cinderella swept listlessly at the hearth, trying to avoid toppling over while at the same time covering as much of her face as she could. the dust and ashes kicked up, swirling around her and getting under her nails. it’d long since embedded in her nailbeds, her hands calloused and dry.
her father came home from business, carrying souvenirs, and furnished her with a new smartphone, obligated her stepsisters to take her to the party for which they were primping. she threw on rough fingerless gloves, hiding the worst of her messy hands, and followed them.
it was nothing like she’d read about. too many people, too small a space; she hated it.
a boy was there, kind eyes and sweet smile. princelike, she thought in a daze, and stumbled over the first syllable of her nickname. introduced herself as “ella” and fled in embarrassment, leaving her new phone behind.