things of little relevance

December 19, 2009, 3:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Over at the Guardian, Hilary Mantel has a short story sequel to Cinderella.

The tabloids had idolised her once. She’d been the people’s princess, though in truth her background wasn’t poor, only dysfunctional. The prince didn’t seem to care much about her old life, and she liked that. “Used to shut her in the broom cupboard, didn’t they, poppet?” he would say, to the respectful press men who (in that respectful era) came to write up their romance. “Or was it the bread-bin?” She was slight in those days; he’d pick her up and wheel her around in the air, to the delight of What Wand? or Cinders! magazine. She liked it that he didn’t probe and pry; what she had taken for tact, she now knew to be indifference. The truth is, even in the early days he had more of a relationship with her shoes than with herself; and especially with that discarded slipper, the one she’d left behind in her haste and panic, when the clock struck midnight and the ballroom shivered about her like a mirage in a heat-haze. She would see him, in absent moments, caressing the glass heel, which would seem to grow higher under his fingertips.


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