Just Another Lost Slipper #cinderellamythmakers

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Multiple Glass Slippers by antaresjhw is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

“A single inch/separates their two bodies/facing one another/in the picture” – Dunya Mikhail, “Tablets”


She was only one of uncountable numbers.  She was the last lost slipper in a sea of slippers, almost too unremarkable to be noticed.  But she noticed it, noticed her place among the oceans of others appearing to be just like her.  She knew that there must be more to existence than sitting on a conveyor belt inching her way toward packaging, crating, and ultimately shipping.

At the other end of shipping she could be only one of a hundred, or one of thousands.  Perhaps a novelty item in a five-and-dime store – or the Dollar Store, as they called them nowadays.  Freighted, unpacked and put out on a cheap shelf under buzzing fluorescent lights, to be pawed through and dropped thoughtlessly into a shopping cart, rung up and forgotten in a flimsy plastic bag in the back of someone’s car trunk or upstairs closet.

Yet, who was she?  She was gratified to at least be a graceful shape of the lost slipper of a fairy tale heroine, the glass shoe of the illustrious Cinderella, a figure not only of the Northern European tradition notated by Grimm Brothers and Charles Perrault – who had entitled his story after her (“Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper”) – but a figure also of many other folk traditions around the world.  Korea, China, Africa, South Asia – all had their own stories in the Cinderella tradition.  How had she learned this?  Although she, a glass slipper ornament, could not read, speak or write, she was fortunate to be stamped elegantly (she thought) with a brief blurb covering the origins of the Cinderella folk tale – the words stamped in lovely gold lettering on the insole of her slipper-shape.

Sitting in the dark, waiting, inside the cardboard box that surrounded her during shipping, she tried not to despair.  Perhaps some miracle would occur.  Perhaps she would not be doomed to an existence in obscurity and ultimately tossed out – or, perhaps worse – neglected.  Lost, again, just another piece of detritus in someone’s junk drawer or closet.

Light spiked into her cardboard box at last.  Her carton was being opened up, she was being handled by human hands, she was being placed somewhere.  She braced herself for the humming fluorescent tubes, for the vast shelves of sameness.  She would retain her dignity, no matter the humdrum fate that awaited her in the stale air and cacaphonous environment that no doubt awaited her.  She was a glass slipper, she was THE lost glass slipper, of Cinderella.  Cendrillon, ou La petite Pantoufle de Verre, she repeated to herself.  Je suis elegante, je suis belle, je suis unique.  Where she had picked up the French was anyone’s guess, but there it was.

What was this?  She had been set carefully on a small mirrored tray, surrounded by treasured jeweled boxes, sparkling tiara headbands, rhinestone-studded hair barrettes.  The air was softly cool and there was music.  Not clashy wildly tuneless music, but lyrical symphonic music playing quietly overhead.  All along the opposite wall in this small-ish cozy space was an elegant medley of tea services, some bone china, some delicately colored mugs, all soothingly harmonious to her unusually aesthetic sense of taste and style.

A tag was affixed to her heel.  The lettering – which she absorbed discreetly from the neatly lettered cardstock through the short piece of twine looped around her slipper’s heel – said “Queen Anne Tea Room.”  Queen Anne!  Ah!  The words chimed inside her, Queen Anne . . . Queen Anne . . . tea room, tea room.  She had never heard them before, but she knew instantly that this was it, the fate she had been destined for, the fate for which she had hoped but had almost not dared dream of.

She was, after all, a Princess of a slipper. She had known it from the beginning.

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Teapots by Ginny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

It was only a few days later that a little girl chose her to take home.  She was wrapped up – not in a flimsy cardboard carton this time, but enveloped in a purple tissue cloud and embedded with sparkly “princess-packing” in a smart handled-sack – and carried home with the little girl.  She was delighted to find her place at the top of a dresser in the little girl’s room, a position that gave her a complete view of the girl’s princess-themed room, complete with castle-mural on one wall and mirror-sliding closet doors on the other.  A pastel gauze-tent suspended from the ceiling adorned the princess-style bed, and she was only ever taken down to be admired by the little girl and her friends, never handled roughly, never tossed into the back of a closet or inside a drawer to be ignored.  Many years later, when the little girl had grown up and moved away, the girl’s mother saved her.  To be enjoyed by yet another little girl, the granddaughter.

It was a life to be envied.

Join our collaboration project featuring Cinderella-themed blog posts – stories, poems, etc.!  More information?  Click one of the links below.

Theresa’s InvitationAnne J’s Invitation

26 thoughts on “Just Another Lost Slipper #cinderellamythmakers

  1. Awesome! Really awesome. I love it! Your writing always paints the picture so clearly. I must learn that.
    If my daughter knew how to look after her toys and possessions, I would have loved to get her Cinderella’s glass slipper. Her room is never as it should be and with limited time, I’ve given up. Haha. She definitely doesn’t deserve the glass slipper.
    I must still come up with another.. there’s time but I must still not get too relaxed. I’ve 2 unfinished stories I’m working on. I got stuck on the other but I think I found last part and the ending. I’ve got the other one complete though in my head and must find the time to write and properly. I sometimes wish we didn’t need to sleep.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Anne, thanks for your kind words! Don’t stress over writing another Cinderella story, I think you owe it to yourself to complete the other stories that your heart is coming through. 🙂 And, I know what you mean about daughters’ rooms, mine was careful with her things as a child but her room was always very “lived in”! (full of stuff, she spent a lot of time in there doing projects, etc.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hah! me too, maybe that’s why we are such good companions and collaborators! 🙂 How old is your daughter? Mine just turned 22 and graduated college, luckily for me she still enjoys my company though she does not live with us (yay, less intense)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My stray (lol!) (difficult one) is 23 and lives in Pasadena, California. Same age group as yours. Hope she doesn’t give you as much headache. 😄 Sounds like you’re already blessed with her and how she is. 😊 Well, my grown up daughter grew up thinking we’re sisters. My parents “adopted” her. She has an American father. She did music for 1 year is California College of Music, then 1 year of Journalism in Pasadena Community College but apparently doing Anthropology now. I guess she won’t graduate anytime soon… and the question is complete what? Lol! The little one turns 5 in May. My son turns 21 in March. The two balance out how I feel – old and young 😄💖🤗😘


  2. Wonderful story. I liked the sentence ‘The air was softly cool.’ I have never thought of air being ‘softly cool’ as coolness leans more towards harshness. Snow. Ice. Regardless, I like the comparison. I like the way it made me stop and think – about the line, the story and what was going on beneath the words. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on I think, I say, I do and commented:

    And I wake up from my sleep and must catch up with re-blogs of fellow writers’/bloggers’ take on the classic tale for our Cinderella Anthology Project.

    This is an awesome story from the perspective of the glass slipper. Enjoy reading this wonderful sweet story.

    Thank you, Theresa! I do have my other one, I promise 🙂 and it will be done say around Valentine’s Day 🙂

    There’s this whole month left to come up with your own Cinderella story or poem. To inspire us, Valentine’s Day is around the corner. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw, thank you also, Theresa. I’m really feeling like I’m struggling to write… am I? Haha! I can write on Friday as the boss gave us Friday off, to make up for paying us our salaries late (actually we’re still waiting, lol! but, I understand him. it’s not easy. my business partner had to advance/loan our company to pay our temp/resources their salaries before our client pays).
        I wish we could do with just two hours of sleep then I can have a good chunk of time for writing. I find it difficult to write if I know I only have an hour or two. What about you? I admire that you can write your fiction as often as you want but you probably have way better writing strategy than me. I’m critical so I don’t first write freely and only to edit later.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Anne, I’m so glad you are getting Friday off and can work on your fiction. yay! Even though the cause is not so great, boo. I, too, find it hard to write if I have to squeeze it into something else. I usually need more time to get settled, to really dig into something. Lately I’ve been experimenting with carrying a smaller little bound notebook and if I’m sitting down with 15 minutes or so to wait, pulling up a line of poetry on my phone as a starter inspiration, and then writing whatever comes after that. It’s something new, and sometimes something good comes out! But I’m doing a good job of avoiding working on my longer project, because I feel I need a chunk of time to really review the pieces and see how they fit together, and what needs changing. So, I know what you mean! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ah, I feel better. I was starting to feel a bit hopeless… like I’m looking for an excuse not to do anything productive. Thank you for sharing with me. I really appreciate your constant support. It helps me a lot.
        I sent you the email.. 🙂
        Hugs xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderful piece Theresa. Through the life of the slipper, I could see the life of so many young girls apprehensive of being lost in the “vast shelves of sameness” (loved this!) and even though perhaps the last line “a life to be envied” is meant to be positive (?) I found it rather ironical – doomed to be just a pretty face, passed on from one to another without a thought or care for her wishes, hopes or desires. Amazing how much you conveyed in this thought provoking piece. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, gosh, Dahlia, I hadn’t thought about the parallel between this poor little trinket that wants to be different and unique and many young girls feeling like they want to be different and unique. Wow! Thank you for your observation! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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