Once upon a time, there was a girl named Ella who lived with her rich father and mother.
But, as mothers in made-up stories are wont to do, Ella’s mother died.
And, as fathers in made-up stories are wont to do, Ella’s father remarried.
Finally, as fathers in made-up stories who remarry are wont to do, Ella’s father died as well.
It was very tragic. Mostly because the reason both Ella’s parents died was one and the same: The common cold.
If only they had drank more orange juice… But alas, they both hated orange juice, thus sealing their fates.
Ella’s stepmother had two daughters of her own: Penicillin and Amoxicillin. These names were strange and really struck a nerve with Ella because the common cold is one thing that antibiotics can’t treat. So, Ella just called them Penny and Moxie, for short. In turn, the sisters gave Ella a nickname too: Blisterella.
Blisterella got this nickname because her stepmother was a neat freak and insisted that Blisterella wear a new pair of shoes every day. For this reason, Ella always had blisters on her feet.
Unfortunately, because Blisterella’s stepmother was a neat freak, she was always made to perform household chores to perfection. She would have to scrub the stove twice a day, mop the floors every morning, cook meals for all in the household three times a day (without letting any of the food touch, of course) and, worst of all, had to clean out behind the refrigerator once a week (even though this is a task other families have to do only, like, once a decade).
All the while, Penny and Moxie had to do no chores because they were terrible at them and their mother just didn’t want to have to deal with that hassle.
One morning, Blisterella was scrubbing the kitchen floor when she heard someone at the door. Her stepmother answered it, but Blisterella could overhear the conversation because she figured if she were doing all of the work around here, she’s allowed to eavesdrop once in a while.
It was a servant from the kingdom, with news of a royal ball!
The prince was searching for a princess and was holding a ball to meet some of the local women because he had honestly tried everything else– dating mutual friends, blind dating, internet dating, Tinder, straight up walking into local taverns and asking out the first girl he saw. Essentially, this prince was handsome, but had no game. So, he needed to leverage his position as royalty already because he wasn’t getting any younger.
Oh, how Blisterella longed to go to the ball!
She ran to her stepmother and begged,
“Stepmother! Please allow me to go to the ball and meet the prince!” Blisterella whined.
“Blisterella,” her stepmother replied, “If you can complete all of your chores three times by the time we go to the ball tomorrow, you may surely tag along.”
This was exciting! Blisterella began her chores straight away.
It’s worth noting here that Blisterella was not entirely alone. She actually spoke often to critters she found. Mainly, she would talk to the squirrels who lived in trees surrounding her house. And, I’m not sure if the squirrels spoke English or if Blisterella spoke Squirrelish, but in any case, they understood each other.
So, Blisterella asked the squirrels to make a dress for her while she completed her chores.
And they did.
It was a beautiful dress.
Well, as beautiful as a dress can be when it’s made out of acorns and dead leaves. They were squirrels, not seamstresses. Cut them some slack.
Blisterella finished her chores in time, put on her weirdo dress, and rushed downstairs where Penny, Moxie, and her stepmother were waiting.
Penny and Moxie were wearing elaborate gowns made of traditional fabrics like silk and satin and not leaves, but they were incredibly jealous of Blisterella’s dress because they thought it looked rustic woodland chic.
The girls began to complain:
“Mother! Her dress is so in vogue! Look at how rustic it is!”
“Mother! She killed the trees to make her dress! It’s like she doesn’t even care that there are rain forests being chopped down all over the planet”
“Mother! Acorn rhymes with unicorn which has the word ‘corn’ in it which reminds me of corn chips which make me think of salsa and I can’t salsa dance, so now I’m insecure!”
Stepmother had to put an end to this.
“Blisterella!” her stepmother yelled, “You cannot go to the ball in that filthy frock!”
“What’s a frock?” Blisterella asked,
“It’s a dress, Blisterella,” her stepmother answered.
And Blisterella’s stepmother, Penny, and Moxie stormed out the door to the carriage waiting outside.
Blisterella couldn’t believe it. She had been so close to following her dreams, only to see them dashed.
She ran outside and sat under an orange tree in her backyard. Her stepmother had planted the tree after her father died to be ironic (not to mention, mildly sadistic).
Blisterella cried, as she did every night, because her blisters hurt and because she longed so much to go to the ball.
Suddenly, the ground began to quake and glitter began to fall from the sky. Blisterella became afraid, just as a figure appeared before her.
It was an old woman. She was wearing what looked like a cloak (an outdoor overgarment) made of sequins.
“Hello child!” the woman exclaimed, “Never fear, for I am here!”
“Right. And who exactly are you?” Blisterella asked.
“Why, child! I am your Barely Godmother!” the old woman replied.
“My Barely Godmother? Why ‘barely?'” Blisterella inquired.
“Well,” her Barely Godmother responded, “Your mother and father had many friends and asked many of them to be your godparents. However, everyone thought themselves unfit for the role. At the time, I worked with your mother and we talked occasionally, so she finally had to ask me to be your godmother. I honestly didn’t think she was serious at first. Basically, I’m your godmother, but just barely– like, I was very close to turning down the role. Oh, and I also have magical powers.”
This all made sense.
Blisterella explained to her Barely Godmother that she had tried so hard to go to the ball, and that the squirrels had put so much time into designing her rustic shift (also a word for a dress). And now, she had no means of even getting to the ball for, although the palace was just a couple of blocks away, her feet were too blistered to walk.
Barely Godmother said, “Never fear my dear! For when I say the magic words, all of your dreams will come true!”
She picked an orange from the orange tree and set it on the ground in front of her. With a swish of her magic wand, Barely Godmother said,
“FLIPPITY FLOPPITY FLOOP!”
And before Blisterella’s very eyes, the orange on the ground grew and grew and grew and grew into… a giant…
“This is what you will go to the ball in,” Barely Godmother explained, “It’s remarkably appropriate because it means you will be going to a ball inside of a ball. Very clever, if I do say so myself. And, you’ll smell lemony fresh!”
“Don’t you mean orange-y fresh?” asked Blisterella.
Barely Godmother sighed, “No, child. Orange-y is not a word and you sound like an idiot for saying it.”
And she was right.
Blisterella’s Barely Godmother knew that Blisterella couldn’t possibly run to the ball in a hamster ball without aid, so–
“FLIPPITY FLOPPITY FLOOP!”
She turned Blisterella’s squirrel friends into large hamsters. Now, they could ride in the hamster ball with Blisterella and do all of the work to travel to the ball!
“You are ready, my dear!” Barely Godmother exclaimed, “You must rush to the ball and return here before the stroke of midnight– when this spell will break.”
“But, Godmother,” Blisterella protested, “What about my gown?”
“Oh no!” Barely Godmother gasped, “You are right! We must fix this right away!”
“FLIPPITY FLOPPITY FLOOP!”
Just then, Blisterella’s dress was transformed into a gorgeous actually rustic/vintage looking gown, covered in lace and pearls!
Best of all, Blisterella’s shoes were made entirely of brass. Of course, she had never worn them before and they were very heavy and metal, so they also gave her blisters. But they looked really cool, so it was okay.
“Now go!” Barely Godmother said, “Get out of here and be back before the clock strikes twelve, Eastern Standard Time!”
Blisterella and her hamster friends went to the ball in their orange hamster ball and arrived at the palace just as festivities began. In fact, Blisterella was the very last to arrive, so everyone looked at her judgmentally when she came through the doors of the palace.
This was incredibly convenient as the prince noticed her as well. And, even though she was wearing the same style of dress as many other women at the ball (thanks a lot, Barely Godmother), he could smell her enchanting lemony/orange-y fresh scent from across the room.
The prince walked across the dance floor to Blisterella and asked her to dance.
The two practically floated across across the ballroom, inciting envy from all who beheld them.
After, like, 3 dances, the pair went outside. The prince wanted to propose to Blisterella then and there because he actually had terrible judgment. However, he couldn’t propose because at that moment, the clock began to strike twelve!
What was happening?! Everything seemed to go so quickly! But Blisterella really should’ve seen this coming because she didn’t even arrive to the ball until 11:32 p.m.
Blisterella panicked– just as most women would if a spell meant to deceive her prince were about to break, or if a man she had just met 28 minutes prior were about to propose.
She ran away.
She ran through the ballroom, down the stairs of the palace, and out the door. She didn’t even notice that one of her brass shoes had fallen off on the palace steps. But she did start to run 50% faster after that, so that was convenient.
When she looked for the hamster ball to run home in, it had turned back into an orange. Unfortunately, her squirrel friends were trapped inside, never to be seen again. Blasted oranges!
Blisterella returned home in plenty of time and, the next morning, her stepmother was none the wiser.
However, the prince was obsessed. He had to find this maiden who had won his heart in a mere 28 minutes! As he was chasing after Blisterella, the prince picked up the brass slipper she dropped.
This could be his token to finding his true love!
Soon, posters were plastered all over the kingdom with a picture of the missing shoe. The prince’s advisers traveled door to door throughout the kingdom selling cookies (a kingdom has to be profitable too, ok?) and asking all maidens to try on the missing slipper. Most maidens had a hard time getting the uncomfortable shoe on their feet, and others fit the shoe, but couldn’t walk in it.
After much looking, only about 4 maidens fit into the shoe (Listen, it’s unrealistic to assume that only ONE person in the ENTIRE kingdom would wear a size 6 1/2).
When someone came to Blisterella’s house to survey the maidens, Blisterella’s stepmother locked her in the back yard.
Penny and Moxie wanted to try on the shoe, but they could see without even trying it on that it would be too small. There was only one solution:
Bake something yummy for the visitors so they would forget why they were there in the first place, and then maybe coerce them into allowing BOTH Penny and Moxie to marry the prince.
It was a long shot since they were terrible at baking and polygamy was outlawed in the kingdom, but it was worth a try.
While the girls were baking and stepmother was stalling the prince’s men, Blisterella was conversing with the squirrels outdoors.
Now, because of all the time Blisterella spent with the squirrels, she had strange squirrel-like agility. She could easily climb trees, jump from limb to limb, and eat raw acorns without any adverse gastrointestinal effects. The fact that she can ingest acorns was probably irrelevant in this situation, though.
Blisterella scampered up the tree closest to her cottage, leaped from a limb onto the roof, and scurried into an open window.
Once inside, she rushed downstairs and yelled, “It’s me! I’m the maiden the prince has been searching for!”
Her stepmother was very confused by this proclamation because she had only locked Blisterella outside because she had some raking that needed to be finished.
“Let this brass slipper be the judge of that!” one of the men replied.
Of course, the slipper fit Blisterella and she was taken to the kingdom.
As for her stepmother and stepsisters, after Blisterella left, their house became filthier and filthier until they were featured on one of those hoarding reality TV shows. The highlight of their episode was when squirrels were found to be colonizing in the walls.
Once she got to the kingdom, Blisterella was not alone. Remember, there were four other girls who also wore a 6 1/2 shoe. But, finally, Blisterella’s blisters came in handy because, to determine the owner of the shoe, they had some of the rubbed-off skin cells in the shoe DNA tested!
So Blisterella married the prince!
And although they had only really spent 28 minutes together, anything was better than cleaning behind a refrigerator once a week.
And Blisterella and the prince lived happily ever after.