‘Oh whsst Meanie! What are you worried about? You girls hate me. You’ve spent years humiliating me, making me do all the chores, making me stay home while you went out and had all the fun. Now it’s my turn to party. God, I’ve waited long enough. Nothing’s going to stop me now.’
Cindy leaned close to Philomena's Hollywood-style mirror and applied the last touches to her black eye make-up. She finished with a slash of black lipstick.
Philomena and Persephone stepped back in horror. Cindy had turned herself into a freak show. What had happened to her long blond hair, her tanned skin, her vintage dresses? Here was a stranger in a silk and net flowing dress with handkerchief hem, black onyx beads, black vamp stockings, black stilletos, black net elbow-length gloves...
‘Would you like us to style your hair, Cindy?’ Persephone asked, ‘I could put it up on top of your head,’ she said hopefully.
‘Don’t be ridiculous, Phoney. I’m a gothic princess. My hair stays down.’
‘Can I help you with your shoes then?’ Persephone begged.
‘Never ever touch my shoes,' Cindy growled, 'even if you're feeling a tad guilty about the way you treated me as your valet. Don’t bother. I’m well able to dress myself, something you've never learned to do. Look at you!’
Persephone ignored the slight. Without Cindy's help she knew she looked a fright. But Cindy was out for herself tonight and she deserved it after all the years of drudgery, Persephone had to admit.
‘What’ll we tell mum when she gets home?’ she asked.
‘Nothing. She’s always wanted me dead so there should be no problem there. It’s because of her I’ve got to wear these black gloves to cover my callouses. I’d hate the Prince to think I’m some lackey.’
‘Cindy! You’ve got to be home before midnight!’
‘Or what? I'll turn into a pumpkin? Don’t be ridiculous. The party will only just be getting pumped by then.’
‘If you think I’m worried about your mum, forget it. My mum’s the only one I answer to.’
‘But your mum’s…’
‘Dead. Yes, I’d noticed. Still, you’d be surprised how helpful she can be.’
With that, Cindy stomped out of the door, steel stilettos stamping an angry staccato on the tiles.
When Cindy arrived at the party the bouncers let her go right in, such was her proud bearing. They thought she must be a foreign princess, for she looked so beautiful in her black, floaty dress. Her black jewels caught the light as did her black hair which fell to her waist in a river of silk. The bouncers escorted her inside, reluctant as they were to leave her side.
Cindy was so bold as to ask, ‘Why, Prince, are you spending the night dancing with me and me alone? There are many girls who are dying to dance. I can see it in their eyes.’
‘Exactly, my princess. Their eyes are already dead, while yours are alive with light.’
‘But not for much longer, my Prince. The light is just for you. I came for your kiss of death.’
‘Is that what you want, my princess? To be with me forever after?’ he leaned closer, kissing her delicious white neck with its throbbing pulse.
‘That is what I want my Prince. My earthly life finished long ago. This mortal life has nothing for me.’