Humor Fiction posted December 24, 2015

This work has reached the exceptional level
Cinderella's stepsister tells it her way

Step-Sister Rivalry

by Linda Kay

"Cindy, Cindy, Cindy!" That's all I ever hear since my mother married her 4th husband and moved my sisters and me into his tiny run-down cottage with him and his "perfect" daughter. Cindy, AKA Cinderella, is the poster child for "Boring Suck-up." She lives to clean, jumps every time the grownups want something, and loves to make us stepsisters look bad.

Every day, all day, my new stepfather gloats to my mother, "Cindy cleaned the fireplace without anyone asking. You could eat off that dirt floor after Cindy swept it! Do you know how many buckets of water this family goes through? MY daughter hauls every drop of it for the whole family. Aren't those bluebirds and butterflies fluttering around her head just charming?"

It is enough to make a normal teenage girl take drastic measures to get her out of the house.

This is by far the worst situation my man-hungry mother has ever dragged us into. At least all of our previous stepfathers made a pretense of trying to please us girls, and were good for an occasional bribe of a shopping spree here and there. We always were able to get a new gown for every party in the kingdom. It was always a "win-win" for us and our stepfathers; we got a day of shopping and filling up their carriages with packages, and they got a whole day of us out of the house away from them. But not Cindy's father - what a tightwad! To him, the Prince's Annual Ball was just another occasion to brag about Cinderella. "Cindy never asks for new clothes. She cares about inner beauty, not superficial silks and fluffy furs!"

My mother finally put her quite weighty, plump foot down and pried some coins from step-daddy's fingers to spring for some new frocks for me and my sisters. Cindy acted like she could care less and scrubbed away on the laundry as we tried on our new gowns and competed for who could style their hair into the stiffest up-do. As Cinderella and her pet birds tweeted away an annoyingly cheerful tune, and her father huffed and puffed about how "high-maintenance" my sisters and I were, I finally came up with a plan.

I sold a few of my lovely old gowns because you know you can never be seen twice in the same dress. I raised enough money for four hours of service from "Rent a Fairy Godmother."

She arrived with a wand full of glitter, and a bag of tricks up her sleeve. First, she pointed her wand at Cinderella's dad. One ZAP, and he is gushing about what a good girl Cindy is and "wouldn't she like to have some fun for a change, and go to the ball too?" Twirling the wand above her head, the Rent-A-Fairy drew a pumpkin, then POOF - morphed it into a Cadillac of a carriage. Next, SNAP, CRACKLE, POP - three flicks of the wand at the three mice cowering in the corner, and we have three Chippendale-worthy hunks as coachmen. Finally, she poses mousy little Cindy in front of an oval mirror, mutters a mouthful of nonsense rhymes and makes a transformation that would make even a Kardashian proud.

Cinderella blossoms, glows, and glides into her coach wearing sparkling diamonds of glass slippers on her feet. Her head is on cloud nine and she barely hears the warning, "as it says in the small print, all magic stops at midnight, only four hours of service have been purchased, and there is no such thing as a free lunch or magic spell."

We arrive at the ball in our separate modes of transportation, and soon every girl in the kingdom is fawning over Prince Gorgeous George as we called him everywhere except to his face, I was laying the groundwork for Cinderella to make a lasting impression. First, I scoped out any serious competition for the Prince's attention. One by one, I diverted them away from the line of Princess Wannabees waiting in line to dance with the Prince. It was as easy as a whisper here, "Dear, what a lovely gown. Too bad the Prince detests that color. It reminds him of split pea soup." A shove there, "Oh my, I am so sorry! I did not see you or that servant carrying a huge bowl of punch. I am sure your dress will dry before midnight." A little white lie here and there, "You really want to go get that little green piece of food from between your teeth before you dance with the Prince." Pretty soon, anyone who was not absolutely hideous, or named Cinderella, had left the dance line, and Cinderella was next in line to dance with Gorgeous George.

While they twirled about and made moon-eyes at each other, I sidled up to the King and Queen and remarked how my lovely stepsister dancing with their son, would make a perfect addition to the royal family. She never asks for anything, and would work for free to make the whole palace sparkle.

I love it when all of the pieces of a plan fall into place. The Prince was as smitten as could be, and Cindy was just starting to let go and have a little fun when she noticed the clock and ran from the palace as fast as greased lightning. At the stroke of midnight, Cindy raced home, dropping one glass slipper, which thanks to Fairy Godmother's extra warranty plan, did not shatter and only fit Clumsy Cindy's foot.

And so, a happy ending for all. First, Prince Gorgeous and his footmen searched the kingdom, making every eligible bachelorette try to get their smelly foot into that glass slipper until it slid right onto Cindy's dirty foot. Then, the happy couple were on their way to the palace to plan for the royal wedding. Within days, Step-daddy was so miserable without her, he gave up trying to make my mother, my sisters, or me do Cinderella's chores and keep that clap-trap little house clean, so he moved into the grand palace with his daughter and new Prince Son-in-law. And finally, my mother has her eyes out for husband number five. She thinks the muscular woodcutter down the road looks pretty fine, even if he does have that sniveling pair of tots, Hansel and Gretel. However, my sisters and I have set our sights a little higher, and are trying to play match-maker. We'd like to introduce Mom to that rich monarch a few kingdoms over who turns everything he touches into gold.

The Other Side contest entry


A jealous teenage step-sister's version of Cinderella. Thank you to Sange for use of the perfect palace picture for Cindy.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Sange at

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