High school senior Ashley St. Helens
has suddenly found herself living a fairy tale life....
Which is not as much fun as it sounds.
Until... the other shoe drops.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Story So Far...

Two writers of a musical (a.k.a. 'The Creators') create a blog and ask people to post stories about their "fairy tale realities" for a project they're working on.  A letter arrives from a mythology professor, introducing her student, Ashley St. Helens Prince. A letter arrives from Ashley herself, which piques the curiosity of the writers. After a few flurries of letterspostcards, and emails, Ashley begins telling her story.

In Chapter One, Once Upon a Time, Ashley recounts her childhood, which was happy until her mother died and her father remarried a woman named Sylvia who had two daughters, Debra and Donna. (The Creators converse about her story and talk about publishing it as a book as well as a musical.) Sylvia's true colors show just before Ashley's father dies.

Chapter Two, The Virtue of Rags, sets the scene with Ashley withdrawing in sorrow into the attic room, emerging only to clean her mother's house. (The writers interrupt the story a few times in this chapter, to discuss musical business.) One day, while she is doing the laundry, the phone rings... after too much discussion of clothes, especially undergarments, and her stepmother, Sylvia, acting weird. (Aside, the writers discuss Ashley's current relationship with these people, and articles about these topics.)

In Chapter Three, Miss St. Helens Erupts, Ashley answers the phone. It's Harry Carrington, her long-lost godfather. He encourages her to let out her feelings, and as it turns out, she has quite a few. Then he tells her where to look to find a very special (practically magical) dress she could wear to prom.

Chapter Four, My Father's Shoes, begins as the stepsisters come to say goodbye (and in this installment, the musical begins to take shape) on the night of the prom, as does Sylvia. Ashley wanders the house, struggling with her self-esteem. Is she worthy of her dreams?

Just as she is ready to curl up with a book, Harry makes a dramatic entrance to kick off Chapter Five, The Souls of My Feet, and shares his philosophy about shoesThey bond while remembering her parents as they choose the perfect pair, and Harry gives Ashley an emotional makeover as well as a physical one. The chapter closes with a series of email exchanges in which we find out the project may be having some trouble.

Just minutes after her arrival, The Toss of a Coin (Chapter Six) determines Ashley's fate as the surprise queen of the prom. As she and Jeff do their victory dance, Harry confronts Sylvia. Behind the scenes, there is a change of plans with the writers, but Ashley runs from the prom when she is discovered. 

The next morning, Harry and Jeff show up at Ashley's house, reminiscing about what had happened at The Stroke of Midnight (Chapter Seven). They eat brunch and tell her about the Squash Coach's strange behavior. Behind the scenes, the writers launch a crowdfunding campaign; Sylvia's daughters discover her distasteful attempt to fix the prom and a shouting match begins. Then, Harry invites Ashley to live with him.

A Fairytale Ending begins with Jeff going upstairs with Ashley to help her pack. On their way down, it dawns on Donna and Debra that Ashley is now popular girl—not that she cares. They return to the living room just in time to hear Harry's confession, and Sylvia kicks them all out of the house. But when Ashley turns back to face Sylvia, the final shoe drops: she finds out she got a scholarship...and now her dreams have come true!

Everyone's dreams come true ten years later when the musical about Ashley and her fairytale family finally makes it to the stage.


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