The Wicked Kingdom-byjlorthia|
This is a revamped story from my previous username "newfavorite" I changed this one a lot. There is a lot of buildup to this story, in the end the predominant theme is humiliation and revenge, there is very little sex. I have already started on a sequel, but I don't know if this story necessitates it.
***I: Two Lovers In Rags***
Into the Wicked Kingdom we arrive. It exists in no special time or place, it is like our world, but it is not our world. Caught between a fairytale and harsh reality, between feudalism and modernity. In this Kingdom, a system exists that benefits the cruelest and the most ambitious, the most sadistic and the most cunning. Perhaps this system helped produce the great art and architecture, and the great prosperity of a few. For certainly this Kingdom was full of riches. Yet the Kingdom had a shadow of poverty, persecution and cruelty that reached into every orifice and crevasse of its land. Kings and Queens, royalty and servants, reformers and faithful had all come forward with aims to change the Kingdom and they had all been swallowed whole.
Two young lovers in rags lay on their backs in a bed of hay, the barn that they laid down in was dark and dusty. They were supposed to be sleeping, but every night they would sneak out of the servant's quarters to embrace, then discuss their lives. Ella was formerly a master in the manor, a member of the family. Yet she had since fallen upon ill fortune and was forced to into servitude by her stepfamily. Pippin was a lifelong servant of the manor, his ancestors had worked for the manor generations ago. The Kingdom they lived in worked on a complex set of rules involving birthright. If one was born a servant, he or she had no rights or freedom, not even the right to leave the property they were born on. Pippin was born on the manor as a servant and expected he would die on the manor as a servant.
Ella was educated in the classics by a private tutor at the expense of her now deceased father, who when alive was a prominent noble. Ella from an early age took a liking to Pippin and gave him her books when she was done with them. Pippin took to them well and inspired Ella with his ability to creatively apply his learned knowledge to the real world. Pippin was forever in debt to Ella for her kindness to him and others, both people had a deep appreciation for each other. They spoke softly to avoid detection.
"How is a woman to raise her position in this world?" Ella spoke to Pippin.
"By marriage, of course, this is the only way, a woman cannot hold a position, in the government, in the church or as a merchant, so she must rule through a man in the background," Pippin replied.
"Exactly, this is what my stepfamily has been doing, My stepmother married my father when he was in ill-health, knowing of his impending death so that she could improve her status. I cannot blame her for this. Fiona, her first born has usurped me and now wants to betroth herself to whoever will give her the highest status. My mother and my father are dead, I being but a daughter was not given rights to my father's inheritance and through my stepfamily's cunning manipulation, they have taken all that was rightfully mine." Ella had tears welling up in her eyes.
"I can't conceive of how distraught you must be?" Pippin reached over to hug Ella, Ella batted his hand away and staring directly at him spoke with conviction.
"Do not comfort me. All my life I believed myself to somehow through birthright be better than the servants on the manor. I even thought myself better than you Pippin. Why? Through some magic? There is no difference between the nobility and the common people, and no difference between the royal family and the nobility. Philosophers have written this of course, but people don't believe it, they in their hearts believe they are superior simply due to birthright. I believed it, with all my heart I believed it, I believed that I had some right that you didn't have, that I deserved for no meritorious reason a life of luxury at the expense of the common people's toil. So Pippin do not comfort me, for I am wicked!"
"You do not deserve this Ella? You are right when you say there is no difference between the classes, yet you have never shown in your actions any single ounce of malice towards the servants in this house. You are our greatest ally. We all looked forward to the day when you married and were able to take over with whomever you chose to marry, you would make life better for us. If it weren't for you I would have no happiness in my bones."
"I want to marry you, Pippin! This all happened for a reason, I've loved you my whole life I'd rather live in servitude to my wicked stepfamily than marry the prince. I am sure destiny brought us together."
Pippin sternly looked back and said with conviction, "I love you, Ella! But we cannot marry, you must have your status reinstated. There are bigger destinies than love. You are keen and convincing, these ideas of a more free and just society for women and men of all classes that we talk about daily, they must take hold. I cannot help you do this. You must marry an important man, you must influence him to change our world. You cannot let this destiny be usurped. For my family and for everyone in my class, you must help this world be a better place. This is no life being born a servant with no chance for anything else. Our children would be servants and our grandchildren. I am not acting as the other people of my class and bringing in more fodder for the nobility to abuse! If we are to marry it would have to be a childless marriage."
"What can I do! I have been beaten, outwitted and now I am sure Fiona will marry the prince, she is beautiful and cunning, she walks and talks like a princess, even a queen, she is destined for the throne."
"She is beautiful and cunning, yes, she does have the demeanor of a royal. You are more beautiful and more cunning, however, you can act in whatever role is needed for you to act. You cannot lose spirit!"
Just as Pippin finished speaking a light from a lantern shown on the two lovers. It was Harriett, a kind but stern old servant, she spoke in a low whisper as the lovers cowered in her lantern light.
"Get to bed, you'll be beaten if they find you here at this hour!"
Ella and Pippin gathered themselves up and carefully walked back to the servants quarters where they slept unorganized on the dirt floor under ragged blankets. As Ella went to sleep she began to think of what Pippin was saying. She did love Pippin, but he was right, to truly honor him would be to bring greater freedom to the servant class. Like most nights Ella couldn't sleep, thoughts of the past few months and years swirled in her head. Outwardly, even to Pippin she didn't let on her true emotions be seen. The reality was that a boiling rage festered in her being. Ella didn't know what to do with her anger, she was taught her whole life to never outwardly show the world this emotion, yet it continued building night after night. Ella feared someday she would break and turn into a cruel and twisted person just like her tormentors.
II: The Evil Stepsisters
Ella's stepmother was a beautiful older woman, part of the lower rung of nobility. Her original husband had passed years before she met Ella's father. Ella's stepmother was kind to her at first, praising her and claiming to be in awe of her charms and talents. This irked her birth daughters who treated their mother poorly, demanding much of her and insulting her for practically no reason. Ella didn't like her stepmother's spoiled children but she saw the deep love her stepmother had for them and was always polite to them out of respect for her stepmother.
Ella was supportive of her father's marriage... at first. She was happy her ailing father had someone to give him comfort. Ella's mother had died giving birth to what would have been Ella's brother who also died in childbirth. Despite the initial grief, Ella, and her father grew a great bond together and lived happily in the manor. After Ella's father died, Ella's stepmother became more distant. Ella had no one to share her grief with and worst of all Ella's stepsisters became ever more sadistic.
Fiona was the oldest sibling, she was tall, beautiful and filled with spite. Her younger sister Millie was shorter. She was pudgy but attractive and completely spoiled. It was Millie who started with the insistence that Ella had no place in the manor.
"Under the law, my mother owns this place, you aren't her birth daughter! GET OUT!" She would taunt Ella.
It was Fiona however that pursued the matter with her mother, using her excellent skills at persuasion to argue the finer points of the matter. Ella would hear hushed conversations between her stepmother and Fiona. "She has no rights under the law, why can't I become the first daughter of the manor?" Fiona would say with a hint of childish indignation in her tone. Fiona was technically correct, the head son or daughter was the primary individual on the manor will. Ella didn't worry about her stepmother changing the manor will, however, she foolishly believed her stepmother loved her father and would respect his written will. Yet after months of insistence Ella was finally confronted by her stepfamily. Ella was still, to this day upset about the conversation. It was true Ella had no rights to the manor if written out of the will, and that her stepfamily had the power to write her out. Ella's stepmother had inherited everything as was the custom of the land and had control of the manor in every way. Whoever controls the manor had a right to bequeath the next successor. The first son or first daughter was by law unless seen as unfit given the title of successor. With a single signature, the owner of the manor could disinherit whomever they chose. Ella was in shock when her stepmother actually made Fiona the first daughter and rightful inheritor of the manor. Ella stormed off as tears rolled down her cheeks meanwhile Fiona and Millie jumped up and down with delight. Ella heard the immature Millie give her a raspberry as she ran back to her room. Ella's legacy was disappearing.
Ella watched as Fiona, who was almost Ella's exact age went off to University to become educated while Ella was forced to stay at the manor with her obnoxious younger stepsister Millie. University for women was a great privilege, becoming educated was, of course, useful, but there were zero careers of importance that a woman could have in the Kingdom, instead it was a place where elite women found wealthy young suitors. Only the upper echelons of society could afford university and it was considered the best way for a rich noblewoman to find a rich nobleman to marry. Fiona, however, was unimpressed by her many suitors at University, none was good enough for her. Fiona was saving herself for the prince.
Despite losing inheritance to the manor Ella was still a noble and her stepmother let her know that she would still receive money if she should die. Ella now mostly locked herself in her room, only leaving to go to the bathroom, eat or occasionally talk to Pippin. Ella burned with rage as Fiona and Millie taunted her talking loudly outside her door about, how Ella had been disinherited. Matters became worse for Ella when her stepmother succumbed to some unknown illness that left her bedridden and so weak that she was nearly mute. Fiona began to use the only asset that Ella had, her remaining inheritance to force Ella to do housework like a servant. Threatening to force her mother's signature to turn her portion of the will over to Fiona and Millie.
One day Ella woke from her sleep to find all of her fine clothing confiscated, and in her dresser instead were servant rags. Finally, Ella snapped, she put on the rags and stormed out of her room and confronted Fiona directly.
"What is the meaning of this!" Ella screamed. Fiona smirked and replied in a calm and collected but catty voice.
"Ella, you've never worked a day in your life." The truth of these words stung Ella and made her even angrier.
"I know the truth hurts!" Fiona said with a smile before continuing, "Millie, mother and I all agree that since soon you'll be on your own with only a little inheritance, you have to start pulling your weight around here. You will most likely not be able to marry into a manor of this size with so many servants, you're going to need to learn to cook and clean like a common wife."
Indignantly Ella screamed "Never! Give me back my clothes."
"I ordered the servants to do away with your dresses, you mustn't get them dirty when you clean."
Ella clinched her fists, not knowing what else to do she charged at Fiona. Fiona easily grabbed both of Ella's arms and pushed Ella away. Ella had never fought before and didn't know the first thing about fighting. Humiliated Ella could do nothing but fall to the ground and weep.
Millie at that moment walked in with several servants including Pippin following her. Fiona told Millie and the servants to come over to her. Fiona looked at the servants and said, "Look, Ella, is crying because she has to live your life for what will amount to a few months. Weeping like a baby! This woman has no fortitude and this is why she is not fit to be the head successor anymore. Please train her in your ways."
As Ella cried she realized that indeed she was crying because she did not want to temporarily live the life of a servant. The closest person to her in her life was Pippin, he had lived his whole life toiling for her, yet she couldn't pay her pittance and live his life temporarily. Ella felt shame, although she knew Fiona was evil, she also recognized some truth to her words, this brought Ella great shame.
Later that night Ella confided with Pippin that she was going to live the life of a servant in exchange for her inheritance, she would do so with dignity and without complaint. Pippin felt great empathy for Ella but explained that Ella would have a greater understanding of the world due to her new occupation and that they would see more of each other. This was indeed a silver lining.
Through the next weeks, Ella's stepsisters were her bane and Pippin was her savior. As a love blossomed with Pippin hatred increased toward her stepsisters. Ella found that the servants respected her and her father and did not respect Ella's stepfamily. The respect for Ella amongst the servants grew stronger when Ella quickly learned the various tasks and performed them well without complaint. Inside the manor, however, it was a different story. Ella was frequently humiliated by both Millie and Fiona. Ella was forced to massage Millie's feet. Fiona watched and berated Ella as she cleaned the dirtiest recesses of the manor. At one point Ella was forced to be used as a footrest while Millie sat on a chair and cooled herself off with a paper fan. Worst of all Fiona would force Ella to look up at her so that Fiona could spit on her face. Ella could not understand where the sister's utter disdain for her was coming from. Ella wondered what she did wrong and why she was being punished so severely.
Ella tried to keep this information from Pippin. Pippin would be overcome with anger over this knowledge and she did not want him to fret. The conversation did come up, with Pippin asking Ella why her stepsisters hated her so much. Ella believed that jealousy was the key component. Ella was the kind of woman that Fiona and Millie wanted to be. Ella was born into a higher class of nobility than both the step-sisters. Amongst the nobility's different ranks was never-ending gossip, envy and what amounted to idolization. Millie and Fiona were consumed with the idea of royalty and nobility, constantly comparing themselves to others and commenting on the look of dresses and how handsome and powerful the different men of high birth were. Inside they must have felt like Ella was naturally superior to them, it must have eaten them up inside.
Although both Ella and Fiona were both beautiful, and Ella was at least equally beautiful compared to her two step-sisters. Fiona especially was not used to meeting a woman that was her equal in looks and Ella was threatening to her. Fiona was tall, she ate sparsely and exercised to keep her body thin and toned, she had a shapely figure with nice round medium sized breasts. Fiona had glistening blond hair cut to medium length, she made sure to wash it every day and she knew many trendy ways to style her hair. Fiona's face could best be described as beautiful yet haughty. Fiona meant her voice to come across with an air of refined confidence, yet she often came across as snobby and self-centered despite her best efforts not to. Fiona attempted to look as dignified and royal as possible in hopes of marrying into a position of great power. Ella would constantly catch Fiona making grand speeches in the mirror, pretending she was a person of high importance. Fiona's ego was inflated, to say the least.
Yet Fiona's worst quality, however, was her sadism, it wasn't just Ella she abused, but the servants as well. Even the manor dogs were not spared Fiona's sadism. Fiona would frequently kick the manor dogs in the ribs whenever they approached her, smiling as she did so. Ella wondered if Fiona just wanted power so that she could afford to be as cruel as possible.
Fiona's meticulous care of her body was in stark contrast to Millie. Millie was lazy and loved to dine on fine food, this made her have more body fat. Most of Millie's weight went into her very large buttocks. Her buttocks were not well proportioned to her breasts which were considerably small. To compensate for her small breasts Millie would often put tissues in her blouse. Millie's hair was straight and brown, she always wore her hair in the trendiest of hairstyles. It was Millie's greatest ambition to be a socialite and fashion icon.
Millie wasn't as picky about men as Fiona. While Fiona wanted nothing more than to gain the highest possible status and be wed into royalty, Millie as prone to flights of fancy, any handsome man around her age she swooned over. As Millie had her turn going to University, she couldn't resist the temptation to abstain completely from sex. Unlike Fiona, Millie had a few flings with various handsome university men. At the University Millie was feared and despised by both the students and the instructors, she used her position as a high ranking noble to bully students of lower social status, and she never took her studies seriously.
While Millie privately was quick to anger and temper tantrums, when she was in public she always fancied herself to be a very mature and refined woman. Millie would brag about her impeccable manners and etiquette. Although she was just over the age of 21 Millie prided herself as presenting as a much older and much more refined individual than she really was.
***III. Burning Down the House***
One day, Ella woke up in the early morning to a commotion amongst the servants. "Whats going on?" the groggy Ella said to a smiling Pippin. Pippin grabbed Ella by her shoulders slightly shaking her and said
"Now is your chance, the prince is having a ball to decide whom to marry, the most beautiful intelligent suitable and eligible maiden from the nobility. He will marry you! You are part of the nobility! You're beautiful, intelligent and wonderful!" Pippin grabbed Ella by the waist and spun her around.
Ella was flattered by Pippin's compliments but said as she was being spun, "What? How can I go to a ball? I have no dress."
"We will think of something, you will someday be queen!"
As Ella toiled through the day she thought of the ball. It was a tradition followed very occasionally on request of the crown prince. The last ball was many years ago and it was still talked about today. Whatever happened at the ball would make some woman very famous. In the last ball, a woman from the lower nobility was chosen and she ended up being one of the most celebrated queens in all of the kingdom's history.