Cinderella after Midnight
Copyright August 2012, Sofia Bane
“A ball for all the eligible women in the kingdom!” my stepsister Petunia squealed. “For the prince’s hand. Our ticket out of squalor.” She dropped the ladle back in the cauldron of porridge to accentuate her disdain.
It was true; ever since my father died, my stepmother, stepsisters, and I had been leading a life of quiet desperation. There simply weren’t many economic opportunities for women. Not respectable ones, at least. Still, we survived.
My stepsister Maisie grabbed the invitation out of Petunia’s hand. “Serves Philip right, they’ve been marrying foreigners for centuries.” She twisted her hair between her fingers. “We’d have the material for one dress, Petey, but two might be a stretch. Which of us should we doll up for the prince?” She flashed a smile toward me. “I assume you won’t partake, Cinderella?”
She wasn’t being cruel. It was an open secret that…men were not to my taste. I lifted my chin in acknowledgment. “But I’ll help you make a dress.”