nights are the worst in winter, when the snow whirls around the building. the air is clean, fresh, hurts to breathe. just a drop of perfume is necessity.
the earth wavers under foot. to my left, there's a line of trees - steady, sturdy. to my right there's darkness, a void faltering in the night. straight ahead - who can tell?
the sensation is triggered by light. moonlight, sunlight, candlelight. it doesn't matter which, really. all that's needed is direct contact and the transformation begins.
the countess drifted through the rooms on light feet. she had to keep the facade, be something she no longer was. just for a moment, her consciousness shifted, lurched forward, and she looked away: these events would lose fashion soon.
unwind a sheet of plain white paper, look inside the box - too eager. it's not decorated, but it is not without meaning. look a little closer.
cinderella stands, straightening her posture. brushes down her dress, checking for grime - age old gesture carrying over. (no need: she has professional cleaners on speed-dial)
the clock is running. she's speaking, tentative. she's only got eleven minutes to present the story. it's not enough time. confident now: three minutes left.