Note: This short story is a re-telling of Cinderella that I wrote a few years ago for my creative writing class in college. It’s my version of what would’ve really happened in the story. Cinderella is out for revenge against her step-sisters so she steals her Fairy Godmother’s wand and wreaks havoc.
I’m posting it because I just finished Cinder by Marissa Meyer last month so it’s as good a time as any to publish mine! If you’ve written any fairy tale re-tellings feel free to link me in the comments as I’d love to read them!
She grinned manically as the throng of people backed away in fear. Her stepsisters knelt in front of her, their feathered hats askew and their hands above their heads.
“Please, Cinderella, let us go!”
“What was that Drizella? You want me to let you clean the floor?” she said, pushing her stepsister’s head down with her foot. “How could I say no to that?”
Anastasia, too, was forced to the ground.
“What do you think of this Lady Tremaine? Do you like the view?” she asked, cocking her head to look below her. Her stepmother was bent over on her hands and knees and Cinderella was sitting on her back, legs crossed and wand in hand. She shot her a helplessly sour look.
“I feel a little underdressed,” Cinderella said, and waved her wand. Members of the crowd blinked and Cinderella was wearing a long white dress that sparkled like the stars, with her golden hair falling in elegant ringlets and heeled shoes made of glass. She looked like an angel, but nobody was fooled.
“Music!” She waved the wand again.
The quartet that had been playing before she crashed the party were plucked out of the crowd as though by a giant invisible hand and were dropped, squealing, in the chairs beside their instruments. They began playing a sinister song at a quick pace.
“Faster!” Cinderella said gleefully.
Their arms moved so quickly that they were blurry, and their faces blushed red at the effort. Cinderella motioned for people to dance and they were suddenly swaying with partners they had never met, and moving expertly to songs they hadn’t heard before. Cinderella was laughing the entire time, waving her wand as though she were the conductor of a play.
“Stop this madness!”
The music was cut off quickly and Cinderella looked around to see who had spoken. A young, handsome man was walking towards her, his crown perched neatly on his head. He looked angry.
“What right have you to come here and torment my guests in this way, witch?” he demanded.
Cinderella stood up from her impromptu seat and walked slowly up to him, twirling the wand between her fingers. She was very close to him, to the point where their noses could almost touch, when she whispered, “Everybody loves you don’t they? I wonder how much they’d all fawn over you if you didn’t look the way you do? If you didn’t have the riches and the power that you do now? Perhaps I should shrink you down to size so you can see what it’s like to feel… small.”
He seemed taken aback and blinked warily at her, his mouth agape.
“How about a kitten? Or a snake? Or… Oh! A mouse!”
“N-no,” he said, backing away from her, his anger dissipating into fear. He never got to finish his sentence, however, because he had shrunk to a fraction of his size and was crawling frantically around in a circle, his now oversized crown forming a kind of prison so that there was no escape for the little mouse who was once a prince.
The ladies around her gasped in horror, and a few had to be restrained by desperate mothers so that they wouldn’t charge forward in anger and be transformed into animals themselves.
“Why are you doing this?” Lady Tremaine shouted, unable to move from her bent position.
“Why?” she retorted. “Are you serious? You people took over my house when my father died and forced me to be your personal slave. I’ve spent the past ten years on my hands and knees cleaning for you ungrateful pigs!”
“We’re sorry! Aren’t we, mother? Things will be different this time, we promise!” Anastasia begged.
“Oh things will be different,” Cinderella said, standing above her tormentors. “You three will spend the rest of your lives cleaning my house.” She waved the wand again and Anastasia was no more. In her place was a mop that moved around the floor in wide arcs. Drizella, too, was now a miniature scrubbing brush and she got to work quickly while Lady Tremaine, lazy as she was, became a bucket of soapy water that the other two used to clean the prince’s ballroom.
Cinderella giggled and felt an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. The guests, unable to move, could do nothing but look on in terror.
There was a loud gong all of a sudden, and Cinderella’s eyes flickered towards the clock. It was midnight. She ran towards the window, looking down at the beautiful, ornate carriage she’d arrived in. In its place was a large, battered pumpkin and several small animals were crawling over it, feasting. She whirled around on the second gong and saw the prince fully formed and crouching down to retrieve his crown, his eyes wide and bloodshot. A third gong sounded and her stepmother and stepsister appeared, sprawled on the ground and covered in water.
She didn’t wait any longer; she fled. She was in the main hall when a fourth gong sounded and she noticed her hair was flying awry by her face, with her beautiful gown fading as she ran. She felt that the wand had left her hand and she couldn’t help but panic.
It had happened too fast. She wasn’t done yet. When her fairy godmother had appeared to her it seemed all her wishes would come true. She finally thought that they would pay. The fairy had tried to offer her the prince, but that wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted her stepmother and stepsisters to feel even an ounce of the pain she’d felt over the years. The humiliation. Tricking the fairy and stealing her wand had been surprisingly easy, and Cinderella left for the ball feeling the allure of sweet revenge.
She bounded down the steps, two at a time and heard the call for guards to follow her. In her haste, she tripped on one of the steps and the glass slipper she was wearing shattered beneath her. Although the shards were disappearing as she kept running, the blood from her foot left a trail that anybody could easily follow and she winced at the pain.
There was a ruckus from behind her and she swung around to see half the people from the ballroom pursuing her. They were yelling obscenities and screaming, out for revenge. Her eyes mad with desperation, she looked for a way out but all she could hear was the angry mob and the gongs of the clock reminding her that her fantasy was over.
When they caught her, she wouldn’t be formally imprisoned. She had already admitted what her living hell was and they would put her back there. Then there would be no chance of escape ever again. She shook her head wearily. She could not go back there. She would not go back.
The palace’s balcony was in front of her and her pursuers were catching up. She looked at the star spotted sky beyond the palace walls and took a deep breath, running towards it. Her foot burned with every step but she ran fast, and when the pillars of the balcony loomed in front of her she kept running until she was treading thin air. She was flying. And then she was falling. Until she wasn’t falling anymore.
The guests at the party reached the pillars she’d just jumped over and looked down to see her sprawled on top of the pumpkin she’d arrived in, her body unrecognisably deformed. Her last thoughts were of how powerful she’d felt with that wand in her hand. The lingering satisfaction of seeing her stepsisters as cleaning tools left a smile on her face as she closed her eyes for the last time at the final gong of the clock.