Cinderella: The Other Way Around


Once upon a time, oh whatever!
“44 likes!” Anastasia, my stepsister, exclaims bubbling with excitement. She looks at me with her beady little eyes; her plump round face is expectant. She expects me to be impressed or something. I have a 4-digit friend list do you think I’d be interested? I give her a quick, tiny smile and advise her to scroll down.

I lay back in the thick bed of hay in the stables, my long blond hair is hanging loose, and the sun is warm on my cheeks. Fatty Anastasia gasps, “Oh, Cinderella!” I assume her eyes have landed where I wanted them to. Sleeping Beauty had uploaded a picture of the weekend sleepover of our mean girls’ gang. Her, Snow White, Bella and I make the perfect group. Anastasia looks longingly at the picture with a pout forming on her face. I remind her to get back to washing the horse.

Daddy darling popped his clogs a few months ago. He is better off dead. This way I have all the property to myself. I can buy all the exquisite silks, glittering jewels and embellished pearls.

“Cinderella,” a small tiny, whiny voice interrupts my train of thoughts. I look up and find my other stepsister standing with a pleading look in her droopy eyes. She reeks of horse manure and sweat. Then I realize that’s what she was doing. Her crooked nose stands out. Drusilla is robust and broad; almost muscular. “Yes, Drusilla,” I reply in my kindest voice but with a frustrated undertone. She looks pathetic and ugh, that smell! I had asked her to clean the stables while Anastasia washed the horses.

You see tonight is the much-awaited royal ball where every maiden is invited so price charming can choose his beautiful bride. Hence, my horses need to look tidy and polished. So, when they pull my carriage to the Royal Palace, they can hold their head high, proud that they carry the prettiest girl in town.

Drusilla sighs and hesitates, carefully measuring her words before uttering them. I know what she wants. I say, “Oh, honey!” dragging the “ey” to make it sound as sweet as honey. “Why don’t you go fetch the bath oils and milk from the market to prepare your beloved sister’s bath?”

I head back to my room, the largest one in our humble home. Stepmother and her daughters are entirely comfy in our attic. Honestly, they never complain! Stepmother is on the sofa in our living room, delicately sipping her tea. I bet her elegant manners and slender physique had magnetized my dad towards her.

I fake a smile and go flying her way, hugging her and rocking her so violently in the act that her cup slips from her hand. “Oh, my!” We both say at the same time. An ugly brown stain is growing at her velvet overcoat. She had planned to lend this velvet vest to one of her ridiculous daughters. Mission accomplished! She is turning red in the face. I say, “Oh, I’m sorry. I was just feeling alone, I was missing mom, so I thought I could…” I stammer a little, but she says, entirely disappointed by her tone, “It’s okay, darling.” It seems like my apologetic face worked. Well, when does it not?