gabbled, bowing low to the Prince and his party. A
haughty young blonde strode into the room, sat down in the armchair and
crossed her booted legs. She stared with contempt at her father and step-sisters, huddled together against the back wall.
“Well?” she demanded. “Get on with your chores” and she watched them scurry from the room, stammering their apologies.
The Prince sank to his knees before her. “May I?” he murmured, reaching out with a
trembling hand. She nodded curtly and the Prince slowly
unzipped her boot with his right hand, cradling the heel in his left. A moist,
warm miasma emerged as the loosened boot was gently lifted free.
“Sorry about the smell. Been on my feet all day”, Cinderella
“It’s, erm… it’s no problem at all.” gasped the
Prince. “You know, Lord Chamberlain, I think we don’t even
need to try the slipper.
This is obviously the right pair of… pair of feet.” and he moved closer,
his face hovering just above the damp, stockinged foot.
“Oh yes. Yes: these are the feet.”
“Are you sure, your Majesty?” the Chamberlain
replied. “They look a little on the
large side to -”
“Well then the slipper must have shrunk!”
snapped the prince, not taking his eyes from the foot he held so gently.
“Shrunk, Sire?” the Chamberlain replied, one eyebrow
raised. “The glass
The Prince turned on him in fury.
“How dare you question your Prince!
Arrest this man! I shall decide
what to do with him later.”
“Perhaps a few years in the salt mines?” Cinderella suggested. “With hard labour? I’ve heard that can be quite
The Prince looked up into her blue eyes in shock. “That’s quite a harsh, erm… well, for a man in
his age and condition…
I think…” he tailed off, noting a distinct pout coming over the lovely features
“Quite right, my dear, of course.” he continued. “As you wish.”
Her restored smile seemed
to light up the room. “And we won’t be needing
that silly thing” she added, indicating the glass slipper with an elegant
finger. The finger pointed towards a spot on the
floor, where the Prince placed it.
Stand back”, she instructed. And down
came Cinderella’s other, still-booted, foot shattering the slipper into ten
thousand iridescent shards.
“Oh dear” she smiled. “So now I suppose whoever’s foot fits into that gets to be Queen?”, and the Prince raised the boot he was holding in shaking hands towards her gracefully-pointed toes.
And it was a perfect fit.