This piece is based loosely on the Italian fairy tale Catherine and Her Destiny. Melissa’s mother was given the choice in my tale and her choices affect how Melissa’s fate is determined. Melissa, however, learns how to take destiny into her own hands with a little magical assistance. Lovers of Jane Austen will also note that this is an imagining of Pride and Prejudice as a fairy tale.
The original fairy tale can be found here.
One day Destiny appeared to the daughter of a successful attorney. Destiny asked the maiden if she would rather be happy in her youth or in her old age. The girl, unable to envision herself as old, chose youth. Soon the maiden met a handsome, wealthy, landed gentleman who became enamored of her beauty and lively spirits. He begged for her hand in marriage, and they soon were wed, elevating her sphere in society. He carried her off to a fine estate in the country where they lived merrily and had many children.
One day, when the woman was about thirty, she was again brought to bed. After many hours of struggle, the mother was left weak and torn, and the babe, a large boy, was stillborn. The woman had never before experienced sorrow. She was mean of understanding, further having spent her youth in frivolous diversions she had little education and was unable to cope. She developed an uncertain temper and fancied herself with a nervous disposition.
But the sorrows had only just begun. Over the years the income of the estate began to steadily fall, disaster after disaster came to their lands. In her attempts to console herself she spent more than they could afford; even using up her daughters’ dowries, which would aid them in securing men of worth as husbands. One day her sons had been out visiting the tenants when a violent wind blew a tree into the tenant’s house, crushing it, killing them all. Eventually, her own husband withdrew his affection and only encountered her to tease and torment.
In a dreadful bitterness of spirit, the woman climbed to the top of the nearby Oakham Mount and cried out to Destiny. Destiny appeared and informed her that she would one day grant her a measure of peace through the marriages of her daughters. However, in return, one of her daughters would receive the mother’s destiny, happiness in youth but not in old age; and another would receive the opposite. The woman, thinking only of herself, chose her youngest to live out her destiny, and her least favorite daughter, the second eldest, to live out the opposite. She felt it would bring her comfort to witness the happiness of her youngest, and not vex her too dearly to witness her second eldest suffer.
The woman returned home and called the two daughters before her and explained her bargain with Destiny. The youngest, who was the image of her mother, exclaimed that it would be grand. She confidently and assertively declared that she would enjoy her youth, vowing she would be the first of all her sisters to marry. The second eldest, who was of superior intellect, listened carefully to what her mother had said and began to plot.
Destiny was true to her word. The youngest daughter was pampered and petted, receiving anything she wished. Tragedies and sorrows followed the second eldest. But Destiny had miscalculated, for the second daughter, Melissa, had a strength of spirit that did not allow her to remain unhappy for long. Destiny tried harder, and one day after having Melissa insulted by a wealthy, handsome lord, nearly succeeded.
The next morning Melissa traveled to the top of Oakham mount to confront Destiny. When she reached the summit she called out and Destiny appeared before her.
“Destiny, it has been several years now, do not make me continue to suffer for the choices of my mother. Please, please allow me to see some happy days.” Melissa humbly requested.
Destiny did not want to completely relent, but she was moved by the manner of Melissa’s request, which even in its simplicity was utterly charming. She decided on a compromise. She reached into her pocket and withdrew a magical book, which she handed to Melissa.
“I will not relent easily,” Destiny declared. “I will still send events to plague you, and I will cause confusion in your mind to hide the opportunities for happiness. However, I will give you a magic book to help. Read it, and it will show the way to find happiness.”
Melissa thanked Destiny. She noted the book was named Kismet before she placed it in her reticule. She descended Oakham Mount determined to read as soon as was possible.
The book was indeed magical, each time she opened it something new was written on the pages. Some days it held novels, others poetry, others philosophy, the possibilities were endless. On the day she went to an evening party at a neighbor’s home, where the arrogant lord was also in attendance, it was a collection of wise, old sayings. She read faithfully every day, searching for answers on controlling her own happiness, but found it contained none. Destiny still seemed in control. Melissa didn’t realize how what she read was not only increasing her knowledge but was influencing and shaping her conversations with others enhancing her already charming manners.
One day her beloved older sister fell ill at a neighboring estate. She went to nurse her sister and took the book with her. She even read it while spending an evening in the drawing room with her hosts. That night it contained the observations on the picturesque, which gave her some personal satisfaction when she was able to recall it in as a way to beg off a situation obviously meant to exclude her, saving face. Yet still nothing improved; the arrogant lord remained critical of her, leading to a few confrontations, which while disguised as playful banter in her opinion were rather factual and cutting. Her mother arrived to check on her sister’s health and vexed and embarrassed her with her display of nerves and ignorant statements. The ladies of the house, while maintaining a cold civility, attempted at every opportunity to show how inferior she, as lesser poor gentry, was to the lord and his connections and continued to look down upon her.
The days after she and her sister returned home she did not have a chance to read. Her foolish cousin came to visit and her mother was continuously demanding that she be in his company. During this time she met a charming, handsome militia officer who seemed much taken with her and she wondered if Destiny was tricking her about the book. The first good thing to happen to her was on a day she hadn’t read it! She vowed not to read again for several days. Therefore, Melissa did not read before attending a ball at the neighboring estate. However, on this day, nothing good happened. Her favorite militia officer did not attend, she was forced to dance with the arrogant lord, and her family, excepting her older sister, made an absolute spectacle of themselves.
The next day she carried the book with her, determined to see if it would tell her how to find her happiness. She hadn’t yet opened it when at breakfast her cousin demanded a private audience and proposed marriage in a most insulting manner! She refused. When her mother found out she abused her dreadfully and ran to her husband to force Melissa’s acceptance. In desperation, Melissa pulled out the book and read while her mother was in with her father. To her surprise, it only contained three words “I have, Sir.” She used these exact words when her father called her into the study to discuss the marriage proposal. To her relief, he did not make her marry her cousin.
Melissa, in her agitation over the events, did not realize she had spoken the words from the book. Therefore, she did not read the next day. Her sister received a note that her beau had left the country! When Melissa did again read the book, she discovered her favorite militia officer had transferred his attentions to a young heiress. Angry at Destiny having tricked her, she hid the book away in a drawer, convinced of its uselessness.
Over the next few months, she only opened the book twice, because at times it really did have interesting reading. On the first day, her Aunt and Uncle invited her on a pleasure trip. On the second, a friend she had quarreled with came to invite her to visit her new home in another country at Eastertide. Nonetheless, after that day, the book sat in the drawer for several weeks, where she found it while packing for her trip. On a whim, she decided to bring it with her.
A few weeks into her visit, she became bored and took out the book to entertain herself. That day the hateful lord who had insulted her came into the country and even went as far as to call upon her. Irritated, she didn’t read it again for a week, when once again she was compelled by boredom. She read it on the days they were entertained at the nearby great manor where the hateful, arrogant lord was residing. She read it on the days she only walked in the park, often encountering the arrogant lord. She did not read it the morning a colonel gave her knowledge of the arrogant lord’s role in interfering with her sister’s romance with his friend. That night the arrogant, hateful lord shocked her by offering an even more insulting marriage proposal than the first she had received. She abused him verbally while she rejected him, despite his elevated status and great wealth. She was flabbergasted that he loved her, for she was sure he always looked at her with disdain. After the emotional encounter, she read the book in order to calm her mind for sleep.
The next morning the arrogant lord gave her a letter. As she read it she remembered how Destiny had told her that she would be plagued with unhappiness due to her own mind. Oh, how blind she had been! Her vanity due to being insulted had led her to a prejudice against the lord which shaped her opinion of their interactions. She realized that Kismet had been leading her to happiness with the handsome lord, and she had seen only Destiny’s tricks. She vowed that she would read the book daily from now on. Destiny knew that she could no longer fool Melissa into doubting the book’s power. However, Destiny was not yet willing to surrender. She still had some control over events.
Melissa never again failed to read the book every day. Destiny and Kismet continued to battle over Melissa’s happiness. Destiny felt she scored a victory over shortening Melissa’s pleasure trip, but Kismet only smiled and set the destination to the handsome lord’s country. Destiny countered by arranging for the handsome lord to be away, so Kismet had the lord’s steward send him a letter urging him home early. Angered, Destiny pulled her nastiest trick yet, combining Melissa’s fate with that of her youngest sister, and arranging for her to scandalously elope with the handsome man’s enemy, the same deceitfully charming militia officer that once captured Melissa’s attention. They resided together yet unmarried. This would ruin her family’s reputation, and ensure that they would be shunned by all society.
Destiny was proud of her genius. She could keep the mother to the original bargain, as this scandal would ensure that none of her daughters would ever marry. This would also keep Melissa at home with her vexing mother, ensuring she would be unhappy until her old age. Destiny was smug and decided she had earned a rest.
Kismet did not relent, she worked constantly to allow Melissa happiness, including allowing the handsome lord to hide the scandal and ensure Melissa’s sister’s marriage to the reprehensible militia officer, and that the marriage was in all ways respectable in the eyes of the society. When Destiny realized this, she caused the handsome lord to doubt Melissa’s regard. Kismet countered by arranging the betrothal of the eldest sister to the handsome lord’s friend, guaranteeing Melissa would always be thrown in his path. Destiny retaliated by spreading a rumor to the handsome man’s aunt. Surely, thought Destiny, he will give up all hope in the light of his family’s displeasure in the match. Enraged, the aunt traveled to Melissa’s country to confront her.
That morning Melissa had read a story in her book that gave her confidence in a way that emboldened her spirit and sharpened her mind. When the Aunt arrived, Melissa did not relent to her arguments and countered them admirably and intelligently. She would not promise to refuse to marry the handsome lord and had even praised him by saying that any wife of his would have no cause to repine.
Angered, the Aunt immediately went to the handsome lord, and complained about Melissa, giving the full details, including Melissa’s audacity to praise him, as if she were his equal. The handsome lord listened attentively and began to feel hope that just maybe Melissa did have high regard for him now. The revelations spurred him to return to Melissa’s country and see if he could observe this regard himself.
The handsome lord did return to Melissa. After some timid encounters with each other, one morning they set out on a walk towards Oakham Mount. During this walk, they finally became engaged to be married. They continued walking once they had settled upon their future, absorbed each other’s company, and soon were at the top of Oakham Mount, where Destiny appeared to Melissa.
“Melissa,” said Destiny. “As you have found happiness in your youth, I am no longer your destiny, for it is now determined that you will live happily ever after.”
And she did.
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed my retelling of a fairy tale and a beloved novel. I haven’t included a fictional story in my posts in quite a while, and it was always something that I had intended to do. However, I do always talk about the clothes. But this will be a rather long blog post if I do my usual in-depth discussion of them. Once again I will be providing an annotated style card with all the details.
Hair: Posh Pixels “Julieen hair” -NEW at The Free Dove. This comes with the fantasy hud, but it comes out of the box in this black to auburn fade which I chose not to change, and is not on the hud, so if you do change it you cannot go back to this color. You’ll need the Free Dove group to get this gift, but the group is FREE to join.
Eyelashes: ATIA’s “Plume” in Swag Bag –FREE!
Eyelashes and Eyeliner tattoo: Blacklace Beauty “Eyelashes and liner 1” – 99L (fatpack)
Jewelry: Beloved Jewelry. Each piece, earrings, bracelets, choker, necklace, bento ring, and forehead tiara are sold separately for 50L at the Inspiration SL event. In this set is a texture change script for 33 Gemstone Choices (Two Stone Variations Change Separately), 12 Pearl Colors, & 12 Metal Options.
Lipstick: ATIA’s “Peach Lamme Semi-Frost Lips by ATIA’s” in Swag Bag –FREE!
Dress: Spyralle (Park Place Store) “Spyralle Owl Moon Gown – March” -30L through Friday March 23rd, as part of the 30 Linden Saturday Sale, after which it goes back to 200L. There are quite a few different color combinations of the Owl Moon Dress available at Spyralle, they are on the upper level of the Park Place store, and all gorgeous!
Boots: Have Unequal “Julianne Thigh High Boots White Wool”
Body: Slink Hourglass
Sim: Harshlands Mainstore That’s right it’s a store…all in that fantastic sim, all organically placed for sale as you explore. Don’t miss this one!
Sim #2 (chaise shot only) Skybox scene at $60L Plus Rentals
Hair: Exile “Exile::You Send Me”
Skin: Glam Affair “-Glam Affair – Ellie Skin – Nostalgia Blue – Artic G”
Headpeice: Spyralle “Spyralle Eagle of the Snows Headpiece”
Gown: “Spyralle Owl Moon Gown – Dark of the Moon”
Eyebrows: [LAKSHMI]Fia-Lelutka Mesh Head Applier
Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Egyptian Blue (M)
Body: Maitreya Lara
The Arrogant, Hateful, Handsome Lord
Skin: Oceans Design “Devon – dark tan”
Hair: Calico Hair “Jay”