Something Ever After
by belle . nisce

Prologue. Once upon a time...

I grew up listening to Disney stories.

I blame it on my mom, actually. Just before I was born she received a huge box of all the Disney cassettes and books as a gift. By the time I was four, I could read all of the books to myself for bedtime stories even though I didn't know my letters yet; when I hit age six, I could tell recite all of the movies by heart; and by the time I was ten, I could tell you every last detail of every obscure character in every fairy tale adaptation by Old Man Disney.

The princesses all received due amounts of affection from me, but my favorite girl by far was The Little Mermaid. I loved the mythical world of Atlantica, the graceful, ethereal way the merpeople swam and sang and lived, Prince Eric (duh)—but most of all, I loved Ariel and all her red-haired, doe-eyed glory.

Starting in preschool, I was always Ariel for Halloween. I always turned pruny during bath time waiting for my feet to turn into fins. When other girls in class were getting puppies and kittens and bunnies for pets, I got a hermit crab (mostly because my mom wouldn't let me get a real crab and convinced me that hermit crabs actually grew up to be real ones if I didn't let it poop all over the carpet), named him Sebastian, and loved him… until one day I let him out of his cage and Molly, our German shepherd, ate him. (That was a sad day for me.)

When I turned fifteen, I tried dying my hair red without telling my mom and had a rather unpleasant experience with bleach (okay, I screamed bloody murder and the landlord called 911 on me because he thought I was on fire) and then had to survive six days being taunted about the weird orange color of my hair disaster before my mom dragged me to her salon to dye it back to black.

And ever since I could remember, I've been waiting for Prince Eric. I've met plenty of potential ones, but they've all struck out. My mom and Drew Ellison, my best friend, says its ridiculous to try and meet a prince when I live on the Upper East Side in the twenty-first century since chivalry is, you know, dead, and most guys these days only fall in love with what's underneath your clothes, and that's only for approximately the length of one of my Disney films if he's good.

Okay, when I say it out loud like this I sound like a freak.

I swear I'm normal, I'm not in some psych ward in a strait jacket and I don't have any mental problems I'm aware of. I have a normal job—actually, two normal jobs, one as a personal shopper at Barney's and another as a wardrobe stylist on an entertainment talk show—and even some normal aspirations—to start my own line of clothing.

And for the most part, I've stopped being a believer in this Disney cult anyway.

I mean, it's kind of hard to stay in it when all it does is screw you over. I'm already twenty-three and I still haven't gotten any kind of sign that it's all gonna work out for me in the end. My love life sucks, I'm not at my dream job, and I'm too broke to quit and start my dream. (Kind of hard to save money when you've got an extra $400 in your pocket and a pair of new strappy Louboutins has just shipped into the storeroom, am I right?) Plus I still haven't grown fins.

Watch out, girls: believing in Disney fairy tales comes back to bite you in the ass.

To be continued...

A/N: Yay for new stories :o). This is so Girl for Hire doesn't suffocate me in my sleep (or make me want to do that to myself...). I have so many things already written or mapped out for this story and I am so excited about it. Please stick with me and read on. Val has many Ursula-like adventures in store for her you don't even know. Also, Disney buffs, be on the watch; there are going to be a truckload of random Disney references galore. :)
- jan.15 2009