Cinderella and Juliet

Once upon a time there was a girl who snuck away from home to go to a masquerade ball, and wore a red mask of feathers and sequins. When she arrived at the party, she didn't recognize anyone so she hid herself behind the banister, and quietly watched everyone twirl around.

Not long after, from behind her post she saw a young man in a blue mask of feathers standing on the other side of the room, and the two couldn't take their eyes off each other. She came out from her hiding spot and the two slowly walked towards each other, until she offered him a trembling hand. She felt like she couldn't breathe.

The spirit of Cinderella was in the room that night and she gasped with delight. I met my love this way, she said, this union will surely be blessed. But the bitter spirit of Juliet was also in the room. I met my love this way, she lamented, all it brought me was tragedy and heartbreak, this union will surely be cursed.

The two spirits decided to make a bet, and shook their gloved hands over the fate of the girl. Cinderella's turn was first. So her spirit took the girl by the hand and led her to the young man, and the pair danced and twirled across the floor. They began to fall in love with each other.

Before long, the clock struck twelve and the girl knew she had to go home before her family discovered her missing. She was over come by fear and fled down the stairs before telling the boy her name. But Cinderella's magic wasn't done yet. As the girl ran she dropped one of her red earrings on the stairs, and the young man picked it up.

The next day when all of the young people gathered for school, he found a beautiful brown haired girl wearing one red earring, and the two instantly recognized each other. They learned each other's names and became very smitten with one another.

They were quite happy, for a short time, until the spirit of Juliet claimed her turn to influence the lovers. She used her powers to make the boy notice another girl, and to cloud his mind with thoughts about her. When the boy finally could no longer stand the influence, he found the new girl and began to speak with her. But the girl who had worn the red mask saw them, and ran away and cried.

The spirit of Cinderella whispered of forgiveness to her, until her heart was softened towards the young man. Then Cinderella spoke to the mind of the young man until he felt regret about his actions and made him realize he didn't care for the new girl. So the young man picked a single rose and brought it to the door of the girl with the red mask. The two of them forgot the incident and became even closer.

The spirit of Juliet was angered by this interference. She felt that Cinderella had unfairly undone all of her efforts. So she decided to enchant the minds of the girl in the red mask's parents. They became angry at their daughter when they discovered she was seeing the young man, they were ashamed of her lies and struck her on the cheek. They told her she must never see the young man again, and she locked herself in her room, resigned to cry and be apart from her lover forever.

But the spirit of Cinderella came to the girl and comforted her and put it in her mind to run away to a place in the forest where no one ever went. She also told the young man of this secret place, and the two were overjoyed when they unexpectedly found the other there, wondering what magic had brought them together.

When the young man saw the bruise on her cheek, he held up her face in his hands and kissed her face while she explained her sad story. He spoke words of love and courage to her until the pair kissed and fell into each other's arms on the soft grass.

Juliet was angry yet again, and she caused more chaos between the couple. This time she overtook the mind of another young man and made him grab the girl with the red mask and kiss her and hold her close to him. The young man saw this happen, but refused to believe that the girl was merely a victim. They both became angry and fought harshly with each other, until she slapped the young man.

The two didn't talk for a while, until the spirit of Cinderella brought them together yet again. Then they held each other tightly and showed their love for each other that night. In the morning, the girl gasped and ran back home. But the spirit of Juliet couldn't be found, and her parents were kind to her.

The spirit of Cinderella saw this chance while things were going well and led the boy by her unseen hand into town where he bought a beautiful diamond ring.

That night, in her room, the girl looked out at the moon in a red nightgown and images of the young man flashed in her mind. All of the good times, when he would hold her and kiss her, made her want to be with him forever. The times when he'd be cruel and yell at her and not believe her, made her tremble with fear and sink to her knees on the floor. She was confused, conflicted, and completely undecided.

In her mind she saw a vision of herself in a white dress being loved and taken care of for the rest of her life. Then she saw a grim vision of her own death, in a green blood stained dress, collapsed to the unfeeling ground.

Morning finally came and the girl went to meet the young man, Cinderella and Juliet both walking behind her, determined to each make their final move to win the gamble. Cinderella prompted the girl to leap into the boys arms and to run away with him, but Juliet filled her heart with contempt for the boy. Both spirits overcame her so strongly that she became possessed by both at once. They were trapped in a battle inside the girl's mind, and she began to feel dizzy and to fall to the ground. She could see her young lover reaching out his hand to her. In one half of her heart, she saw him as a benevolent prince with a crystal palace behind him. In the other half of her heart she saw him as a man in blood soaked rags who aimed to take everything from her, her innocence and her life, holding out a dagger inside a musty cavern.

The thoughts were so strong that her right eye turned pure white, and her left eye was stained a deep envious shade of green. She sat helpless on the ground, landing on her knees, her eyes cast downward. Her young lover in turn fell to his knees to aid her, and picked up her face in his hands to see her eyes. But the spirits of Cinderella and Juliet had driven her mad. Who are you, was all that she could say. She had become so overcome by love and hate that she could no longer even remember the identity of the object of her passions.

The young man wept into her neck, heartbroken that all of her memories were gone, never to return. Still, he took her into his home and family and took care of her for all her days. Though she could never understand who he was, and all she could ever say was, who are you. So I ask you who the true winner was. Cinderella. Or Juliet?