26

674 62 18
                                    

Ding dong, ding dong, the toll bell rang. Smiling at the sound of it for a few seconds, it had reminded you of a certain cow back in the day. His name was Trev and he wore a cow bell around his neck that jingled every few seconds. A friend to you in childhood during the lonely moments when your father was busy working, you simply had a lot of fun inspecting the beautiful creature. Laying in the bright, healthy fields of the country, you would watch him graze the grass, munching slowly with his mouth. Exactly as it was. It was simple instead of complex... and the dreams were reachable as a child.

A thought indulged in your mind, causing you to stiffen. With widened, panicked eyes, you glanced over at the Prince. You then asked him the most casual of all questions. "What time is it?" He blinked for a few seconds and shifted from the edge of the balcony to look at you.

"It's midnight," he said.

The second he mentioned this, a searing pain burst from your feet. Crying out at the feeling of it, you stumbled towards the ledge to steady yourself and peered down to see what was happening. It was as if... the shoe... was eating away at you, sucking you in as hard as it could. Breathing heavily as your legs were about to give out on itself, you knew you needed to go. Why was this happening? What was even happening? This was unexplainable to you, for you could barely believe your eyes. Was this a hallucination? Were you finally going insane?

"Are you alright?!" Prince Cameron exclaimed with worry, taking a step closer to you. On instinct, you held a firm hand out to stop him from coming any closer. Your head lowering and features scrunching up in agony, you stumbled toward the door to the ballroom.

"I... I need to go," you forced out through clenched teeth, your body entirely hunched over.

"W-Wait! I never learned your name!" he called from behind you. Unable to answer him, you continued running, returning into the warmth of the ballroom. Soft music greeted you once more, but because it was getting late, less couples were dancing. Instead, they were off to chatting with their fellow friends and neighbors. Your entire face matted of sweat and the salty oils produced stung your eyes. You ran without stopping, swerving around other guests.

The world felt like it was on fire. Every step you took burnt you to the core... screams threatened to come spilling out of your throat, begging for anyone to hear the suffering that took place within you. Your dress flailing behind you and your [h/c] hair messily waving into your face, you were no longer looking so gracious and pretty. Those nearby stared at the disheveled girl running as if her life depended on it, but you couldn't focus on that at all. Mind blank except for thoughts about your feet, you didn't have the time to feel embarrassment. It hurt so damn much... even stepmother's brutal attacks upon you could never live up to something like this.

The round around the room felt excruciatingly long. The guests were beginning to look faceless, peering at you like you were an attraction at a circus. The smiles on their faces transformed into fangs and sharp teeth, as they let out high pitched giggles that would haunt your dreams.

Leaving the golden light of the ballroom, you crashed through the doors. The impact of the hard surface slammed the wind out of your arms, but you didn't pause -- you couldn't afford to pause. Arriving to the hallways you had seen earlier this night, the glass heels clicked against the checkered detailed floors. It echoed loudly through the narrow space, in a rhythmic beat that matched your pace. Legs extending outward, you could only keep running until you noticed wide doors that seemed familiar.

Pushing it open, you slowed down to make sure the guards would not arrest you on the spot. Giving the four same men polite bows, you hurried away from them and reached the god-forbidden stairs. The tall steps was going to be hell to go through. The throbbing worsening and overwhelming you, the tears released from your eyes, streaming down through your cheeks. That was it. You had to take these things off. You bent down and brushed the excess skirts away. Your foot in your hand, you attempted to yank the slipper off. It wouldn't come off for some reason. You tug on it some more, but it only made the pain worse. It was becoming unbearable at this point. Why was it not coming off?!

Quitting the effort, you decided to run down the steps as quickly as you could. Weeping at the needles that drilled into your skin, you hopped down the steps blindly. Unfortunately, it was not the best of plans, for it didn't take long until an ankle twisted and you lost your balance.

Your figure tipped over the edge, your arms flailing madly as you could only grab onto nothing. A shriek escaped your lips when your back was hit by cement, taking the air out of you. More tears sprang out as the stars twinkled above you in a mocking fashion. Rolling down the steps and bruising every part of your body possible, the ground grew closer by the second.

SMASH! The left side of your physique took most of the blow. Glass flew past your eyes, the glow of the moon reflecting beautifully on it. Broken into shards, the glass slipper on your left foot was no longer there. Dark crimson liquid lining the edges of the dangerous pieces, they laid there in a pile behind your limb. What once was a beautiful structured glass shoe was now nothing, but trash. Cut and deeply bruised until the skin was purple, your foot was a bloody mess. Toenails ripped off from most of your toes, the empty spaces of bright pink nearly made you vomit. Scars jagged itself at the bottom, something that would never fade. [s/c] skin sagged from the wounds, to show raw meat and bones. Almost unidentifiable, it was contorted badly. Meanwhile, the torture did not end there; the right slipper was still gnawing away at you.

Burying your face into the fabrics of your now ripped and dirtied dress, you sobbed some more. How could the night turn into this nightmare? It was only just moments ago you were talking to the Prince, feeling like you had it together for once in your life time.

A few voices from the top of the stairs could be heard. Shit. It was the Prince... and by the sound of it, he was asking the guards of your whereabouts. He was following you? What for? Why did he have to go and make this so much more difficult to you?

Before he could take notice of you from down below, you shakenly pushed yourself up and began moving again. One foot painted the pavement, leaving fresh, red footprints in its wake. The other foot had a shoe on that continued to tighten so horrendously that you couldn't help but whimper, despite the risk of catching the Prince's attention.

The minutes droned on as you crossed the vast garden. It was only when you reached the outskirts of the castle's property did you crumble into the floor, shivering at the constant pain. The world turning sideways, you rested your head on the cushion of greenery, wishing to close your eyes and forget everything that had happened. Footsteps approached you and you instantly knew that it was Blaise. His form casting shadows across your face, you blinked slowly to see his expression. A stormy and worried glint in his murky hazel eyes, he wrapped his arms around you. The feeling of deja vu had hit you while he carried you bridal style to the carriage that was waiting. Being laid down on the seat, you watched him pull the right slipper from your foot, officially allowing you to relax.

The biggest sigh of relief left you and you slumped your head onto the seat. Thank goodness you had Blaise. Whatever would you do without him?

Wait--

He was able to pull the slipper off?

Doing a double take and swiftly leaning forward, you were met eye to eye with your two bruised and bloodied feet. Indeed. The glass heels were no longer stuck to your body... but how did he get it off so easily when you had struggled and failed? You were about to voice your question to him when the carriage grew dark, since the door shut on you.

"I need to talk to you, Blaise," you said, your voice hoarse from all the crying.

The carriage creaked for a bit, signaling new weight on the coachman's seat. A whip of the horse began the ride. For a second, you thought he did not hear the request, but he soon answered in response. "We need to take care of your feet first. We will talk at the shop."

You stayed quiet at his response, looking out of the window to see the blurry image of houses and stores. Hues focused on everything else but your feet, it was much harder to ignore the scent that lingered in the air. The metallic, tangy taste of blood laid there for you to submerge in it -- to sniff it in until that was the only thing that filled you. It was nasty, but it was also intoxicating, making it hard to turn away. 

Ashes of CinderWhere stories live. Discover now