Farahilde Ada von Masoch was the youngest of all the fairer, and more elegant young ladies of Limburg, Austria. Born of a scandalous affair between her mother, and a nobleman. She was born out of wedlock, and therefore unable to claim heir ship to anything he possessed, but to her fortunate fate her grandmother was the Baroness of the city. As it were Farahilde was sort of the orphaned Cinderella who by goodwill only barely skid by on being a pauper rather than somewhat proper. Nevertheless it was this lack of pure right to anything that made Farahilde linger more in the shadows than most girls her age. It wasn’t that Farahilde was so young she could not be courted, but more so because of her dislike for some of the words others associated with both her, and her family; a subject of rumors that were the lifeblood of these sorts of people. She was stunning truthfully with ruby red lips, and ringlets of silken chestnut brown. They fell like a cascading waterfall over her shoulders, and framed a heart shaped face. She even possessed the pouting lips of a siren, and somehow all she wanted was to find the proper male to kiss them. Like something out of a fairytale as her prince charming descended the next fine twisting staircase.
Such things never happened, and Farahilde at seventeen years of age only wanted to be that princess for just one night. Then it so happened that the announcement of her cousin’s arrival from Switzerland would bring about a ball for all ages one where Farahilde was expected to show up simply because of the guest of honor’s position to come in society. Such a surprise brought a wicked grin to capture Fara’s lips, and bounding away into her grandmother’s room she announced lively, “There is to be a ball in honor of Kai’s return from Switzerland! When can we go?” She clasped her hands in front of her, and smiled widely.
“A ball in honor of Kai’s return? This is not going to become one of those scandalous affairs that Leo designs now is it, Farahilde?” Charlotte her grandmother, asked.
“Scandalous affairs? Grandmother, no! This is going to be a dance. It will be so fun. Please don’t separate me from the rest of the family.” She whined. Charlotte peered back out the window, and groaned.
“Oh, for Heaven’s Sakes, Farahilde. I truly do not want to go to anything that is ran out of the Lamplighter’s Inn. You must understand my reasons, and what if Magdelyn shows up? I cannot be seen with that grandchild anytime before my funeral.” She said matter-of-factly. Farahilde frowned, and sighed.
“So I cannot go then, grandmother?” She asked again sadly.
“I cannot be a part of such a thing. I forbid it, and I will make sure to have my servants Anaise, and Daniella warn me if you venture out for it also.” She said waving her hand for Farahilde to depart.
“This is so cruel, grandmother.” She said traipsing out of the parlor, and running towards her room. Always forbidden from doing anything that was remotely entertaining Farahilde fell in a heap on her bed, crying. There she cried, and cried until the moment that finally dawn broke through her curtains, and the sun fanned across her face. She arose quickly, and darted out the door to go visit her cousin. If there was any particular person who could help her with this venture it was she. She would find some way to keep Anaise and Daniella quiet, and some way to appease grandmother Charlotte enough for Farahilde to enjoy the benefits of a ball, “I will attend that ball, and no guardian, or mean servants will prevent it. I just know Kai-Kai will find some way.” So when Farahilde found herself approaching the stairs to her uncle Leo’s tavern she grinned happily. Her cousin may not have been any fairy godmother, but she certainly knew how to make wishes come true. At least in all that Farahilde had seen. She clutched the doorknob, and opened the door waltzing straight into the parlor.
“Oh, Fara!” Her cousin, Kai exclaimed. A woman of equal beauty stood before her, and some even said Farahilde resembled her more than anyone else. With an alabaster white complexion, and cheeks a soft tinge of crimson her cousin also had fabulous onyx locks. The same heart-shaped face was framed by the only minor difference between them, which was, the shade of their hair. Kai also had the most dazzling of eyes that seemed to appear like vermillion as opposed to any usual hue that irises tended to possess. It was a unique trait, and one of Kai’s most beautiful features. They instantly drew one into them, and upon settling on Farahilde they did the very same to her.
“Kai-Kai! I heard all about the ball.” She started, “And I am sure you are aware that grandmother has forbid me to go as was expected.” She whispered. Kai gave a nod, and looked over at her sister, Bethy.
“Yes, Bethy and I were quite expecting that. Not to worry, Fara, dear. I have already invited Anaise and Daniella before grandmother will be able to get a hold of them. So you can sneak out while Bethy, and I make certain grandmother receives her nightly tea a bit earlier than usual. She will never know the difference, but you still only have until midnight to enjoy the festivities. Is that understood?” Kai asked. Farahilde smiled from ear to ear, and began nodding quickly.
“Of course! How genius of you both! It will be perfect. Now, then what about my wardrobe?” She asked enthusiastically.
“Bethy, will accompany you down to the tailor, and a dress shall be prepared. Now shoo the two of you off to have fun.” Kai smiled turning around, and waving the two women off for the adventure in shopping. It appeared Farahilde’s fantasy of enjoying an aristocratic ball was going to be, and the Cinderella treatment was now being paid off.
As Bethy, and Fara ran out of the room Kai gave a soft chuckle, and returned to preparing invitations for the event. The sound of Bethy’s giggling as she chased Farahilde down the staircase reverberated throughout the house, which only served to bring Kai a larger smile. She crossed to the window, and watched as the two younger girls ran out the door towards the carriage waiting in the drive. Bethy’s platinum blonde curls were still bouncing when the footman offered to help her inside. Fara brought her hands together, and began to wring them nervously. It was obvious all she wanted was to enjoy the night her grandmother had forbid her from attending. As soon as the two girls had seated themselves Bethy leant out the window and waved towards her elder sister, “We will be back with something exquisite assuredly Kai!” She called before settling back down in her seat. Her eyes ran back to Farahilde, and she grinned impishly.
“Oh, I am so excited Bethy. I just cannot imagine how much fun we will all have. Will there be any royalty? Will there be anyone I can dance with? Oh, must I have a dance card too?” Farahilde was filled with questions, and they all flooded out of her mouth so quickly Bethy didn’t know which to answer first.
“Oh, Farahilde calm down some, dear. Of course there will be some royalty. These sorts of events bring in the most prestigious of men you know. As for dancing I am certain there will be someone who will dazzle you with such. The dance cards are something that Kai handles, and she will give you one when the time comes. Now stop fretting so much. We will indeed have so much fun you will not know what to do with it all. I promise.” Bethy gave a wink as she settled back against her seat. In no time the carriage came to a complete halt, and the footman opened the door to aid the ladies to their quest.
“We have arrived Mademoiselle Leisbeth.” The footman said.
“Thank you so much, Jacques.” Bethy replied as her hand slid into his own. A genteel smile was given in gratitude as he helped her to the ground. Farahilde smiled just a widely at the man as he helped her do the same, and as she turned around to note the tailor chosen her mouth flew open and a loud sigh emitted her lips.
“Oh, my Bethy this is the most expensive tailor in the entire city!” She exclaimed. As surprised as she was Bethy chuckled, and nodded.
“Yes, that it is, Farahilde. You should know that Kai does not fret over spending lavishly on these sorts of things. Why would she do so when it came to you? This is your chance to be the belle of the ball, no?” Bethy replied. Farahilde smiled, and linked her arm with her cousin’s as she led the way into the tailoring shop. All around them were bolts of the finest silk, and satin in all manner of décor, and design. They came in every hue Farahilde could have asked for, but in the shop window there was a ball gown that caught her eye in a matter of moments. It was a soft golden yellow gown that seemed to shimmer like rays of the sun when the light hit it. It cast a luminous glow that Farahilde thought had an aura like an angel would. Her eyes steadied on the gown, and breaking free from Bethy she strode over to it in awe.
“Tailor, how much for this gown?” She asked curiously. The seamstress came to her side, and peered over the gown with a proud grin.
“This one is a bit expensive, but it would like fine on a dame like yourself. Shall we fit it for you?” She asked.
“The price is of no consequence, Farahilde. If this is the gown you like then your wish shall be granted. You’re the princess today.” She replied as her own eyes scanned the gown appreciatively, “I must say it is quite the lovely gown, and as she said it would look beautiful on you.” Farahilde smiled, and gave a nod to the seamstress.
“Yes, I would love to be fitted for this particular gown, and as my cousin said price is of no consequence. Where shall I go for the fitting?” Fara asked her curiously. The seamstress motioned towards the back, and began to walk away.
“Follow me this way, dear. Might I have your name?” She asked.
“Yes, Farahilde. Please call me Fara.” She responded. Bethy followed the two with a happy smile. It seemed that finding Fara the perfect dress was not going to be as difficult a task as Fara had imagined it would be, and that made Leisbeth all the more pleased. If Kai had come along she would agree the dress Fara had chosen was simply flawless.
Hours later Farahilde stood quietly before the mirror admiring the dress, and how it fit to every curve of her body just perfectly. Her cheeks flushed a rosy red, and she peered back at Bethy inquisitively.
“It’s lovely isn’t it?” She asked in a tone that made her sound uncertain.
“Oh, yes Farahilde it’s a beautiful gown. I think it will be absolutely perfect. You will be the most beautiful young woman there I’m certain of it.” Bethy said. She turned back to the seamstress, and gave a nod, “Accredit it to the family account, please. We need the dress completed by the week’s end for the upcoming ball.” She stated. The seamstress gave a nod of approval, and smiled.
“Yes, mademoiselle, of course. Anything that I can do for your family will be done at top priority.” The seamstress smiled, “But what of shoes?” She asked. In the midst of Farahilde’s bedazzling of the gown she had forgotten all about shoes, petticoats, and the other needed dress items for a ball. Fara’s eyes widened in fear, and she frowned.
“Oh, no! I completely forgot about all the other things I will need! What about jewelry, and corsets, Bethy?” She asked worriedly. Leisbeth gave a chuckle, and looked back at the seamstress.
“Thank you, Cordelia. Farahilde, and I will be heading to some other boutiques for such things. Unless you have a particular pair of shoes that would be more fitting?” She asked. The seamstress, Cordelia, gave a nod.
“Yes, mademoiselle. I have the perfect set for this gown. They are crystal, and gold very expensive but I cannot see them not going without the gown. Let me bring them for you to see.” Cordelia said softly. Leisbeth gave a nod, and waved her along.
“Of course, I am quite curious about these shoes now.” She said peering back at Farahilde.
“I know you think I am worrying more than I need to, but I am just so excited and want for everything to go perfectly.” Farahilde said. Bethy nodded, and smiled.
“Oh, I understand it fine, dear cousin, but I assure you that you are in perfect hands. The money is no question, and you will have every necessary thing for the ball. Jewels, corsets, petticoats, and of course shoes.” Leisbeth replied. Farahilde gave a sigh, and returned to looking at herself in the mirror, and a few seconds later Cordelia rounded the corner with a box in hand.
“Here we are the crystal and gold embellished shoes.” She said lifting the lid of the box, and revealing the most dazzling pair of shoes that Farahilde had ever laid her eyes upon.
“Oh, my are they are indeed gorgeous!” Farahilde exclaimed lifting one shoe from the box, and smiling in shock.
“Yes, and there is but one pair like this in all of Austria. To go with the one golden gown I have tailored just for you.” Cordelia said, “I would be very cautious with these shoes, however as they are delicate and may break easily.” She finished. Leisbeth peered at the shoes, and for once her own mouth fell agape.
“Oh, my what a marvelous set of shoes! If I had known these were paired with that gown I may have had it tailored to myself. Farahilde these are the most beautiful pair I have ever seen!” She exclaimed. Farahilde smiled happily, and lifted her foot to place the shoe on it. She admired the way it captured the light, and putting her best foot forward she gave another glance at herself in the mirror. Yes, it was true Farahilde was going to be a beautiful blossom on the ballroom floor appearing almost like an angel descending from Heaven above. Kai had fulfilled her wishes with these shoes, and this gown and all she could do was smile from ear to ear. For a brief moment Farahilde felt like she truly belonged in this society. How could her grandmother deny her spending time with her kinsmen? After all Kai, and Bethy had just made Farahilde the happiest young woman in the entire city to her thinking.
A few moments later Farahilde found herself dressed in her previous gown with the shoes clutched in their box beneath her armpit. The dress would not be fully ready for a few more days, but the shoes were going to be kept at Kai’s house so that Grandmother Charlotte did not get wind of their plotting. Though upsetting her grandmother was the furthest thing from her mind when she departed the tailor. It seemed everything was falling into place perfectly, and Farahilde smiled pleasantly when Jacques helped her into the carriage once more.
“Thank you for everything you have done for me today, Leisbeth. I cannot begin to ever let you know the level of gratitude I have for what you and Kai have done for me.” She said holding the box tightly. Leisbeth smiled, and looked back out the window.
“Yes, well we just want you to have as much fun as possible, and we understand how suffocating Grandmother Charlotte can be at times. Sometimes I must admit that I feel she wants nothing to do with any of us, and it is quite a disappointment because I have done nothing, but be an upstanding young woman. I do not understand her in the least.” Leisbeth said. Farahilde frowned, and looked out the window.
“I love my grandmother, and I am so thankful that she took me in when it seemed my mother was not in the least bit concerned with what happened to me. I admit that lately I have felt a distance from her, and that she has become very stifling. I think it is a matter of propriety, and she finds what goes on at Uncle Leo’s tavern to be highly unscrupulous. Though I do not understand how that can be. Perhaps Grandmother Charlotte thinks I will become the same as my mother did?” She asked. Leisbeth pursed her lips, and nodded.
“I suppose that may be the reason, but surely you will be smarter than your mother was. Aunt Leonore was never the sort who wanted to do what was appropriate by Grandmother Charlotte, and Aunt Aleonette was a sore disappointment as well. I would say that father has even been one to her also, but when your grandmother is the baroness of the city, and your grandfather the Chief of Police it only stands to reason. I believe Grandmother Charlotte does not want to endure the soiling of her family reputation anymore before she dies.” Leisbeth said.
“Yes, I agree with that, but she has become so controlling of me. She does not even want me to go outside unless I am supervised. She has never been like this before.” Farahilde said.
“Chaperoned you mean? Yes, I am not surprised by that it is because of your age. Surely you must understand that. She fears for your safety because of how beautiful you have become.” Leisbeth said. Farahilde quirked her brow, and frowned because it had never occurred to her that her grandmother wanted to protect her. In her mind she saw her as an old woman who wanted her to be her personal caretaker until she died. Farahilde never considered that her grandmother was waiting for the appropriate suitor to come along, and court her properly. She never considered that she had barred her from the ball because of the effect it might have had on her.
“Hm, I suppose that is a possibility. Though I truly believe that she just does not want me to enjoy my life ever. She has been treating me like a second-class citizen, and I have just about had it. I would run away, and elope with a gentleman if it were possible. I just hope that I find someone at the ball that will see me. That would be the truth happy ending for me.” She replied. Leisbeth smiled, and looked back out the window.
“Yes, that is what we all hope for, dear. The one thing we all wish will happen every time we have a dance. I think that even Kai is still waiting for her prince charming, but such dreams only happen when fate decides. Don’t fret over it, Farahilde. Just enjoy the time at the ball. Enjoy being the beautiful young woman dressed in golden rays of sunshine, and dance to your heart’s content.” Bethy grinned, and turned to stare out of her own window with that same dazzling smile painted across her lips.