“Yes, and not one less! You are 87, do you think the young king will marry you if he sees you? I don’t care if it is already midnight!” Implacable. Francine could only describe her sister in that way, and that was always a surprise, given she was the older of the three. Clementine, did plan all of this since the beginning and had no intention to let it go. “Come on, sisters, no quarrels! That idea of the handkerchief on the ground hook him up as you planned, Clementine, and that fake finger he saw through the lock did the rest. He’s in love with you, Francine, or at least with his idea of you”, Elisabeth was always the one keeping them focused, that was an innate gift she had.
She was right, there was no need to worry further and Clementine was right, they could not afford showing her true face until after the wedding: those seven veils had to be ready before the event, and there were only 20 hours to go.
The main event was now over, the young king was pushing to see his bride, but the sisters were firm: “not before the first night, and the lights will stay off!” Clementine and Elisabeth kept repeating that as a mantra. “Ok, ok”, said the young man, but he had other plans and the candle he was hiding would have done the trick.
Once in their bedroom, the king lit up the candle and saw Francine for the first time. “Betrayal! An ugly old lady!” He felt ashamed and the rage started boiling inside him. He grabbed that witch and threw her out of the window. “Justice is done!”, he thought and went to bed.
Francine’s nightgown got stuck somewhere, saving her from crashing on the ground, but she was now nailed mid-air. A couple of fairies saw the scene and where rolling on the floor, laughing. After mocking her for a while, the gifted her with youth, beauty, and a loving husband.
The morning rose, and the king woke up. Opening the window, he saw a beautiful young lady in the garden, he was astonished, “How did I mistake her for an old lady???”. He was now running downstairs, declaiming his love and asking for forgiveness.
Clementine saw the sister and could not believe to her eyes. “How… how did you do it?”, she asked with a broken voice. “I asked a carpenter to plane me!”, Francine replied laughing.
Clementine went to the nearby village and paid a woodworker to the same. She died in agony while Elisabeth disappeared and no one ever saw her again.
Based on “The three old ladies”, an old folk tale from Venice.