Lots of submissive women talk about the Cinderella story being one of their earliest fantasies. Of course that must have something to do with the fact that most of us are exposed to fairy tales while we’re very young, but there is something so perfect about the Cinderella story – she’s got an enduring appeal as a submissive girls’ prototype. She’s beautiful, uncomplaining, obedient but sooooo cruelly treated…. And she’s eternally waiting to be rescued. She’s one of my long-standing favourite fantasy characters.
So when I saw the big fireplace in the main hall of the house in France, it invited me to dress up like a domestic servant and get treated badly. I’m not actually Cinderella, I didn’t have the right clothes; but I’m an over-worked, over-tired Victorian maid, who’s cleaning yet another of her master’s oversized fireplaces, early on a winter morning. She’d been kept up till 4am the night before, re-filling glasses while her master entertained a succession of rowdy guests, and now she’s up at 6am to prepare for the day ahead. As she sweeps the ashes away, she falls into a happy day-dream about handsome princes, comfortable beds, hot chocolate….
She’s woken suddenly by the mistress of the house who’s furious to see the maid sleeping in the fireplace. Too startled to resist, the poor maid (shall we call her Ariel?!) finds herself being tied up securely (and painfully) and left exactly where she’d been found. In horror, she realises that everyone passing through the great hall will witness her shame, and that when the master finally emerges – probably hung-over and bad tempered, she is likely to be severely punished before being put back to work. Poor maid, no one ever needed rescue quite as much as she does now; but she can’t escape on her own, all she can do is vainly hope for mercy…..
80 pics 30.8 MB zip