Sitting in a pile of muddy, soapy water Daphne watched as Mel opened the door. True to her personality, Mel smiled brightly at the visitor.
"Mum, Donny! Look who's here, Noel, the Grand Duke!"
Daphne's head snapped up. What in the world was Noel, the Grand Duke doing here? Noel only visited upper class families, and those who were in direct contact with the King and Queen. Within seconds, her mum and Donny were at the door, ushering Noel inside.
"Well this is quite an honor!" her mum said, resuming her sweet tone.
Noel smiled bashfully, a trait very uncharacteristic of someone who should have been used to such compliments.
"What brings you here, Pal?" Donny asked. "Does the King have any marriages he'd like to see broken up?"
"Donny!" Daphne yelled in horror.
"Shut up, Daphne!" Mel yelled back. "Don't show such disrespect when someone as important as Noel is in our home!" Turning back to Noel, Mel smiled.
"Don't mind her, Noel. Daphne's just our maid."
Hurt by the shunning, Daphne turned around, praying that Noel wouldn't see the tears in her eyes. It would be humiliating for someone of such high prestige as Noel the Grand Duke to see her crying over something so pathetic.
"To what do we owe this honor?" Donny asked.
"Well, the King has requested your daughter's appearance in the kingdom of Seattle to the Emerald City Ball in honor of his son, Prince Niles."
There was a collective gasp among the Moon women as Maris, Mel and their mum tossed question after question to Noel.
The Emerald City of Seattle?
"Um... Yeah. All that." Noel said. "Well, here's the invitation. It's Saturday night and King Martin doesn't like tardiness so don't be late."
"We won't! Goodbye Noel!" Mel said, waving the invitation madly in the air.
When Maris grabbed it from her hand, Mel gently pushed her away, causing her to scream in pain.
"Mel, what have I told you about being so harsh with Maris?" Donny asked, immediately tending to Mel's bruised wrist.
Daphne was certain that she'd never seen someone bruise so easily.
"Girls, please! Let me see it!" Daphne's mum said, taking the envelope from Mel. She opened it and smiled.
"My, this is quite impressive! King Martin is requesting that every eligible maiden in the land attend!"
Daphne gasped. "Why that means I can attend too!"
The three women looked at her in horror. "You? What makes you think you're worthy of such a monumental event?" Mel asked.
Daphne swallowed hard, trying not to let her tears fall. "Well, I'm an eligible maiden and I do live in Manchester like you!"
"Girls, she has a point." Her mum said. "All right, Daphne. You may attend the ball."
"But Mum, you can't be serious!" Mel shouted.
"On one condition..." her mum continued.
"Oh, I'll do anything to meet Prince Niles!" Daphne said dreamily, her hands clutched to her heart.
Mel scoffed. "HA! What on earth makes you think he'd want to meet you? You're nothing but a... a maid!"
"What's the condition, Mum?" Daphne asked in a quivering voice. "Anything at all and I'll do it!."
"That this house is completely spotless by tomorrow morning. And when I say spotless I mean not a thing out of place and not a speck of dirt to be found anywhere! Oh... and one more thing..."
Her mum looked Daphne up and down with the same disgusted look that her sisters had given her.
"You must find something suitable to wear. You simply cannot go in that horrid dress!"
"Oh, I will! I'll get started on it right away!" Daphne said, hugging her mum.
"Thank you! You have no idea how much this means to me!"
"Hey, Daphne..." Mel said as she and Mel began to walk out of the room. "Why don't you start with the laundry?"
"But I've just finished-."
Daphne's sentence was interrupted by the sound of mud, sloshing all over her freshly cleaned laundry; a chore that she'd have to do yet a second time.
"Have fun, Daphne!" Mel called as she followed her mum and sister out of the house.
Daphne sighed and picked up the envelope that Noel had given them. She was going to go to that ball one way or another, and she would do anything to make that happen.
For she wanted nothing more than to find true love.