Cinderfella

by Kemical Reaxion

The scene opens on a wide aerial shot of a magical-looking kingdom. As the camera pans over the city, Daria's voice-over can be heard, narrating the story. As she speaks, we see the typical buildings one might find in such a kingdom. A large palace on a hill-top. Small patches of farmhouses. A strip mall??? Ok, so it's not entirely magical, but it's as close to it as Lawndale can get.

Daria: (VO, deadpan) Once upon a time, in the land of mindless drones and fashion clones, lived a penniless young musician.

Camera zooms in on a small, run-down cottage, with a very familiar metal sculpture in its tiny front yard. It's a version of the Lane house.

Daria: (VO) Yep. This is his house. Pathetic, isn't it? Anyway, he lived there for many years, all alone, as his family was usually off traipsing across foreign lands, chasing after their children, or out-running the alimony police. Basically, the kid was on his own.

View cuts to inside the Lane house. The house is small, with dirt floors and few rooms. Trent is face-down on a pile of straw in the corner, asleep. His clothes are typical peasant garb, torn and ragged, and his hair is scraggily and unkempt.

Daria: (VO) Now, this in itself wasn't unusual, but this PARTICULAR waste of space was also an aspiring musician. Emphasis on the word "aspiring." And, as is the case with most musicians, this one had formed his own band -- if you want to call it that -- called Mystique Spyralle. [1] They had shoddy, second-hand instruments, and mediocre composing skills. Still, despite this fact, some tone-deaf individuals and masochistic psychopaths still enjoyed what these boys were trying to pass off as music.

Suddenly, there is a knock at the door. Trent doesn't even so much as stir. Another knock. Still nothing. Finally, the door opens, and Jesse walks in, with Nick and Max behind him. Jesse crosses to Trent's make-shift bed and shakes him violently.

Jesse: Wake up, Trent.

Trent: (groggily) Wha....?

Nick: (whispering) It's your line.

Trent: Line? (suddenly remembers) Oh, yeah. Right. Line. (reaches under the straw and pulls out a script, then looks up at the ceiling) See? I remembered to bring the script this time.

Daria: (VO) Thrilling. You'll make your mama proud.

Trent: (after flipping through the script a bit, starts reading) Oh, good morning, Stepfather. (looks up at Jesse, confused) Stepfather?

Daria: (VO) Actually, we made a minor script change, which you'd KNOW if you had made it to any of the rehearsals. Your stepfather's down in South America, photographing ancient Mayan ruins. The part of Wicked Stepfather will be played today by Wicked Third-Cousin-Twice-Removed.

Jesse: That's me.

Daria: (VO) Thank you for that important update, Jesse.

Trent: Ok. That's cool. (long pause, to Jesse) You're wicked?

Jesse: Yuh.

Nick: (adds quickly) But in a GOOD way.

Daria: (VO) You know what? Forget the script. I give up. Just do whatever the hell you want.

Jesse: Cool.

Max: (agitated, as usual) Man, we don't have TIME for this! We've got a gig tonight. Remember???

Trent: Aw, damn. I forgot all about that.

Nick: It's at the Palace! I can't wait. That Princess chick is HOT.

Max: Yeah, but once she takes a look at me, you won't stand a chance.

Nick: Sure, but if she dies LAUGHING, neither will YOU.

Max: Shut up!

Nick: No, YOU shut up!

Max: You!

Suddenly, the infantile argument is interrupted by a flash of light in the center of the room. A cloud of smoke appears and fills the room. The guys all start hacking and coughing. When the smoke clears, we finally see the cause of this commotion. Jane is standing there in the center of the tiny room, in a long sparkly pink dress and is holding a magic wand. She has a crystal tiara on her head.

Jane: (flings her arms open wide, announcing her arrival) Boom, baby!! [2]

Daria: (VO, interrupting) Behave, Jane.

Jane: (clears throat) Sorry. (to the guys, casually) So....que pasa?

Jesse: Huh?

Trent: What are YOU supposed to be?

Jane: (taps him lightly on the head with her wand) I'm your fairy Godmother, ya dope.

Trent: But aren't Godmothers usually older than their Godchildren?

Jane: Hey, it was either me or Ms. Barch. Take your pick.

Trent: (shudders) Ewww...never mind. What are you doing here?

Jane: Well, apparently, I'm supposed to use some fancy tricks and cheap special effects to turn your normal, everyday crap into...I don't know...some new-fangled, magical crap.

Nick: Like?

Jane: (shrugs) A coach, I guess.

Trent: A coach?

Max: But Trent doesn't PLAY football.

Jane: Hmmm....well, I could turn the three stooges over there into horses. (motions to Jesse, Nick, and Max)

Jesse: Cool.

Trent: Nah. Too messy.

Jane: Glass slippers?? (Trent shakes his head) Oh, come on! I have to do SOMETHING. Otherwise, I won't get my commission off this job. There must be SOMETHING you need.

Trent: Well...some new music equipment would be nice.

Nick: Yeah. Max could use a new drum set. Maybe a Fisher-Price one that won't be so hard to play.

Max: (glaring at Nick) And NICHOLAS really needs a guitar that's not OUT OF TUNE.

Nick: (continuing) Max could probably use some music lessons too...

Max: Some vocal training would be good for Nick too, so when he sings, he doesn't sound like a cow giving birth to a...

Jane: SILENCE! (all stare at her, shrugs) I've always wanted to do that. All right, music equipment it is. (rubbing her hands together) Now, let's see....what to do, what to do. (thinks for a moment, then turns to Trent) Got any pumpkins around here?

Trent: (confused) Uhhh....no.

Jane: Watermelons?

Trent: Nope.

Jane: Cantelope?? (Trent shakes his head)

Daria: (VO) You could always try Brittany's house. [3]

Jane: (sarcastic) That's very helpful, Miss Smartass Narrator. You know, you're not even supposed to be talking to us, oh omnipotent one. Unless of course you'd like to come down here and wear this dress yourself! (silence follows, Jane smirks) That's what I thought. (to Trent) So, basically what you're telling me, Trent, is that you don't have ANY spherical food of ANY kind in this dump. Is that right?

Trent: (ponders this for a moment) I think we might have a tomato.

Jane: (shrugs) Close enough.

The group follows Trent into an adjoining room, equally as small and shoddy as the first. Trent goes to the cupboard, opens a door, and pulls out a small, shriveled tomato.

Jane: (takes it and eyes it carefully, raising an eyebrow) Saving it for a special occasion, Trent? (Trent shrugs) Well, I guess this'll have to do.

Jane sets the tomato on the kitchen floor, waving her magic wand over it dramatically. Magically, the tomato starts to glow, the light getting brighter and brighter until the tomato isn't even visible anymore. Jane squints her eyes shut. Suddenly, in one last blinding flash, the light disappears, revealing a brand new drum kit. Jane finally opens her eyes.

Jane: (pleasantly surprised) Hey, whadya know? It actually worked.

Max opens his eyes and squeals with delight at the sight of the new drum set. He rushes over to it, flinging his arms around as much of it as he can.

Max: Oh, you beautiful thing, you! (picks up one of the drumsticks and kisses it)

Jane raises an eyebrow at this. Trent just shakes his head.

Trent: He really needs a woman. (Jesse nods in agreement)

Nick: Hey, that's not fair. What do WE get?

Cut to:

Trent's room again. There is a small rickety dresser in the corner, and Trent is rummaging around in a drawer, while the others stand around. All but Max are present. Max can still be heard from the kitchen, where he is busy trying out his new drums. Trent finally resurfaces after awhile, holding two used combs and one brush, all three with massive hairballs in them. He hands them to Jane, who takes them carefully, trying to touch as little of them as possible. She tosses them down onto Trent's make-shift bed, then promptly wipes her hands off on her skirt.

Jane: All right, stand back. This one's a little trickier.

Trent: You've done this before?

Jane: Yeah, but last time I accidentally turned the band members into frogs. (pauses, thinking) The guitars were a bit heavy for them, but it DID actually improve their singing.

Trent: Really?

Jesse: Cool.

Jane: Yeah. Cool. Until the night that French chef came to one of their gigs. (shakes her head, clicking her tongue in a what-a-pity manner) Horrible tragedy. (smiles wickedly at the guys) But mighty tasty. [4]

At hearing that, Jesse, Trent, and Nick all three take giant steps back away from the bed. Jane looks back at them and snickers.

Jane: That's what I thought. (grinning) Now, let's kick things up a notch.

Jane lifts her wand high above her head, then with a quick jerk of her arm, brings it down and whacks the objects on the bed.

Jane: (bombastic) BAM!! [5]

The objects disappear into a sparkly puff of pink smoke. When the smoke clears, there on the bed in place of the combs and brush are three shiny guitars. Two of them are new but fairly plain, while the third is very expensive looking. This one is a black Fender Stratocaster with an orange and red lighting bolt streaking down one side of it. Jane opens her eyes, picks up the Fender and turns it over several times, checking out her handy-work.

Jane: Hmm...not bad, if I do say so myself. (bt) And I do.

Jesse and Nick rush over and grab their guitars, very impressed. After admiring her work, Jane waltzes up to her brother and hands him his new guitar. He takes it, grinning, and flings the strap over his shoulder.

Trent: (very pleased) I guess we're ready.

Nick: (raising his arm high in the air) All right, guys! Let's go kick some ASS!!!

Nick starts to run from the room, but Jane grabs the back of his shirt as he passes by, stopping him.

Jane: Whoa there, Goldberg. [6] Postpone that ass-kicking for just a sec. You may have the right equipment, but you can't go to the ball dressed like that.

Nick: Hey, we don't care about appearance. We're rebels.

Jane: YOU might not care about appearance, but I doubt that the Royal Guards are in the habit of allowing peasants into the Palace. You guys would never get past the front gate.

Trent: Janey's right. (to Jane) Can you help us?

Jane: Well, I'd say most of you are BEYOND help, but I may be able whip up something to make you look almost human.

Trent: Excellent. Let's go get Max.

Cut to:

The palace ballroom. It's decorated in typical royal fashion. There's a bright red carpet stretching across the middle of the floor from the heavy wooden doors to the thrones at the opposite end. There are two large thrones, one for the King, the other for the Queen, and a smaller one off to the side a ways, where the Princess will be seated. The family has not yet arrived, and the large crowd of royal guests are milling around, eagerly awaiting their grand entrance. Above the thrones is a large banner adorned with a picture of the family crest. The crest is shield shaped, and contains a picture of a large ship being eaten whole by a giant shark. Above the scene is the family motto: "E Pluribus Sue 'Em." How appropriate.

Daria: (VO) Finally, the big moment arrived. The band was all set to perform at the ball in honor of the princess. You see, the queen had decided that her daughter had been "playing the football field" long enough. So, she organized this fancy shin-dig to snag a husband for her daughter. All the eligible bachelors of Lawndale were invited...

As the camera pans over the scene, various groups of guests are seen gathered together. Jodie, Mack, Brittany and Kevin, all dressed in typical Medieval garb, are talking amongst themselves. Kevin, not surprisingly, is also wearing his protective shoulder pads.

Daria: (VO) Kevinthal and Macksimillion [7], two of the most popular jocks in the land, were the first to jump at the chance to woo the self-absorbed princess of pleather.

Mack: Jodie, why do I have to do this? I don't want Quinn. I have you.

Jodie: But think of your future, Mack. How great would it look on your college applications if you could include "Prince" as one of the offices you held during high school?

Mack: Yeah, but don't you think Captain of the football team is enough?

Kevin: Oh, c'mon, Mack Daddy! Nobody cares about that! The only person on the team that matters is the QB. And *I'm* --

Mack: ...the QB. Yeah. We know. (bt) And don't call me that.

Kevin: The only thing that matters is that I'm the hunkiest and most popular guy here. Whenever the princess sees me she's, like, not gonna even LOOK at you.

Brittany, upon hearing this, promptly stomps on Kevin's foot and leaves in a huff.

Kevin: Ow!! (hobbles off-screen after her) Babe! Wha'd I say?

Daria: (VO) Yep, all the eligible bachelors...and some not-so-eligible ones. And one idiot who probably should have left his girlfriend at home. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is why so many girls in this town are still single. Lawndale men at their finest.

Tom: (VO) Hey, now wait a second. Where am *I* during these festivities?

Daria: (VO) Come on, Tom. Did you really think I would subject my own...um...friend who happens to be a boy...to a formal ball in honor of my cute, bouncy-haired sister?

Tom: (VO) No, but you could've at least given me a part in the story.

Jane: (walks into view, dressed in a typical medieval ballgown) Too bad there's not a donkey in this story...

Daria: (VO) Jane...

Jane: ...ícos you'd make a great jackass.

Daria: (VO) Jane!

Jane: (shrugs and smirks) Just trying to help!

Daria: (VO) All right, Tom, if you want a part that bad, I'll give you one. Any preferences?

Tom: (VO) Well, I'd really like a role that shows off my skills as a talented thespian.

Jane: I didn't know you were a...

Tom: (VO) THESPIAN, Jane. Thespian. I'd like to have an opportunity to show the real, human side of the story, from a more realistic perspective. Give the story a touch of that harsh light of reality that is so common in today's society. Update the tired old tale and give it new life. But, I'm not picky. Any part will do. Anything not in the equine family, that is.

Daria: (VO) Hmmm....

Cut to the party scene some time later. Camera is slowly scanning the crowd again.

Tom: (VO) I can't believe you made me the narrator, Daria. I don't even get a costume or anything.

Daria: (VO) Hey, you said any part would do. Now, go narrate something. I'm gonna take a quick nap.

Tom: (VO) Ohhhh, no you don't. You're not getting off that easy.

Jane: (walks back into view) Ahem. Pardon me for interrupting this little lover's quarrel, but do you think you could get back to the story? Sometime this millennium, preferably.

Tom: (VO) Fine. But don't get too comfortable, Daria. You'll get your turn real soon.

Daria: (VO, deadpan) I'll be counting the seconds.

Tom: (VO) Ok, where were we? Ah, yes. The party. All the important people of Lawndale were invited...

Camera cuts to show that the Fashion Club (sans Quinn) is gathered.

Tom: (VO) ...but these losers showed up instead.

Sandi is looking around at the other party-goers with disdain. Stacy looks excited, while Tiffany is checking out her own reflection in a particularly shiny suit of armor on display up against the wall.

Pan a bit further to show the royal guards, Ms. Barch and Mr. DeMartino, standing stiffly and menacingly by the front doors of the ballroom, which are closed. Pan across to the other side of the room shows that just about everyone is there. Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie are standing by the red carpet, looking a bit too eager. Robert and some of the other football players are beside them, looking equally eager.

Camera continues to pan to reveal Andrea, Mrs. Bennett, Ms. Defoe, Mrs. Manson, Ms. Morris, Ms. Li, Corey, Ted, the cheerleaders, Evan, Upchuck...even Monique can be seen sulking towards the back of the crowd. Almost all of Lawndale has been assembled...the Morgendorffer family and Tom being a few notable exceptions. Next to this crowd of people is a small stage where Mystique Spyralle is setting up their instruments. There are new amps, microphones, guitars...the whole nine yards. Nick, Jesse and Max are looking content, even excited, about the whole thing, but Trent is standing there staring off into space, looking a bit suspicious about something. As the camera focuses in on the band, Jane ambles up to the one side of the stage and listens in with mild interest. The band doesn't seem to notice Jane's presence there.

Trent: (mutters to himself) I just don't get it.

Jesse: Huh?

Trent: I don't get it at all.

Nick: Trent, what's the matter with you? You're acting kinda...weird.

Jane: (amused, mutters to herself) You mean "thoughtful"?

Trent: I don't know. I just feel like something's missing.

Jesse: (confused) Huh?

Nick: What are you talking about?

Trent: Well...in the original story of "Cinderella," the fairy Godmother said that the spell would be broken at midnight, right?

Jesse: Yuh.

Trent: So, Janey never told us anything like that.

Nick: So what?

Trent: We got all this new equipment and stuff for NOTHING. There's gotta be a catch.

Max: (hasn't heard the conversation) What're you guys waiting for? Just plug in your guitars and let's jam!

Trent looks down at his guitar, then at the amp, then back at the guitar. Then, as the problem finally dawns on him, he closes his eyes and slaps his forehead in frustration.

Nick: What? What is it?

Trent: This is the Middle Ages. (receives blank stares from his band mates) There's no ELECTRICITY!

Jane: (to Trent, snickering) I KNEW I was forgetting something!!

Trent: (finally notices Jane) Funny, Janey. What do we do now?

Jane: I TOLD you to take up the harmonica. But did you listen? Noooooo!!

Trent: (turns back to the band) Guys, what are we going to do about this? We can't play without electricity.

Suddenly, at the far end of the banquet hall, trumpets sound as the heavy wooden double doors swing open.

Jane: Well, unless you come up with a plan REAL quick, the King and Queen will have your heads on a platter.

Max: Not mine. *I* can still play.

Nick gives Max a dirty look but says nothing. The sound of trumpets cease as Mr. O'Neill walks in through the open doors. He's wearing the typical "messenger" outfit, complete with tights and pointed shoes. He unrolls the scroll in his hands and reads aloud.

O'Neill: Hear ye! Hear ye! Make way for the royal family of Lawndale: King Jakob, Queen Helena, and Princess Quinndolyn! [8]

The trumpets start up again and everyone in the ballroom stops their chatter and turn towards the doors. Jake and Helen walk in, dressed as you would expect of a King and Queen of the suburbs. Jake has a long red robe around his shoulders and a large gold jeweled crown setting on his head. Helen has a smaller, less elaborate crown, shorter robe, and doesn't look at all happy about it. They make their way down the red carpet to the thrown, and people standing along either side of them bow or curtsy as they walk by. About five feet behind them is Quinn, looking ravishing in her royal outfit. She's wearing a long flowing purple velvet gown with a silver tiara, overflowing with jewels. Her hair is swept up, and she is waving to the crowd, Miss-America-style, as she passes.

As the royal family gets closer to the stage, the band members get increasingly nervous. Max is standing by his drums, biting his nails. Nick's eyes are about to bulge out of their sockets, while Jesse stands beside him, sweating anxiously. Trent is glancing around frantically, trying to think of something, anything, that he can do. Finally, he spots the court jester, standing beside the stage, holding a mandolin. It's Upchuck, and he is too busy gawking at Quinn to notice Trent staring at him.

Trent: (shrugs) Oh, well. Desperate times call for...uh...something drastic, I guess.

Trent climbs down off the edge of the stage, sneaks up behind Upchuck and attempts to snatch the instrument out of his arms. Upchuck whirls around, holding onto the mandolin for dear life.

Upchuck: Hey!

Trent and Upchuck start playing tug-of-war with the mandolin. Trent now has his back to the red-carpeted aisle, and with every tug backwards, he inches closer and closer to the path of the oncoming royal family. Jane is standing nearby watching the spectacle with a mixture of fascination and sadistic pleasure.

Trent: Let go!

Upchuck: No! I need this to woo the fair Lady Quinn!

Trent: Well, I need this to not get beheaded!

Upchuck: But my love life is at stake, slacker!

Trent: My NECK is at stake, geek!

Upchuck: Surrender, Grunge Boy!

Trent: (out of insults) Uhh....you first!

Upchuck: NEVER!

Jane: (pointing behind Upchuck) Hey, isn't that Claudia Schiffer??

Upchuck: Ooo, where??

Upchuck releases the instrument and spins around. Trent, taken a bit off-guard, reels backwards just as the royal family are passing by. Trent, gripping the mandolin tightly, falls back and lands at Quinn's feet. The procession stops as Jake and Helen whirl around and look down at Trent. The crowd lets out a collective gasp, then falls silent. Lying in the aisle on his back, Trent opens his eyes and looks up. Quinn is standing over him, looking both shocked and pleased by this new development.

Tom: (VO) Oops! Serious breach of protocol, Mr. Lane. But in true diplomatic style, Quinn handled the situation with grace and style...and used it to her advantage.

DeMartino and Barch race towards Trent, intent on doing him bodily harm, but Quinn stops them.

Quinn: (stretching her arm in between Trent and the guards) No! (the guards stop, looking puzzled) I'll handle this.

DeMartino and Barch back off, grumbling all the way. Quinn reaches out a hand to Trent and helps him to his feet. As Trent is dusting off his clothes, Quinn notices the instrument in his hand.

Quinn: Ooo, you're a musician?

Trent: Yeah.

Jake: (pleased) A musician? Say, do you know any CCR? [9]

Helen: (pats her husband on the arm, whispering) Wrong century, dear.

Jake: (sounding a bit childish) But I LIKE CCR!

Helen: (sighs) Let's just sit down before you hurt yourself, ok? (grabs his arm and leads him off toward the thrones at the head of the ballroom)

Quinn: Don't pay any attention to them. It's not like they're my REAL parents, or anything.

Trent: Ummmm...ok. (starts to walk off)

Quinn: (grabs Trent's elbow, stopping him) I simply ADORE music. Would you be so kind as to grace us with your heavenly, melodious voice?

Trent: What?

Quinn: Would you sing for us?

Trent: (thinks for a moment, then shrugs) Sure.

Quinn: Splendid! Follow me.

Quinn leads Trent up to the front, where her parents are seated on their golden thrones. A smaller throne rests beside Helen, and Quinn takes her seat there. Trent stands beside her for a moment, not really sure what he should do. Everyone is looking at him expectantly.

Quinn: Well? Play us something!

Trent: What should I play?

Jake: How about CC-- (Helen punches him in the arm) Ow! What?!

Quinn: (flirtatious) It doesn't matter. I'll like whatever you play. (cringes slightly, recovering quickly) I mean, play whatever you like.

Trent: Ok. Here's a little something I call "Gangrene." Hope you enjoy it.

Trent starts playing the mandolin like he normally would play a guitar. It's an interesting sound, to say the least. Then, he starts singing, in his typical raspy voice.

Trent: (singing)

The water's stale and stagnant
In the puddles of your soul
The promises you made to me
Are choked by scum and mold

Your love infests my body
And spreads like Beijing flu
I'd rather have the Black Death
Than spend my time with you

Gangrene, gangrene
Eat my heart like a wolverine
Your morning breath
Is worse than death
Your love is like gangrene

Trent ends the song with a few shrill chords. Helen and Jake give each other strange, slightly worried looks, but Quinn starts clapping and cheering.

Quinn: That was wonderful. (to the crowd) Wasn't that wonderful??

A few half-hearted affirmations are heard throughout the audience. Quinn looks expectantly at her parents. Helen and Jake obviously don't know what to think of the song, but reluctantly join in with Quinn in her applause. Taking this as a cue, the rest of the court starts applauding as well.

Cut to a shot of the stage where the remaining three members of Mystique Spyralle are gathered, their arms crossed firmly across their chests, looking angry as the applause continues around them. Upchuck is sitting on the edge of the stage, sulking.

Cut to:

Interior of ballroom, later that evening. Trent is now seated at Quinn's feet. The guys of Mystique Spyralle are huddled in a small group, whispering to each other as if they are planning something. Suddenly, Jake addresses the crowd.

Jake: Hello, Lawndale! I just flew in from Madagascar and boy are my arms sore...from being banged in the elbow every damn minute by that damn refreshment cart. Stupid, lousy, damn coach seating!!

Jake pauses, waiting for some kind of reaction from the crowd, but he is met with blank stares and dead silence. The sound of crickets chirping chimes in for a moment. Jake clears his throat and pulls at his collar.

Jake: Hmm. Tough crowd. So..... (glances at Helen pleadingly)

Helen: What my husband is TRYING to say is 'Welcome to our humble home.'

Jake: Yeah. That's pretty much what I was saying.

Helen: (overly-friendly) Thank you all SO much for attending. I hope you'll all have a wonderful time. Eat! Drink! Network! Our nurse will be making the rounds shortly to take blood and urine samples from all of Quinn's prospective husbands. Now, to kick off the festivities, we have a very special treat for you all. A local band, Mystique Spyralle will be performing for us this evening. (turns and addressed the band) Gentlemen, whenever you're ready.

Suddenly, all eyes are on the band. Jesse, Nick, and Max, who had previously been talking amongst themselves, are now looking out into the crowd, looking petrified. Jesse glances at Nick. Nick shrugs, suggesting he doesn't know what they should do. Jesse then looks at Max and nods. Max counts off a few beats, then starts playing. Nick and Jesse chime in on their guitars, but, of course, there is no sound coming from the speakers. Jesse starts singing into the microphone. Still no sound. All the crowd can hear is the drums. After a few moments, Jesse realizes that they are not getting a positive response from the crowd. He stops playing. Nick and Max cease shortly after Jesse does, and the three stare out into the crowd. After a moment of stunned silence from the crowd, Sandi's brother Sam yells out.

Sam: You stiiiiiink!!!!

The crowd joins in, yelling at the band.

Crowd: Yeah!!!!

Cut back to a shot of the band. Someone from the crowd hurls a tomato at Jesse. [10] He ducks, and it hits Max in his shiny bald head.

Max: Hey!

Max stands and tosses one of his drumsticks into the audience. Unfortunately, he is an extremely bad aim. He misses them completely...and ends up hitting Helen instead. Suddenly, the room lets out a collective gasp. Helen stands slowly, looking as though steam might start shooting from her ears at any moment.

Helen: (screams at the top of her lungs) Off with their heads!!! [11]

Before anyone can make a move to carry out this order, the large wooden doors at the front of the room swing open. Daria is standing there in the doorway, her arms crossed firmly across her chest...wearing Jane's pink frilly fairy godmother dress. She doesn't look at all happy about this development. Everyone at the ball turns to face her.

Daria: (mumbles to herself) Tom, you are SO dead.

Helen: What is the meaning of this interruption? I was in the middle of announcing a public execution and you have the nerve to.... (she finally realizes who the intruder is) Daria???

Daria: Last time I checked.

Tom: (VO) And just when you thought this story couldn't get any more bizarre, here comes Miss Daria Morgendorffer, rightful heir to the Morgendorffer throne. (amused) Nice dress.

At that comment, Daria's face sets in a frown, and she rolls her eyes. Then, she makes her way to the thrones at the front of the room. The crowd splits down the middle to make an aisle for her, as Tom continues the narration.

Tom: (VO) You see, while Daria was the eldest child and, as such, the next in line for the throne, she was a bit lacking in the "people skills" department. So, as is a common practice on most modern day soap operas, she was sent away to boarding school, only allowed back when she has something to contribute. Or to announce that she has an evil twin, whichever comes first.

Finally, Daria reaches the foot of her mother's throne.

Helen: Where have you been for the last ten years, young lady!

Daria: (shrugs) Oh, you know...traveling across the countryside, pillaging small farming communities...that sort of thing. How 'bout you?

Helen: You could have at least PHONED to let us know where you were.

Daria: Phoned? Since when did they have phones in the Middle Ages?

Helen: Don't you play your mind games on us. We're your parents.

Daria: (starts to say something, then shakes her head) Nah. That was TOO easy. (bt) Well, in case you have conveniently forgotten, YOU sent me away because I was, and I quote, "unfit for human contact." And quite frankly, I can't thank you enough.

Helen: Then if you were so happy without us, why did you come back at all? And of ALL the nights you could've chosen to return...the eve of the biggest decision of your sister's life. You know, just having you here at all could disrupt the whole process and ruin her life forever.

Daria: I'm well aware. I would've gotten here sooner, but traffic was a bitch.

Quinn: (walks on-screen) Gawd! What are YOU doing here?

Daria: Speaking of the B-word...

Helen: Girls, behave yourselves. We can't have a scene.

Jake: (joins the group) Hey! What's going on?

Helen: Stay out of this, Jake. I'll handle it.

Jake: (whiny) But, Helen! I'm the King.

Helen: Only on paper, dear. Only on paper.

Quinn: You ALWAYS have to ruin everything, Daria. Why don't you just go on back to the library from whence you came and stop messing up my party!!

Helen: Calm down, Quinn. (to Daria) Young lady. You've got a lot of nerve coming back after all this time, ruining Quinn's big moment like this. In case you haven't noticed, we're in the middle of finding your sister a husband.

Daria: Husband? You might want to look into having him neutered then. Wouldn't want them to start multiplying.

Quinn: Muh-OOOM!!!

Helen: That's enough. Both of you. We'll discuss this later. Right now we have a little matter of a triple execution to take care of. (looks around for the band, who have since disappeared from the stage) Now, where did they go?

Cut to:

Trent is sneaking off through the crowd, headed towards the front door, but his escape is cut off by Jesse, Nick and Max. The three look extremely angry.

Nick: Where do you think YOU'RE going, traitor?

Jesse: Yuh. You like, abandoned us.

Max: And you stole the Princess away from us.

Trent: The Princess? What are you talking about?

Jesse: Don't play dumb with us.

Nick: We know you planned this whole thing just to get to her.

Trent: Whatever.

Max: Yeah. You're gonna THINK 'whatever' when we beat you down, man!

Trent: You're gonna 'beat me down'??

Max: (frightened) Well...not right NOW. Maybe later, or something. When you least expect it. (partially hides behind Jesse)

Jesse: No, not later. Right now.

Nick: Let's get him!!

Nick lunges forward and takes a swing at Trent. Trent ducks and punches Nick in the stomach. Nick doubles over, groaning. Jesse goes after Trent, and the two start duking it out. Nick stands up after catching his breath and joins in the fight. Max is standing off to the side, trying to stay out of the way. When Nick takes another swing at Trent, he misses and punches Max, who is knocked to the ground, nose bleeding.

Nick: Oh, man. I'm so sorry!

Max: (crying) That really HURT!!

Jesse: (turns away from Trent for a moment) What's going on?

Max: He hit me!!!

Nick: Aw, geez. I said I was sorry.

Max: (pouty) Well, it still hurt.

Jesse: (helping Max up off the floor) You'll be all right. (bt) Uh, where's Trent?

The three turn around to find that Trent is sneaking back toward the stage.

Nick: Hey! Come back here!

Nick, Max and Jesse take off after Trent. Trent tries to run, but the room is too crowded. Jane is sitting on the edge of the stage, swinging her legs, happily enjoying the carnage that is unfolding. Trent reaches the edge of the stage, and, realizing he has nowhere to go but up, he climbs up onto the stage. Moments later he is followed by his angry band mates. In order to defend himself, Trent looks around and grabs the first object that he could use as a weapon: Jesse's guitar. He holds it over his shoulder like a baseball bat, threatening to swing if they come any closer.

Trent: Back off Jess. Uh...I've got a guitar and I know how to use it.

Jane: (grins) Now THERE'S something I never thought I'd here.

Jesse: Hey, man. That's my guitar! (backs off a bit) Now, don't do anything crazy.

Jesse's words are interrupted as the clock in the tower starts chiming. It rings loudly twelve times, drowning out all other noise. Cut to close-up of Jesse's face. As soon as the twelfth ring has finished, he smiles and starts laughing. Camera pulls back slightly to reveal Nick and Max on either side of him. They too start laughing. Cut to close-up of Trent's face. His expression goes from panicked and desperate to confused. He has no idea what they're laughing at. Finally, the camera pulls back to reveal more of Trent. The guitar he had previously been holding has turned back into Jesse's hairy comb. Jesse takes a step towards Trent.

Trent: I told you. Back off. Don't make me use this deadly... (looks up and finally realizes what he's holding) ...comb. [12] Aw, hell. (cringes, frustrated) Janey!

Jane: (not sounding the least bit sorry) Oops. My bad.

Trent: Got any more amusing surprises I should know about?

Jane: Yeah. If you click your heals together three times and... [13]

Jane's line is cut off as a fist comes out of nowhere and punches her in the face, knocking her out cold. Her assailant stands over her, grinning. It's Ms. Morris.

Morris: Paybacks are Hell, Lane! (sinister laugh)

Her laughter is cut short as she is hit on the head with a chair and knocked to the floor. Ms. Defoe is standing over her.

Defoe: No one messes with my star pupil. (She drops the chair and looks up to see Ms. Bennett staring at her, her mouth hanging open in shock) You want a piece of me, Bennett?

Bennett looks frightened and adamantly shakes her head before scurrying off. As she does so, some unidentified boy leaps up on stage.

Boy: Soccer riot!!!!

At this, a free-for-all breaks out in the crowd.

Musical montage, to "Bad Moon Rising" by (who else?) Credence Clearwater Revival:

Cut back to Mystique Spyralle. Trent starts backing up as Jesse approaches, cracking his knuckles. Nick and Max follow close behind Jesse. Trent turns tail and runs, leaping off the stage. Jesse motions for Nick and Max to follow, then all three of them take off after Trent. As the brawl escalates among the other guests, the guys push their way through the crowd in pursuit of the fleeing Trent.

Cut to Daria, who is standing up against the wall right next to one of the many suits of armor. She's reading a small paperback copy of "Macbeth" and is basically just trying to stay out of the way as the carnage unfolds. Nearby, Kevin and Mack are fighting each other. Mack has his hands around Kevin's neck. Kevin breaks free, spins around and grabs the ax from the suit of armor next to Daria. As he raises it over his head, Daria -- who is directly behind Kevin -- casually reaches up, plucks the ax out of his hands, and replaces it with the book she has been reading. Kevin, not even noticing the change, wacks Mack on the head with the book. Mack, unfazed, snatches the book away from Kevin with one hand and punches him with the other. Kevin teeters momentarily, a spacey grin on his face, before collapsing to the floor. Mack steps over Kevin's body, saunters over to Daria and hands her the book. Daria takes it without a word. As Mack ventures back into the fray, Daria drops the ax at her side, opens the book and continues reading.

Cut to Jane, still on the floor. She is being dragged by her ankles by some unseen character. Her eyes flutter, then open. After a moment of confusion, she regains her senses and looks up to see Upchuck dragging her towards the front doors. He looks down at her, grins lecherously, and winks. He looks like he has seen his share of action himself, as he has several bruises forming on his face and his hair is disheveled. Jane leaps up, breaking his grip on her. Now face-to-face with Jane, Upchuck grins at her, revealing that he is also missing several teeth. He starts to speak to her, but his words are drowned out by the background music. Jane hears him though, very clearly, and she does NOT look happy about what he said. Upchuck's advances are cut short, however, when Jane knees him in the groin. He doubles over as Jane walks away and out the front entrance.

Cut to the front of the ballroom. Queen Helen is seated on her throne watching Quinn. Quinn is standing nearby talking to Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie. After a few words from Quinn, Joey turns and pushes Jeffy, who then pushes him back. Jamie grabs Jeffy by the shoulder, turns him around, and takes a swing at him. Soon all three guys are involved in a big three-way fight. Quinn is standing there watching with a pleased grin. Helen looks on at Quinn's behavior with evident disapproval, but does nothing to intervene.

End of musical montage.

Cut to middle part of the ballroom. Nick, Jesse and Max are standing directly in the center of the room. They are looking around in confusion, having apparently lost track of Trent. Trent, however, has not lost track of them. He is standing off to the side, watching them. He is glancing around, looking for a means of escape. Suddenly, he sees something that catches his attention. He notices that beside him, to his right, is a large stone column. There is a hook sticking out of the column and tied around the hook is the end of a rope. Following the rope with his eyes, he discovers that the rope is holding up a large crystal chandelier...a chandelier that is conveniently hanging right above the heads of his fellow band mates. Trent seems to have just gotten a brilliant idea. He starts to untie the knot in the rope.

Trent: (to himself) Ok. I know I've seen Zorro do this before. How hard could it...

Just then, the knot comes undone and the sheer weight of the chandelier is too much for Trent to hold. The chandelier begins to fall and, as has been seen in so many cheap action movies, Trent, holding onto the rope for dear life, is pulled upward toward the ceiling.

Trent: (finishing his sentence, slightly panicked) ...BEEEEEEEEEEE?????

The ceiling fixture crashes to the ground, pinning Nick, Max, and Jesse to the floor. Several people in the crowd look up. Rachel Landon giggles and points at Trent.

Rachel: Hey! Look at that guy!!

Cut to shot of Trent. He is now hanging from the rope about 20 feet up in the air. Several of the people below look up at him and start laughing.

Trent: (looking a cross between embarrassed and scared) I bet this never happened to Zorro.

Cut to a long shot of Trent, hanging. A large group has gathered under him. They are all yelling at him, all at once. Some seem to be trying to get him to swing over to the ledge along the wall while others are crying for him to let go. Others are just laughing and pointing. In the foreground, the other members of Mystique Spyralle are freeing themselves from the fallen fixture. Suddenly, Jesse spots Trent.

Jesse: Hey. Check it out.

Nick: Ha! We've got him right where we want him now.

They start shoving their way through the crowd, but are moving very slowly. Meanwhile, Trent is losing his grip on the rope. Monique is standing under him, her arms stretched upward toward him. Ms. Li is standing next to her, looking a bit peaved by the whole thing. Jane is also nearby.

Li: You come down here this INSTANT, young man!

Monique: Trent! Baby! Let go of the rope! We'll catch you!!

Trent: Are you nuts??? (his hands slip a few inches, and he is very close to falling now) Oh, crap! I'm losing it!

Jane: (smirking) There's an understatement.

Crowd: (in unison) Let go!!!

Cut to another long shot of Trent. He finally lets go and falls into the crowd.

Cut back to close-up of Trent. He is now resting on top of the crowd's hands, crowd-surfing style. He glances up to see his band mates coming toward him.

Trent: (to the crowd) Get me to the door! Quick!

Monique: You heard him, people! To the door!!

The crowd starts passing him along over their heads. Whenever he reaches the front doors, the people set him down on his feet again.

Trent: Thanks. See ya!

Trent turns and runs out the door and down the front steps. Jesse's comb, which Trent had stuck in his back pocket, falls out onto the steps as he flees the scene. Soon, the crowd has run out of the palace as well, watching him go. Nick, Jesse, and Max push their way through the mob and follow Trent. A few moments later, the crowd diminishes. Some leave for the night, others go back inside. Quinn rushes out the door of the palace hoping to catch Trent, but he's already gone.

Quinn: Come back! Come back, my love!!

She looks down and finds the hairy, discarded comb lying on the front steps. She kneels down, picks it up, and clutches it to her heart, hairballs and all. Daria walks up beside her.

Quinn: (overly dramatic) Alas! This used comb is the last piece of you that remains. I shall cherish it forever! As God as my witness, I will NOT lose you again!! (starts crying)

Daria: Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. [14] Besides, I think that comb was Jesse's.

Quinn immediately stops crying and flings the comb away from her as if she's been burned by it. It bounces down the steps and comes to rest on the sidewalk below.

Quinn: Ewwwww!!! (stands and storms back into the palace)

Daria: (deadpan) At least you'll always have Paris. [15]

Daria turns and heads back indoors.

Cut to the ballroom, a bit later. Most of the crowd has thinned out, leaving the royal family to deal with the mess left behind by the brawl.

Helen: Well, young lady. I hope you're satisfied. Thanks to your rebellious musical suitor, the ball was completely ruined.

Quinn: But, Muh-OOOOM, it wasn't MY fault. I can't HELP it if those musician guys were, like, JEALOUS of all the time Trent got to spend with me. It's just a part of human nature that even *I* have no control over.

Helen: That's not the point. You did NOTHING to stop them. You even encouraged the violence. And this ball was supposed to be a way for you to find a suitable husband, but now, after all the fighting, there aren't any men left. They were all either knocked unconscious or ran off after that damn musician. (sighs) Now, I suppose you'll NEVER get married and move out of the house.

Jake: WHAT?? (agitated) No daughter of MINE is gonna freeload off her parents while she just sits around the house all day painting her toenails, watching soap operas and racking up a gigantic phone bill!

Daria: Phone?

Helen: (stopping his tirade) Jake, she's only 16. I'd hardly call her a "freeloader."

Daria: Yeah. She prefers the term "motivationally challenged."

Helen: I'm just disappointed that we couldn't find her a nice young man. (pointed glance at Daria) I'd like to see at least ONE of my children settled down and raising a family before I die. I've always dreamed of having grandchildren. Now, I guess that dream has died.

Daria: (spots someone off-screen) Um, I think that dream might have one dying gasp left in it...

The group turns around to see Upchuck, holding an ice pack to his head, limping toward them. He's been severely beaten, and his face is bruised and swollen.

Daria: (finishing) ...no matter how shallow and pathetic that gasp might be.

Upchuck: (muffled from his swollen face) Hello, ladies. (glances at Quinn) Rowrrr.... (winces in pain) Ow.

Jake: Hey there, m' man! Wazzup??

Helen: Well, what do you know? (narrows her eyes at Quinn) I guess Quinn will be getting married after all.

Quinn: What?!? B-b-but...I CAN'T marry him.

Helen: And why not?

Quinn: Because...because...

Daria: (enjoying this WAY too much) I believe "blech" is the word you're floundering for.

Helen: Well, like it or not, young lady, you leave us no alternative. You brought this on yourself.

Jake: Yeah! You made your bed, now lie in it.

Daria: Now THERE'S a mental image I definitely didn't need.

Quinn looks at Upchuck, who raises his eyebrows at her and winks.

Quinn: (fed up and disgusted) Ooooo... (turns and leaves in a huff)

Upchuck: Feisty... (winces again) Ow. (follows Quinn off-screen)

Cut to:

Exterior shot of Castle Morgendorffer, daytime.

Tom: (VO) And so, Princess Quinndolyn and Charles Rodney Xavier Ruttheimer the Third were married...

Cut to interior shot of the castle. A wide shot shows that the ballroom is now decorated for an elaborate, royal wedding. The room is packed, full of mostly women and a few severely injured men. Quinn and Upchuck are at the alter, their backs to the camera. Interestingly, Axl is making an appearance as the priest.

Tom: (VO) ...much to the dismay of the Princess.

Cut to close-up of Quinn's face. She is wearing an intricate head-piece and veil and is very obviously angry over the whole thing.

Tom: (VO) Charles -- henceforth known as PRINCE Charles -- was overjoyed at this development...

Pan to the left to show Upchuck. His wounds have healed slightly, but not much. He has a bandage over one eye and several bruises on his face. But he's still smiling. Pan back to show a shot of DeMartino standing beside Quinn, holding a shotgun at his side.

Tom: (VO) ...even if the bride's participation in their day of wedded bliss wasn't exactly voluntary.

Axl: (in his typical British accent) Do you, Quinn, take Charles to be your wedded 'usband? To 'ave, to 'old, to get 'is name tattooed on your arse...and all that other bleedin' sen'imen'al crap?

Quinn hesitates, defiantly crossing her arms across her chest. DeMartino nudges her with the barrel of the shotgun.

Quinn: Eep! I do! (mumbles) I do, dammit.

Cut to a shot of the courtyard, decorated for what looks like a reception. There is a stage set up at one end and at the other there are some tables for food. There is a large empty space in the middle for dancing.

Tom: (VO) So, whatever happened to the star of our show...that narcoleptic musician? Well...

Cut to a close-up of Trent singing and playing an acoustic guitar. As Tom continues the narration, the muffled sounds of Trent's singing can be heard, though it's not clear what song he's singing.

Tom: (VO) ...Trent got a gig playing at Quinn's reception. Prestigious indeed, especially for someone so accustomed to unemployment.

Cut to a shot of Jake standing in front of the stage listening to him play. He appears to be singing along with the music and clapping. No one else around him is paying attention to the music, except for Helen. She's standing beside him with a subtly scheming look on her face.

Tom: (VO) And the King and Queen were so impressed that they decided to make Trent the official royal minstrel. Which basically meant that whenever Helen needed someone to keep her husband entertained in her absence, Trent would be there to "take requests."

Cut to a shot of the interior of the throne room. Jake is sitting on his throne and Trent is standing in front of him, holding the acoustic guitar. Jake has a puppy-dog look of disappointment on his face.

Jake: Pleeeease?

Trent: I told you already. I don't KNOW the words to "Down On the Corner."

Jake: How about "Run Through the Jungle"?

Trent: Uh-uh.

Jake: (pleadingly) "Proud Mary"??

Trent sighs and slumps his shoulders.

Tom: (VO) And what about that long-lost sister, you ask?

Cut to an exterior shot of the front steps of the mansion, nighttime. Close-up shot of the closed front doors.

Tom: (VO) Well, believe it or not, she single-handedly overthrew the monarchy and assumed her rightful place as dictator of Lawndale. (snickers) Nah! Just kidding.

The door slowly creaks open and Daria sneaks out cautiously, a bag tossed over her shoulder and a hooded cloak somewhat disguising her identity. Daria creeps down the steps and walks quickly away from the castle.

Tom: (VO) She stole away in the middle of the night, once again escaping the stupidity of Lawndale. Too bad she ended up escaping to HIGHLAND, which is even worse off than Lawndale. In a related note, her travel agent has since been replaced.

Daria: Damn. What kind of happy ending is that?

Tom: (VO) Hey, I'm trying to show the harsh light of reality here. I'd expect you of all people, Miss Cynical Britches, to respect that.

Daria: I respect the harsh light of reality, as long as it's not MY reality.

Tom: (VO, sounding amused) Hypocrite.

Daria: (VO, equally amused) Killjoy.

Suddenly, Daria passes the village common. Right out in the middle are three peasants in the stocks: Jesse, Nick, and Max! As Daria passes by, the three guys start begging her to help them.

Max: Daria!! Help us!!! We'll DIE out here!!!

Daria: (stops) One can only hope.

Nick: But we're innocent!

Jesse: Yuh. Can't you, like, talk to your mother or something?

Daria: And risk familial exhile? (bt, thinking) Hmm...as appealing as that sounds...no.

Max: (in hysterics) PLEEEEEEEASE!!!!

Daria: (digs into her pocket) Here. (tosses a coin at them) Call someone who cares. (walks off-screen)

The coin falls to the ground, rolls for a moment, and comes to rest right in front of Jesse.

Jesse: Cool. A quarter.

Nick: But, dude, how are we supposed to get to a phone?!?!

Max: Phone?

Nick: Well, she SAID to call somebody who cares, didn't she?

Tom: (VO) Trust me. No one cares.

Dejected, the four beggars frown and hang their heads down. As Tom speaks, the camera slowly pans across the grounds to show a wide view of the quiet, sleepy village.

Tom: (VO) As I was saying, we can't ALWAYS have happy endings. Sometimes life is cruel and things don't work out the way we'd like. Sometimes we end up getting crapped on by the giant pigeon of life and we just have to clean ourselves off and carry on. Live to be crapped on another day! And never forget that the good times are nothing more than brief moments in between major, life-altering disasters. Good night and good luck!

Jane: (walks on-screen, wearing her pink godmother dress again) That's it?

Tom: (VO) You like? Puts a new, updated spin on the story. Much better than all that tired "happily ever after" garbage, huh?

Jane: Sure, if your goal is to depress people into mass suicide. Where's the humor? Where's the witty, ironic ending? Where am *I*, dammit?? Don't you think my loyal, caring fans want to know what happened to me at the end of all this nonsense?

Tom: (VO) Fans? Both of them?

Jane: Hey, don't get me started, Tom. There are entire Web sites dedicated to the hatred of you, so you're in no position to judge me.

Tom: (VO) Good point. (sighs) Fine, if it'll mean that much to you. What happened to YOU at the end of the story? Trampled by a horse and carriage? Doomed to wear that frilly pink dress for the rest of your miserable existence? Or did you just recite the wrong spell and accidentally turn yourself into a member of the Village People?

Jane: Ehh!!! Wrong again!

Cut to a sunny beach. Clear blue water stretches off to the horizon, with the sandy beach in the foreground. There is a large umbrella driven into the ground, shading Jane, who is sitting on a blanket. She's wearing a skimpy bathing suit and sunglasses, and there is a handsome, muscle-bound hunk on the blanket beside her. He, like Jane, is wearing sunglasses and is propped up on his elbows. Jane's holding a tropical drink, complete with tiny umbrella. She turns slightly to look into the camera, lifting the sunglasses up to reveal her eyes.

Jane: As it turned out, this fairy godmother thing pays pretty well. (shrugs) Who knew? (smiles) After the Lawndale job, I had enough money to retire and move to the Bahamas. So, instead of granting wishes and turning mice into horses, I spent the rest of my (finger quotes) "miserable existence" soaking up the rays, sipping strawberry daiquiris and watching the sunset with ol' Rico here. (pats the man lightly on his bare chest)

Rico: (glances at the screen and waves) Hey.

Tom: (VO) So...no big tragedies? No marrying a sleezeball or moving to a town full of morons or being condemned to play "Suzie Q" for the rest of your life?

Jane: Not even close. (grins) How do you like THEM apples, Mr. Sloane? (waves off-screen at someone) Hold up! I'll be right there! (to Tom) Well, I'd love to stay here and chat about how miserable everyone else is, but the volleyball game is about to start.

Tom: (VO) You play volleyball?

Jane: (sets her drink aside and stands) Of course not. It's too much like work. I wouldn't want to exert myself. (grins slyly) But I DO enjoy watching tan, half-naked bodies jump around in the sand. (waves at the camera mockingly) Tootles!

Tom: (VO, shocked) Whoa. (bt) Somebody get my travel agent on the phone!

Rico: Phone?

THE END


AUTHOR'S NOTES

First, I wanted to make a mention of the other "Cinderella" parody floating around out there. It's by Mike Yamiolkoski, and it is absolutely hilarious! Check it out sometime. Anyway, I started writing my take on this tale long before his fic came out, and whenever it did, I almost chucked the whole idea. Then, I thought, why not? There can be two. So, after I finished writing this fic, I went back and read Mike's fic for the first time, and realized that while there were a few similarities (the bit with Mystik Spiral's name change and the tomato thing being two of them) these were two COMPLETELY different takes on the same tale. I was glad to see that! I just wanted to clear that up before moving on.

This fic was a BEAR to finish. It took a long time, but it was well worth the sleepless nights and frustration-induced episodes of insanity. I hope this was obvious, but just in case it wasn't, this is not one of those fics that should be taken seriously. Like the first fic in this series, it's very much supposed to be a fun-filled, crazy interpretation of the classic tale. Downright SILLY at times...most of the time, actually, but that was the whole point. I enjoy writing serious fics, but I needed a break from that, especially after the rather lengthy "Cyber Stacy." Yeah, so this fic also turned out to be pretty long, but it just kinda took on a life of its own after awhile. After I got started, there was no stopping the insanity!!

Now, what about that title, "Cinderfella"? Well, I can't really take credit with making that one up. I actually "borrowed" it from the title of a pageant we have at my university every year. Instead of the girls getting dressed up in gowns and parading across a stage, it's the guys' turn! They get up there, act stupid (some, I fear, aren't acting) and basically give the audience a good laugh! It's hilarious. I go to it every year. So, whenever I got the idea to do this fic with Trent in the Cinderella role, the title was just TOO perfect to pass up! Plus, as a few of my beta-readers pointed out, "Cinderfella" is also the name of an old Jerry Lewis movie. Seems even MORE appropriate now that I know that!

Jane was the ONLY one that truly lived "happily ever after" in this story, and that was intentional. You might argue that Upchuck was happy at the end, but keep in mind that he now has to spend the rest of his life with whiny, "don't touch me" Quinn. Not a terribly happy ending for him either. Not even Tom the narrator was happy at the end. Only Jane. Why? Think about it. Jane has really been put through the wringer lately on the show and has ALWAYS had some big tragedy happen to her in fan fiction. So, why NOT let her have the last laugh? I think she's earned it! Plus, she's my favorite character, and I really like it whenever she has the last laugh.

Last, and certainly not least, there are a few people I have to thank. Thank you to all my wonderful beta readers. You were instrumental in getting this fic done and fixed up just right. DevilKitty, Sam, Cimorene, NomadX, Robert Nowall, and Steven Galloway....you guys ROCK! :-) Also, I want to thank all the people on The Paperpusher's Message Board who encouraged me to keep going and not give up, even when I thought I'd NEVER finish another fic again! Muchas gracias!!!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this fic. Be looking for the final fic in the series -- "Little Green Riding Hood" -- real soon! In fact, it's already finished, more or less. Just needs a few touch-ups here and there. As always, feedback is most certainly welcome. Send your praise (or your complaints, as the case may be) to kemicalreaxion@yahoo.com. Also, if you're an artist, I'd LOVE it if you'd do some artwork from this fic (or any of mine, for that matter). If you do any, send it my way!


FOOTNOTES:

  1. The misspelling was intentional. It just looked more "medieval." back

  2. A quote from "The Emperor's New Groove"...the funniest Disney movie ever made, IMO! back

  3. If you don't get this, re-watch "Murder She Snored." The line "Yes, and you've turned into two pumpkins" is what inspired the cantelope comparison. back

  4. Frog's legs are a French delicacy, from what I hear. I've never worked up the nerve to try them myself, though. back

  5. Sorry for this one. My mother has discovered Emeril. This, as well as Jane's line before this one, are two things he says entirely too often. I just had to get it out of my system! I feel much better now. back

  6. Goldberg is a pro-wrestler. I hate pro-wrestling myself, but it seemed to fit here! back

  7. In case there was any doubt, this is Kevin and Mack. The names just sounded more "medieval." back

  8. No special reasons for the new names. They just sounded more "medieval." :-) Getting tired of hearing that yet? back

  9. Credence Clearwater Revival, or CCR for short. A band from my parents' generation. I don't know why, it just seems like something Jake would like. back

  10. Ok, one tossed 'mater does NOT constitute a 'mater fight. But it was just too good to resist! back

  11. This line is from "Alice In Wonderland," of course. back

  12. The "deadly....comb" comment was a "PowerPuff Girls" reference. If you've seen the episode it came from, you'll know what I'm talking about. If not, it doesn't really matter! back

  13. "Wizard of Oz" reference. A rather over-used one, but oh well! back

  14. This line and Quinn's line before it were both borrowed from "Gone With The Wind." I'm sure you knew that already though! back

  15. A reference to the classic film "Casablanca." back