Everybody thinks they know me, because they’ve heard the story of my good for nothing stepsister. But they don’t know the half of it. It’s not easy, being the hated one. They all think poor little Cinderella was so abused, so put-upon and overworked. Truth is, that’s not the truth at all.
Yeah, okay, maybe my mother could have been a little nicer to the kid from the get-go. But was that my fault? No. And, sure, when my sister suggested we force Cinderella to be our servant, I wasn’t exactly lining up to protest. But would you? If I didn’t go along with her plan, it would probably be me sleeping with the ashes. I’m a victim, too.
And I certainly didn’t deserve to have my eyes pecked out. Pecked out! By birds. One minute, I’m standing there next to the little Cinder-bitch, completely ready to make nice, my feet still aching from the slice of heel my mother made me chop off in order to make my feet fit into those godforsaken shoes, when out of nowhere those little birds start eating my eyes.
I would have run away screaming if I could, but it was like my feet were stuck to the ground. Witchcraft, I tell you. I’d bet what’s left of my feet that that girl is up to her neck in the stuff.
Now, my sister and I are expected to wait on Cinderella and her husband hand-and-foot. My mother would be slaving away with us, except she pitched herself out of the tower window the night Cinderella dragged us to her castle. Said she’d rather die than be a servant.
It’s just as well. It’s her fault I’m in this mess.
Maybe I made some bad choices, but nothing to deserve this, let me tell you. Before my mother made the horrendous mistake of remarrying, I was happy. Suitors were lined up around the block, begging for my hand, and I was something of an artist. I was pretty good, too, if I say so myself. People used to tell me my still-lives were to die for. No more painting for me, though, and no more suitors, either. Cinderella and her demon birds made sure of that.
She thinks she’s real clever, making my sister and me sleep down here in the kitchen like we used to do to her (and didn’t I already say I was sorry for that, anyways?). She’s got another thing coming, though. Just you wait.
You see, ever since the Happily Ever After of their shoe-blessed wedding, things haven’t been going so well for the Prince and Cinderella.
Every night I hear them fighting, yelling at each other and throwing things. Just last night, Cinder broke her precious glass slipper when she threw it at the Prince’s head and missed, hitting the wall instead. One of the other servant girls was complaining because she cut her fingers cleaning up the shards.
I guess love at first sight just isn’t what it used to be.
Anyways, I figure it shouldn’t be hard to slip a little something in Cinder’s food one of these days. And who will suspect the blind servant-girl? What with all the fighting the Prince and Cinderella have been doing, I’m guessing the blame will fall on him. Then I’ll be rid of both of them.
I may have been a little too optimistic with my plan.
Apparently, when a princess turns up dead, with her husband as the suspected murderer, the country’s people don’t handle it well. First they were just upset that their beloved princess was killed, then someone started complaining about the monarchy and blah blah blah. Next thing you know, the people are in full-on rebellion mode. Looks like I may have started a war.
Plus, with Cinderella out of the picture, the Prince didn’t see any reason to keep her blind stepsisters around as servants anymore. Her body wasn’t even cold before he turned my poor sister and me out on the streets. Never mind the fact that we can’t see and can barely walk. Now, we have to beg just to get enough food to eat.
Really, what did I ever do to deserve this?
I don’t know how, but word got out that I was the one who slipped Cinderella her last meal. I suspect my good-for-nothing sister, but of course she denies it.
Point is, everyone seems to think I’m some kind of revolutionary. Like I wanted to take down the monarchy or something. Every day I get people coming up to me, asking me what our “next steps” are. Next steps? There were never any steps. I just wanted that life-ruiner out of the picture.
Yesterday, a crowd gathered around me and started chanting “Freedom or death! Freedom or death!” Look, all I ever really wanted was to return to a normal life, and maybe get some shoes that actually fit my deformed feet. Tearing apart the social order as we know it was not high on my list of priorities.
But, hey, when people think you’re the leader of their revolution, food and shelter seem to just make their way to you. I would tell them I don’t really care about their little war, but they wouldn’t listen, anyways. As far as anyone knows, I started this movement. If pretending to be an agent of social change is what I have to do to get a decent meal and a place to sleep, then so be it.
It’s never been easy being the stepsister, but I’m making the most of it.
Grace Carlson is a writer from Washington. She writes about travel, mental health, writing, and books. Sometimes she’s funny, or at least that’s what her mom says. Follow her on twitter @gracieawriter