By: Madison Welsted/Editor-in-Chief
Birds were chirping as rays of sunshine began to creep through the window. It was another typical day for Cinderella, or Cindy, as everyone else had come to know her by. She could never get those birds to shut their beaks and stop interrupting her beauty sleep, just as the mice never quit their scurrying. For servants, they were useless. Any food the mice could make was probably contaminated with some kind of rodent disease, and the birds were no better. Any time the birds cleaned the laundry, they left millions of wrinkles in her favorite dresses. However, Cindy made do with the workers she had, since she had no time for the chores and mundane daily tasks. She had real work to do.
When her father left her all alone with no mother, Cindy had to learn how to fend for herself. Of course, there weren’t many jobs available on the market for a girl so young, but there was one that suited her. So, Cinderella became a street-worker, and was no longer a helpless (or innocent) young girl. That’s when she became Cindy. It was catchier, and more attractive according to the men. With time, she had grown to enjoy her occupation; it was freeing and lively, and she loved adorning herself with confidence.
However, her freedom was cut short after a business transaction with the wrong person. The drunken man she was with on this night was in terrible shape, and Cindy was worried that the risk of her job was going to take its toll on her. And it did, but not in the way that she had expected. The cruel man dragged her back to his home, only to leave her there in the dust and drive off.
As it turned out, the man had a wife and two daughters, who were appalled by the entire scene.
“Who are you?” one of the daughters, Anastasia, questioned.
Cindy gave no reply, as she wanted nothing to do with these women.
“Oh, poor girl,” the mother sympathized, “Here, let me get you some new clothes. You can stay here as long as you need. Don’t worry, my husband won’t be coming back.”
Ever since that day, Cindy had felt stuck in that dreaded house. The family wouldn’t let her leave the house for good, despite her relentless pleading. They were not rescuing her from a broken life, because she was proud of making it on her own. She didn’t want their help, but they threatened to alert authorities if she didn’t stay with them. Not that it would make a difference, but now that she was in the foster care system, she didn’t want to end up in an even worse house.
But Cindy couldn’t stop doing what she loved. She continued her night work, even though it wasn’t necessary anymore. Her “family” did not approve of this, and were a constant barrier between Cindy and her intentions. Slowly, but surely, the mother became patronizing and her daughters followed. This left Cindy in charge of housework, because, as her caretakers mocked, “It suited the low-life that she had become.”
Of course, that’s where Cindy’s personal servants came in. She couldn’t bear to wash another dish, and she couldn’t stand the belittling life she was living every day. One night, she broke down in tears as she was so upset with the world around her. Little did she know, Cindy’s tears were much more powerful than an ordinary person’s.
A mass of blinding, bright light illuminated the space around Cindy as one of her tears fell to the ground. When the light faded, Cindy could see the figure of a stout women dressed in a lavender cloak. Cindy was appalled by her gray hair and elderly figure, and was petrified by the amount of wrinkles visible on the woman’s scaly skin.
“I am your Fairy Godmother,” the woman whispered, “And I can see you’re in pain. I can grant you one wish, if you would like.”
Cindy was in disbelief, as any sensible young woman would be in such a situation. But the reward was intriguing, so she followed along.
“Oh yes, what can you do for me? Could you give me some servants to take care of all this housework?” Cindy replied, becoming excited now that she could imagine her freedom nearing.
“Of course, dear. I can help you with that.” The mysterious woman answered.
“Wait, isn’t there some kind of a price? What’s the catch?” Cindy questioned as she wanted to remain the sensible young woman she thought she was.
The motherly woman was quick to respond, “Only a small price, child. You shall grow old, like me.”
Cindy laughed at the prospect, “So I get a reward, for the price of living and growing old just as everyone else? Ha. Some catch,” she thought.
“I can live with that, set me free!” Cindy shouted.
And with her spell, the fairy godmother vanished without another word.
In a rush of confusion, Cindy walked to the sink to finish her task. Just as she did so, a creature scurried across her hand and she let out a shriek. The entire kitchen was filled with mice and birds. As she looked closely, she noticed they were gathering cleaning supplies and finishing up the dishes for her.
“Well, that’s not what I expected,” Cindy muttered.
Although she despised the small creatures and had higher expectations for her servants, Cindy never questioned it. Ever since then, she had been living with the mice and birds as her helpers.
Cindy had to start getting ready for the big event in town that day. There was to be a ball, with plenty of people in royalty attending. If Cindy could make it in, that meant very successful business. First off, she needed to touch up her gown, handmade specifically for this night. However, Cindy’s face displayed a horrific expression at the sight of her once beautiful dress.
“Who could have done such a thing!” she cried. Then, she looked down and taped on the ripped shreds of fabric was a note:
“You are a disgrace. -Anastasia and Drizella, your loving sisters.”
Her gown was torn to pieces, and it was the one gift she had actually appreciated from her servants. Upset as she was, she had to act fast. She didn’t have time to deal with her evil “family.” She needed the assistance of her servants, because they were the only ones ever willing to help her.
Sure enough, the mice and birds worked quickly to fashion a new dress out of the old one. Fluttering and scurrying about, Cindy was fascinated by their ability to design and create. While they worked, Cindy began caking on her makeup and curling her hair. Despite the setback, she was going to persevere and have a great night. Less fabric was actually an advantage for her goals at the ball.
Since Cindy was so accustomed to the streets, she didn’t mind walking to the palace in which the ball was going to be held. She wasn’t worried about being accepted in without invitation either, because she knew the doorman personally.
As Cindy made her entrance, she caught the eyes of almost every guest. While their bodies were covered with long gowns and dress pants, Cindy’s legs were quite exposed. The main attraction at this event was supposed to be the Prince, but as soon as he noticed Cindy, his eyes were glued.
While she despised the formality of royalty, Cindy knew she had a big opportunity awaiting with so much attention from the Prince. So she prepared to play along.
“Good evening, my lady,” the Prince said as he eagerly approached Cindy.
“Good evening, sir,” she replied as endearingly as she possibly could.
“I beg your pardon, but I need to ask. Would you like to dance somewhere more private, away from the noise of all these guests?”
“I couldn’t say no to such a charming offer,” Cindy said as she held hands with the Prince in order to follow him up the stairs.
Needless to say, Cindy convinced the Prince into making a night out of the encounter. She didn’t even mention her means of income, leaving the Prince clueless as to her true intentions. When she went to leave, the Prince begged Cindy to stay.
“I’m sorry, but it’s already midnight. And we’re done here anyway. So, I’ll have my pay and get out of here, please,” Cindy asserted.
“Here, madam, here’s what’s in my pocket. You can take anything you desire. All the money to my name, jewelry, dresses, you name it. But please, take my hand and agree to one thing,” The Prince pleaded as he knelt down.
“What’s that?” Cindy questioned.
“What?! I’m getting out of here,” Cindy yelled as she chucked her high heel at the Prince’s face and made a run for it. She made sure to clutch on to the stack of cash.
Cindy made out extremely well payment wise, but there was one problem. She never recovered her shoe. She wasn’t too worried about it, until she read the posters all over town the next day.
The owner of this shoe.
Prince will be in town to every house to find the girl it fits.
And the picture of the shoe was none other than Cindy’s.
Cindy knew she was in trouble. She had no intentions of being locked into marriage, no matter how much she could gain from it. She loved her profession too much, so she frantically gathered her belongings to run away. It was time for her to leave, once and for all.
As Cindy was bolting out the door, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. What she saw sent her into shock, and she let out a startling shriek.
“It can’t be! What is happening to me?,” she cried.
Beneath her tears, Cindy watched her Fairy Godmother appear once again.
“Long time no see,” Cindy muttered, unable to connect the pieces yet.
“I gave you a chance, my dear. The most handsome man in town, rich as can be, and he was ready to love you unconditionally. You refused any such offer. Quite a scandalous young woman you truly are,” the Fairy Godmother scolded.
“I don’t understand…” Cindy said through tears.
“The catch to our little agreement about your servants was that you would grow old like me. The spell could have been reversed had you shown a little purity, a little sympathy, a touch of humanity even. But you were too selfish, and so the spell had to be sped up. And now that your skin looks like my own, my time here is complete. What’s been done is irreversible,” the woman explained. With that, the Fairy Godmother disappeared. This time, for good.
Cindy had nothing left to do but sit on the floor in a confused daze. Her life had practically been taken from her, and she didn’t know how she could continue on this way. But she did, in the hopes that such dark magic would one day be reversed. Until then, she remains hidden away from the world, her wrinkles and ugly figure left to forever haunt her.
(Based off of the movie Cinderella)