Cinderella in the Dark

By Pen Penguin

Copyright 2012 Pen Penguin

Smashwords Edition

~

A long time ago, there lived an unhappy young girl. Her name was Cinderella, after her tendency to warm herself by the cinders of her home's fireplace. Never was she allowed to have any fun. Instead, she was forced to slave day after day for the sake of her cruel stepmother and stepsisters. But all that changed one night, when a kindly fairy bestowed upon her a magnificent magical enchantment, allowing her to woe the prince's heart at his castle's dress ball. Afterwards, she vanished from the prince's presence, leaving only a glass slipper behind. In the weeks to come, he scoured the kingdom, searching far and wide, until he found the girl whose foot would fit within its fragile shell. In this way, he reunited with Cinderella, and proposed to her then and there. From then on, Cinderella's future looked very bright indeed...

***

I awoke with a start. Where was I? I had gone to sleep in my bedchambers in the prince's castle, dreaming of our wedding which would take place within a week's time. Now I was lying in what appeared to be my bed, inside what appeared to be my bedchambers. Except, neither of them were mine. No, my bed did not have this... strange, unfamiliar feel to it. My bedchamber did not give off such an oppressive, constricting atmosphere. Was it still night out? It was dark and quiet. Too dark, and too quiet. Even the moon shining its light across my room seemed somehow sinister and macabre. As the wind blew through my open windows, the drapes shook and fluttered, casting mysterious shadows over the marble walls.

This was not my room. It couldn't be mine. There was no way I fell asleep in such an ominous place. I jumped out of bed, the marble tiles freezing my soles instantly with their icy touch. I was dressed only in a modest white nightgown with my long blonde hair flowing freely, doing little to protect me from the biting cold. For a moment, I thought of returning to that unfamiliar bed, where I would at least be warm. But I'll endure. This is hardly the first time I've been this cold, and right now I needed to find my prince, if only to reassure myself that this was all just a figment of my dark imagination.

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