If the shoes fits…
Today I am so happy to be apart of the blog tour for the anthology Glass & Ashes, filled completely with Cinderella retellings! I absolutely adore retellings and I can’t wait to dive in. I had the pleasure of reading Melanie Noell Bernard’s story The Darling Pumpkin. This was a great twist on the story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am excited to read the rest of the stories in this anthology.
Glass & Ashes
It’s something people love to ponder. Now, OWS Ink has asked the question, “What if Cinderella was a little bit different?”
A different type woman? A different shoe size? A different type of hero? Or maybe a villain? What if she was never even a human?
And our authors answered. Prepare to read Cinderella stories like you’ve never imagined. Stories where Cinderella makes a different choice altogether, where she uses magic to make her own happy ending, and somewhere even magic can’t help her avoid her fate.
So grab your drink and curl up with our new versions of this classic fairy tale.
Buy It Here
Now you will hear from one of the characters who witnessed the events that unfolded in The Darling Pumpkin. So please, let’s welcome The Maid in this character spotlight.
As a young girl, my mother would tell me to be grateful for anything and everything I was given. Grateful! Ha! For what? To have a life so I might struggle every single day of it? To have a mouth so I might beg for every scrap? To have a throat so another might step upon it? To have a head so I might empty it of every thought I might ever have?!
Grateful. That was my mother’s word. My mother the optimist. No doubt she was grateful, too, when they came and dragged her away, when they hung her from the gallows and let her body twitch and jerk. For the poor and starving do not die quickly.
But I did take something from my mother. Her sense. Though optimistic, my mother was no fool. She kept her head down, her mouth shut, and made it through life without succumbing to the many atrocities that befall other women, and with that and my own ambitions, I climbed my way out of the rat-infested gutters to the highest rank a person of my birth could achieve: palace work. And there I found the same word: grateful.
Many young women and men were grateful to have been granted a position in the palace, but I was not because it was the same life as that of before. Still, I kept my head down. Still, I sealed my lips shut. Still, I pretended to be daft enough to not have an opinion while smart enough to do my job all while waiting on the daftest and craziest of women in our land. But none so insane as The Mad Princess.
When she arrived in the palace, plucked from the ashes of her hovel, from an origin still far better than my own, she was grateful. In awe. Ludicrous. Of all the things she might bring with her to the palace from her not-honestly-that-wretched of a life, she brought mice. Actual vermin. She would let no one care for them but herself and would speak with them constantly, deep into the darkest hours of the night. But strangest of all was the pumpkin.
It appeared out of nowhere and she protected it more closely than her mice, even going so far as to war with the Prince – her fiancé – over the thing. Over a bloody pumpkin. But she would not take no for an answer, ranting and rambling about keeping it safe, that the pumpkin was magic, and god knows what else. Of course, the Prince, being slightly more sane than his bride, agreed and whisked the pumpkin away. Into my hands with explicit instructions to take it to the kitchens.
When I returned to finish cleaning her room now that the Mad Princess had gotten what she wanted, she was dead. And the Prince needed someone to blame. Armed with my sense, I made to leave, to escape, but I didn’t even make it to the palace gates before they caught me, dragged me back, and prepped a fire for my burning because the Prince, unable to believe he had killed his own bride, branded me a traitor, a murderer, and a jealous witch.
In the end, I suppose I was grateful. Grateful that I wasn’t stupid enough to believe that anyone gets a happy ending.
About the Author
Melanie Noell Bernard hails from the cloudiest state in the Midwest. Surrounded by endless fog and bitter winter nights, it was only a matter of time before she fell in love with the dark. Combine that with a knack for the gritty, the disturbing, and the creepy, you have the beginnings of a young horror writer. Good thing her heart enjoys answering the call of the dark side.