Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction
I'm Sorry, CinderellaWhen Cinderella returns from her ever-so-pleasant life back home, everybody treats her differently.
Perhaps it's the slight skip in her step, or the way her smug eyes demand obedience from everybody she passes. From a third-person's point of view, she's the most arrogant creature they'd ever set eyes on. They wouldn't know the back-story behind all her death-glares.
There's the baker who gave her one less loaf of bread, and accused her of faking it. A lady who once pushed in front of her when Cinderella searched for a new mop, or that horrible old man who'd purposely trip the wretched girl simply because she was weak.
Now, the power dominated every step. People cowered, frightened as the prince shot cold-stares to all villagers. He'd heard many stories of pain, betrayal and pure monstrosity from these commoners.
"I want them all to die," hisses Cinderella under her breath.
The prince turned to her, alarmed. Never had he seen the optimistic, hard-working girl anything less of happy. Yet, there was a dangerous glint in her eye as she shot a fake smile to another shopkeeper -Maria, the prince remembered her as; the woman who charged Cinderella extra for a bottle of milk.
"You don't have to be here, love," whispers the prince. "We can leave anytime you want."
This seems to relax Cinderella's tense shoulders. Just a little bit, though. "Okay. But there's just one more place I need to go to."
Her pacing increased rapidly, as she thudded through the paved lanes and trafficked streets. Cars stopped merely to let the girl in highly expensive clothes pass. The clothes truly did make a difference. Cinderella didn't want such showy and tacky clothing, but she needed to prove a point to the villagers -a point her old rags wouldn't support. She was happy now. No longer would any of their previous attempts to crush her spirit affect her any longer.
The prince stood awkwardly next to Cinderella as she tapped on a door. He recognised the house immediately. This was the last house he visited before finally finding her, his princess.
"It's me, mother."
The door opened at once, as the step-mother eyed Cinderella with surprise. "You're back."
"Don't flatter yourself; there's no way in hell I'm staying."
With those words hanging in the air, Cinderella pushes past her stepmother and sits comfortably in the lounge. It was the expensive sofa -the one her stepmother never allowed her to sit in, for she believed Cinderella's "dirty soul" would pollute the beautiful piece of furniture. With her purse on the glass table, Cinderella did everything but tear the sofa into pieces. It was her revenge; her final farewell, full of dark hatred.
"It... it was nice to see you again, Cinderella," she whispers, before heading up the stairs and closing the door.
Now that the stepmother didn't watch Cinderella's victory, there was no point in staying. With a confused prince by her side, Cinderella walks halfway down the road before realising she forgot her purse.
With gritted teeth, she says to her husband, "I have to go back. I left my stupid purse there."
"Okay. Take your time."
Taking her time was something Cinderella definitely didn't do. Racing through footpath, she arrived in front of the door puffing. She entered without knocking. Just as she was about to retrieve her purse and dash, she heard a faint sound. A familiar sound, for she used to consume herself in this noise.
Taking slow steps up the wooden stairs, she creaked the door open. The stepmother's head jolts up, her eyes blotched with red and a new puffy texture added. Licking her dry lips, the woman does everything in power to not show weakness in front of this girl. The girl she bullied, tortured, ruined for she herself was brought up on ignorance and neglect by her mother.
Only now, when she sees the girl truly happy, does the stepmother realise how wrong she'd been. Letting somebody else be happy isn't an option; it's a given right. A right she took away from Cinderella without a second glance.
Perhaps Cinderella could read her mind, because the princess doesn't slam the door in her face. Nor does she yell out, "Grow up!" like the stepmother had everytime her stepdaughter wept.
With slow, hesitant steps, the girl kneels and touches her stepmother's wrist gently.
The stepmother can't bear it any further.
Somewhere between an endless series of tears, she swallows her pride and chokes out, "I'm sorry."
Cinderella could never forgive this woman.
But she no longer hated her.
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