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The Bewitched Soul 20 Invitation and The Dress

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As Christmas was near, people started to decorate their houses. Slowly, the whole town was embellished with Christmas lights. The snow piled up on the roofs and streets... giving a Christmas look to the whole town. Some sang Christmas carols while dancing... children chased each other holding bags of colorful candies. Some stood in front of the candy store waiting for their turn... the shopkeeper known as 'The Candyman' happily distributed candies to children. The ding-a-ling bells could be heard at the background. There was a merry cherry cheesecake vibe in the town. It was like a mini pre-celebration.

Like every year, the natives waited for the royal invitation. The inhabitants were invited to the castle for a brief meeting with the Lord.

After a while, a team of horses marched towards the middle of the town. People rushed towards the carriage. As the door opened, a councilman in his well-fitted attire stepped down the carriage and adjusted his bow tie.

"Good evening all. As we all know Christmas is just two days after... the King, Lord Alexander has invited the inhabitants to the Brookville castle tomorrow on the eve of Christmas. Looking forward to meeting you all. Thank you" he gracefully walked towards the carriage and stepped into it after the announcement. With one kick to the side of the horses, the coachmen started moving and slowly the carriage disappeared from the sight. People started to talk among themselves and seemed very excited about the meeting.

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The moon shined brightly in the cloudless sky... it looked like a disc of silver as it showered the town with her silvery light. The ponds, lakes giggled under the moonlight. The cold breeze dashed against the whispering trees. The dew in the garden glittered like pearls. It looked like the luminescence painted the whole town silver.

Meanwhile, Margaret sat in front of her bedroom's window and captured the scenic view to her heart's content. The moonlight enlightened the dark room... her skin glowed against the soft rays. Her doe-like eyes gave off a very innocent and vulnerable look. She looked like an angel.

Hearing the knocks, she returned to her senses and walked towards the door. As she opened, she saw her father holding a rolled paper tied with a golden ribbon in his hand. Their eyes met and an evil smile appeared on Corbette's face. She knew what his smile meant.

"No! I won't" rolling her eyes, she frowned.

"Ahh... how did you know about this!"

"Well, it has become a tradition for you to come on this day every year with a rolled paper in your hand which is, of course, is an invitation!" glaring at her father, she turned around and started walking. "You know I can't go father... when will you understand? I don't want to create a fuss about it."

"May I know the reason Margaret? Why do you always say no to royal parties? You don't like them?" he patted her shoulder gently.

"It's not the reason father... I'm not fit to attend such lavish parties. I'm hardly considered your family. If it wasn't you, I would still have remained an orphan", a bitter smile appeared on her beautiful face.

"You should spend a happy time with your family. I don't want to ruin mother's and sister Caroline's mood... We can have Christmas cake and dance together after you all return!"

"I'm not asking you, Margaret... it's my order and that's final", his voice showed no sign of accepting a no from her. "You're a part of the Mathews... we all are invited for a party tomorrow. Lord himself will attend the party. It will be disrespectful if I don't bring my whole family to the party. Get yourself a dr---- Oh yes! wait a minute..." he rushed out of the room.

After a while, he came back... but this time he had a big wrapped box in his hand.

Margaret raised an eyebrow as she scanned the box.

"I've bought a dress for you. Try it and let me know if it fits you well.", he handed the box... waiting for her to unwrap.

She carefully opened the box. She choked.

It was a beautiful pink gown. She was taken aback by the beauty of the dress.

"This must be costly" a low soft murmuring could be heard.

"Haha! Isn't it beautiful?" Corbette was carried away by the fact that she cared more about the cost than the beauty of the dress. She had always worn simple dresses and never demanded for such costly ones. He felt like he could have spoiled her more.

"It-It's beautiful... father" her eyes still fixed at the gown.

"Get ready sharp at five in the evening." he smiled and turned to leave.

"Good night father... and thank you for the dress." a charming smile appeared on her face.

He suddenly stopped and turned sideways and smiled,

"Good night Margaret."
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