In a small English town in the late eighteen century, lived a joyful teenager girl named Grace. She and her mother lived in a small shoe shop they inherited from Grace’s grandfather. The business wasn’t prosperous, but that seemed not to bother the small family.
Grace was a eighteen year old with golden blond hair. She had blue eyes and a smile that made your troubles disappear. She always looked tired in the mornings and people used to call her sleepyhead. When going to downtown, Grace was always accompanied by her little dog, ducky.
Grace dressed like all the other town girls with the exception of her shiny green ballet slippers. There wasn’t a single day she wore a different pair of shoes. No matter if she played all day long or if it was muddy, the green slippers always looked spotless.
The whole town loved Grace. It was common seeing her at the downtown market at noon buying groceries for her mother. Although they were poor, Grace always managed getting extra food from the merchants by performing tiptoe dancing for them. Grace danced like a professional and she always did it happily.
Every time people asked why she always wore dancing slippers, she said it was a gift from her Grandfather. When someone asked where she learned to dance like that, she answered her slippers were magic. When People heard her fantastic respond they smiled back or caressed her hair.
However not all was happiness. In the town lived an orphan girl about Grace’s age named Annie. The girl didn’t sleep on the streets, but at the local church. She had long straight purple hair done into a waist long braid. Annie’s left eye was always covered by her hair.
Annie observed Grace from far when she performed for the merchants. Grace dancing skills and happiness was something she wanted. She usually spied Grace hid in the dark alley at the other side of the street. During night at the church, Annie plotted against the joyful girl.
‘The green slippers must be magical. No girl can dance like she does.’ Annie pondered. One day, Grace’s mom volunteered helping raising funds for the church. The volunteers had to travel for two days to nearby towns for donations. When Annie learned about Grace’s mother, she insisted not going.
That night, Annie went to the small shoe shop. She forced a window with a large knife she took from the church’s kitchen and entered. In silence, she sneaked looking for the dancing girl. Then she found a room lit apparently by candle light. The door was half opened and she peeked in.
Inside the room was Grace. She was dancing alone while ducky slept in a corner. Grace slippers shined like two bright candles as she danced grandiose. Annie couldn’t understand why Grace was dancing although it was past midnight. Finally she sneered and entered the room with the knife on her hand.
“Hey! Who are you and what are you doing here!” Grace asked surprised, but she didn’t stop dancing. “I knew it, Miss joyful feet! Now I want your magic slippers.” Annie told Grace who hadn’t stopped. “Stop dancing and give them to me!”
“I can’t stop… Not until sunrise.” Grace replies. “Grandpa warned never to touch these magic slippers, but I disobeyed him and I got trapped.”
Ducky woke up and started barking at the intruder. The small white dog approached Annie, but the jealous girl picked him up after biting her leg. Annie orders again Grace to surrender the beautiful slippers to her. “Please don’t hurt, ducky! I would gladly give them to you, but they are attached to my legs!” Grace said worried to the explosive teenager.
Annie threw Ducky away and the white fur dog went hiding bellow the bed. She then jumped over Grace grasping the knife in her hand. With an insane look, she stared at Grace as the curse girl moved her legs lying down on the floor. “I hate how you make everyone happy. I will skin off the slippers from your legs and all will admire me. The magic slippers will be mine and I’ll be the best dancer of this place!” Annie stated as she raised the sharp blade over her head.
Grace remained freeze in fright as she looked at the knife pointing at her. Annie grabbed one of Grace’s feet with her free hand. Then the slipper jumped off Grace’s foot and engulfed Annie’s hand. As the laces wrapped on Annie’s forearm, the other slipper jumped to her other arm making her drop the knife. Annie stood up as she looked terrified at her trapped hands. The slippers started glowing and moving by themselves. They changed from bright green to ruby red. Then the magic red slippers made her stand on her palms and started dancing.
“Make them stop! I beg you! TAKE THEM OFF!” Annie implored in panic. “I… I can’t… I’m sorry.” Grace said feeling bad for Annie.
Annie jumped out the window breaking it. She headed to the forest dancing upside-down as she shouted desperate for help. That was the last time anyone saw Annie in town.
The next afternoon Grace’s mother and the rest of the congregation returned. She was very happy to find her daughter was free from the curse. She hugged Grace for a long while as she cried of joy. Grace was also very happy for all, but she couldn’t stop feeling bad for Annie. Grace continued entertaining the downtown merchants as she always did. Unfortunately, without the magic slippers, she couldn’t dance as beautiful as she used to do.
As days passed by, Grace discovered something positive from being cursed to dance every night until sunrise. All that dancing became hours of practice for her. Those five years Grace was cursed gave her an important improvement in her dancing skills, enough to be admitted a year later at the Royal Academy of Dancing.
About Annie, no one was really sure what happened to her, but for some years a legend grew about mysterious cries heard inside the forest. Cries of desperation and sorrow imploring for help every single night.