witch wasn't cruel to you, too, was she?"

Alexander's face reddened a bit, but he still put on a faint smile as he said, "Only in the fact that she forbade the Lady Cinda to see me."

Sir Phillip looked confused, but he asked, "Why did she do that? She didn't catch you two . . . doing anything did she?"

At that, Sir Peter and Sir Geoffrey burst into hysterical laughter, and Cinda and Alexander turned almost as red as Kierra had been before she stormed off.

Alexander shook his head, glancing at Cinda, who was watching him intently, eyes wide. When she saw him look at her, she looked at her feet.

"I'm not sure why, sir."

"She said he was common," Cinda said. "A servant. She always wanted me to marry into royalty, and I suppose she thought if we ever met, or spoke, we would . . . well, that she might catch us . . . doing something. I'm not sure. She didn't talk to me much, except to give orders."

Cinda had turned redder with every sentence, and Alexander was trying not to grin. She noticed that.

"Do you think that's funny, stable boy?"

"Oh, that was low Lady Cinda," he said, beginning to laugh along with Peter and Geoffrey. "I'm so hurt."

"Well, I never!"

She turned to storm into the house, even more embarassed than before. It hadn't helped her to see Sir Phillip crack a smile when she turned either. Cinda heard him chuckle and quickened her pace. She was halfway there when she heard someone running behind her. Alexander passed her and began walking backwards toward her destination.

"Pardon me, Lady Cinda, I did not mean you to take offense."

She stopped and sighed. He stopped, but still stood in front of her, blocking her way to her home.

"I apologize Alexander. I should not take things so seriously. I ought to be used to boys' tricks by now."

"Boys?" he said, looking hurt.

She rolled her eyes. "You know what I meant Alexander."

He grinned and said, "I know. So, would you like to take a walk?"

She looked at him suspiciously. Peter and Geoffrey were standing nearby mocking them with silly kissing sounds.

"Sure. Anything to get away from those two."

They acted as if they had been shot in their hearts with her words, and she rolled her eyes. Alexander offered Lady Cinda his arm and they walked toward the woods. They were silent as they walked along the trail, obviously one he knew. Then, suddenly, Alexander said, "Lady Cinda-"

"Call me Cinda, Alexander, please?"

"Of course, La-I mean, Cinda. Do you . . . Do you think you will be happier now?"

She smiled. "I am already happier. I am . . . ecstatic."

"You don't act like it."

"Oh, but I am. You just don't know it."

They talked then, and before they knew it, it was dark. He escorted her back to their home, and he was set up in a real room of the house-which was more like a stone castle.

Cinda and Alexander became true friends, and no one but them knew it as anything more. Peter and Geoffrey joined their father on hunting expeditions and trips to the village. They got a few more servants, but Cinda often found herself helping them. They became great friends, too. Lady Cinda also enjoyed reading, very much so, and quickly read half of the library. The other half of the library she declared too boring, and so Sir Phillip-and even Peter and Geoffrey on occasion-would bring her more books to read. They often teased her about the soot on her face when she sat by the fire, too absorbed in her book to notice or care about her pretty face getting smudged. Even Alexander called her Cinders when they were alone. Things went that way for two years. Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Sir Phillip, Sir Peter, and Sir Geoffrey returned home just in time to celebrate. They were all beaming. She welcomed them brightly, and as they ate supper-which she insisted the servants eat with them-they began to glance at each other excitedly.

"Would you all just tell me what's going on?" she asked finally, startling Alexander so much that he dropped his fork.

"Well . . . We believe that . . ." Sir Phillip began after a pause.

"Cinda, we love you, but we think that . . ."

Geoffrey picked up where they both had trailed off. He walked over to her and took her hands in his and looked her in the eyes. She got scared.

"Cinda, as Peter said, we do love you-"

"Very much," Phillip added.

"-But we feel . . . Well, now that you're eighteen, you should be . . . Well, Cinda, the other girls your age are . . . Most of the girls in the village your age are either betrothed or-"

"Or already married," Peter said.

Alexander began to look pale.

"Yes. And, well, the Prince, he's twenty-four now, and the King and Queen feel that it is time for him to . . . have a marriage of his own. There's a ball next week, and all the eligible maidens in the kingdom are invited. We want you to go, and we know he'd love you, we just know it. So what do you say, Cinda? Are you up for it?"

She glanced at Alexander, who was holding his glass of wine in midair as he awaited her answer. She then looked at her step-father and step-brothers who looked so eager for her. She felt the walls closing in around her as tried desperately to think of a way out. But she didn't need one, for she fainted then.

When she came to, Cinda saw three faces standing around her. They looked worried. She was confused until she remembered what they had said at dinner.

"Are you all right Cinda?" Sir Phillip asked.

"I'm fine. Where's Alexander?"

"Ah, he's fine, Cinda. Worried about you, just like the rest of us. Are you sure you're okay?" Peter said.

"I'm positive."

"Good. Now you're going to the ball, right?" Geoffrey said abruptly. Phillip and Peter glared at him. "What? Come on, Cinda. You must go! You have an official royal invitation, you see?"

He held up a card with precise, delicate gold text.

"Yes, of course I'll go," she said quietly. "But I'm not promising anything about the prince, all right?"

The three nodded. Geoffrey helped her stand up and she discovered that they had taken her to her room. They went back downstairs to the dining room where the others had been waiting. Alexander was pacing. When he saw her, Alexander looked as if he wanted to race over to help her to her seat, but wisely decided against it. They still didn't know about Cinda and him, and they had wanted to keep it that way. Now of all times.

Lady Cinda gave him a smile, and he knew she was fine. He looked more at ease as they finished their meal in silence. After they were all finished, Cinda was about to stand to walk up to her room, but Phillip took her arm and asked her to sit and wait.

He himself stood and left the room, Peter and Geoffrey following. While they were gone, Alexander mouthed, "When we walk,"-to the amusement of the other servants. She nodded as the three men entered the room, each carrying a package. They sat down in silence.

Sir Peter said, "Cinda, I know it's not much but . . ."

He held out a package to her. She began to object, but it was an argument three against one which she lost every year. She opened the package to find the book _The_Three_Musketeers_. She grinned. It was over two hundred pages long.

"Romance and sword-fights in one. I hoped you would enjoy it."

"Oh, Peter, I'll read it over and over again, thank you."

She hugged him and sat down again. Then Geoffrey held out a package to her, grinning. She couldn't help but give a smile as she opened it. It was a copy of the script of William Shakespeare's famous tragedy, "Romeo and Juliet".

"More romance and sword-fights. Oh, Geoffrey, where on earth did you get this?"

"I remembered your face when we went to see it, so when the play was over, I went and had a talk with one of the actors. The man who played Romeo was happy to give you his script."

She grinned again and hugged Geoffrey.

"This is all too much, now, you know-"

"Oh, Cinda, you know you enjoy the attention. It is my turn anyway. Give me a chance to impress you," Phillip said.

She smiled at him. "You know you don't need-"

He gently put a large box in her hands. She looked at everyone in the room suspiciously, but opened it. She saw Kierra's finest gown lying before her. Cinda hadn't known Kierra still had it-she had grown out of it long ago (and I don't mean she got taller). There was also a new pair of shoes to go along with it; she had much smaller feet than Kierra.

"Oh, Step-father!"

She hugged him and he whispered, "I also had her trunk sent to your room. She won't be needing all those fine gowns."

"Thank you," she whispered back.

"The gown's for the ball, Cinda," Geoffrey said.

Cinda's face fell and she tried to plaster on a smile again. She gathered her things and said, "Thank you all. You are the best family I could wish for and I love all of you. If you'll excuse me, once I put these up I'm going out for a walk. I need some fresh air."

With that, she walked upstairs. When she got back down, the servants were cleaning the supper dishes and Alexander had left. Her step-father and brothers were in the drawing room, apparently discussing her fate. The dreaded ball. She walked outside and to the trail. She walked down the now well-known path until she got to a clearing. It was beautiful. That was where she and Alexander met every evening after supper. She saw him. Handsome, wonderful, loving Alexander. He didn't look as happy as he had before the dinner that night.

"Hello Alexander."

He gave a weak smile and said, "Good evening, Cinders."

When Cinda got near to him, he pulled her even nearer for a kiss. Then he held her close.

"Sit down, Cinda. I have something for you."

"But Alexander-"

"Shhh. Please?"

She sighed and sat down on a large flat stone. Luckily, it hadn't rained since the week before, and everything was dry. He sighed as he looked down at her. There was something very final about this meeting, and it scared Cinda.

"This belonged to my mother, and I want you to have it, Cinda," Alexander said as he drew a small cloth from his pocket. He unfolded it tenderly and took something small out. He wrapped his hand around it and closed his eyes for a moment, as if trying to emblazon the feel of it in his memory. Then he looked at Cinda just as tenderly as he had unfolded the small cloth. She looked at him with wide, curious eyes, though she was careful not to say anything to him while he seemed to be reminiscing in his thoughts. He took her hand then, and put the small thing in it, then closed her hand over what she realized was a necklace. She gave him a long, wistful gaze, and then looked at the necklace. It was a beautiful golden chain, just the right length, and it had a single diamond hanging on it. She gasped in awe.

"Alexander, you-this is . . . It's . . . so beautiful. Are you really sure you want to give this to me?"

He gave a bitter laugh. "Well, I won't be needing it. My mother told me to give it to the girl I married. Which she knew would be the girl I loved. You're one of those two, though I know you'll be chosen by that foolish old prince at that stupid old ball."

This time it was her bitter laughter that was heard.

"I certainly hope not. Though you're probably right, knowing my luck. But, Alexander, you're certain?"

"Yes, Cinda. Take it-please," he said pleadingly.

She clasped the necklace in her hand and looked up at him with a small smile. "I'll cherish it forever, Alexander. Thank you."

He smiled and took the necklace from her. Then he placed it over her head and it fell to her neck. He lifted her hair above the chain, then knelt down and gently kissed her. She looked up at him, smiling through a veil of unshed tears.

"Alexander, you know I must go to the ball. They've got their hearts set on it."

"I know," he whispered.

"But know this: I shall be miserable all night without you. And if I have to dance with any dreadful nobles-or worse-the prince-I'll be imagining it's you. I want you to promise me something Alexander."

"Yes?" he asked, slightly cheered.

"Promise me that no matter what, you'll always remember that I love you. I don't want anyone but you-ever. And if I marry anyone but you, it won't be willingly."

"Why, Cinders," he began, with a lopsided smile that contrasted the tears glistening in his eyes. "I do believe you have fallen below your class. I'm only a stable boy."

"Don't call me that. And it is not below my class. You are just above any station. Besides, you are my stable boy."

"Cinda, what if he really does choose you?"

"Well . . ."

"You can't just refuse the prince."

"True, but . . . I don't know. Maybe we will get lucky, and he won't. Then we won't have to worry about it."

He smiled sadly. "But Cinda, you are too wonderful for anyone to pass up." She finally let out the sob she'd been holding back and hugged him tightly. "Don't worry. We'll think of something."

When the night of the ball finally arrived, Cinda got dressed and made up beautifully, but the sadness in her eyes contrasted the smile she wore for her family.

Phillip, Peter, and Geoffrey each had to hug her and wish her luck before she left, and they were all smiling brightly and with pride in their little Cinders. Alexander had seen her earlier that day and they'd said their goodbyes (just in case), but she hadn't seen him since. She left the house gloomily.

Cinda never liked to talk about what happened next. She always skipped ahead with, "And before I knew it, I was racing through the woods thinking, 'How could this happen to me?'"

She was chosen. As all knew she would be from the start. The Prince had chosen Cinda to be his Princess. He'd announced it to everyone at midnight. The minute she heard what he had to say, she ran. It was amazing that she got past the guards, but she was so terrified she whizzed past them before they knew what was going on.

She ran, ran, and ran just a bit more, until she finally came to the cottage. Actually, she ran straight into a girl who was wandering around in front of the cottage shouting, "Hansel?! Hansel?!"

She stared at the girl for a moment, then she began to say something when she heard another girl yelling, "I am a real princess! Why won't you people listen to me?!"

She stared, wondering what she'd just gotten herself into, when yet another girl walked out of the house toward her.

"Hello. Are you all right? You look very distraught."

"Oh, uh, sure, I'm fine. My name is Cinda. I-I was just . . ."

"Running?"

"Well, yes . . ."

"I'm Rose Red. You can call me Rose. We're all running here. From many different things-you'll stay here with us, naturally."

"Really?"

"Of course. There are six us right now. Other than me, there is Gretel, the girl calling for Hansel. She's always calling for him. Actually, we all think she's a bit mad, but she is one of us. There's Lucille, you probably heard her yelling just now. She thinks she's a princess. Well, she may be, but if she is . . ." Rose trailed off, shaking her head. "There's Aurora then. She sleeps constantly, so you may not get to know her that well. Also, Rapunzel is here. She's nice, but her hair grows so quickly-ah, you'll see. It's a bit frustrating. Last, there's Red. She's a little grumpy usually, but you'll get used to her. You'll know her because she's always wearing two things: a red riding hood, and a frown," Rose finished with a smile.

Cinda smiled back at her. "Thank you Rose."

"You look as if you've been crying. Do you want to talk about it? Or maybe you should get some rest, you look tired."

"Well, if you don't mind . . . Could . . . Could we talk about it? The one person I had to really talk to about things . . ." Cinda trailed off with tears in her eyes once more.

"Of course. I wouldn't have offered if I'd minded."

So CInda told Rose her story. She was with them for about six months when they found me and took me in too.