Nicole: Fairy Godmother Extraordinaire

 "Oh thank you, fairy godmother!" cooed the girl, hugging me and crushing my wings slightly. 

"Oh, you're quite welcome," I said, "though you might want to hurry.  The magic will wear off at midnight and everyone will see you as you are. Also, my name is Nicole."

She let me go, rushing to get to the carriage.

"Yes, midnight, I'll remember that," she muttered, though I was sure she wouldn't. "Thanks again!" she called.

The footman shut the door and the coachman flicked the four white horses with his whip.  I walked back into the house and slumped into a chair.  It was hard being a fairy godmother, especially when your "goddaughter" was a picky girl like Cindy. We had spent fifteen minutes getting her gown to just the right shade of purple and she absolutely refused to wear any kind of shoes but glass slippers.

"That's it," I thought, "After this happily ever after, I'm retiring."

As it turned out, Cindy managed to remember her curfew but when she was running out of the palace one of those beautiful glass slippers fell off and Prince Charming (they called him that because his real name, Charles, wasn't "princely" enough) found it.  He was so enamored with Cindy that he went on a kingdom-wide search for the girl whose foot fit the slipper.  He found Cindy, put the shoe on her foot, and they got married a few months later.  I retired on the same day as their wedding. I thought I was done in the fairy godmother business—boy was I wrong! Years later I got called to help another girl get to a dance. Luckily this one wasn't nearly so picky.


I was in the library of the Fairy Retirement Home (FRH—Giving Godmothers a Happily Ever After of Their Own) when the message came.  It was brought by Larissa, that prissy immortal who still had blonde hair, blue eyes, and perfect skin. She was still working, even though she was almost as old as I was.

"Nicky, there's an emergency.  They need you in the Boss's office at Headquarters," she said.

I glared at her. "I'm retired," I said. "I don't work for the Boss anymore."

"But she says it's urgent!" whined Larissa. "You're the only one of us for the job!"

"What, can't anyone else turn people into frogs?" I grumbled, heaving myself out of the chair and flapping my wings to test them.  I hadn't flown for a few years now but, once outside, I managed to fly on an almost direct course for Headquarters and land in the Boss's office. (I missed by one floor.)

"Ah, Nicole, I'm glad you're here. We have another Cinderella on our hands. You were the original's fairy godmother so I thought you'd be perfect for this job."

"Oh no," I said. "I am not doing another Cindy! You have no idea how picky she was!"

The Boss gave me the Evil Eye. She was very good at that.

"You would, of course, be paid to do it. All you have to do is get the girl to the dance and I'll pay you normal wages.  Get the boy to fall for her, I'll double it. Do we have a deal?"

I shook her hand. "Deal," I said. "What's the girl's name?"

"Ella Talbot. You should be able to find her. She lives in Cinderella's old house actually.  I believe she'd be in the library."

I took off at once to Cindy's old house.  Sure enough, Ella was in the library, reading a book entitled Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. I tried to enter as quietly as I could but my wing bumped a book on a table and it fell to the floor.  Ella looked up, green eyes flashing.

"Who are you?" she asked.

"I'd like to say I'm your fairy godmother but that wouldn't be true.  I'm Nicole, I'm a fairy, and I'm here to help you."

She laughed dryly. "Oh, and I suppose you want to give me a gown, glass slippers, and a pumpkin carriage, right?"

"Well, yes but if you don't want it…"

Ella cut me off. "I don't want any of it.  I want to go to the dance at school tonight but we don't use carriages anymore, nor do we wear gowns or glass slippers.  If you want to help me get to the dance, do it but try it without magic and without making me feel like a pampered twit."

"Look kid, I didn't want to do this in the first place.  I was dragged out of retirement because I helped the original Cinderella and my former boss thinks I'm the only one who can help you. We'll do this your way. Now then, what kind of outfit were you thinking about?"

Ella put down the book and gave me a brief smile before leaving the library. I followed her up some stairs to a large room, which I knew had originally belonged to Cindy's stepmother.  Along one wall was an enormous closet. Its doors were open and I could see hundreds of hangers holding pants, skirts, blouses, and dresses, all arranged by type, size, and color.

"This is Janine's room," said Ella. "She's out with her boyfriend now and they won't be at the dance tonight so I doubt if she'll mind me borrowing some of her clothes.  Any suggestions for a suitable outfit?"

I glanced at the array of clothes before me.  Out of all these, she wanted me to pick one outfit? I studied her closely.  Maybe I could narrow the field a bit. Her eyes were green and her hair was light brown and currently in a ponytail. Anything in blue or purple would clash horribly with those eyes. So would pink. We could skip those sections. She was so tall that a short dress or skirt would look awful on her. We would have to do either pants or something with a long skirt in red or possibly green. I moved to the green section of the closet.  One dress caught my eye.  It was long and had sparkles on it so that it shimmered even in the dim light of the closet. Plus it had sleeves and a neckline that wasn't extremely low.  It even had a bit of a train in the back, just like the dresses I was used to.

"What do you think of this one?" I asked.

She stared at me as if I had just pulled this dress out of thin air.

"How on earth did you find that one in there?" she asked. "That was supposed to be mine. Mother left it to me. I guess Janine stole it or something.  It's perfect for this dance! Leave for a bit so I can get dressed.  You can start thinking of ways to do my hair. Oh and Nicole? Thanks."

I just smiled at her and left the room. Actually I had already thought of a way to do her hair. It all depended on what kind of hair supplies she had in the bathroom.  I went in to look.

All I found in that bathroom were some headbands, a bottle of hairspray, and some silver clips. These would never do for what I had in mind. I sat down on the edge of the bathtub to think just as Ella walked in.

"Oh, you found my hair stuff," she said. "It's not much. Janine has more if you need it."

I jumped up. "Does she have a curling iron or hot rollers?"

"No, those broke a while ago. Why? Were you going to curl my hair?"

I nodded. "I suppose I won't be able to now since you've forbidden me to use my magic. If I could you'd have the prettiest head of curls anyone's ever seen. But maybe I can think of something else…"

I knew I had her right where I wanted her. I could tell by the look in her eyes that she wanted curls.

"I guess it wouldn't hurt to use just a little," she said. "And it'll get me to the dance much faster anyways. Go ahead."

I smiled, pulled my wand out of the hidden pocket of my gown, and waved it in the air over her head.  Immediately her formerly straight hair was a tight cluster of ringlets.

"That's not what I wanted!" I waved my wand again. The curls softened and simply fell loosely to her shoulders. She looked in the mirror.

"Nicole! It's great! You're wonderful!"

Again I smiled. "Thank you," I said. "Now what do you say we do your make-up that way too and the get to the ball—I mean dance."

"All right, but don't put on too much make-up. My father wouldn't approve."

I just waved my wand. Her face looked almost the same as before but if you looked closely you could see a touch of blush, some eye shadow, and pale pink lip-gloss.

"Great! Now how am I going to get to the dance?"

"What, you mean only you're going?" I asked in mock surprise. "I'd like to go too. I'll be your chaperone. We'll get there by car of course, if you can drive. I have no idea how those things work or where the dance is being held."

Ella grinned at me. "I got my license last week," she said proudly. "I don't know why I didn't think of driving before. But if you go with me, won't people notice your, um, wings?"

I tugged gently at my right wing. "What, these? I can hide them. Watch."

Again I waved my wand and immediately my wings disappeared and I was dressed in a gown rather like Ella's, except in blue. We left the house, climbed into Ella's small blue "bug", and drove off.


Even before we entered the school I could hear loud music playing. Actually, it didn't sound like music at all but Ella said it was called rap. We went in and Ella paid for tickets. (Mine only cost a dollar because I was her chaperone.) Then I followed Ella into a large room. One half was filled with tables. The other had other teenagers dancing in it while the "rap" played.

"All right, who is he?" I whispered as Ella dragged me over to the dance floor.

"Who?" she asked.

"The boy you wanted to come to see," I said.

Ella blushed. "Oh, him. He's the boy over there in the corner, the one who isn't dancing. His name is Charlie. Everyone says he's a descendant of Prince Charles "Charming" I. You know, the one who married Cinderella? Anyways, he's really nice and we've talked a couple times but I'm not sure if he likes me back."

"Well why don't you go over and say hello?" I asked, giving her a slight push.

"But…but…but what if he ignores me?" she stammered.

"Then he's not worth your time. But I doubt that.  He looks very nice. Go on, go!"

She walked over to him and said something. I saw his whole face light up in a grin. Ella looked at me for the briefest moment, during which I winked, then went off with him and began to dance. I watched them for about fifteen minutes but by then the rap was beginning to hurt my head so I pulled Ella away from Charlie just long enough to tell her that I was going to leave now and I would come to her house tomorrow to find out how it went. She hugged me and went back to her prince.

As I promised, I stopped by her house the next day. I found her in the library again. When she saw me this time she jumped up and hugged me.

"Oh my gosh, thank you so much Nicole! You did it! He likes me! My hair went straight again at midnight and the make-up disappeared but it was okay. He still likes me! I don't know what you did but you got me Charlie as a boyfriend!"

I smiled at her. I had forgotten that the magic would wear off at midnight but I doubted if her prince had minded. He seemed entranced by her just the way she was. "I didn't do a thing after I got you there. The rest was all you. Congratulations, Ella. Let me know if you ever need me again."

With that I disappeared and reappeared in the Boss's office.

"I did my job," I said. "She went to the dance and he fell for her."

The Boss held out a bag of money,

"Here, double the normal pay," she said.

I pushed it back at her.  "I only need the normal pay," I said. "I didn't do anything to make him fall for her. Take out half the money in there and give it to me and then I'll be on my way. Oh, and don't call me back again. I'm retired. I may look in on Ella now and then but I think girls today can handle their own fairy tales."

I took my wages and left. As I'd said I would, I checked up on Ella every once in a while. She and Charlie made it as a couple all through high school and college. Then they got married and recently had a child, a girl they named Nicole, after me. I was made her godmother, though I refused to be her fairy godmother. Like I said, girls these days can handle their own happy endings. They don't need fairies anymore.