|From:||that frolicsome kid|
|To:||Whom this may concern|
|Date:||23 November 2006, 20:58|
|Subject:||Kinderella - Chapter 4|
Hi guys! Here's Chapter 4. Sorry for the late upload, this afternoon I attended a BBQ outing with several of my school prefects. Unfortunately, the turn-up was really bad. But I still had some fun anyway.
Hmmm...I enrolled myself for a 10k word sprint on Friday itself. I hope I can focus my mind on completing my novel and type out 10 000 words. Hopefully, I won't get sidetracked and get distracted etc.
Thank you everyone for the comments! I really appreciate them and it does give me a boost too =D. After I post this up, I will get back to working on Chapter 5.
Click on No. above the Date field to view the story.
If you're eyes tire after reading such long blocks of text, I have divided this chapter into 3 sections for your convenience. Words in bold mark where the anchors lead to.
The clacking of the keyboard with her well-manicured nails can be heard throughout the house. Mdm. Sweet perspired feverishly, her breathing in short spurts as she tried to meet the deadline set by her manager. “By 12 midnight, it has to be sent to London. Otherwise, you’re in for a nasty treat,” the warning of her boss echoed in her mind repeatedly.
“Otherwise, you’re in for a nasty treat,” the words once again rang in her mind.
She mouthed a silent no. She shook the thoughts out of her mind and concentrated on finishing up her company’s weekly report which has to be sent to the head company in London by midnight tonight. She hurled insults to herself.
“Why must I catch that useless soap opera that doesn’t make any sense at all! I could have instead used the time to do this stinking report,” she whined.
‘During the Friday meeting, two staffs failed to turn up for the important discussion regarding the change of the company’s policy effective January 2007. During the meeting, our branch manager stressed on the zero tolerance policy the company will adopt on late arrival to work.’
These words appeared on the screen as she swiftly typed them out. She stole a quick glance at the clock shown at her computer’s taskbar. Only an hour and a half left before the dreaded twelve o’ clock. And she’s already burnt out.
Reluctantly, Mdm. Sweet forced herself to recall the important points that were stressed during the meeting deemed compulsory to all. She regretted that she did not pay much attention to her boss’s blabbering; only twirling her pen and her hain throughout most of the meeting. To her, meetings are dreadfully boring. And the head is pretty old-fashioned too. Can’t he just pass carbon-copies of the agendas to staff by means of e-mail? Or even better, hold teleconferencing. It would be so much better and effective. Why, she can even have private chats with her colleagues while the meeting was going on.
“I should have taken notes during the meeting. Or ask Susan, the secretary, to give me a photocopy of the minutes. The boss’s stupid! Hold NetMeeting instead on MSN! I can at least save the whole meeting, and there wouldn’t be any need to trouble Susan!”
“Meetings are too formal; no wonder they are so dreadfully boring!” She laughed at her thoughts.
She resumed typing out the report. Not a few minutes have passed before she grumbled in frustration. She could not recall at all what happened in the second hour of the meeting. She wanted to call Susan and ask her to fax over the minutes, but she did not want to trouble her at this hour.
She stared at the screen thoughtfully. Her mind was now like an empty shell. Like they say, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, and soon distracting thoughts began to cloud up her mind: watch late-night movies, go online and surf the Wonderful World of Web, go to the bar and get a drink, go and bother Kinderella. She smiled wickedly as she thought of her “dear” step-son Kinderella who was fast asleep in his tiny claustrophobic bedroom.
Why not? It was not like she is bothering him. That stupid blinking fellow would be too sleepy to do anything, and he is able to trail after her every demand hoping that he could get his beauty sleep after that. Oh, how she loved to look at that sleepy head’s confused expression!
“Sure, I’m sadistic. But I love that form of entertainment!” she said bemused.
She rose up from her chair and tiptoed past her children’s bedroom as quietly as a cat. She would have stomped on the ground like an elephant if her children Dean and Aesop were not at home, just to wake Kinderella up. Mdm. Sweet stood by her step-son’s door, and with swift motions she knocked very hard on his door.
Kinderella was sleeping soundly on the warm, carpeted floor. There was simply no place to even put a small bed, so one can imagine how small his room really was. He was having a pleasant dream. He dreamt that he had won the annual national Christmas lottery and got himself a million dollars. He threw some of his money around the streets while people crowd around to get on their hands on the flying papers which make their world go round.
He was laughing his way to the bank when his path was blocked by his own step-brother Aesop. He pitied Aesop when he saw him crying with tears streaking down his face. Aesop was frail and anorexic, and his jet-black hair which was full of lush was now thinning.
He cupped his hands together and whispered in a hoarse voice, “Kinderella, please! I’m sorry to what I have done to you over the years. Forgive me! Have a heart, please, and be so kind as to spare me some of your money.”
Kinderella gave him a look of disgust. “Why should I? You tortured me over the years, and now you want the victim to help you? I think not.”
Kinderella walked away. Aesop called out to him with his weak voice, “Please, I beg you!”
“Oh alright!” Kinderella fished out a dollar from his pocket. “Here, take this. And don’t ever ask from me again.”
“Thank you! Thank you! You don’t know how much this means to me.” His step-brother’s face brightened up and he kissed his money fervourously.
Kinderella laughed, and continued laughing his way to the bank when suddenly, a door dropped from the sky as he was climbing up the steps to the bank. Puzzled, he opened the door and suddenly, a multitude of knocking sounds filled his senses. He covered both his ears in agony and the lottery money began to spill out from him.
Kinderella woke up from his weird dream. He was panting heavily and both his palms were sweaty. The annoying knocking sound continued. The confused Kinderella then realised a few seconds later that it came from his door. He quickly got off and opened the door, wondering what the queen wanted him to do again so late into the night.
He gave a big yawn, and quickly covered his mouth when he was face to face with a woman who was impatiently tapping her foot on the ground. He quickly straightened himself up, and politely asked Mdm. Sweet what she wanted him to do.
“What took you so long to answer the door? I’ve got a report I’m rushing on.”
Kinderella shuffled his feet and while his eyes are trained on the ground, he told his step-mother that he would open the door faster the next time.
“You better!” hissed his step-mother. “Make me coffee, extra-strong. Quick!” she snapped her fingers.
Kinderella nodded and nodded and quickly slink out of sight into the kitchen. He brewed her favourite ginseng coffee for her. He wondered himself how the ginseng can make the coffee taste so complete. He put a few teaspoons of the coffee powder into a cup and filled it with lukewarm water. He then poured the coffee over the strainer into another mug. He added some condensed milk to it and stirred it a few times before serving it to Mdm. Sweet.
He placed the mug on the computer table. “Here’s the coffee you asked for,” said Kinderella. He rolled his eyes while thinking to himself why couldn’t she do it herself.
Mdm. Sweet looked at the nicely-prepared coffee and she nodded her head. Very nicely, she thanked Kinderella. He was taken aback by her sudden niceness and stared at her. Mdm. Sweet realised her mistake and she slapped herself on her cheek. Maybe I’m not myself now, she reassured.
“The biscuits? Where are my biscuits?” she asked disdainfully. Kinderella was still unable to overcome the sudden change in her attitude and continued to stare at her rudely.
“What are you doing? Don’t just stand there and look at me! Fetch me the cookies!” Kinderella nodded apprehensively and he went to the pantry and got the biscuits she wanted. He placed some in a plate and served it to her.
Once seeing the biscuits, she smiled in content and shooed Kinderella off with a wave of her hand. Kinderella got back in his room without any further questions asked. He laid himself on the floor and tried to get back to sleep. For quite some time, he remembered tossing and turning on the floor before he sort of wavered off into slumber. The question still stayed on his mind though. Why did his dear “most of the time evil” step-mother suddenly became nice to him? Has some friendly ghost possessed her mind at that short time? Or has her guilty conscience finally caught up to her? That prominent question stayed on his mind the whole time he was awake thinking, until those thoughts themselves start to wear him out.
The winter sun has just risen, and its sunlight filtered through the dusty windows. The rays hit Kinderella’s eyes, and slowly, he opened his eyes and he took some time to let his eyes adjust to the sudden brightness of the room. He rubbed his eyes hard with his hands and he woke up. His vision was a bit dizzy and he placed his hands gently on his forehead.
“No, I’m not sick,” he told himself, “So why am I feeling so tired?”
He stood there wondering for a few minutes. He suddenly pointed out his index finger. “Of course! That woman wanted me to cater to her whims and whams again. She wanted me to make her coffee. No wonder I feel kind of worn out.”
He did some rather vigorous exercise in his room before going out to prepare breakfast for the day. That’s when it hit him. It was winter, and the sun doesn’t shine until eight in the morning. He rushed to the kitchen and began cracking and beating an egg while he poured milk for himself as his jumpstart breakfast.
He has not brushed his teeth yet, nor has he taken his shower. But in this household, it is a matter of life and death. And he values his life although some people are jeopardising his. He quickly dunk down the milk, and resumed cooking the pancake.
He sifted the flour, baking powder and salt while he mixed the milk with the beaten egg. He got out a frying pan, added some oil to it and then turned on the gas and lit it. Kinderella proceeded to add the egg and milk to the flour mixture in a big blue bowl and stirred them with a spatula until they are completely smooth. He added some melted butter to them and stirred again. He then poured some of the mixture over the frying pan and cooked them. When he noticed the sides getting brown, he flipped the pancake over. The greasy oil sizzled as the pancake was cooking. A couple of flips here and there, and it was done. A fresh hot pancake was guaranteed for breakfast. He continued to add more batter to the frying pan until five mouth-watering brown pancakes sat on the serving platter, tempting anyone to sink his teeth into it.
He poured some milk for his family members and set the plates, eating utensils, the pancakes and the glasses of milk beautifully on the table. He let the pancake cool for a while. He then went to the bathroom and followed his everyday morning routine. He brushed his teeth, gargled his mouth and washed his face. He then stripped out of his clothes and took a nice, warm shower. He took the opportunity to enjoy this morning luxury before his start off slaving around the house.
“La la la la la…”
He reached out his hand and tried to feel the soap bar. He only touched nothing but air. Someone must have moved it elsewhere in the bathroom, Kinderella thought. He ceased his humming and drew open the shower curtain.
He faced a grotesque face which immediately made him scream.
Kinderella closed the shower curtain with one swift motion and immediately faced himself towards the wall. “What are you doing here?” he shuddered.
“Yo, brother, you look horrendous! Anyway, you didn’t lock the door, so I thought the toilet was unoccupied. I just came in. Little did I know some Adonis is taking a shower. You scared the shit out of me you know that?” said Dean.
“You were the one who scared the bejabbers out of me!” shouted Kinderella back.
“Come on now, who wants to look at your ugly naked form?” Dean chuckled.
Kinderella’s face was flushed red. He never felt so embarrassed in his life before. Now this is what he really can call invasion of privacy, and he hated his brother for that. “Can you please get out now?” croaked Kinderella.
“Hahaha! I will, Kinder, I will! Thanks for spicing up my morning!” Dean left the bathroom and laughed his way out.
When Kinderella heard the door clicked shut, he immediately turned off the shower tap, dried himself with his favourite Mickey Mouse towel and he wrapped the towel over his waist. He was about to get his clothes when he caught sight of himself in the fogged mirror. He turned on the tap of the sink and washed some water over the mirror.
He stared at his own reflection and his body, and asked himself, “Am I really that ugly and horrendous like what Dean said?”
Kinderella began to feel a bit insecure about his looks, and the more he looked at himself, he began to observe more of his imperfections. He brushed away his light brown hair, and he noted the few pimples that dotted here and there on his youthful face. He stared at his skinny torso and his flat stomach and chest which were not chiselled unlike some of the boys he saw at school. He sighed. Shaking his head in dismay, he lifted up his arm and bent it, and using he free hand, he squeezed his biceps. He smiled. At least he has got some muscles there. Suddenly, a figure loomed over him while he was busy checking himself out. Kinderella put a hand over his heart as he reeled in from his second shock of the day.
A topless Dean smirked at him. “Ugly, yet vain.” He tsked, and shoved his useless step-brother out of his way. Kinderella quickly picked up his clothes and walked off. He admired the masculinity of Dean, yet he felt that his own step-brother is not worthy of such masculinity.
Kinderella walked towards the kitchen and was about to get his share of breakfast when his nose picked up an aromatic smell. He smiled in delight, thinking that the pancakes he had just cooked still remained hot and delicious. As he stepped into the kitchen, he realised that it was not his pancakes’ smell. He was silenced to his third shock of the day when he saw Mdm. Sweet cooking up some bacon while Aesop toasted bread.
“Ma? Why are you cooking bacons? Didn’t you see the pancakes on the table?” Kinderella pointed his index finger to the dining table.
“Kinderella, oh sweet Kinderella! You don’t cook pancakes for breakfast. It’s winter now and it’s chilly, we need more fat so that we can burn more energy to keep ourselves warm!” replied Mdm. Sweet as she tenderised some bacon while cooking some in the frying pan.
“Where are the pancakes?” asked Kinderella who was clearly insulted that no one had eaten his food.
“Oh, I told Aesop to feed it to the neighbour’s cats.” Mdm. Sweet looked at Kinderella and gave him a smile, a smile so sweet that it was disgusting itself.
Kinderella gasped. His well-prepared breakfast was instead used to fill a cat’s appetite? He could feel himself suddenly feeling a little light-headed. He approached Aesop, and asked him why his breakfast was being fed to a cat instead of them.
Aesop looked at his mother for a few seconds, and when he was sure that his mother was concentrating earnestly on her cooking, he pulled Kinderella towards the side, and whispered quickly in his ear, “Actually, I didn’t feed your pancakes to the cat. Look in the bin.”
Kinderella could swear his eyeballs did pop slightly out from their sockets when he heard the words. He stared at Aesop incredulously, and he asked him again, “Why did you do that?”
“It wasn’t my idea! Ma asked me to!”
“Ma?” asked Kinderella again, “but why?”
“She said that she is bored of eating pancakes every single day. So she decided that today was the best day for a change in breakfast. She asked me to throw them away into the bin since neither Dean nor I wanted to eat them. We can’t take them anyway!”
Kinderella croaked, “And you did so?”
Aesop nodded earnestly. Kinderella pushed him aside and plucked up the courage to confront his step-mother. It was an insult to him that she decided to throw away his wonderfully-cooked breakfast, just because she found it boring.
“By the way, your pancakes suck!” said Aesop in a hoarse voice.
Kinderella ignored Aesop’s unruly remark, and he tapped his step-mother on her shoulder. “What?”
“Why did you lie to me?”
“Lie to you about what?”
“The pancakes?” Kinderella went to the bin and pressed on the pedal. The bin cover went up and revealed its contents of five messy pancakes.
“Oh. I’m sorry, honey. But I am so sick of your stupid pancakes! Is that all you can cook for us every single breakfast, at every single morning?! Do you have any idea how it drives your brothers and I up the wall every single time we taste the same things? Can’t you cook some other things?” Mdm. Sweet asked rudely.
“Of course I can! Just tell me, I can do it. I’m your slave,” Kinderella made sure that he emphasised the word ‘slave’, “to boss around! Thanks a lot, Ma!”
“You’ll be sorry you said that!” chimed Aesop.
“Maybe you should eat the bacons so that you know what breakfast can really taste like!” shouted Mdm. Sweet.
“Forget it! I think I lost my appetite for the day!” Kinderella stormed into his room and slammed the door shut and tight. He cannot believe how terribly unfair he was treated by his family members. He kept asking himself the same question. Why him? Why was he picked on always?
Kinderella lain himself on the floor and bitterly thought again of those times when he was treated harshly. As he recalled those bitter and sour moments, he blinked momentarily and unconsciously let his tears drop on the carpeting. Of all the people, he was made to suffer, a teen slave to put it aptly. He knew he himself do not deserve it, why did he subject himself to follow their orders. He was not destined to be a slave! He is a teenager who was supposed to have some freedom and individual rights.
Many a times, he wanted to rebel against the “despots” of the house, yet he dare not himself. God knows when he does that, he will only land himself for more tortures and shameful humiliation. He pressed his hands together, and he prayed hard. He shut his eyes and said a prayer, hoping that someone up there can hear them and ease some of his miseries. Despite all what had happened to him, he never gave up his faith in God. He knows that one day, he will be saved and be freed.
After some time of prayer, he grabbed one of the comics which were scattered around his cramped room and proceeded to read it. He flipped through the pages and managed to stifle a giggle or two before he tossed the book on the floor. He always found laughter an escape from his screwed up life but unfortunately, it served as a temporary solution.
Pretty soon, Kinderella heard an engine sound of a school bus. He sighed. How he longed to get back to school once again. He was forced to drop out of high school when he finished Year 11 because according to his step-mother, they have limited finances to pay for his school fees. He could not proceed to the prestigious sixth form private college, and worse still he was barred from entering public sixth form schools due to reasons given by his step-mother which he found to be pretty lame.
It was a shame really because he was actually one of the brightest students in his class. Unfortunately, his academic performances fail to meet the expectations of Mdm. Sweet, and she would seek out to find ways to punish him for not getting ridiculously high grades for his subjects. Kinderella blinked away the tears that were forming in his eyes. He told himself that he will resume his education if he could manage to escape his hell dictated by his very own step-mother.
Kinderella unwarily dozed off to slumber, and was awakened by the knocking on his door.
“Kinderella! When I get back from work, you have better cleaned the house. Or else…”
Without waiting for a reply, Mdm. Sweet donning an azure blouse left Kinderella’s door. “Tap, tap, tap, tap…” went her black stilettos as she walked on the wooden floor. Kinderella waited until he heard the front door shut, or rather slammed. He then waited until the sound of the engine roar to life, and the blue Ford car slowly reversed out into the driveway and out to the street. With a screech of the tyres, the sports car zoomed off into the distance, sending an evil, cruel and heartless Empress Dowager off to work.
Kinderella opened his door, and peeked left and right to ensure the house was not haunted by an apparition of his step-mother’s twin sister. To Kinderella, it never hurts to be paranoid; in fact, it is better to be paranoid than sorry, because sorry can be really cruel.
Kinderella stretched his arms wide, and off he went to do his daily chores around the White residence.
(Catch Chapter 5 soon! Comments and criticisms very much welcomed =). Thanks for reading!)