Once upon a time, in the far-away land of Winnipeg, there lived a young woman named Serena. She was easily one of the most beautiful young women anyone had ever seen, with her long, auburn hair, and the deepest, most striking green eyes. Life was quiet for Serena- almost boring, and she was relatively happy, yet she yearned for one thing…her eyesight. She’d been born blind. Hundreds of talent scouts and modeling agencies sought after Serena, but when each found out that she was blind, they turned away, disappointed, because she could never do real work for them.
Late one evening, Serena was walking through the park with Maiden, her seeing-eye dog, when heavy footsteps approached. Maiden made no sound as the voice started speaking to her. “Serena”, he said, “I have watched your tears night after night, and I desire to help you as no other can.” His gentle voice, full of compassion and love immediately caught Serena’s attention. She listened intently as he spoke of a far-off land, of magicians, and a magic greater than the imagination.
As Matthew revealed himself, Serena was enthralled to learn he’d been a magician’s apprentice to Livefotol. His master though, has been an evil man, and cast Matthew out when he’d been too kind-hearted. Although Matthew had learned a lot, he only had the power to perform one great magical feat, and with this power, he wanted to restore Serena’s sight. He gave Serena two choices; in exchange for her eyesight, she must marry him, or she could leave Matthew with her eyesight restored, in exchange for her beauty.
“I will leave you now, and give you time to think things over. Remember, though, that ‘all that glitters is not gold’.” With those words, he was gone as quickly as he had appeared.
As the months went by, Serena thought often of Matthew, wondering when he would return. During that time, a great Hollywood producer had stumbled upon Serena, and wanted to make her a big star. He promised Serena everything, if only she could receive her sight. She wanted to be famous as much as she wanted her eyesight back. With hope and trepidation, she asked him to return after she’d met with Matthew.
Once more Matthew entered her life, bringing the promise of eyesight and happiness. “Are you ready?” he asked Serena. “Once I perform my spell, there is no going back.” Eagerly, Serena followed him to the park. Anticipation beat in her heart as she realized that soon, she’d see the one who was giving her a chance for all her dreams to come true .
Matthew’s chants and foul-smelling potion was all Serena remembered until the mist cleared. As it did, so did her sight. Things became less blurry, and standing before her was the ugliest, most deformed dwarf ever to walk the earth. Her gasp of astonishment and the look of horror and revulsion made Matthew turn in shame. Quietly, he spoke. “At one time, I was the most sought after, most eligible young bachelor around, but when my teacher sent me away, he cursed me. I too have two choices. Either I can help someone in exchange for their beauty, or I can relieve my loneliness by marrying the one who I help. It’s up to you. You need not marry me, but you will walk away with a body such as mine, carrying the same disfigurements.”
In an instant, Serena grabbed his hand. She knew with disfigurement, no producer would want her. Musing to herself, she thought perhaps being blind wouldn’t have been so bad after all. “Let’s go find a Justice of the Peace” she said…
Note: Originally published in the University of Winnipeg's Journalism Textbook while a student of Rhetoric 1A and 1B. 1989.