Cinderella never had it so bad. In this darkly comedic retelling of the classic fairy tale, her woes become worse when she discovers she has leprosy. Being chosen as the prince’s bride seems more unlikely than ever, but in a world where everything is turned upside-down, Cinderelleper, as she’s now called, just might have a chance at a happy ending after all.
In the days leading up to the ball, Cinderelleper was mostly left alone by the other women of the house. They were too preoccupied with the ball to bother her despite their curiosity as to which part of her was going to fall off first.
But just before they left on the night of the ball, they made sure to parade themselves before her in their glorious ballroom attire. “Well, Cinderelleper,” the stepmother said. “We’re off to spend the evening at the palace for the royal ball in honor of his majesty, the prince.”
Cinderelleper remained motionless on her straw mat on the floor. “Have fun,” she replied, without a hint of enthusiasm. “I’ll just stay here and rot.”
“Well, after tonight, you can have the house to yourself, because your stepsisters and I are moving into the palace! Come on, girls! Let’s bag ourselves a horny prince!” They went up the basement stairs and out the front door.
The house was dark, save for the fireplace, and all was quiet. Cinderelleper sat up on her straw mat and looked up through the window at the starry night sky. Staring deep into space, she thought about her mother. “Soon, mother,” she whispered. “Soon we’ll be together again. If you’re with father, please punch him in the face for me. I miss you.”
As she stared, a cloud blocking the moon drifted slowly away, and the full moon shone down a beam of light so intense it made her squint and turn away. She rubbed her eyes for a few seconds and opened them to see a kindly old woman standing in front of her. “Hello, Ella,” the old woman said soothingly.
Cinderelleper rubbed her eyes again, but the old woman was either no hallucination or a very persistent one. She backed away until her back hit the wall. “Who are you?” she asked. “How did you get here?”
“I’m your fairy godmother,” the old woman replied. “And I’ve come from Fairy Godmotherland to help you save the kingdom!”
“Me? Save the kingdom?” Cinderelleper asked. “But I’m on death’s doorstep!”
“Ah, but there’s still time for you to fulfill a great destiny!”
“You see, dear, tonight the prince will choose a woman outside the royal family to be the princess. Your stepmother will stop at nothing to gain access to the royal family’s power. And if she succeeds in marrying off either of your stepsisters to the prince, the entire kingdom will fall to ruin!”