Sharing with you a little bit of this and that.

Fiction, some thoughts and more fiction.

If you're a first time visitor, feel free to browse and don't be shy to comment!

Also feel free to contact me on fdramani29@googlemail.com!

Enjoy! x

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

In The Pursuit of Real love

After trying to fathom Gods pure and unconditional love in contrast to my hopeless failings as His daughter, I thought I would share some thoughts that I pondered on.

What is true love? Real Love?

Romans 8:38-39 tells us that there is nothing that can ever separate us from the love of God.

When I think about what love is, I am immediately inclined to think of beautiful flowers and fancy gifts that outwardly reflect what love is supposed to be. A lovely butterfly feeling in the pit of my stomach, and something that puts a smile on my face. These outward shows of what love is meant to be make us feel good and somehow tells us - "this is what love does - it gives us 'things' and it makes us 'feel good".

If we are truly to understand love as it was truly intended, then we must look to the One that created love. Love does actually give us 'things' and it makes us feel good, but not always in the conventional way of fanciful gifts and feel good factors.

Scripture gives us a thorough and sound overview of what love really is. Love, as it is explained in 1 Corinthians gives us comparisons of what love's intentions are in truth, in comparison to what it wasn't intended to be.

''Love suffers long and it is kind'' - 1 Corin 13:4
(Love could be short and be unkind,when called for, but it is not).

In the times when we often feel that those around us are harsh, or unable to deal with our folly ways, in the times when we expect to be met by harshness, love shows itself as different.

''Love does not envy'' - 1 Corin 13:4
(Love could be envious, when presented to be, but it is not).

There are often times when we are in a position where we could be the subject of envy. You could be doing well, excelling in a particular area of your life, unlike those that may begin to harbour bad thoughts and indeed envy you - love does not do this.

''Love does not parade itself, it is not puffed up'' - 1 Corin 13:4
(Love could parade itself and be puffed up, but it does not).

There can be times when we want to shout from the rooftops at the good deeds we have done towards another in the name of love, to tell the whole world about the good intentions we have - true love is not a showmanship of great works and boastfulness, it is at times, quiet and gentle.

''Love does not behave rudely'' - 1 Corin 13:5
(Love could be rude, but it is not).

If you encounter one that says they love you, yet their approach towards you is one that is rude and harsh, all in the name of love - is this really love?

''Love does not seek it's own'' - 1 Corin 13:5
(Love could be about it's own gain, but it is not).

Have you ever thought about doing something for somebody else in the name of love, that may, as you intended make yourself look good in the eyes of others and wrought your own gain?

''Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth'' - 1 Corin 13:6
(Love could revel in the downfall of another, but instead it seeks after truth - God Himself, who is love).

Has someone ever fallen, made a mistake, and you silently snigger behind closed doors and tell everybody about it because you couldn't wait for that moment to arrive?

''Love bears all things'' - 1 Corin 13:7
(Love could choose to reject the invitation to carry each others burdens, but it does not).

Has someone ever asked you for help, not once, not twice, but three times, and still you have not made any movements to help them because, possibly you are too busy, or have your own issues to deal with?

"Love believes all things'' - 1 Corin 13:7
(Love could choose to not believe, but instead love believes).

Has anyone ever asked you to stand in faith with them to overcome a particular struggle in their life, even though they have time and time not been able to. You respond my outwardly holding their hand and interceding with them, but your mind has already dismissed them as a lost cause.

"Love hopes all things" - 1 Corin 13:7
(Love could be pessimistic, but instead remains optimistic).

"Love endures all things" - 1 Corin 13:7
(Love could run a mile a minute, but instead chooses to remain steadfast).

You know how it's so easy to love those that are loveable? But then once you meet with someone who has 'issues' you make excuses as why not to pick up their phone call or respond to their messages?

"Love never fails" - 1 Corin 13:8
(Love could choose to let you down, but instead it does not).

When I look at what love is as God intended, I find it interesting to see that the hope of love is presented in parodox with the pitfalls of failings. Love presents itself in situations when it is needed the most and when it is called for. It reminds me of the words that Jesus spoke to those that questioned Him in Mark 2:17- a Physician is on hand to cure and to fix, not to bring further ailment or detriment.

Love could be the opposite of all it presents itself to be, (it could be unkind, envious, boastful and prideful, rude, seek after its own, unbelieving, hopeless etc...). But it isn't, because that is not the intention of love.

Love, as it was intended, was for each to take one another for what we are in the face of grace, rather than condemn and belittle in the face of the law, allowing the nature of love to eventually allow its working to shape us to be what we were intended to be.

Love's aim, I find, therefore, is to react in ways that would in 'normal' situations be deemed as unprecedented. Instead of love reacting in a way that is just and lawful especially in the cases where justice and law is sought after, love instead gives us what we do not deserve, it gives us grace.

Love, as shown in 1 Corinthians relates back to Gods grace - His unmerited favour - in the times when we deserve far worse. Love is God Himself.

As I mediated on this, I was immediately presented with a voice that reminded me of things inside of me that is not in par with Gods spirit.

'Yeah, yeah, God loves you' the other voice spoke - 'but what about your sin? God loves you, ok this much you know, and nothing can separate you from His love - but you forget sin'?

Isa 59:2 states that our iniquities have separated us from God. So many times, I would hear this scripture in sermons, often, out of context. But in context, God was speaking to a people at the time that were rebellious and unwilling to turn their faces to His hand in the hope of receiving His salvation.

2 Corin states:

"God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them''. (2 Corin 5:19)

Sin does separate us from God, and we could look at this in two aspects:

1/ God's view: God hates sin. He abhors it, and he turns His face away from it. Our sin separates us from God, but not from His love.

2/ Our view: We feel guilt when we sin. Like a young child that has engaged in some wrong doing runs from their parent's hand of rebuke to try and hide, they want to run as far from that parent to avoid facing chastisement and the confrontation of their wrong doing.

We often and at times do run from God because we know that our wrongdoing has displeased Him and brought our sin to light. Inside of the child (us) that runs, dwells feelings of shame, embarrassment , regret and fear. We run because we do not want to face what we have done, especially in the face of love presented in it's purest yet mysterious form.

But...the parent, although their hand may be heavy to rebuke, still has love for the child. Their aim to confront the runaway is only to reinforce the love that cannot be separated in the hope of eradicating the error encountered and reinforce redemption and wholeness.

The prodigal son was one who was not unfamiliar with the love and acceptance of his Father in the midst of his own failings. Did the sin of the woman caught in adultery turn Jesus's face away from showing her love and forgiveness? Did the sin of Zaccheus, turn Jesus's face away from dining with him? Does the sin that dwells in you turn Jesus's face away from reconciling you to Him? No,it does not, rather it is His love that draws you and brings your sin to light that you may deal with it. Gods grace and love is by all means not an invitation to sin, it is simply a lifeline in the times that we may inevitably

So, like we may run from God in the face of some wrongdoing, and thus, yes our sin separates us from God, only because of our subconscious at work, the love of God is willing to draw us,despite of this - for we are of a sinful nature, but are are not sin itself.

We are encouraged to trust in God in all of our ways and lean not to our own understanding and to acknowledge Him in all our ways. (All - everything, nothing left out, the small, the big, the good and the bad).

When you draw near to God, His love for you will surpass your sin, that He may rejoice in lovingly reconciling you to Him. make mistakes.

God turned away his face from Jesus when He was upon the cross, unable to fathom the sins of the world that lay upon Christ, yet it was Gods hate for sin that drew His love to Christ,and it was Gods love that resurrected,our Saviour.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who dies, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword?

Romans 8:31-35

So, Gods love for us, may not come in the form of fancy gifts and feel good factors, but it runs far deeper than that...to let us know His love as it was truly intended.

Feel free to challenge what I have written or comment or question, as I am just sharing some thoughts.


Friday, 27 May 2011

No To Stalkers!

Bullies. Intimidators, yellow-bellied cowards.

Don't you just abhor them?

You may think my words are harsh, but even Jesus Himself displayed righteous indignation in the face of those that used the Temple for their own gain.

It's bad enough to have a bully in your face, on the school playground, at home or at work, on a daily basis - but to have one who chooses to stay anonymous and taunts and belittles you while hiding behind a masquerade of viral comforts can be dis-heartening.

I have experienced a bully physically...or lets call it what it is - a Stalker. His past gifts and presents of fancy perfumes and expensive chocolates whilst hiding in the dark behind a dingy car did not do much to draw me, instead my heart was repelled at the indecency. Especially since my request was for him to relent, and go about his own business, and this he chose to ignore.

But to have someone that watches your every viral move, day in and day out can be a nightmare in its own right. Fastest fingers first tapping away at a keyboard seated on his lap. Encrypting my Twitter account, (which has now been disabled), making me question those that were in fact innocent, hoping to ensnare me in a spider web that his own mind built for his own gratification, only to find himself caught up.

Constant comments on All Day Every day Talk of what could be deemed as encouraging and edifying words under an alias, soon prevailed to unrelenting messages of abusive, vilifying statements, derogatory name calling, false and weird accusations and worrying regurgitation's of one in need of The Physician. The one in question being a so called 'Christian' who is very aware of his calculated motives and evil intentions as he builds a home in the shadow of quoting bible scriptures and lifting up 'holy' hands in some unknown and faraway happy clappy church where he is deemed 'respected'.

Woe be to the one who intentionally chooses to cause havoc and mock God and point their finger in His face, whilst hiding behind holier than thou sayings yet indulging in temporary scare tactics. How strange that the two afore mentioned can be used in the same sentence.

What a shame it is to live in a world that the Lord deemed for good, only to find so much destruction, those with bad intentions set on a catastrophic cause to fulfill their own foolish and folly fantasies.

I am not perfect, do not get me wrong, I often make mistakes, fall and get back up again, and may be foolish enough to readily admit this to whomever I meet, but the one who has premeditated thoughts - sitting in a dark rank room, a face illuminated by the glare of the computer screen, thinking on how to cause damage to another by calculated means leads to some serious cause for intercessory prayer, that the mercy and love of God may be evident to them. Pray for your enemies right? Don't hate them, otherwise how different would you be to love those that are so easily loveable?

Thank God that in a world that may make no sense at times, He has built a support network to annul and eradicate those that are hell bent on choosing their own path and causing injustice to others along the way.

After finding out the identity of this feeble stalker who chose to stay anonymous, lets just say V stands for Victory.

Phew! Enough ranting and raving.

Be blessed in all you do, seeking good and not evil in all things.

Much love,

Miss Dramani


Monday, 23 May 2011

If There Is A God, Then Why?...

Once out evangelising, on a bright sunny day, a friend and I were talking to this man about Christianity and God and salvation. He asked, "Why if there is a God, that there is so much suffering...and bad things happening around the world?"

I asked if He blamed God for all the suffering in the world, he replied "Yes".

I asked if he had kids, he said "Yes".

I said: "If your child had cancer and lay in bed with tubes running out his body...and he blamed you...would that make sense?"

The man replied "no".

I said: "If your child were to become the worlds most hated figure such as say Hitler, who instilled so much hate and fear and mass destruction, and the taking of human lives to no avail, would you be to blame?" He replied "no".

Then I asked...."So why do you blame God for something, that if you were in the same situation would not be your fault...that you would have to take blame for?"

He said, "my child has not been well, actually for a while. And I want to be the best Father I can be."

"Your child may be asking you the same question" I said, "He may say 'Daddy, won't you help me?', and as you are unable to bring a solution, it would be fine for them to display hate and unbelief towards you...Go on then, why don't you intervene? Go make your child well"

He was silent. For a long time.

"It just doesn't make sense" he said.

Man so wants to be able to stand astute in being the maker of big machines, and all things wonderful, and aptly accessible, so if he can take that appraise, then let him, in the face of the hard times also take praise for that...

The same questions that he had to face were the same that we present to God, yet we forget He is the one with the whole world in His hands, regardless of whether it makes sense or not.

The man who had so many questions, on that bright sunny day, glory to God gave his life to Christ...

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Plain Jane: Part 2

It was early morning when Jane was awakened by screaming. She ran out of her room to see the commotion.

Her Stepmother was prancing back and forth across the living room floor as her two daughters flitted after her.

"It will be me!" One cried.

"No it will be me" The other proclaimed.

"What on earth is the matter?" Jane asked. "Who will be what?"

"You foolish girl" Her Stepmother replied. "You never knew much of anything. You are just an ugly thing who has no idea".

Her stepsisters ran over to her and grabbed her hands. "Plain Jane" They sang. "If you were not asleep you would have heard that the Prince has found the shoe of the one he danced with yesterday night. He wishes to find her. Whomever the shoe fits shall be the one he is to marry!".

"Oh!" Jane cried. "Oh goodness! I thought it had been a dream!"

"A dream?!" Her Stepmother cried. "What on earth are you talking about? What dream?"

Jane rubbed her eyes. She thought it had been a dream. She thought the night before had been a figment of her desperate imagination. She thought her imagination had lead her to a fairy tale dream. Yet now, she was awake, and the Prince was looking for her! The Prince was looking for the owner of the missing shoe! She had lost the shoe! She was the owner!

"I must try on the shoe!" Jane cried.

There was silence. A pin, if it had been dropped would have been heard. Jane's Stepmother and two stepsisters turned to look at her.

In unison they screeched and laughed and fell and rolled about on the floor holding their stomachs and slapping the ground.

"Ha ha ha!" they cried, tears rolled out from the corner of their eyes. "ha ha ha ha haaaa!".

Tears rolled down Jane's face.

"Am I that bad?" She cried. "Am I really?"

Her stepsister got up off the floor and ran for the mirror. "Look, dear Plain ugly Jane, look for yourself".

Jane stared at her reflection. Her face was distorted. Eyes too big, ears sticking out, chin too long, long gangly body.

"Are you that bad Jane?" Her Stepmother taunted. "What do you think after seeing yourself? Who would ever want you? Look at yourself? Go back to dreaming dear girl. You are nothing, and you will always be nothing!"

"But yesterday" Jane sobbed, pushing the mirror away, "I was beautiful, I was not who you say I am".

"Yesterday?" Her Stepmother exclaimed. "Yesterday?? Go back to dreaming my child. Yesterday you were still my silly little niece and that is who you will always be!"

"A good for nothing!" Her stepsisters cried. "Who gets nothing right. Mother, she didn't even buy any food yesterday, what will we offer the Prince when he comes?"

Jane remembered that she hadn't bought the daily supplies, as she felt a cold slap across her face from her Stepmother's hand.

"Now you will go and leave and go to the market and do what you were supposed to yesterday" Jane's Stepmother spat. "At least you will not be here to try on the shoe. Now Go!"

Jane ran back upstairs and got herself showered and dressed. She was surprised as she stumbled across an object on the floor before her. She picked up the tattered shoe that she has worn just yesterday. Absentmindedly she stuffed it in her bag then fled and left the house holding her swollen cheek in her hand, her face flooded with tears.

She ran and ran seemingly forever. She ran and ran and ran and felt a sweet release as her feet hit the floor below her with maximum impact and speed. She ran so fast that she did not see the car that swerved to miss her, but instead careened into her and hit her knocking her flat to the floor.


Jane wiped her eyes and tried to focus. She tried to sit up but her head was fuzzy and everything around her began to spin. She settled back down onto the soft downy pillow that offered comfort to her throbbing head.

''Just relax'' a voice spoke softly as a glass was lifted to her mouth for her to sip water.

''Where am I?'' Jane asked. Grateful for the cold cool liquid that soothed her throat. ''What is going on?''

She felt a hand smooth out her hair and pull the soft covers up to her chin.

''Just relax'' the soft voice said again, a soft and familiar voice. ''You are safe''.

Jane let her body relax as she sank back into the comfort of her surroundings.


''Do you think she will be OK?'' a voice asked. ''She took a pretty hard hit, I mean, thank God that she isn't dead''.

''She will be fine'' another voice replied. ''Nothing a little rest won't cure''.

"She's waking up'' another voice said softly as Jane stirred her head once again.

''Where am I ?'' She asked, as she slowly tried to focus her eyes before her. ''What happened?''

Jane slowly learned from the recollection of those around her that she had been hit by a car. She had been running blindly, tears staining her view that she had not seen the car that had pulled out in front of her. The car that had been driven by her newly found Parisian friend. A deja vu experience of their first encounter.

He had been on a mission to find the keeper of the missing shoe. He had been all round town, but the shoe simply did not fit any of the ladies that had a choice encounter to claim. He had almost shouted for joy even though the circumstances did not give for elation, that the exquisite girl that had danced with the Prince lay before him. There she lay, she was the one. How unfortunate to find her in this way, but what hope that the end would be good. His car had been in a rush to find the one, when out of nowhere the young girl had bolted out in front. He made haste to get her to the nearest hospital and have her tended to.

The Parisian had been all around looking for the girl with no name. A house he had visited in particular stood out in his mind. In it were two young girls of questionable appearance, with their warts and buck teeth as they guffawed gleefully at his presence. Their mother stood intimidating and menacing as she forced the shoe to fit. Both girls tried on the slipper, but their feet had been too big. Each argued inexplicably, pulling and tugging at the shoe until it eventually it flew out of their hands and smashed into tiny glass pieces.

The Parisian cried and wept as it was evident the Prince would no longer find his Belle after the unruly mishap. He was amazed that as he was driving back to the palace to break the bad news, this young exquisite and familiar beauty had crossed his path. He was enthralled that he could have caused her life to be taken from her, and upon impact, had carried her back to his car and off to the emergency room.

The Parisian stared at the Prince as he held Jane's hand and wiped her forehead.

''How now, will I prove and keep to my word, that the one whom the shoe shall fit will be mine?'' The Prince lamented.

He sat regal by Jane's side, as she fell in and out of consciousness. On the third day, Jane's eyes were able to focus. As she opened them, she was able to focus albeit with a squint. She stared at the man holding her hand who sat by her side. Why was he so sad, she wondered. What made him hold on to her hand with such tenderness.

''You are awake'' the Prince exclaimed. ''We have been waiting for you''. Jane stared at his familiar face as she began to remember and recollect her memory.

''I danced with you'' she whispered. ''You are the Prince, this I know now''.

''My Prince'' the Parisian spoke. ''You know we can do nothing. You are bound by your word. If there is no shoe for Ma Belle to try on, she can not be yours to claim". he said as he gently laid his hand upon the Prince's shoulder.

The Prince looked woeful as he buried his head in his hands.

"A shoe you say?" Jane whispered. "So it was not a dream".

"Ma Belle" The Parisian said "Pleaze do not exhort yourself with empty words, you must rest". His accent was stronger the more agitated he became.

"Empty words" Jane whispered, "Yes I am speaking empty words" She replied, resting back on her bed. She lay silent for a while as she tried to make sense of things. "My bag" She croaked, "Please bring me my bag".

The Parisian reached for the bag that had been with Jane when she had been knocked down. From within the bag, Jane pulled out an object and held it tightly in her hands.

"It was not empty words" she smiled slowly, "And it was not a dream". The Prince and his assistant looked as she slowly held up the worn and tattered shoe.

"I was so sure" the Parisian said as he looked disdainfully at the shoe Jane held. "She has the same look in her eyes. Let us go my Prince" He turned to leave.

"This may be what you are looking for" Jane said as a laugh escaped her. She could not help but laugh.

"Wait!" The Prince cried. "And I swore I would never forget that laugh!" He turned to stare at Jane.

"Please" Jane cried as they made a way to leave. "Please do me good and place this filthy shoe upon my foot".

The Prince and his assistant stared at her.

"You owe me that much" Jane said. The Prince took the worn out shoe from her hand and placed it upon her foot, surprised and taken aback that the moment he did so, the shoe turned into the beautiful glass slipper she had worn the day before.

"Ma Cherie!" The Parisian cried. "The shoe had to fit! And off course, it did!" He danced around the room elated.

The prince rushed to Jane's side and held her head in his hands, knowing at that moment that he had found what was always meant to be his....

Friday, 20 May 2011

That's Heaven To Me - Sam Cooke

I love the one that is called 'The Man and his Music' - Sam Cooke. He is one of the old soul singers that inspires me the most along with a few others. His mellow sound and touching words, unassuming, clean cut, direct and so full of so much insouciance, and at times melancholy with the ability to mix the two together. Pure genius.


That's Heaven To Me - Sam Cooke

(The things that I see as I walk along the street)
(That's heaven to me)

A little flower that blooms in May
A lovely sunset at the end of a day
Someone helping a stranger along the way
(That's heaven)
That's heaven to me

The feeling I have when I hear a touching prayer
It makes me know the Lord is somewhere
Even the birds flying around in the air
That's heaven to me

It doesn't have to be a miracle in order for me to see
I know the goodness of my
My Saviour is everywhere to me

Even the children playing in the street
Saying a friendly hello to everyone that they meet
Even the leaves blowing out
Blowing out
Blowing out
Blowing out on the trees

(That's heaven)
That's heaven to me

Not forgetting however just a few other favourites:

Twisting The Night Away
What A Wonderful World
Touch The Hem of His Garment
Only Sixteen
Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha
You Send Me
Change Is Gonna Come
Chain Gang
Sad Mood
Bring It On Home To Me
Having A Party
Win Your Love For Me

If you get the chance, chill, relax, and have a listen.


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Plain Jane: Part 1

He couldn't help but stare at her. She was breathtaking. Her face quickly scanned the crowd, she looked nervous as she hurried along. Her clothes were a mess, but he was captivated by her. She turned her head, as if sensing somebody was watching her. His eyes met hers as he lifted up his camera and took a picture. She weaved in and out of the crowd and just as quickly as she was there, she was gone.

''I need you to go out there and find me that girl'' He said once he was back at home and handed over the picture to his right hand man. ''My debut takes place tomorrow. Find this girl and make sure she is present.''

''You are odd!'' Jane stood with her head down as the woman in front of her screeched at her. ''You are simply quite a strange specimen.''

Jane stared at herself in the mirror. She turned from one angle to the next.

''Yes,'' She nodded in agreement. ''I am odd.''

She mopped the floor and swept the stairs, cleaned the kitchen and took out the rubbish. On her way back in closing the door a letter fell through the letter box, she reached to pick it up.

''Give me that you mongrel,'' The woman snatched the letter away. ''Your big eyes, you need to go and see the Doctor about them dear, maybe he can fix it.''

Jane stared at her eyes in the mirror. They seemed too far apart, and one was slightly bigger than the other, just slightly, enough for her to notice.

''Yes,'' she nodded in agreement. ''My eyes, they are too big.''

The woman read the letter and crooned as her two daughters clapped gleefully as they stood by her side.

"You have been cordially invited to the ball!'' The woman screeched as she read the letter and kissed her daughters. 'We've been waiting for this!'

''Am I invited too?'' Jane asked.

''Look at your eyebrows!'' The two daughters shrieked. ''They meet together in the middle. Off course not you!''

Jane stared in the mirror, and could only agree. Her eyebrows were bushy and set at a strange angle.

''And what is the matter with your cheekbones?'' The woman shrilled. ''Soon people will be telling me I neglect you.''

Jane turned and peered. Yes, her cheek bones were too high, giving the impression of one that ate too little.

"What is going on? The Wicked Witch meets Dumbo?'' The two girls swatted Jane across her head.

Her chin was pointed and her ears stuck out.

She took a step back and viewed her full profile. She squinted at the sight before her.

Her arms were too long almost as long her thin gangly legs and she was far too tall. Her dress was a dirty brown and the apron she wore was an off white. Her shoes had holes in them and her long blonde hair was tied up in a messy bun.

''I'm a disgrace'' was the words that escaped her lips.

Jane sighed as she finished washing the windows and got ready to go out to buy the daily food supplies.

"Hurry up and get yourselves prepared girls" The woman clapped her hands together as she addressed her daughters, "We don't have long, we've only just received the letter and the ball is tonight, goodness knows I've been waiting long enough for it! Come now, hurry along!"

''Bye Plain Jane!'' The two girls trilled as they ran off to get ready for the ball.

Jane stared at the long list her Step Mother had given her as she set off to the market.

Out and about, she noticed people were staring again. Eyes would look at her, women seemed to sneer. It was always the same.

She walked quickly, her head down, not wanting to meet the stares of others. She tried to smooth out her worn out clothes.

''Am I that bad?'' Jane thought. People staring, whispers behind gloved hands.

A man had even taken a picture of her yesterday, no doubt he was enthralled by her ugliness. After all her Stepmother and two step sisters constantly reminded her of what she was everyday.

''I need to hide away.'' Jane cried out as she ran into in alley forgetting about buying the food supplies. The short cut would take her back home quickly.

She was surprised when she heard the screeching of car tyres and was stopped by a long sleek black car that suddenly swerved in front of her blocking her way. The doors opened and out climbed a man with a regal stance, his words rapid, falling over each other.

"Ma Belle". The man spoke out in a strong Parisian accent. He held a photo in his hands as he clapped them together in excitement.

''You are exquisite,'' He breathed. ''You are ze one! Your stature, so tall and aristocratic" He took her hand and twirled her around.

"Sorry, I-I think you have the wrong person" Jane stammered. He couldn't possibly be talking about her.

''Non, mon amie, it iz you. Your eyes, so perfectly set apart, yes, yes, a mystery I see there" He stared deeply.

''Your cheekbones, so highly defined, your chin, set to perfection" The strange man pinched her chin. "I see why he is so intrigued.'' He took a step back.

"Who? Jane replied, "What's going on?" she stammered.

''Ma cherie'' he said ''Please, come wiz me''

She stared at him. Was he mad? Was he out of his mind?

"Please let me go" Jane snatched her hand away. "I cannot speak to strangers, I have to go".

''Ma belle'' The man with the picture sighed his shoulders lifted and fell in exaggeration.

''You do not see what I see?'' He seemed confused.

Jane stared back. Her eyes were afraid.

''Please do no not be afraid Ma Belle"' He saw the look in her eyes. "Please take this, it delights me to give you one''.

Jane stared at the invitation.

''The Ball?'' She asked. ''An invitation for me? Yes, my family are getting ready for this right now as we speak. I, however, was not invited.''

The man with the picture stared at her.

''Vaat!?'' He screeched. ''Everyone is invited! And above all you Ma Cherie''. He clicked his hands and immediately his assistants came climbing from the car.

Jane was spun and twirled and turned and measured from head to toe. Swirls and swirls of ivory material spun around her as she blew her hair out of her eye, as she was made to impress adorned in an exquisite Yves St Laurent design.

''Now you are ready Ma Cherie" Her new found friend cried.

'Now we must go' He said.

"Go where?" Jane cried, taken aback by the strange happenings that were taking place.

The Parisian man clicked his fingers and there she stood at the front doors of the Royal palace.

''Oh My!" Jane gasped. Her eyes had never seen such splendour. "I am at the ball?" She asked as she slowly walked in. "My eyes,'' she cried, ''and my chin, and my legs. I am all wrong. I am not one to be here!''

Her new friend clicked his tongue and gently pushed her forward.

''Silence, and stop the nonsense talk. Look over there" he pointed. Jane turned to see her reflection in the glass walls that adorned the palace. She gasped. She looked incredible. Her dress was of an ivory satin mixed with lace. Upon her head was a tiara and her hands wore long ivory gloves. On her shoes were perfectly fitted glass slippers.

She stared back at the reflection that could not possibly have been her.

"Why, all the mirrors at home" she stammered, "they make me look awful. How can this be me?"

"There is nothing, Ma belle" The man said tapping her softly on the nose "that a little hair and makeup cannot fix. Your beauty iz natural anyway, I did not have to do much".

He pushed her further on as he pointed to a man dressed in fine attire who stood staring at her amongst a crowd of beautifully dressed people.

"Go, he is waiting for you. Be sure to be back out here by 12 midnight" Her new friend whispered in her ear. "The car will be waiting for you outside".

"Please wait!" Jane cried out to him, but he had disappeared. She stood at the top of a majestic set of stairs covered in a deep red plush covering. She was aware that eyes were staring at her, as people whispered behind their hands as they watched her walk slowly down the stairs.

What on earth am I doing here, Jane thought to herself. Surely, off course, this must be a dream.

She stood face to face with the handsome young man who had been staring at her since she walked in. His face seemed familiar.

She muttered, and stumbled and turned to run away, but the one finely clothed held her in his grasp.

"I have seen you in the crowds" he whispered. "I was taken by your beauty. I even took your picture. It was at my request that you be here".

'Yes! It was you!' Jane exclaimed. 'I remember...the man with the camera." She thought of the picture her Parisian friend had been holding and that man that had taken the picture just yesterday in the market.

"You are a Prince?" Jane asked.

He laughed. "You do not know? Everyone knows".

Jane smiled, embarrassed and shook her head.

"Relax". The Prince smiled as he held her in his arms.

They danced, they twirled, she smiled, he smiled. People moved out of their way as the Prince lead Jane around the ball room.

"If this is a dream, I wish I may never wake up" she laughed.

"This is not a dream" The Prince replied. He looked at her knowing he would never forget her laugh.

She was startled to hear the chime of the Palace clock as it struck midnight.

''Oh, I must go!'' Jane cried. ''I lost track of time!''. She pulled away from the prince and turned and ran. She ran and ran, weaving through the crowd.

''I must hurry!'' She sobbed.

She tripped and stumbled as her shoe fell off. She did not even try to reach for it, she knew there was no time. She did not see the Prince run after, only to be left standing holding her shoe in his hand.

''Ma Cherie'' Her Parisian friend smiled at Jane as she ran inside the waiting car. ''You are just in time''. Jane looked down at her dirty brown dress and off white apron that now replaced her beautiful ivory dress. She touched her hair, to find the tiara gone and her hair back in it's usual messy bun.The car drove off and dropped her back at the alley exactly where she had been met.


Jane was in bed as her Stepmother and Stepsisters waltzed in. Her heart was racing. It hadn't taken her long to run the short distance from the alley back home.

''The ball was amazing'' One stepsister said. ''But who was that thing that dared to dance with the Prince in that way?''

"Yes how dare she!'' their Mother replied. "Ugly good for nothing, and the way she just ran off suddenly, you would have thought she had an appointment with death!".

"Mother" the youngest daughter replied. "You know she was not ugly. She was the beautifulest woman at the ball!".

"You dare to contradict me?!" Her mother yelled. "Not one of you even got close enough to dance with the Prince, what chance would you have now? Instead you stood sniveling and giggling like little feeble school girls the moment he passed by as you let someone else take what belongs to you!"

"Mother, we're sorry" they both replied.

"Enough!" She cut them off. "Just get to bed!"


"You fool!" The Prince cried to his assistant.

''How could you have met with the one I was seeking after, yet you never found out her name or where she lives?"

"I am sorry Sir" His Parisian right hand man bowed his head low. "I made a big miztake".

"Indeed you did" The Prince replied sharply, aggravated and frustrated. "But I have a plan.'' he said as he held a glass slipper in his hand. ''I know what will lead me back to my true maiden. Here is what we will do...."