It had been so many years ago that she had gone to the ball. So long that it seemed like nothing more than a dream. Only the memories could tell her that it had really happened. Hadn’t the carriage faded back into a pumpkin? And the gown to nothing but tatters? Even the glass slippers had faded into nothing, leaving her feet once again bare. The Prince had seen her run, had given chase. He had found the lost slipper but it had disintegrated in his hands as the bell tolled one. Gone was hope. Gone was a chance to leave her miserable life. Gone was Ella. Only the Cinder Girl remained. Everything else was a fairy tale, a distant hope perched on a long forgotten shelf in her mind where she danced and whirled in the arms of the Prince until the hours grew late. It was nothing but a dream that tasted like ash and cinders.