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.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Fairy Godwhatever

"But Harry," I argued, "What if I ruin the shoes? Or the dress?" I sighed, and Harry read my sigh correctly to mean, “What if I don't know how to stand, how to act, what to say? Would I fit in, wearing this old dress? Would anyone talk to me?” He pulled me to his lap.

“Look, Ashley, I happen to know that you have found yourself in a position that takes advantage of your sweet nature. You give and give and give. What would you think of doing some take?”

“Take? Like what?”

“Take some initiative. Take a chance. Take a look around you at how you live! You can’t let Sylvia and her snots run your life forever. You won’t ever have another senior prom. This is your one and only chance to have that experience, so take it... to the limit! So what if we get there late and you only have an hour? Make it the best hour of your life!” I smiled. How could I say no? “That’s my girl,” he said. “Let’s make your mom and dad proud.”

While we both wiped our tears away again, he reached into his suitcase and pulled out a handful of makeup brushes and a box of rollers. “Ashley St. Helens, I am going to make you look like the princess you really are!”

He had me take off the dress and shoes, and put on my robe. We snuck down to Sylvia’s bathroom—which was much more fun with him than it had been alone—and this time I did take a tub! “Soak until just before your fingers get pruny," he ordered, "and then scrub your feet while the water goes out.” When I came out, he gave me the royal treatment: a blow-dry, a pedicure, a manicure, and makeup. I had been a little nervous about the makeover—I mean, I never wear makeup, and didn’t want to show up looking like a clown in face paint. But Harry (who had fixed his own face while I bathed) insisted the transformation would have to be dramatic.

“I want Sylvia to see you for who you are,” he said as he brushed powder on my eyes with a deliciously soft brush. I didn’t want to say out loud what I was thinking—which was that he seemed to be turning me into someone else. But when I finally looked in the mirror, I actually did look like me, just a more polished, grown-up version of me...with really gigantic eyelashes like Harry's. And glitter.

As he worked, we talked and talked. He told me about his work. He’s had this brilliant legal career that went from being a habeus corpus petition specialist for a prestigious civil rights non-profit to directing a controversial innocence project for post-conviction relief. (Which, of course, made no sense to me in my heightened emotional state; all I understood that night was the "lawyer" part.) He talked about mom, and about dad. I told him all about school, and caught him up on some of my friends he used to know; oh my GOD, it was great just to have someone to talk to like that... and to laugh! We joked about how he was my “Harry” godfather, my “fairy” godmother—and he pulled aside his dress a little to show me that he was also my “hairy” godmother, as well.

“I don’t care-y that you’re a fairy, you’re my hairy god-whatever,” I sung to him.

"Godwhat-e-e-ver," he sung with me. By the time I was ready to put on my dress again, I felt transformed on the inside as well as on the outside.

He wanted to put the top up on the convertible, but I really wanted to enjoy every drop of air on this most wonderful of all evenings, so he just drove slowly. It was only about a mile to the school, anyway. At a stoplight, we stared at each other, grinning like we were in love. “I’m so glad you’re back in my life,” he said.

I said, “Me, too.”

"Ashley, I've been..." Harry opened his mouth, then closed his lips and pressed them together, just as the light turned green.

“What, Harry?”

“I’ll save it for later. My dear…your destiny awaits.” The familiar streets and neon signs flickered by, and I felt like my destiny had already arrived. With the dress smoothed over my knees, the magic shoes on my feet, Harry taking care of me like, well, like a dad, or a mom, or both...I felt like I was in a world that was mine again. Harry had, in a few short hours, built a castle on the foundation my parents had laid. I knew in that moment that, whatever happened next, I would have a well of love to draw from, for the rest of my life.


From:  crankingitout@gmail.com>
To: FTR <info@fairytalereality.com>, Ashley <ash-prince03@gmail.com
Date: Monday, 23 May 2011 10:22:19
Subject: Shoe Song

another song writes itself! wonderful writing, ashley! (you made it easy for kristen.) hope harry likes it. (of course, it's  first draft and a rough demo... i'll take feedback!) 

you won't believe this, guys. brian yates sharber, the actor i hired to do this demo... well, you just have to see this picture of his left foot...



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