The Thirteenth Tale

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Category: Books
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Author: Diane Setterfield

Twisted really, twisted… love it!
This is not what the story is all about but here’s
Vida Winter’s alternate version of the Cinderella Story.

Here’s the Thirteenth Tale…

Picture this, the story begins. A boy and a girl; one rich, one poor. Most often it’s the girl who’s got no gold and that’s how it is in the story I’m telling. There didn’t have to be a ball. A walk in the woods was enough for these two to stumble into each other’s paths. Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother, but the rest of the time there was none. This story is about one of those other times. Our girl’s pumpkin is just a pumpkin, and she crawls home after midnight, blood on her petticoats, violated. There will be no footman at the door with moleskin slippers tomorrow. She knows that already. She’s not stupid. She is pregnant, though.
In the rest of the story, Cinderella gives birth to a girl, raises her in poverty and filth, abandons her after a few years in the grounds of the house owned by her violator. The story ends abruptly.
Halfway along a path in a garden she has never been to before, cold and hungry, the child suddenly realizes she is alone. Behind her is the garden door that leads into the forest. It remains ajar. Is her mother behind it still? Ahead of her is a shed that, to her child’s mind, has the look of a little house. A place she might shelter. Who knows, there might even be something to eat.
The garden door? Or the little house?
Door? Or house?
The child hesitates.
She hesitates…

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