(A/N): After months following its removal, I'm pleased to bring this story back to fictionpress. Many people asked about its disappearance, and so I am pleased to return it to you, the readers, who truly give the story its life.
The chapters will not all come at once, but they will gradually reappear. Also, keep an eye on some of the other stories that I have previously removed, because they will be returning.
Roses and Black Glass: A Dark Cinderella Tale
The sign by the road read: Madison's Mortuary and Dealings with the Dead. If one was brave enough to let their eyes trail up that curving path and to the top of the hill, they would see a grand house that was not unpleasant to look at. It sat three stories high and was covered in lovely wooden shingles what were painted white. The shutters were the color of wood, and they seemed to always be open. There were hardly any trees, making sure that the house was admirable from a distance.
However, if one looked closer, they could see the depression that was known as the drop-off where carriages could be pulled around to unload corpses off into the basement of the fine house where the actual mortuary rested. That was the part that sent chills up an onlooker's spine and forced them to look away.
The place rested on the tallest hill at the edge of town, looking down on the others like some god of judgment. Though nothing seemed inappropriate from the outside, while inside, all one could think about were the dealings going on below in the mortuary itself. For this reason, the house rarely received visitors. People would come to speak of how the dead were to be prepared, but none ever stayed long enough to enjoy a polite cup of tea. The atmosphere around them made them too uneasy.
Among some of the more unmentionable things in Virginia in the year 1852, Madison's rested squarely at number one in its own part of the world. It was a known obscenity in the miniscule town it rested in, only leaving small room for the few hidden burlesque houses, wild taverns, and whatever lied waiting in the woods. The mortuary was out in the open for dark pondering. Though this place was quite a help to the countryside, the people of Greenhaven liked to pretend that it didn't exist there on that hill. Mutilating a corpse was quite a scandalous affair indeed for the day. Then again, people must admit that it was better than having to deal with their own dead.
The owner of the house and business, Charles Madison, was a well-liked man – for those who cared to know him. He had managed to have friendships outside his home and he never spoke of his work when he was away from it. For good reason. Charles had come into money through his family lineage, and though he made little with what he now was, there was still plenty in savings for him so that he could carry out his work and not worry about finances. He wouldn't say that he loved his job, but he indeed found it interesting, which would turn much of the community away at the thought.
Five years ago, Charles's lovely wife Amelia had given in to Tuberculosis. Left all alone with his daughter of ten, Cindy, Charles could do nothing but be sorrowful and dwell in the large family house, physically empty, but with rooms filled with old memories. Finally, he grew tired of being alone. He wanted his daughter to have female influence in her life as she grew. With that in mind, he set out to find a new wife.
The woman he found was pleasing to look upon. Her appearance and presentation were appealing, but not only that, she could hold firm to decent conversation. She was interesting. Independent. Proud… Charles failed to see that there could be problem in her ego, and so he married the woman. Her name was Anna.
Anna had also been married before to a husband who had fallen in a duel, and when she joined with Charles, she brought two daughters with her. The eldest of her daughters was called Isabella, the younger called Charlotte. Isabella was tall and slender, looking quite like her mother with long blond hair and small green eyes. Charlotte had long red hair and a few freckles specked over her cheeks. Her eyes were also the same piercing green. Both girls were very much like their mother, for they were also proud.
Charles had thought he had done a wonderful thing for his daughter Cindy. He had given her a mother and two sisters who were near her same age to learn by. Unbeknownst to him was the fact that Cindy was not happy with these new additions to the household. She never was happy with the family, though she tried to smile for her father when he would glance her way. As she grew, her sweet smile from childhood fell from her lips, and depression set into her heart. She longed for freedom with her father, but she didn't believe she could ever have that thing she desired.
As time passed, the mortuary became an interest of Cindy's. Though her stepsisters and mother would never venture there, the lovely dark-haired girl had never had trouble carrying about her normal childish business in the atmosphere, sometimes even playing with dolls across the bloodless corpses. As she grew older and reached the age of thirteen, she asked her father to teach her his trade – the dead were much more interesting than the living.
Anna had protested to the thought in an extreme way at first. The idea was scandalous and shameful all at once. Charles was at risk doing it himself, but to let a girl child participate was preposterous! Charles had explained calmly that the girl was only thirteen and that she had plenty of time to grow into a proper lady. Perhaps it was simply a phase the young one was going through; she simply wanted to be with her father. Besides all of that, no one ever came to the house. Who would know?
His new wife had still been uneasy with the thought, but finally seeing the opportunity to give her own daughters more growing room and the chance to step ahead, the selfish woman consented to Cindy's wishes.
Charles was happy to have his daughter beside him, though it still did nothing but repulse his wife Anna. Cindy could not have cared less. She took advantage of the only time she had with her father when he was not being hogged by the family 'add-ons'. What she did was not the most respectable job for a lady, but Cindy wouldn't trade that time for anything else in the world.
Since her mother's death, Cindy's only happiness rested with her father. She prayed that he would never leave her.