Story Saturday: The Magician and the Maid

"The Magician and the Maid"

Once upon a time, there was a lady's maid named Edna who worked at the palace. Every day, she would tend to fine ladies in beautiful gowns of shimmering satin and silk and dream of wearing one herself. She was so obsessed with this dream that she often sneaked into the closet of the princess and tried on her dresses when she was away. One day, the princess came back early from a riding lesson and caught Edna admiring herself in one of her fine dresses in the mirror. She threw a huge fit and nearly got Edna kicked out of the castle. The king thought it would be a more suitable punishment to lower her rank to that of a scullery maid. Now, Edna had to spend her days and nights scrubbing floors and chamber pots, watching the fine ladies living out the life she dreamed of from a distance.

One day, the king hired a traveling magician to create fireworks for a grand ball to celebrate the princess's coming of age. Edna had been working as a scullery maid for well over a year and hadn't been able to see such a grand event even from a distance in quite some time. It hurt her heart to be so close to the life she wanted and yet so far away. In fact, the princess was so concerned about Edna causing trouble that she ordered her to spend the entire event cleaning the dust from the attic in the tallest tower of the castle, as far away from the ballroom as she could possibly get.

As the sun set, Edna looked out from the tower and admired the festive banners and lanterns that had been placed in front of the castle like a glistening garden of color and light. Horses pulled ornate carriages that looked like miniatures from such a great distance. Edna wondered what it would be like to ride in one of them. Suddenly, she became so startled by the sound of approaching footsteps that she nearly dropped her sponge out the high window. Had the princess or the king come to check on her? Surely they would be too busy greeting their guests for the ball at this time. An unfamiliar voice greeted her in the doorway.

"I didn't mean to startle you. I just needed to find a high enough spot to see where to release the fireworks for tonight."

It was the magician the king had hired. Edna was surprised that he was quite handsome and didn't have the customary long white beard that she was used to seeing on wizards.

"It's all right," she said. "It's just that no one usually comes up here."

"I'll leave you to your work then."


Edna held her breath as he turned to face her. She wasn't expecting to cry, but having someone to talk to on such a lonely evening made the tears pour out.

"Maybe you can help me," she sobbed.

She explained to him how she dreamed of wearing a beautiful gown and attending one of the glittering events that she had spent her life watching from a distance. The magician was so moved by her words that he decided to help her. With a wave of his wand, her rags transformed into a lovely gown, and her hair color changed to an unrecognizable auburn. Now she could go to the gala without fear of being recognized.

Edna was elated. "May I know the name of the man who has made all my dreams come true?" she asked.

The magician told her his name was Carlisle.

"Will you be attending the festival, Carlisle? They only need fireworks at the beginning and end of the ceremony."

"I usually just watch these events from a distance like yourself, My Lady," he responded. "There's no point in getting attached when I'm always traveling from town to town."

"After all you've done, the least you could do is allow me the honor of dancing with you."

"I suppose one dance couldn't hurt."

Edna had the greatest night of her life pretending to be noble and dancing with Carslisle in her shimmering gown. In fact, they were having such a good time together that they forgot about releasing the fireworks when the princess presented herself to the court. The king was outraged. He tracked down the magician and found him deep in conversation with Edna.

"We paid good money to make sure this night went off without a hitch for my daughter!" the king shouted. "Who is this hussy that has distracted you from your duties?"

Unfortunately, the force of the king's words caused Carlisle to accidentally release the spell he had on Edna. For the briefest moment, her hair returned to its mousy brown hue, and the blue gradient of her dress melted into her brown work rags.

"Father, that's the maid who tried to steal my clothes!" squealed the princess.

"It seems that the life of a scullery made was not punishment enough for you," said the king. "I want you both to leave this kingdom and never return!"

As Edna's disguise wore off, the tears that she thought had vanished with the spell returned. She ran down the hall sobbing with Carlisle close behind her.

"Don't be sad, Edna," he said. "No one's ever noticed me before the way you have. You may not have been born noble, but to me, you are a princess. I know it seems bad, but maybe being banished could be the best thing that ever happened to you. You deserve better than to let the king and princess treat you that way. Come with me, and we can attend all sorts of galas in kingdoms all over the world. Won't you consider it?"

Edna brushed away her tears and looked deep into Carlisle's eyes, seeing the sincerity in his words. She realized that she was also in love with him, and the life that he suggested sounded so much better than that of a scullery maid.

She paused for what felt like a lifetime and then nodded.

"Yes," she said, "I'll come with you."

Carlisle waved his wand to release the long-delayed fireworks, and then Edna shared a kiss with him as the colors exploded above them. The two spent the rest of their lives traveling from kingdom to kingdom and lived happily ever after.


Sugar said…
Beautiful like a version of Cinderella where there is no prince and she stays with the male "fairy godmother" hahaha.

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