Cristina Fernandez Valls, Flash Fiction Semi-Finalist, LISP 3rd Quarter 2020
Fairy Tale by Cristina Fernandez Valls
She threw her glass slipper against the wall and it shattered into pieces. The Victorian mansion shook from its foundations. It collapsed in a cloud of dust and rubble and with it went her family status and royal invitations. She walked from the ruins barefoot. Her heart left her chest and moved down to her feet; the left ventricle in the right foot, the right ventricle in the left foot. On the name of her godmother, she swore never to wear shoes again. When the concrete was too hot, she found a different way through the grass; when the path was made of gravel, she jumped in the pond and swam across it with the goldfish; eventually, she learnt to fly over broken bottles. A thick layer of skin grew on her heels and between her toes. Every night she washed them gently, painted her nails with red varnish and drew henna designs on her ankles.
One night of full moon the prince passed by to visit her. ‘I don’t love you’ he said. ‘I don’t want to marry’ she said. He took his boots off and they ran along the ridges of the roofs, chased the cats and told silly jokes sitting on top of the chimneys. At midnight, he went back to his palace and she stayed dancing in the puddles. Without inheritance, without background and without sparkling stars she walked out of the fairy tale. And she lived [freely] ever after.