If the Shoe Didn’t Fit
The golden-haired girl sat bowed over her father’s grave. The night before lay like a painting in the colorful light reflected in her remaining glass slipper. It was the only proof she had that the ball and the prince was nothing but a dream. Yet now that the shoe had not fit her, but her cruel stepsister… The night before might as well be a dream.
“I’m sorry father,” Cinderella sobbed softly. “I tried to accept them as family. But I had no idea the dissent would be so rapid between us. They are cruel, and I am done trying to be good to them… I need to leave this place. Please understand, I love you, but I need to go and find happiness.” She kissed the headstone, a single tear streaking down her cinder-covered face.
When she stood, she found her best friend Margaret standing behind her with a sad smile on her face. “I saw your Stepmother in the Duke’s carriage and knew I’d find you here… What happened?”
Cinderella looked dazed. “I don’t know… but I will be forever grateful to my ‘fairy godmother.’” She pulled out the glittering grown from the ball and handed it back to her friend
Margaret shook her head. “Keep it… Where will you go?”
“I don’t know… but it’s time to start over.” Then she looked at the little creatures in the cage she was carrying. “Would you please take care of Jacque and Gus? The big open world is no place for two little mice.”
Margaret giggled at her friend and took the cage. “Of course, I would be happy to.” Then she wrapped Cinderella in a big hug. “Good luck…”
Cinderella knew that she was still within the king’s border when she lay down for the night, so there was no need to worry about thieves or wild animals… at least she had thought so until she woke to find a man rummaging through her saddlebags. Her horse stood grazing nearby, but luckily she had her father’s sword. Standing slowly, she took it in hand, crept up on the thief, and pressed the tip of the blade to his neck. “To steal is a crime in itself, but to steal from a young lady is downright sinful.”
The thief turned around slowly, his hands raised. Cinderella blinked in surprise, if he weren’t quite so dirty, he’d be even more handsome then the prince.
Then he spoke, his voice laden with a heavy drawl. “Careful wit’ that sword, lass, or yur bound to ‘urt yourself.” He began to stand up but Cinderella twirled the sword expertly, forcing him to take a few steps back, and then he tripped. When he looked up, her sword was at his throat again.
“Where’d you learn to handle a blade like that lassie?”
“That is none of your concern,” she replied. “Now, thief, what is your name?”
“I would say that it’s non o’ your concern—but, since your sword is currently at my throat… the name’s Will Scarlet.”
Cinderella raised an eyebrow. “You mean one of that thief Robin Hood’s men?”
He grinned. “The one and only. Now, what’s your name?”
“You can call me…” She twisted her blade, smiling as he shifted uncomfortably. “Cerys.”
“Cerys,” he said. “An interesting name for an interesting lass.”
As Cinderella heard her new name roll from the tongue of the handsome thief, she realized something… She could go anywhere she wanted, do anything she wanted, and be anyone she wanted. For the first time in her life… she was truly free.