Glass — 21 of 25

Emily Short

Release 1

Section 4 - Fitting

[In which we work towards the idea that someone here should try the shoe (and for lack of a better idea, we will assume that person is Theo.)]

Fitting is a scene. Fitting begins when Wondering ends. When Fitting begins: change conversation set to Table of Fitting Remarks; change the target subject to Theo; now marriage suggests Theo; change the current action to "Nervously".

Table of Fitting Remarks

ballshoe"'Midnight,' repeats the old lady. 'Well, well.' She smiles at the Prince. 'Good luck to you. It was quick thinking taking the shoe.'

He blushes. 'She left it on the stairs; I thought it was the only thing I was going to have left of her.'

'Mm. Love.' She smiles at him. 'I do wish your mother were alive.'"
shoeball"'That was a good ball,' says Theodora, out of nowhere. 'It was the nicest ball I've ever been to.'

The Prince chuckles. 'Me too,' he says. 'Oddly.'"
blankstepmother"The old lady starts. 'That is a good point,' she says. 'For a bird. Are you intending to interview the older ladies as well? Oh, I don't mean myself, of course!' She manages an almost natural laugh. 'But how do you know that your intended is a young lady?'

The prince looks thunderstruck.

'She might be anyone -- my friend Lady Carpwell for instance--'

'I'm sure she was a young woman,' he says firmly, gathering strength again. 'There were references in her conversation that -- things she said which --'

'Naturally, if truthful.'"
blankTheo"[if mentioning Theodora]Theodora blushes. 'Stupid bird,' she says.

'Must start somewhere,' says the Prince, shrugging. [otherwise]Theodora leans closer to the Prince. [end if]'I can go first, if you want,' she says. Without any shyness, she lifts her skirt slightly and slips her feet out of her afternoon slippers, wiggling her feet on the soft carpet.

'So strange,' she says, giggling. 'Taking off my shoes in the presence of a man!'

'I won't tell anyone,' the Prince assures her. "
blankLucinda"[if mentioning Lucinda]'Might as well start there as anywhere,' says the Prince, shrugging. [otherwise]The Prince licks his lips. [end if]'Miss Lucinda, would you mind trying the slipper? You needn't -- that is, please do not regard this in the nature of a royal request, if you would rather not.'

The old lady catches Lucinda's eye, and jerks her head slightly: a command.

'It would be a pleasure,' Lucinda says, though her eyes cloud a little as the Prince kneels at her feet and begins to untie the laces of her boot. Theodora watches the proceedings curiously. "
ballmagic"[if mentioning magic]The Prince's eye goes to you. 'Your bird, madam, is freakishly percipient. Positively unnatural.'

'Yes,' she says. 'Though I promise you it arrived in that condition and was not made so by anyone in this house.' She sighs. [end if]'You are in a difficult situation,' says the old lady. 'You are too intelligent not to have considered the problem thoroughly, and all the risks involved in choosing someone under those circumstances.'

Lucinda's lips tighten. 'Magic is abhorrent to God,' she says.

'That is certainly the opinion of some,' the old lady agrees. 'I myself wonder whether He would have encompassed in His creation any power which He considered wholly evil. But that is a private philosophy, and does not excuse a violation of the law.' She glances at the Prince. 'Forgive me: I stray from your problem.'"
magicshoe"'Perhaps the shoe itself is--' begins Theo thoughtfully.

Lucinda scoots a little way from the pillow.

'It hasn't done anything magical,' comments the prince, frowning at the slipper in his hands."
magicbirds"All eyes turn to you. 'I have heard,' the Prince says tentatively, 'about creatures who are possessed...'

The old lady makes a face. 'But what demon would desire to possess a household bird?'

The Prince frowns, as though he feels the logic is flawed but can't quite find the point of his objection."
blankmagic"'The creature gets redundant,' says the old lady. 'I'm afraid it has a taste for melodrama.'"
magicball"'I have considered the problem,' says the Prince. 'Very closely. I have not been able to sleep for considering it.'

'Do you know,' asks the old lady, 'why she...?'

The Prince shakes his head. 'Until she fled I had no hint that she was not simply as she appeared.'

'Extraordinarily beautiful, no doubt,' remarks the old lady, with a hint of a curling smile; and Lucinda titters.

'And kind, and wise,' the Prince replies, refusing to be drawn. 'Do you know whether magic can counterfeit those qualities as well?'

'Wisdom rarely and kindness never at all,' says the old lady."
ballmarriage"'Maybe,' Lucinda suggests, 'she thought it would be wrong to deceive you about what she was, and chose this way to, to make it known.'

A spark of comprehension comes into Theo's eyes. 'Yes,' she says. 'She might have thought that-- I mean, I can imagine...'

The old lady glares at her. The Prince looks back and forth, confused."
blankmarriage"'It seems to me,' says the old lady, after a long thoughtful moment, 'that you have no choice but to try this shoe on every eligible young woman, and determine who she was. And if I were you, I would also invent an explanation for this extraordinary method of bride-selection that will satisfy the people at large.'

He chuckles, but nods."
marriageshoe"'Yes, the shoe,' says Lucinda to you; and to her mother: 'Do you think we could send it back to bird school?'

'It knows far too much already and requires no further education,' snaps the old lady."
blanklove"'Are you sure that it wasn't just an infatuation?' the old lady asks gently. 'Such a short acquaintance-- forgive me, but you've always seemed so level-headed.'

The Prince smiles without humor. 'I would have said the same. But after meeting her, I am... very sure. It's strange that this is possible, I know.'"
blankmagic"'Do you agree with your father's views?' asks Theodora. 'On magic, I mean.'

'I have not had an opportunity to study his reasoning,' says the Prince, stiffly. 'And in any case it is not for me to challenge his laws.'"