A Horror-fied Cinderella Story

Part 1:The Fairytale

Chapter 1

I don't wanna be like Cinderella
Sitting in a dark cold dusty cellar
Waiting for somebody to come and set me free.
I don't wanna be like someone waiting
For a handsome prince to come and save me.
Oh, I will survive, unless somebody's on my side
Don't wanna be no no no one else
I'd rather rescue myself.
-The Cheetah Girls, "Cinderella"

I look out into the dark night at the city lights below. There isn't a single star in the sky, and it is a new moon.

I sigh as I turn around and head back into the house. The balcony on my room has been my favorite place to go since my dad died. I come out there to think, even read and write; when I write, as soon as my pen comes in contact with the paper my fingers fly across the page, my thoughts pouring out.

My most recent story is rather like my own: a girl forced to live with her evil stepmother--but instead of evil stepsisters there's a sweet cook--doing the stepmother's every bidding. I haven't come up with a hero, a Prince Charming, if you will, to save our leading lady. In other words, this story doesn't even have a climax yet. Not that I believe that 'Prince Charming' crap anyway.

And so goes the story of my life. Void of any love.

I eye my suitcase in the corner of my room, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I can't run away. My dad would want me to stay here (unfortunately).

Some say our house is haunted, which is true in many ways, I suppose. They say my dad's ghost still lurks around the large corridors, and, though I haven't seen it yet, my father's presence is very real to me, in my heart.

"Keely!" The evil bitch I am made to call 'stepmom' screams. It is like this in most fairytales I've read: girl lives with evil stepmom, stepmom makes her cook, clean, etc., Prince Charming has ball, they fall in love, move to his castle, and get married--everything except the first two statements is a load of bull, and obviously I'm not going to run into a gorgeous prince--who is destined to break the spell--anytime soon.

I fly down the stairs for fear of being scolded... or worse. "Yes?" I call. I trip in my haste and get a carpet burn on the puke green carpet my stepmom had installed when my dad died; I hate the color, but everyone else who sees it seems to love it.

"Dinnertime," she says in an angry voice; she's always angry, since she has legal custody of me and can't pass me off to someone else. At first she was okay, you know, the perfect stepmom, but after daddy's death her true colors started to show...

I suppose I have a better life than Cinderella--at least I'm not forced to do housework, albeit sometimes I feel like a slave.

Our 'cook' (she does all the housework too, and I'm surprised Gladys doesn't actually call her servant), Bonnie Sterling, is my best friend in the whole world. I talk, she listens. Simple as that.

I sit down just as Bonnie puts food in front of me.

My step-mother, Gladys, clears her throat, and the sound pierces through the air like a thousand knives cutting. I look up from my plate which I haven't touched yet, waiting.

"I shall be going away for a while," she starts. Joy fills my heart. Yes! Finally my big break!

Gladys and my dad met in Vegas while he was gambling at a casino (what else do you go to Vegas for?! Wait, don't answer that...); my dad was really rich. She worked as a showgirl under the alias Rainbow Star, but quit--and turned around really fast--when they got married. It was a spur of the moment thing, and I guess I can't blame dad, because I know he was lonely without mom (Don't even ask me about my real mother!). 'Rainbow' wasn't so thrilled to move to Texas however, and she certainly wasn't peachy when she learned he had a kid--me.

That was the beginning of the end. And when he died was when I really started falling apart.

They say he died of a heartattack, but my dad was healthy and too young for that, so I guess those doctors have never heard of murder. I can't make assumptions, but I'll still bet all my money Gladys poisoned him just for his fortune.

"Have fun," I say, stuffing steak into my mouth so I won't have to say anymore.

"Aren't you at least a little curious as to where I am going?"

I shake my head and say, "Nope," which comes out weird because I'm still chewing.

Gladys stares at me open-mouthed. She's appalled and probably disgusted because Bonnie feeds me meat every night; Gladys is a vegetarian.

I look down at my plate so as not to meet her gaze. Just the prospect of Gladys leaving is a dream come true.

"I'll need you to behave for Ms. Sterling," she continues, regaining her composure. Since when do I ever misbehave? I feel like shooting back. But it's true I only behave--around Gladys that is--out of fear. Aside from that, I'm your regular rebellious teen.