We all remember the story of Cinderella. No fairy godmothers for us but aren’t we all wishing for something or someone to come along and take us away from all of this?
An end to housework and cooking? An escape? It used to be called a holiday but it looks as if that wish isn’t going to be coming true for quite a while.
In my writers’ group we were asked to dream up the sequel to a well known story. I chose Cinderella.
You remember that at the end of the tale she had married her handsome prince and was living in a beautiful palace, supposedly happily ever after.
Here’s what I imagine happened next.
Cinderella sighed. Her new life had held such promise. But, after ten years of marriage, her prince had lost his charm. He spent all his time alone in the billiard room and didn’t want her even though she was the fairest in all the land. Letting her ugly sisters move in had been a big mistake. They were forever bickering.
It was probably the lockdown making her feel like this, she decided. Life wasn’t so bad.
Just then Prince Charming entered the room. He was wearing the dress her sisters had been fighting over earlier. And he looked pretty good in it too.
“What ho Cindy! How do you like the new me?”
“Is this some kind of joke Caspar?”
“Try to show a bit more understanding. The world has changed you know. It’s time I came out.”
“Came out of the billiard room do you mean? You spend far too much time in there.”
“I mean I’m fed up being the handsome prince. I want to try life as a princess. From now on you’re no longer to address me as Casper. I’m Cassy. And once I’m a princess you’ll no longer be the fairest in the land. I’m off to show your stepsisters how I look in their dress.”
And with that he flounced out of the room.
Cindy didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
“I wish,” she said out loud, “my life could be different.”
At that moment there was a magic whoosh.
“Fairy godmother! How lovely to see you after all these years. I have missed you.”
“Work’s been pretty quiet since this lockdown,” responded her fairy godmother, “so I thought I’d pay you a visit. How can I help my dear? I can manage a little magic. I’m too old for mice but what about a new home now that people can move house again? There’s a nice bungalow for sale. Much smaller and easier to manage than a palace but it wouldn’t be big enough for your family.”
“It sounds magical fairy godmother. Thank you!”
“My magic doesn’t run to fancy gowns so just get a few things together. Once we’re there I might be able to do more.”
“Once we’re there?”
“Where better for me to retire than in a little home with my Cinderella? You know dear, you were the pinnacle of my achievements. We’ll settle down just the two of us. You can look after me just as you did your step mum and sisters in the old days.”
“No thank you, but I don’t think that’s going to work.”
“You’re an ungrateful child! You don’t like your home or your prince. And you don’t like being in lockdown. So here’s what I’m going to do, miss fussy.”
Cindy felt the room spinning around her. Faster and faster.
When it stopped she found she was back in the kitchen of her old home, among the cinders by the fire grate.
“Oh no!” Cinderella sobbed. “What am I going to do now?”
The moral of my tale is be careful what you wish for!
© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems