Cinderella at Midnight

Words by Aurelne (she/her) 25, WA

Content Warning

The following piece may contain themes that might be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or Lifeline (13 11 14) – visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services.

 

11:57
A mosquito buzzes by her ear
The moon shines a little too bright
The sheets feel a little too scratchy
And the room a little too cold

11:58
The darkness grows suffocating
The air grows thinner
The shadows loom closer

11:59
Eyes squeeze tighter
Heart beats faster

12:00
A grandfather’s clock chimes somewhere downstairs.
A reminder.
A reprieve.
She pretends she is Cinderella.
Her gown shimmers back into rags.
She runs down the marble stairs in shoes too dainty, too fragile.
She prays that he does not find those glass slippers tonight,
That he will not return to her door in the morning.
A smile grows on her face
As she runs and runs back
To the warmth of the cinders.

 

Illustration by Aileen. You can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenngstudio

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