CINDERELLA: THE UNTOLD STORY

ACT 1: SCENE 1

INT. GHIRADELLI HOUSE (FLEET STREET) – EVENING

A spotless and elaborately decorated house, clearly designed to show off wealth.

PRISCILLA wanders around the house, holding a soiled handkerchief as she mumbles to herself and occasionally shouts ELLA's name.

PRISCILLA

Where is that useless girl? She has so much to do! Dust the china! Wash the drapes! Sweep the floors! Polish the silver! Mend the dresses! Cook the dinner! Get this disgusting stain out of my hanky! Oh, where is she?

(yelling)

ELLA!

PRISCILLA pauses, notices LILAC and VIOLET standing near the door.

PRISCILLA

(sweetly)

Girls! Where are you going darlings?

ELLA rushes in.

ELLA

I'm here, stepmother, what do you need?

PRISCILLA

(angry)

What? I never called you. Get out of here! Get back to work!

ELLA sighs and walks out.

PRISCILLA

(sweet again)

Sorry about that, sweets. Now, where were you going?

LILAC

To the bookshop, mummy dearest. And perhaps to the milliner's afterwards.

PRISCILLA

Oh that sounds like such fun. You enjoy yourself, Violet darling. I do envy you girls and your freedom.

She sighs wistfully and looks off into space for a moment.

VIOLET

Well we'll be going now. I love you, mother.

PRISCILLA

Yes, yes, just remember, don't do anything Lavender would do.

BOTH

(walking out the door)

We won't!

VIOLET AND LILAC go out the front door. PRISCILLA looks down at the soiled handkerchief in her hand and makes a disgusted face.

PRISCILLA

(shouting)

Ella!

(to herself)

Where is that girl?

ELLA rushes in again.

ELLA

Yes, stepmother?

PRISCILLA

Why haven't you cleaned this hanky yet? It's disgusting!

ELLA

I'm sorry! I was busy letting out your new dress!

PRISCILLA

(frantic)

Shh! Not so loud! I don't buy them two sizes smaller so that you can blab to the whole world how fat I am!

(gasps)

Now you've made me say it! Get out of my sight, you horrid girl, and take this thing with you!

PRISCILLA throws the handkerchief at ELLA and stalks out of the room. ELLA picks it up gingerly and exits.

ACT 1: SCENE 2

EXT. LONDON STREET – EVENING

LILAC and VIOLET walk down the street, a couple blocks from the house now. VIOLET pulls her hair out of its bun and it falls down over her shoulders.

LILAC

(chuckles)

You're so improper.

VIOLET

Bitch, you know I'm fabulous.

LAVENDER walks out of an alley to join them.

LAVENDER

Yes, Vi, we all know you're fabulous.

LILAC

Hello, Venny. Sorry you had to wait for us.

VIOLET

It'd be so much easier if mum would let me leave the house with you.

LAVENDER

It's alright.

(LAVENDER links her arm through VIOLET's)

Now let's go get you laid.

LILAC

And that's where I take my leave. I'll be at the bookstore if anyone needs me.

VIOLET

Stop by the milliner's and buy me a ribbon or something so mum doesn't get suspicious.

LILAC

Alright, meet back at the bookshop when you're finished.

VIOLET

You really should join us sometime!

LILAC

Appealing as that offer sounds, I'll stick to my books.

VIOLET

Yeah, but books don't—

LAVENDER

(pulling VIOLET along)

Never mind her. See you later, Lil!

VIOLET

(calling over her shoulder loudly)

I hope you find your books pleasing!

ACT 1: SCENE 3

INT. HOOTER'S – EVENING

LAVENDER & VIOLET enter the tavern's main room. People sit at tables eating, drinking, and gambling. Waitresses weave between tables, serving people. A few stand off to the side, eyeing customers coming in.

EMMA is standing not far from the door, looking a little nervous.

LAVENDER

Do you want me to wait with you til you find someone, Vi?

VIOLET

(looking at Emma)

No, no, go find your man. I got this.

LAVENDER

Alright, we'll be in his office when you're ready to go.

LAVENDER exits. VIOLET goes over to EMMA.

VIOLET

I haven't seen you here before. Are you new?

EMMA

(surprised)

Um, kind of.

VIOLET

So, uh, see anything you like?

EMMA

(checking VIOLET out)

Yeah, I think I might.

VIOLET

You know, the prices can be a little steep here, but I'm free.

EMMA

I'll take you up on that offer.

VIOLET

Back room?

EMMA

Will they let us use it?

VIOLET

My sister's dating the owner. I think we can get away with it.

VIOLET & EMMA exit.

ACT 1: SCENE 4

INT. BOOKSTORE – EVENING

Books line the shelves and lay piled on tables. An old man sits behind the counter, reading. LILAC walks between the shelves, occasionally picking up a book and flipping the pages.

JASPER is walking down the same aisle. They both walk towards the middle, eventually bumping into each other.

JASPER

(apologetic)

Oh! Excuse me! I wasn't paying attention.

LILAC

(snarky)

Obviously.

JASPER

(caught off guard)

E-excuse me?

LILAC

I made a rude comment. This is where you walk away.

JASPER

What if I don't want to?

LILAC

Shh! People are trying to read!

LILAC begins walking back down the aisle.

A bell over the door RINGS as VIOLET & LAVENDER walk in, chatting.

VIOLET

I'm just saying, elephants are very intelligent creatures.

LAVENDER

That may be, but their abilities as maids are still questionable.

LILAC

Do I want to know?

VIOLET

Well you see-

LAVENDER

No, you really don't.

LILAC hands VIOLET a small package wrapped in brown paper.

LILAC

Here, I got you a couple of ribbons and some more pins.

VIOLET

Thanks, that should keep mum happy.

EMMA walks in, slowing slightly as she passes the sisters. She glances at VIOLET for a minute then blushes and speeds up, embarrassed. She joins her brother.

LILAC, LAVENDER & VIOLET exit.

ACT 1: SCENE 5

INT. GHIRADELLI HOUSE PARLOUR – LATER IN EVENING

ELLA goes to get the mail, flipping through it. She stops at an official-looking envelope. It's an invitation to Prince Nicholas's annual ball.

PRISCILLA comes up behind ELLA and sees the invitation.

PRISCILLA

(snatching it away)

Little snoop, looking through other people's mail! Ought to be grateful I even let you live here.

ELLA

(muttering)

It was my father's house.

PRISCILLA reads the letter, eyes getting wider as she goes.

The door opens and LILAC, VIOLET, and LAVENDER walk in.

PRISCILLA

(excited, holding out the letter)

Girls, girls, look here!

VIOLET

What is it?

PRISCILLA

Violet, darling, it's what's going to make our dreams come true!

LILAC

(reading the letter)

It's an invitation. To a ball.

LAVENDER

Who's ball?

LILAC

The prince's. Prince Nicholas.

PRISCILLA

Isn't it exciting?

ELLA

Can I go?

PRISCILLA laughs.

LAVENDER

(reading over LILAC's shoulder)

It says "the women of the Ghiradelli household" are invited

PRISCILLA glares at LAVENDER, then laughs and smiles.

PRISCILLA

But of course they don't mean her.

ELLA

I'm more of a Ghiradelli than any of you are!

PRISCILLA

You're not going!

ELLA

I have a right to go!

PRISCILLA

No! You don't have anything. You'll never have anything! The day we got stuck with you was a curse on this house!

ELLA

It was my house!

PRISCILLA

Well it's not anymore!

ELLA

I'm going to the ball!

PRISCILLA

You're not! And that's final!

ELLA looks at PRISCILLA for a moment, tears in her eyes, before running to her room.

ACT 2: SCENE 1

INT. GHIRADELLI HOUSE – THE DAY OF THE BALL (ONE WEEK LATER)

VIOLET, LILAC, and LAVENDER stand around a mirror primping themselves. They wear ball gowns. ELLA stands off to the side in her usual rags, looking at the floor.

PRISCILLA

(also dressed up)

Are you ready girls?

VIOLET

Ready, mummy!

LILAC

All set!

PRISCILLA

(ignoring LAVENDER)

Remember, darlings, tonight is important for two reasons and two reasons only, and their names are Prince Nicholas and Prince Jasper. You have to make them notice you, make them fall in love with you.

LAVENDER

(rolling eyes)

They know. You've said it about a hundred times since that invitation came last week.

PRISCILLA

Shut up you little whore! You cast your lot in life when you started banging that no good tavern boy.

LAVENDER

(muttering under breath)

Rather be a whore than a bitch like you.

PRISCILLA

(sweetly)

Now Violet darling, remember, Prince Nicholas is your goal. A prince as charming as he is would be perfect for you. And Lilac, Prince Jasper is for you. They say he's slightly less charming, but, well, I think you can see why that's a good fit.

VIOLET

Yes, mummy, we understand.

PRISCILLA

Good, good.

(to ELLA, sharply)

Remember, girl, we'll be leaving the ball at midnight, and I expect to find this place spotless when we return!

ELLA

(defeated)

Yes, stepmother.

PRISCILLA

And don't even think of trying to sneak out you worthless little piece of shit.

ELLA

I won't.

PRISCILLA

(happy)

Alright, come along darlings! This night is going to be perfect, I just know it!

PRICILLA, LILAC, LAVENDER, and VIOLET leave. ELLA begins crying after they're gone, wandering out into the street.

ACT 2: SCENE 2

EXT. STREET – LATE EVENING

A few people walk by, but none pay much attention to ELLA.

ELLA

(wiping her eyes)

Why should I bother going? I am a worthless piece of shit. I don't even have a dress. I live in a pile of cinders. What prince would want me?

FREYA

(coming upon ELLA)

Is that my little cousin Ella? What are you doing here?

ELLA

Just crying over my sad existence. You?

FREYA

I was just on my way home from the opera.

ELLA

With your husband?

FREYA

Oh no. He died.

ELLA

Another one?

FREYA

Quite a tragedy, really.

ELLA

What is that, seven men who've married you and then tragically died?

FREYA

Yes, yes. It's quite strange, really. But you said something about a miserable existence. How can I help?

ELLA

Well, unless you can conjure up a prince for me, I doubt you can.

FREYA

Well, I can't. But a nice dress and a good pair of heels might do the trick.

ELLA

Freya. I have no money.

FREYA

Sweetheart, I didn't marry seven men to be poor.

ELLA

Should I be worried?

FREYA

Are you planning on marrying me?

ELLA

Uh, no.

FREYA

Then you have nothing to worry about. Come on. We have work to do.

(snaps fingers)

Kartik, come now.

KARTIK (a handsome Indian man) appears at FREYA's elbow. She links her arm through ELLA's and they head off down the street. They come up to the opium den.

FREYA

Here we are, dear!

ELLA

Freya, this is, uh, this is an opium den. I don't think that's going to solve my problems.

FREYA

You'd be surprised sweetie, but that's not what we're here for. This is where I live.

ELLA

Why on earth would you live in such a place?

FREYA

I own it, hadn't I told you?

ELLA

No, never came up.

FREYA

Oh, well I do, inherited from my fourth husband. I see your stepmother here quite a lot, actually. Anyhow, I don't live here all the time, of course, but I keep some clothes here in case of a fashion emergency.

(looks ELLA over)

This definitely qualifies.

ELLA

Oh Freya, I appreciate what you're trying to do here, but it really isn't any use. My stepmother expects the house to be spotless by midnight! If she comes home and it isn't done, I, I don't know what'll happen.

FREYA

Kartik, dear, would you do me a favor and get some friends to go clean up the poor girl's house? You know I always return favors.

KARTICK nods and leaves.

ELLA

(raising eyebrows)

Should I be worried about him?

FREYA

Hm? Oh no, deary, he's far too poor to marry. Now come along. We'll need to get you cleaned up in a hurry if you want to have any time at the ball.

ACT 2: SCENE 3

INT. BALLROOM – NIGHT

LILAC, LAVENDER, and VIOLET stand together, looking around the crowded room. A HERALD enters and blows a horn to get everyone's attention.

HERALD

Presenting, his royal highness Prince Nicholas, his royal highness Prince Jasper, and her royal highness Princess Emmaline.

The royals enter, one after the other, and the crowd applauds, then goes back to chatting. MUSIC plays and some begin to dance.

LILAC sees JASPER and recognizes him from the bookshop.

LILAC

(trying to hide behind VIOLET)

Shit! That guy was in the bookshop last week! I was an ass to him!

VIOLET sees EMMA and recognizes her from the tavern.

VIOLET

(trying to hide behind LILAC)

You think that's bad? I slept with that girl in the brothel last week!

LAVENDER

Yeah, Vi wins.

Both try to hide behind her. LAVENDER sighs.

LAVENDER

This really isn't very effective.

PRISCILLA

(seeing them)

Girls! What are you doing? Don't let that little slut get all the attention! Get out there and win those princes' hearts!

LILAC & VIOLET reluctantly step out from behind their sister. They're about to go out on the dance floor when the doors open again and ELLA walks in, accompanied by FREYA. They don't recognize her in her fancy clothes.

LILAC

Who is that?

VIOLET

I don't know, but she's hot.

LAVENDER

I don't think I've ever seen her before, but she seems awfully familiar.

FREYA

(from ELLA's side)

Alright, dear, you're not going to get any princes just standing here. Get out there!

FREYA gives ELLA little push and she walks out into the room shyly.

NICHOLAS approaches ELLA.

NICHOLAS

Good evening, m'lady. Care to dance?

ELLA

(surprised)

O-of course your highness.

NICHOLAS holds out his hand and ELLA takes it. They move out onto the dance floor and begin to dance.

NICHOLAS

I don't think I've seen you at any of the other balls.

ELLA

No, I don't go out very often.

NICHOLAS

Well that's a shame. You're an excellent dancer.

ELLA

I see why they call you Prince Charming. You're a very good liar.

NICHOLAS

(chuckling)

Well I have to be, don't I? So many ladies are so easily offended.

ELLA

You'll find that isn't the case with me.

NICHOLAS

And you'll find that I don't have much reason to lie for you.

They continue dancing. The sisters see them.

VIOLET

Look! Prince Nicholas is dancing with her!

LILAC

Mum is not going to be happy with that.

LAVENDER

Maybe you ought to…

JASPER walks over and holds out a hand to LILAC.

JASPER

(smirking slightly)

Would you like to dance?

LILAC blushes but looks over and sees that PRISCILLA is watching intently. PRISCILLA nods her head vigorously.

LILAC

Apparently, I'd love to.

They start to dance.

JASPER

Perhaps you don't remember, but we ran into each other in a book store last week.

LILAC

Oh, I remember.

JASPER

(smirking)

You were quite rude to me.

LILAC

(holding chin up)

I know I was. I won't apologize for it.

JASPER

Good. You shouldn't.

LILAC

What?

JASPER

No woman has ever talked to me that way.

LILAC

So?

JASPER

So, I kind of like it.

They continue dancing.

NICHOLAS

I don't think I caught your name.

ELLA

It's Ella, just Ella.

NICHOLAS

So who are you here with?

ELLA

I came with Freya O'Reilly.

NICHOLAS

Oh really? How do you know her?

ELLA

She's my cousin. Well, really, her husband was my cousin.

NICHOLAS

Her husband? Which one?

Both laugh.

NICHOLAS

So, Miss Ella, if you aren't going to balls all the time, what do you like to do?

ELLA

Oh, well, I read and sing and play piano, of course, but…

NICHOLAS

But what?

ELLA

What I really like to do is act.

NICHOLAS

Like in theatre?

ELLA

(blushing)

Yes, in theatre. I haven't had much chance to do it, but it's always been a sort of dream of mine.

They continue dancing. Off to the side, VIOLET catches EMMA's eye.

LAVENDER

(noticing)

Go talk to her.

VIOLET

(embarrassed)

I can't do that! And what would mum say if she saw me? I'm supposed to be talking to the prince, not the princess.

LAVENDER

The prince is occupied at the moment, and no proper lady would cut in. Might as well make a good impression on the rest of the family until he's free.

VIOLET

I think I've already made quite an impression on the princess. Whether it was good or not is questionable.

LAVENDER

You'll never know if you don't go talk to her.

VIOLET

Would you shut up?

LAVENDER

No. Now get over there.

VIOLET sighs and walks over to EMMA, smiling sheepishly.

LILAC

Do you know that people say you're less charming than your brother?

JASPER

Seems I'm less everything than my brother.

LILAC

Surely not everything.

JASPER

That's how it feels sometimes.

LILAC snickers.

JASPER

Well, I don't mean that. It's just-

LILAC

I know what you mean. I'm just messing with you.

They dance in silence for a while.

LILAC

My older sister is the favorite of the family too.

JASPER

Is she going to rule a country?

LILAC

With mother's plans, who knows.

JASPER

(chuckling)

Your mother sounds like an interesting woman.

LILAC

You could say that.

JASPER

What are her plans for you?

LILAC

You.

JASPER

What?

LILAC

Well if your older sister marries a prince, wouldn't it follow that you should marry one too?

JASPER

I don't often have to think about marrying princes.

LILAC

(raises eyebrows)

Are you sure?

JASPER

Positive.

LILAC

Good. That would be disappointing.

JASPER

Yes, I'm sure your mother would be very upset.

LILAC

I'd be upset too you know.

JASPER

Is that a compliment?

LILAC

Yes. Don't count on another one.

The dance ends and everyone claps. Dance partners switch. LILAC and ELLA are with some random guys. VIOLET is with NICHOLAS and LAVENDER is with JASPER.

They dance, but NICHOLAS's eyes are on ELLA and JASPER's are on LILAC. VIOLET looks at EMMA. LAVENDER just looks bored. PRISCILLA hyperventilates and flaps her hands like a little girl on the sidelines. FREYA laughs and hands her a glass.

FREYA

Here, darling, have a drink before you wet yourself.

PRISCILLA takes the glass and downs it in one gulp, too busy watching her daughters to pay attention to FREYA's comment.

The dance ends and ELLA goes back to dancing with NICHOLAS and LILAC with JASPER. LAVENDER and VIOLET move off to the side again. PRISCILLA comes over.

PRISCILLA

(to VIOLET)

What are you doing? You're supposed to keep dancing with him!

LAVENDER

She can't dance with him every time. It's tacky.

PRISCILLA

He's dancing with that other girl again!

LAVENDER

And Violet will get her chance again in a minute.

VIOLET

If I want it.

PRISCILLA

What? Why would you not want to dance with him? That's our dream!

VIOLET

Your dream bitch, not mine.

PRISCILLA

What did you say to me?

VIOLET

I said, and I quote, "Your dream bitch, not mine."

PRISCILLA

But you've always wanted to marry a prince!

VIOLET

I'd be happier with the princess, actually.

PRISCILLA

Excuse me?

VIOLET

I-I prefer the company of women.

PRISCILLA

(rationalizing)

You don't know what you're talking about. You're just being a silly, rebellious little girl. Yes, that's it, you're confused.

LAVENDER

I think you're the one who's confused.

PRISCILLA

(snapping)

Stay out of this you little slut!

LAVENDER

Fuck this shit. I'm going to the tavern.

LAVENDER leaves.

LILAC

(watching as she dances with JASPER)

Uh-oh

JASPER

What is it?

LILAC

Mum's about to rip Vi a new one.

JASPER

Are you going to go help her?

LILAC

I don't want her to me a new one!

JASPER

Why is she so upset?

LILAC

I think she just told her that she'd rather marry your sister than your brother.

JASPER

(chuckling)

Well isn't that fortunate.

LILAC

What?

JASPER

I'm sure Emma would prefer to marry her as well.

LILAC

Trust me, I know.

JASPER

What? How?

LILAC

You might want to ask her some of these questions. Not really my secret to tell.

JASPER looks over at EMMA, who's watching the scene between PRISCILLA and VIOLET and blushes.

EMMA approaches the two.

EMMA

Excuse me, but is there a problem here Vi?

PRISCILLA

(gesturing towards EMMA)

Is this your little whore then?

EMMA

Yes, yes I am. Now get the fuck out.

VIOLET

Bitch.

EMMA snaps her fingers in a Z formation and motions two security guards forward. They grab PRISCILLA's arms and carry her out.

PRISCILLA

(yelling as she's removed)

What? You can't do this to me! Violet! Violet!

VIOLET

(to EMMA)

Thank you for that. I'll have to deal with her later, but it's saved the evening at least.

EMMA

You're welcome. Now, may I have this dance?

EMMA and VIOLET start to dance.

The clock begins to CHIME midnight. ELLA looks up from where she's dancing with NICHOLAS.

ELLA

Oh, I have to go!

NICHOLAS

What? Why?

ELLA

I just, I have to go!

ELLA kisses NICHOLAS on the cheek and then runs out, FREYA coming after her. As she leaves she drops her glasses. ELLA stops to look for them but FREYA pulls her along.

FREYA

No time for that, dearie!

ACT 2: SCENE 4

EXT. LONDON STREET – NIGHT

KARTIK drives the carriage with ELLA and FREYA inside.

PRISCILLA stands in the street, wandering back and forth, muttering to herself and occasionally shouting.

KARTIK

Out of the way!

PRISCILLA

Violet? Lilac?

KARTIK

Look out!

PRISCILLA SCREAMS, just seeing the carriage, but can't get out of the way in time. She gets run over.

ELLA

(to FREYA)

I think we hit something.

FREYA

Never mind, dearie, we're in a hurry! Keep going, Kartik!

KARTIK nods. The carriage continues on, pulling up to the Ghiradelli house.

ELLA gets out and rushes through the door.

ACT2: SCENE 5

INT. GHIRADELLI HOUSE – MORNING

LILAC, LAVENDER and VIOLET enter, still wearing their party clothes. They find ELLA curled up next to the fire in her usual rags.

VIOLET

(cheerfully)

Wake up, Ella! Don't waste this beautiful morning sleeping!

ELLA

(sleepily)

Wh-what?

LILAC goes over to ELLA and hugs her.

LILAC

It's so good to see you!

ELLA

(confused)

Who are you, and what have you done with Lilac?

LAVENDER

Haven't you heard?

ELLA

Heard what?

VIOLET

Mother's dead!

ELLA

Really?

LILAC

Isn't it wonderful?

ELLA

Is that why you're being so nice to me?

VIOLET

Well, that, and some of us just got laid.

LAVENDER

Anyway, we have a present for you.

LAVENDER gives ELLA her glasses. She looks at them but doesn't put them on.

ELLA

Um, thank you, but how did you get these? I dropped them at the…

LILAC

The ball, yes, we know.

VIOLET

And that's only half the present.

ELLA

Well, what's the other half?

NICHOLAS walks in from the other room. ELLA is surprised.

ELLA

H-How did you find me?

NICHOLAS

Well, I was so upset after you left last night, I went over to talk to my brother about it, and your stepsister here recognized your glasses.

NICHOLAS takes the glasses from ELLA's hand and puts them on her, pushing her hair back out of her face.

ELLA

I-I…you shouldn't have come here. I'm not a princess.

NICHOLAS

(smiling)

I can fix that.

SISTERS

Awwwwww.

ELLA turns and gives them an "are you fucking kidding me?" look.

ELLA

Don't ruin it guys.

LAVENDER

We'll just go.

The sisters exit, leaving ELLA and NICHOLAS alone.

NICHOLAS

So…would you like to be a princess?

ELLA

I'd love to.

ELLA and NICHOLAS kiss. They hear CLAPPING from the other room.

EPILOGUE

EXT. CEMETERY – AFTERNOON

ELLA, NICHOLAS, EMMA, VIOLET, JASPER, LILAC, LAVENDER, MORDECAI, FREYA, and KARTIK stand around a gravestone. All wear black but none look sad.

ELLA

(to FREYA)

Thank you so much, Freya, for everything.

FREYA

No problem, honey, and remember, if he gives you any trouble, just let me know.

VIOLET

Can we get out of here? It smells like death.

MORDECAI

Your mum smells like death.

LILAC

Yes, yes she does.

Everyone laughs and walks off happily, the couples holding hands or linking arms.

HERALD enters with trumpet.

HERALD

And they all live relatively happily ever after. Except for Priscilla.

FIN