"Your father is dead, child" Her stepmother said harshly, glaring at the nine year old girl.

"How?" Candy asked.

"Nobody knows how nor where he is. They have searched for hours and have not found him."

"He promised to come back." The little girl cried. "He promised."

"His promises were made in a falsehood, child. Now go to your room in the basement."

The child wept even harder "But there are rats in the basement."

"Well, what do you think you are, a princess?"

Candy quietly left the room to go to the basement. It was cold and wet and she had nothing to lie on except an old rug that had been down there for ages. She walked around her little prison taking in every shadow with apprehension.

"Candy!" She heard her stepmother shriek. She ran upstairs to see what her stepmother wanted. "I've dismissed the servants and you will now serve us as a servant. Do you hear?"

"Us?" Candy asked. She knew there were only her stepmother and herself in the house.

"Yes. My daughters as well as myself."

"You have daughters?" Now she was confused.

"Don't question me girl. Now get to work." She snarled. About that time three beautiful girls came down the stairs. "Oh, girls. This is Candy, our new servant"

The girls laughed as they looked at candy's beautiful clothes.

"But Momma," Said the one with beautiful black hair and flashing brown eyes "Her dress is too nice"

"And her hair is too long." Said one with long Blonde hair and blue eyes

"And she's too pretty." Said one with bright red hair and beautiful green eyes.

"Girls!" exclaimed Lady Gruphay

"Yes Mamma?" the girls replied in unison.

"Candy, these are my daughters. Pearl," she motioned to the Black haired girl "Kayla," Motioning to the Blonde "and Hannah" motioning to the Red. The girls smirked at her as their mother said their name. "Girl, what do you suppose we do with her then."

"I'll get her a dress, Mother" Pearl suggested

"A dress?" her mother asked. But before Lady Gruphay could say anything else Pearl disappeared upstairs and was back within a couple minutes carrying a torn up dress that looked more like a rag.

"What do you think, Mother?"

"Perfect."

"But…" Candy started.

"Candy, go change immediately and bring your dress to me." Candy went to her room and with tears streaming down her face removed the dress her father had given to her for her birthday. She put on the ragged dress and went back upstairs. Her stepmother grabbed the dress from her and gave it to her girls. They began to fight over who would get the dress and by the end of their fight, the dress was in ruins.

Tears continued to roll down Candy's cheeks, when all of a sudden she felt like something had just been taken off her head. In shock she turned around and saw her stepmother with her father's sharpest hunting knife in one hand and her long beautiful brown hair in her other hand. She reached back to feel her hair. It was ragged and barely came to her ears. The girls laughed uncontrollably.

"Now look at the 'princess'" they taunted. Candy looked around at the girls and their mother and with a gasped ran from the room and down to her "new" room. She could still hear their laughs as she lay down onto the rug and cried herself to sleep