Ivory ~ a rewrite of Snow White
Amongst the ritzy, high-class elite living in Malibu there was a housewife married to a wealthy producer. The housewife was very pretty and she also had a kind heart. One day while her husband was at the office, she was sewing some embroidery onto a white silk kerchief when she pricked her finger with the needle. She sighed as her blood stained the cloth and stared out the window thinking: “If only I had a little girl with hair as black as the thread, skin as soft and as white as this silk, and lips as red as blood…”
It just so happened that a few weeks later the woman learned she was pregnant. She carried her child to full-term, but complications arose and she died right after giving birth. Her strength allowed her enough time to hold her child, and whisper a name for her.
The newborn baby girl had curls of hair as black as ebony, lips as red as blood, and skin as white as ivory. Thus her mother named her: “Ivory”. With that utterance, the kind mother died. Her husband was devastated and mourned his wife for a year before he remarried. His new wife was as beautiful as the sun, but her beauty only ran skin deep as she was also very vain. She was known as one of the biggest film stars of the day and thus she always made sure she was informed on who was the most beautiful in the land. Her beauty consultant was number one on speed dial. Vain though she was, she had enough maternal instinct to hire a nanny to care for the child while she and her new husband lived the high life.
Time passed and Ivory grew more beautiful by the day. At the age of twelve she was named “most likely to be a model” in her seventh grade class. This small title made her stepmother slightly more aware of the child’s beauty and so she made sure to buy only thrift store goods or second-hand items for her. She also called her consulting agent more often.
“Truth of Beauty speak to me, who’s the fairest that you see?” she would ask.
“Surely true it must be, the fairest I can see is thee,” the agent would always answer.
For two more years the stepmother would get this reply, until Ivory turned fourteen. On Ivory’s thirteenth birthday, her father gave her a gold necklace with a heart pendant made of pink diamond.
“It was your mother’s, Ivory. She would have wanted you to have it.”
On Ivory’s fourteenth birthday her stepmother happened to call her consultant. Again as always she asked:
“Truth of Beauty speak to me, who’s the fairest that you see?”
“Surely true it must be, the fairest I see is Ivory,” her consultant replied.
Distraught with rage and envy the stepmother called her brother and demanded he come to the house at once. Hatching her plan slowly as she spoke to her brother, the stepmother decided she would give Ivory $100 and take her to the mall up the street. As she dropped off Ivory, she noticed the necklace Ivory had been given the previous year.
“Bye sweetie! Have fun!” said the stepmother and she tore off down the street screeching the wheels of the car as she went. She arrived home just minutes before her brother showed up.
“Hey sis! Nice digs!” her brother called out through the expansive home. “Nick you moron! Keep it down! The servants will hear you!” the stepmother hissed at her brother as she handed him a martini.
“Er, right…” Nick said taking the glass and munching the olive. “So what did you need?”
“I want you to get rid of my pesky stepdaughter. She’s always a problem and gets on my nerves. When you’ve disposed of her, bring me the heart necklace she wears around her neck as proof. I just dropped her off at the mall, you can find her there,” the stepmother commanded her brother.
“Er… right…will do,” he consented but gave his sister a strange look as he strolled out of the house.
“She’s flipped,” he thought to himself.
It wasn’t hard to find Ivory once he arrived at the mall. Even in second-hand clothes her pale beauty shone like the moon against the contrast of bleached-blond girls with their perfectly tanned bodies.
“Hello there Ivory,” Nick said as he walked up to her.
Startled, Ivory jumped back a pace and stared fearfully at the man before her.
“Wh-who are you?” Ivory asked.
“Well kid, I’m your uncle…er, step-uncle I guess…My name is Nick,” he stood there with a puzzled look and scratched his head. After a minute or so of puzzling he shrugged and went to take Ivory’s arm to lead her outside. Ivory backed away.
“What are you doing?” she asked him.
“Come on, I’ll treat you to ice cream or something. It’s your birthday right?” he explained. “Yes, but I’d just as soon spend my birthday alone than with a stranger who wants to treat me to ice cream,” Ivory replied. She looked ready to flee at the slightest start, getting her to come along would require finesse.
“Now surely my sister didn’t teach you to act that way,” he supplied.
The mention of her stepmother and the thought of being raised by her practically set Ivory off, but she remained calm. The only hint of anger was the strain in her voice.
“No. Your sister has taught me nothing but her indifference towards me through the years. Everything I have learned has been through the goodness of others,” Ivory finished.
“So who is to say I am not a nice person like the others?” he countered.
Ivory hesitated, then decided to concede and she left the mall with the man who claimed to be her uncle. He took her to the beach and bought her some ice cream which they ate on the boardwalk.
Feeling terrible about what his sister wanted him do to Ivory, Nick decided to tell her of the plot against her life.
“Ivory, it is true that my sister wants me to kill you,” he explained. Shocked that even her stepmother would go so far, Ivory started to cry.
“Shhh, don’t worry! I won’t kill you! Please stop crying, people will stare!” Nick begged. “Look, she wants me to bring her your necklace as proof that I’ve gotten rid of you. Just give me your necklace and run, get as far away from here as you can,” he bid her. Tearfully Ivory unclasped her mother’s necklace from around her neck, gave it a kiss and handed it to Nick. He took the necklace and gave her a concerned look.
“Do you have any money?” he asked.
“Only what she gave me this morning. How far will $100 get me?” Ivory asked.
Nick scratched his head and shrugged.
“Far enough I would guess…Tell you what, I’ll take you as far as Vegas. You can get a bus ride out of there to almost anywhere in the States alright?”
Ivory nodded gratefully though she feared what lay ahead. They rode along for several hours stopping only for food and the occasional bathroom run. It was almost evening when they reached Vegas. Nick pulled up to a casino and told Ivory to get out.
“I’m going to park the car, wait here for me I don’t want you getting lost in Vegas,” he said. Nick drove the car up the block and around the corner where he parked it on a side street. He locked the car and set the alarm before making his way back to Ivory. He came to her side and took her arm just as some pimps were eyeing her. When they saw Nick with her they turned their attentions elsewhere. Nick talked to Ivory as they walked to the nearest Greyhound station.
“I’ll make sure you get safely on a bus out of here. I can pay for your one-way fare. You’re going to be on your own after that. Be very careful Ivory, you’re very pretty and very young, and people these days don’t tend to think twice about taking advantage of that,” They arrived at the Greyhound station and Nick spoke to the lady at the desk as Ivory clung fearfully to his arm. She chanced a glance around the station and was immediately aware of people staring at her. Frightened, she closed her eyes and turned away from everyone else.
“Yes, a man named Jeremy Cruzcoe will pick her up at the Chicago station tomorrow at 11pm,” Nick explained to the lady. The lady handed him a ticket and smiled at Ivory.
“A big trip for a big girl!” she cooed.
Nick took Ivory away towards the waiting area and sat down in a vacant seat. He turned to her and handed her the ticket.
“This is a one-way pass to Chicago. You’re going to be traveling as an unaccompanied minor so there will be people watching out for you on the way alright? When you arrive in Chicago late tomorrow night you’re going to be picked up by my friend Jeremy. He was a friend from college and he’s been informed to pick you up so you don’t need to worry. The attendants know not to give you to anyone but him. He’ll have a photo ID on him so no one will trick you either,” Nick explained. He could see she was frightened and he brushed a stray hair out of her face with his hand.
“Don’t worry sweetie, my sister can’t hurt you as long as you stay hidden,” he told her and together they waited for the bus. When it arrived Nick gave Ivory a big hug and sent her on her way. Once on the bus Ivory found she was very tired from the day’s excitement so she slept half of the way to Chicago. When she woke up she simply looked out the window for the remainder of the trip. She had never imagined the diversity outside of her home in Malibu. As the bus entered the windy city Ivory grew frightened again. The buildings were all so tall and dark and the sun didn’t seem to shine as brightly here as it did back home. Ivory tried to pull herself together.
“Just because the buildings are big and dark, and the sun is hidden, doesn’t mean any of those things can hurt me. I’m sure the people here are just as nice as they were back home,” she thought to herself. Ivory put a smile on her face as she disembarked from the bus and went into the station. There were dozens of people milling around and another terrifying thought struck her: “How am I going to know who Jeremy is? How will he know me?!” Her eyes darted all around the place as someone touched her shoulder from behind. Startled, she let out a scream, as the person grasped her other shoulder and bent down to her eye level.
“Shhh, it’s ok, I know you’re scared. Don’t worry, I’ll watch out for you until you get picked up,” the escort told her. Ivory had completely forgotten about the escorts from the bus. Slightly reassured she glanced around again and found her name in bold on a sign held by a man who looked to be in his late thirties.
“That man is holding a sign with my name on it,” Ivory told the attendant as she pointed to the sign. The attendant smiled and nodded as she led Ivory over to the man.
“Are you Mister Jeremy Cruzcoe?” the attendant asked the man. The man smiled and nodded as he pulled out his wallet to show photo ID. The escort looked closely at the ID he had shown then she smiled.
“Thank you sir,” she said before looking down at Ivory. “This man is mister Cruzcoe. He’s going to take care of you now alright?” The escort smiled once more before giving Ivory’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze and returning to the bus. Ivory looked up at Mr. Cruzcoe who looked down at her.
“Hi there Ivory,” he said.
Ivory did not respond but instead averted her gaze from meeting his. Slightly uncomfortable with having to suddenly take care of this unknown child, Jeremy tried to break the ice.
“I’ll bet you’re hungry huh? That must have been a long bus ride you took, all the way from Nevada,” he said. Once again Ivory did not answer but her stomach rumbled in response.
“That settles it then! Let’s grab something to eat!” Jeremy said chuckling. He turned and led the way to his car as Ivory, with no other choice, tagged along behind. They drove to a nearby diner where they had a semi-satisfying dinner. Jeremy called Nick after dinner to let him know that he had picked up Ivory. Then he and Ivory left the main city and entered Evanston.
Back in California, Nick returned to his sister’s house.
“Everything is settled then?” she asked him. Nick held out the necklace to her as she snatched it out of his grasp. She snickered as she dialed her consultant. Waiting for the consultant to answer, she turned to Nick.
“Thanks. You can find your way out the way you came in,” she said as she turned to the phone. Nick scowled a little, turned, and left as quickly as he had come. He remembered to turn off his cell phone as he left so that his sister wouldn’t get in touch with him again.
“Truth of Beauty speak to me, who’s the fairest that you see?” the stepmother asked.
“Surely true it must be, the fairest I see is Ivory in the Windy City,” her consultant replied. Speechless, the stepmother figured that her brother had pulled one over on her and she dialed his number which went right to voicemail. After leaving him a particularly nasty message she began to plot again.
“I’ll put the necklace on the neck of some young girl and then the poor thing will have a fiery accident. That should take care of Ivory’s father,” she thought. “Now, why don’t I be the charitable type and support the needy starving artists in Chicago.” She flipped open her phone and looked up the actors in Chicago whom she had used on her way to the top.
“My wife and our five kids live out here in the suburbs,” Jeremy told Ivory.
Ivory stared out the window at the many different types of living establishments. She saw run down motels next to second-hand stores and then there were quaint little houses that eventually led to the gated communities farther out. Jeremy pulled into the driveway of one of these houses and parked the car.
“I know your trip was kind of sudden for everyone, so we’re going to need to get some clothes and things for you sometime soon. You may have to use some of my wife’s old clothes until then,” Jeremy said. He got out of the car and walked around to open the door for Ivory. Ivory stepped out and followed him as he led the way into the house. As they crossed the threshold Ivory heard the cries of several children yelling “Daddy’s home!”. The pitter-patter of little feet announced them as they tumbled down the stairs to see their father but all the feet stopped as soon as they caught sight of Ivory. Uncomfortable, Ivory refrained from looking at them and focused on her own feet instead. A little girl of about six came up to hug her father’s knees while never taking her eyes off Ivory.
“Who’s that girl Daddy? She’s really pretty!” she whispered.
“This is Ivory everyone. She’s going to be staying with us for a little while,” Jeremy explained as a woman carrying a toddler came into the room.
“Dear, Michael seems to be allergic to milk…” she started before she saw Ivory. Then the woman smiled and put the toddler down on the floor, who proceeded to cling to the hem of her skirt.
“You must be Ivory, right?” she asked.
Ivory looked up at the woman and nodded a little.
“Yes ma’am,” she said.
Jeremy looked down at Ivory.
“Well geez, that’s the first I’ve heard you speak all night,” he declared.
The woman smiled at Ivory and held out her hand in greeting.
“It’s nice to meet you. My name is Rebecca, I’m Jeremy’s wife,” she said.
Ivory stared for a moment at Rebecca’s outstretched hand before she grasped it in her own and shook it.
“It’s nice to meet you too. Thank you for taking me in on such short notice,” Ivory said.
“Of course! Don’t mention it!” Rebecca replied.
“I’m perfectly willing to help out around the house with whatever you need,” Ivory said. “Actually that would be great!” chimed in Jeremy. “You see, both Rebecca and I work full time while the kids are at school and Michael goes to day-care, so we don’t have the time or energy to keep up with the house the way we’d like to. If you could help out with dishes, laundry and various housekeeping chores, at least until we can get you enrolled in school here and have your files transferred from your old school, we’d be extremely grateful!” he told her.
“If you have my files transferred then my stepmother will be able to track where I am. I don’t mind foregoing school for a while if that’s what it’s going to take,” Ivory said.
“I really don’t agree with that idea dear. A girl your age should be in school,” proclaimed Rebecca.
“Yes well, we can all talk about this in the morning as I believe it is way past everyone’s bed time,” said Jeremy.
“Alright, but could you tell me everyone’s names please?” asked Ivory.
“Oh! Of course! I’m sorry about that! Kids, introduce yourselves please,” said Rebecca. The first to step forward was a boy who looked to be about ten.
“My name is Daniel,” he said. The girl clinging to Jeremy’s leg looked up at Ivory and spoke in a quiet voice.
“I’m Marie and I’m six,” she said as a second boy stepped forward.
“My name’s Joshua,” he said. A girl stepped up behind him and gave him a noogie as she flashed a grin to Ivory.
“Yeah, he’s the middle child ‘cause he’s only eight and I’m nine! Hee hee! I’m Taylor! Nice to meet you!”
Joshua tried to fight his sister off of his head but she had him in a headlock. The two continued to wrestle as Rebecca stepped forward with Michael.
“This little guy’s name is Michael. Say ‘hi’ Mikey!” she said while looking down at the toddler. The toddler only looked up at Ivory before disappearing behind Rebecca’s skirt.
“Alright everyone! Up to bed!” Jeremy said specifically towards Joshua and Taylor who were still playing. The kids let out moans and groans as they filed back up the stairs together. Jeremy looked back at Ivory.
“I’m sorry. It’s a bit late to give you a grand tour of the place, but I can show you your room,” he said. Ivory followed him up the stairs and around the corner to the guest room.
“You can stay in here ok? The bathroom is just through that door there,” he said as he pointed to another door on the side wall.
“Ok. Thank you so much for everything. Oh and how did you want me to address you and your wife?” Ivory asked. Jeremy smiled at her.
“You can just call us by our first names and thank you for asking. Goodnight Ivory, sleep well,” he said as he turned and left the room. Ivory stretched and yawned before falling onto the bed where she slept soundly the rest of the night.
Ivory awoke the next morning to Rebecca’s gentle nudging.
“Ivory, it’s eight o’ clock. Jeremy left and the kids are off at school. I’m about to go drop off Michael before I go to work. If you need anything there are phone numbers on the counter. When you get hungry there are some leftovers from last night in the Tupperware container on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Just heat them up for a couple of minutes in the microwave. I’m going to lock the door behind me when I leave. Be careful. Oh and the kids will start coming home at about three thirty,” she said as she turned to leave the room. “Oh and also, I’m sure you know this but don’t answer the phone or the door unless it’s one of us or someone from the daycare center. Feel free to look around the house and get acquainted with everything. I should be home by five to make dinner,” she continued as she went downstairs and helped Michael with his coat. Ivory climbed out of bed and followed them downstairs. Rebecca grabbed her coat and keys and took Michael’s hand as she turned to leave.
“Have a good day Ivory!” she said and she walked out the door. There was a click from the door and Ivory walked forward to check that it was locked. It was so she decided to take a look around the first floor. The first floor had a small kitchen area where the back door was, then a dining area and then there was a sitting area where the television was. Past that was the front door, the main staircase and a bookshelf. Ivory went over to the bookshelf and looked at a few titles. She selected “The Giver” and sat down in the chair next to the bookcase to read. The book engulfed her so much that she didn’t notice the time. The only thing that brought her back to the present was a knock at the door. Setting the book down she got up to open the door.
“Who is it?” she asked. “Clothes for sale! Pretty handmade corsets, skirts and blouses!” came the voice from the other side.
“Well, I do need some new clothes…” Ivory thought as she unlocked the door and stepped outside. A middle-aged woman in a bohemian dress held a basket of clothes in her arms. Clothes of all sorts were in the basket. Laces and silks, velvets and cottons. The lady held up a beautifully woven corset.
“This would look awfully pretty on you miss, why don’t you let me lace it up for you so you can see how it fits?” she said and without pausing for an answer she spun Ivory around and laced up the corset so tight that Ivory could not draw a breath. The woman hurried off as Ivory slowly sank to her knees on the doorstep. As her breath failed her, darkness crept at the edges of her vision and Ivory blacked out on the doorstep. A few houses down Daniel was getting off the bus and saw the middle aged woman hurrying away. As he was wondering who the woman was, he saw Ivory sink to the ground. He dropped his books and ran for the house, as he reached the doorstep Ivory blacked out. Daniel shook her shoulders and tried to get her to respond but it wasn’t working. Remembering his CPR training he checked to see if she was breathing which she was not. He thought quickly and noticed the corset tied too tightly to unknot. He dashed into the house, grabbed scissors from the kitchen and ran back out to Ivory. As he cut off the corset her chest expanded with air and she began to breathe again.
Back in California, Ivory’s stepmother called her consultant. “Truth of Beauty speak to me, who’s the fairest that you see?”
“Surely true it must be, the fairest I see is Ivory in the Windy City,” her consultant replied. As the stepmother’s French manicured nails dug into the phone she hung up on her consultant and called to reserve a flight to New Orleans.
“Mother told me to never use magic, but this can’t be helped! Ivory will die!” she fumed.
The entire family gathered around the table that night as they welcomed Ivory, though it was bittersweet considering the lecture that was sure to follow.
“We thank Our Lord for this meal and for gathering us here today, Amen” said Jeremy. The children echoed amen and began to eat. Dinner was rather silent that night and afterwards Jeremy called Ivory into the family room. The kids were sitting watching television so Rebecca got up and made them go upstairs saying Daddy had to speak to Ivory alone for a little while. Jeremy turned to Ivory once the kids were upstairs.
“Ivory, we’re not quite so much upset with you as we are disappointed. Rebecca told you not to answer the door didn’t she?” he questioned her. Ivory hung her head in response.
“That’s what I thought. Why did you open the door then?” he asked again.
“Well, I thought I would buy some new clothes from the lady seeing as I left all of mine at home,” she said. Jeremy sighed and shook his head.
“Let us worry about taking care of you alright? This isn’t only about your safety; it’s about the safety of the other members of this household as well. What if someone had come into the house off the street before the kids got home? Their safety would have been in jeopardy as well as your own,” Jeremy explained. Ivory began to cry she felt so bad. Jeremy leaned over and gave her a hug.
“Like I said, we’re not mad, just a little disappointed. Luckily everyone is fine, including you sweetheart, so just be more careful from now on okay?” he consoled her. Ivory nodded her head as she hugged him. She sat back and wiped away her tears with the back of her hand. The rest of that night was spent happily watching movies with the family.
Meanwhile in New Orleans, Ivory’s stepmother graced the presence of the doorway. She was a sparkling ray of sun against the dark voodoo magic of the small shop. Incense wafted around the room leaving a pungent odor. An old Creole woman shuffled forward clutching an apple that was laced with poison and ancient spells. The stepmother looked with disgust upon the old mystic and handed her a bag full of fresh hundreds. The Creole grinned and handed her the apple in return along with a wooden necklace explaining that when worn it would disguise her and she would appear as a kind old lady. With that the stepmother hastened from the shop back to her limo where she kicked back with a cocktail for the ride to the airport. By two o’ clock the next day she would be disembarking at the O’Hare Airport in Chicago Illinois.
The next day started the same as the previous for Ivory. Rebecca woke her saying everyone had left and she was about to be off as well. “If you want, I can do the laundry and dishes while everyone is gone,” offered Ivory. “Sure sweetie, that’d be great. The kids should have picked up their clothes and put them in the hamper but I’m not sure if they did or not,” Rebecca mused.
“It’s alright, I can straighten up their rooms if they need it,” Ivory said.
“You’re such a doll Ivory,” said Rebecca. She waved at the bottom of the stairs before taking Michael’s hand and leaving out the back door. Ivory went downstairs and made sure the door was locked before going back upstairs and collecting everyone’s clothes. The day was spent cleaning until about three o’ clock when she heard a knock at the door. Remembering the warning she had been given she kept on working hoping the knocking would stop. When the knocking persisted she decided she could at least tell whoever it was to go away. Ivory went to the door and unlocked the deadbolt, leaving the knob locked from the inside. She opened the door a crack and peered out.
“Can I help you?” She asked. An old lady stood at the door holding a basket of apples.
“Hello dearie. I noticed you just moved in with the Cruzcoe’s here and I thought I’d be a good neighbor and welcome you. My name is Emily I live in the house across the street. I have an apple tree out back that grows the most wonderful Melrose so I thought I’d bring you some as a gift!” said the lady.
“Thank you but I really shouldn’t take things from strangers,” said Ivory.
“Oh pish posh! I’m just a friendly neighbor, you don’t need to be so paranoid sweetie!” Emily said as she pushed the apples towards Ivory. Ivory caught a glimpse of one and saw it was the most luscious red color. It looked so tempting and delicious that she smiled and accepted the basket from the lady, thanked her and closed the door. As she turned away from the door with the basket she took a bite of the beautiful apple. She fell to the floor and could remember nothing after.
Daniel got home first as usual and found the door locked. He grabbed the key from under the railing and unlocked the door to find apples spilled at his feet and Ivory lying on the floor, apparently dead. As he had done previously, he checked to see if she was breathing, which of course she wasn’t, and then he tried to see why. When the answer was not immediately obvious to him he turned her on her side and ran to the phone. He dialed 911 and the operator said she would send someone right over. Half an hour later Jeremy came home to find an ambulance and a rather large crowd gathered in the driveway. He sprinted past the police lines and into the house. There were police who tried to detain him until he told them he was the father and head of the household. Then the police took him before a figure lying on the floor under a white sheet. Jeremy turned the same color as the sheet when he saw it.
“Dad!” cried out Daniel as he ran in tears into his father’s arms.
“Daniel! Are you alright?! What the hell happened?!?” Jeremy asked in shock.
“I don’t know she was like that when I got home!” Daniel answered. “Rigor mortis has not set in yet, so she died at most only an hour before your son got home Mr. Cruzcoe,” explained a medical examiner.
“Oh God…” Jeremy exclaimed. Utterly overwhelmed, he sank into a chair. “What do I do now?” he thought. He decided to wait for the rest of his family to return home before any decision was made. That night they decided to call Nick in California to ask his opinion. They all decided a small funeral and burial would be held for her in a church outside Chicago. Nick flew in to help with the arrangements and to attend what was sure to be a small mass. Ivory was placed in a glass coffin because her beauty had remained so intact that it merely looked as though she was sleeping. The funeral was open to anyone who wanted to attend and indeed a few unknown people did show up. After the ceremony everyone proceeded to the burial ground where a plot of land had been chosen and reserved for Ivory. The Cruzcoe family had decided to bury her with their relatives, for though she had only been with them a short time, they felt she was family. As her coffin was laid in preparation, several people who had been visiting the cemetery were drawn by the beauty of the girl in the glass coffin. Everyone was handed a rose, which they placed on the lid before the bearers began to lower Ivory into the ground. Strangely a support broke, jarring the coffin violently along with the body inside. The movement dislodged a piece of apple stuck in Ivory’s throat and she coughed, expelling it. She opened her eyes to the strange sight of being lowered into a grave. She cried and pounded against the lid which caught everyone’s attention. Some people screamed and ran away, other people helped remove the coffin from the grave and worked to let Ivory out. Still one more man, a handsome young man who had dreams of directing movies ran up to Ivory and took her hands.
“You madam have given me the most beautiful vision of a scene for a movie!” he said. “My name is Eric Klein I would be honored if you would consent to be the star of this film for me.”
Confused and in shock from being pulled from her own grave, Ivory blacked out, falling into the man’s arms. The Cruzcoes hurried forward to her aid and everyone went to the emergency room to get help for her. Ivory was determined to be fine and was discharged the next day. Five years later Eric’s dream came to pass and again he asked Ivory if she would star as the lead in his film. She consented and grew to become the biggest rising star of her time, while back on the West Coast her stepmother aged with her bitterness and rage which turned her old, ugly and wrinkled.