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    Cinderella's Dressing Room
    Mindy Wood
    A troubled teen walks into a high end department store with dreams for her future. The classy sales clerk can't help but notice the young woman's poverty and need for guidance; but can two women, so opposite, find a way into each others' hearts? This inspirational short story will take you into the

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    book excerpt

    Grace hurried to the ladies' department and grabbed a champagne colored, sleeveless, long dress of flowing chiffon. With its heart shaped bodice, beaded with silver and pearl and tightly stitched bodice, it shimmered and moved with regal elegance as Grace escorted the gown to the junior department. She handed it to Rennie and waited for her to come out. Rennie moved to the mirror with a grin. Grace watched Rennie's shining, hopeful countenance suddenly darken in disbelief and her eyes plunge to the floor. Grace winced and silently prayed for wisdom.

    “What's the matter, Rennie? Don't you like it?” Rennie couldn’t force herself to again behold the foreign image in the mirror as if someone had clothed her in shame instead of beauty.

    “It's just not me.”

    “I think it is,” she smiled tenderly. To her amazement tears gathered in the girl's eyes. Grace moved to face her and almost without thinking said, “What is and what can be are two different things. Did you ever see the movie Cinderella?” Rennie nodded and sniffed. “You remember the scene when Cinderella’s fairy Godmother turns her rags into that beautiful, shining gown? Well, if you ask me, I always thought her reaction to the dress wasn’t very realistic. I mean, if you or I had grown up in rags and been abused by those who were supposed to love and care for us, I think it would feel very strange to suddenly be dressed like a princess and be expected to act like one at a ball.” Tears began to run down Rennie’s cheeks but she said nothing and looked away. “But Cinderella didn’t give her past another thought as if she always knew she was a princess and she reached for her dream.”

    “Yeah,” Rennie looked up at Grace and wiped her eyes with her hands.

    “You might feel strange dressed like a princess but that doesn’t mean you weren’t born to be one. You can't forget the past or the scars it might leave on your heart, Rennie. But you can overcome the past and become who you were always meant to be....
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