The Real Story of Cinderella


“…everyone knows the story of the evil stepmother that locks the pure and innocent girl in the house and forces her to act to her every whim and wish, but no one knows the real story of ‘dear’ Cinderella.”

Noelle Walker, Arts and Entertainment Editor

“CINDERELLA!” I shreiked, crumbling the newspaper into a tight ball.

Yet another false article was written about what tortures ‘precious’ Cinderella were put through while she was in my care. The newspaper this week had the headline: Cinderella reveals more of the horrors she went through while under her Stepmother’s Care.

Everyone knows the story of the girl with the glass slippers; everyone knows the story of the fairy godmother that bip boppity boo’s the peasant girl’s appearance into a beautiful woman; everyone knows the story of the talking mice and pumpkin carriage; everyone knows the story of the evil stepmother that locks the pure and innocent girl in the house and forces her to act to her every whim and wish, but no one knows the real story of ‘dear’ Cinderella.

So, I took out a pen and a piece of paper, and with shaking hands, I wrote something I had never done before: the truth. I started it with four words:

Once Upon A Time…

There was a widow—her name was Lady Tremaine. At a young age, she had made the mistake of falling in love with a very sick man. But at the moment, she did not care. Despite this sickness, they lived a very happy decade together, and they even gave birth to two beautiful daughters.  But at the stroke of midnight, after their ten year anniversary, disaster struck. Her husband gave into his illness and passed away suddenly. Tremaine became devastated and knew there was no way she could provide for herself, so she married quickly.

The man she had married had also lost his spouse, and he had one very beautiful daughter. Her name was Ella, and her father believed that she was everything good and wonderful in the world.

He did not see the things she did as Tremaine had. He didn’t see his daughter befriend mice and then listen to their cries and pleas before she placed them inside a mouse trap or sling rocks at bird’s heads that she had just previously been singing to. He did not see how his daughter would purposefully make a tremendous mess and let Tremaine clean it only to dirty it up again. He did not see his daughter try and sneak poison in his drink when he made her angry.

Tremaine kept quiet about all these things, so her husband’s image of Ella would not be tarnished.

Then one day, she missed seeing little Ella slip a few poison berries into her father’s soup. Tremaine had not realized what had been done until she heard Ella scream, “Papa! Father! What have I done? Ohhhh, what have I done.”

Tremaine ran into the room. Ella was sprawled over her father’s lifeless form, shoulders shaking.

“Ella!” I cried, “What have you done?”

“I didn’t know, stepmother—“

“No. You knew exactly what you were doing. You have tried it before. You knew they were poisoned.”

“I did not know it would kill him,” she sobbed.

Her blue eyes were filled with water, and her bottom lip trembled while Tremaine’s heart broke.

Maybe she truly did not know that it would cause the death of her father.

Looking in her eyes, Tremaine knew she had to cover up the death of her Ella’s father, in order to protect his prized possession: Ella. She told everyone that he passed away from illness during his travels.

For Tremaine, it was hard to go along with this. Ella, however, had no problem. She acted like a good girl and accepted warm meals and gifts with a smile on her face. She acknowledged the “I’m so sorry”’s with no remorse whatsoever on her face. It made Tremaine question whether or not Ella knew the berries would kill her father.

Eventually, time passed, and Ella did not get better; she became even more malicious and cruel. Tremaine knew something had to be done. Ella had become dangerous.

“Ella!” she called, standing in a hallway where mud was caked on the walls and on the floor; dead mice were scattered on the floorboards.

“What is it, Stepmother?”Ella asked with a smirk on her face.

“Is this your doing?” Tremaine asked with a raised eyebrow.

“It was probably your cat, Lucifer,” Ella replied.

“I highly doubt Lucifer could get this much mud on the walls, Ella; he is not even allowed outside.”

She just rolled her eyes.

“Ella. You are going to clean up this mess right now.”

“Or what?” she asked.

Tremaine took a deep breath, “Or I will start punishing you.”

Ella smiled, “Sure, Stepmother, because you can control me.” She started walking away.


She stiffened for a second before turning to face Tremaine again, “If you make me do this, stepmother, you will regret it.”

“It has to be done, Ella. Your actions have gone too far. From now on, you will act like a good girl. You will clean what I ask you to, and you will cook our meals.”

“I’m serious stepmother! If you do this, I will ruin your life!”she said angrily.

“Oh? How will you do that?”

“I—I’ll kill the prince and  frame you for the murder!”

Tremaine could not help but laugh.

“Ella, you are nowhere near aristocratic enough to where you will ever even lay eyes on the prince.”
Ella’s eyes hardened, and with a voice as cold as ice, she said, “Well, dear Stepmother, we will just have to see about that.”

Tremaine left the room, with the feeling of Ella’s eyes burning a hole in her back.

Time passed, and  Ella’s threats were soon forgotten. As a matter of fact, Ella became a different person entirely. She would do the cleaning that needed to be done, and she  would do the cooking without complaint.

Then a letter came in the mail from the castle itself.

Ella’s words all those years ago came to her like a punch in the stomach. With shaking hands, Tremaine took her letter opener and sliced open the envelope.

The letter announced that there would be a ball, and all women of age were invited. Prince Charming was looking for a new bride.

Immediately Tremaine remembered Ella’s threat. Even though she had not believed Ella and felt as if she now may have had a change of heart, she was still wary about allowing her to go.

So she decided she would protect the prince; she would not let Ella go to the ball.

With more thought, Tremaine decided to let her own daughters go to the ball; she would not take that opportunity away from them.

She informed her daughters of the good news, and soon enough, Ella found out.

“Stepmother, I do not understand why I can’t go to the ball.”

Tremaine took a deep breath; she should have expected this.

“You know why, Ella.”

Shock shown on her face, “But Stepmother! Those words were spoken ages ago, and I did not mean them. I have changed, can’t you see?”

Hurt shown in Ella’s eyes, and Tremaine almost let her go to the ball, but something stopped her. There was a deeper look that was hidden under the hurt: a cruel look. It scared even Tremaine herself.

“I’m sorry Ella. The decision is final.”

She let our an earsplitting shriek, “You cannot keep me home stepmother,” she hissed, “I have done everything you have asked me to because I knew I would get revenge one day, but now you are ruining this opportunity for me! I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.”

“Ella! That is uncalled for. I thought you had changed out of the goodness of your heart; I was wrong.”

“I will never forgive you for this stepmother.”

Tremaine looked away from Ella and tried to ignore the hurt that had pierced her heart.

“Go clean the fireplace.”

Ella screamed, “The fireplace! With all the cinder and ashes? You might as well call me Cinderella. Haha, yes! Cinderella, that is what you will now call me now. It is all that I am to you anyway—cinder.”

“Ella. You have brought this on yourself.”

She stormed off.

The next day Lucifer the cat was found dead.


The day of the ball, Tremaine was about to go off with her daughters when Ella went down the stairs, dressed in a ball gown.

Tremaine’s eyes widened in surprise, “I do not know where you think you are going, Ella, but it is definitely not to the ball.”

“Stepmother, you have to! I have finished all my chores.”

“I am sorry, Ella. I do wish it could have been otherwise.”

Her eyes darkened, and she got so angry, she ripped a sleeve off her gown.

“Is this better, Stepmother? Or would you rather me rip it more?” she smiled coldly before ripping her dress in two other places.

“Ella, stop. Don’t ruin your dress.”
“Why not, Stepmother? It is not like you would let me wear it anywhere else,” she said, ripping a ribbon off.

“Ella!” Tremaine yelled, but it was too late; the dress was ruined.

Tremaine tried to ignore her heart breaking as she and her true daughters turned away from the crying girl. They departed for the ball soon after.

Meanwhile, Ella had raced out to the yard after Tremaine’s departure.

“I hate my stepmother so much! She makes me so unhappy and more than anything I wish I could get revenge,” she cried, “More than anything, I wish I could go to the ball!”

Suddenly a woman appeared, and she saw Ella crying.

“What is the matter, child?”

“My stepmother is truly wicked—she will not let me go to the ball.”

“Oh, child. I am so sorry. I will help you.”

“You are too kind. Who are you anyways?” Ella sniffed.

“I’m your fairy godmother.”


At the ball, Tremaine’s daughters constantly vied for the prince’s attention. The prince was soon forgotten when Ella walked through the doors.

“Mother!” they cried, “Ella is here, at the ball.”

A look of panic crossed Tremaine’ face. “That’s not possible.”

It was, for Ella wore a beautiful gown that captured the attention of  everyone who glanced her way, the prince included.

Immediately, the prince darted foward and took Ella’s hand. 

“Ohhhhh mother,” Tremaine’s daughters cried, “do something!”

Tremaine could not interfere, at least not there, for the prince’s attention had already been won. 

Soon enough, Ella bolted out of the ballroom at midnight. The only thing she left was her shoe, the silly girl.

Not just any shoe, however, but a glass slipper.

The next day, Tremaine confronted Ella.

“Were you at the ball?”

Ella’s face went sickly pale, “Of course not, Stepmother.”

The look on Tremaine’ s face said it all. 

“Oh, Stepmother,” Ella cried, falling to her knees, “Please forgive me. You have to understand I did not mean any of what I said that day. None of it.”

Tremaine’s heart broke, but she did not quite fully believe Ella.

“Please,” her voice trembled, “I believe I love him”

Tremaine’s eyebrows popped up.

“Yes, it is true. Last night he stole my heart and made it his own. ”

At that, Tremaine did not see any reason to doubt that Ella was telling the truth.


A little later someone had knocked on the door. When Tremaine answered, ,the prince and his men were standing there, holding a glass slipper.

“If you do not mind, we were wondering if we could get everyone in your household to try on this slipper.”

“Why of course, your majesty,” Tremaine said, letting them inside. 

They immidiately entered and tried to put the slipper on Tremaine’s daughters. They did not fit.

“Do you have anyone else in the household?”

Tremaine remembered that Ella had been upstairs dusting,

“I’m coming! I’m coming,” a voice said before Tremaine could answer; Ella came down the stairs.

The guards came forward with the shoe; the glass slipper fit her perfectly.

Then, Ella was escorted out of the house and to the palace herself , where she married the prince and lived “happily ever after.”

At least, that was what Tremaine had thought.

Soon after Ella was married to the prince, lies were spread around. Tremaine was said to have abused her daughter and locked her in the attic, so she could not try on the slipper.

Three months after the rumors popped up, Tremaine was arrested for the murder of the royal prince. He was said to be stabbed with a letter opener. The letter opener Tremaine herself used to open up the ball invitation.

The true story of Cinderella was twisted by Ella herself. The only one who knows the truth is me. My daughters were taken away and put into someone else’s custody and I was convicted of murder. I am now in a jail cell, locked up for the rest of my days. I do not even know if this story will be published, but I hope so, so I can get my happily ever after.