"Positioning is everything," Mrs. Gottenmuter had advised HindaElla. "You have to stand out from all the rest." Thus they arrived after all the others.
Standing at the top of the stairs leading down into the ballroom HindaElla took a quick glance around. What she saw was a sea of black, pure unrelieved black. Not a single girl in the kingdom had chosen a gown of any other color. Oh, the cuts of the gowns were a bit different, and maybe the trim, but pretty much every girl looked just like all the others. Mrs. Gottenmuter gave HindaElla a "See I told you" look and then stepped to the side as HindaElla began her descent down the stairs.
The whispers started almost immediately. The girls were none too pleased at what they saw coming down towards them, but were unanimous in their belief that the girl gliding down the stairs so gracefully was no competition. "Doesn't she know what the rules about dressing for a ball are?" was heard frequently. Most turned around from the shameful picture they believed HindaElla presented. Not so the men at the ball, but it has ever been thus.
To a man they stood and gazed with rapt attention at the vision coming down the stairs. Yes, a true lady, from the top of her beautifully coiffed hair to the tips of her shining shoes. But oh what a lady! The ringlets of her hair, held back only by a perfectly placed red rose bud over each ear, cascaded down her back, swaying gently with each step she took. Rose-tinted lips half-smiled under blue eyes artfully enhanced to look like twin sapphires. Her gown, a masterful creation of pure white and ruby red, molded to perfection the gifts that nature had so clearly bestowed upon her. From one delicate wrist dangled a fan of finely carved ivory, suspended from the wrist with a chord of woven diamonds. The other hand held up the skirt of her gown just enough so that she would not trip going down the stairs, and just enough so that the light from the chandeliers illuminated her beautiful crystal shoes and the daintiness of her ankles.
As HindaElla reached the bottom of the stairs there was a mad rush on the part of the gentlemen to get to her side. A cacophony of voices was heard clamoring "May I have this dance?" But HindaElla merely smiled and waved them off with her fan.
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