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The remix

By Latoya Giles Published 9 months ago 7 min read

"I love you so much dear mother. I will never forget you."

Ella said with tears streaming down her face. Father stood next to her, and gently put his hand on her shoulder.

"She loved you too sweetheart." He said softly, wiping his own tears away.

And just like that, Ella and father were alone. At the tender age of 5, Ella knew a little bit about death. She knew enough about it to know that mother will not be coming back home anymore. It always felt like it was just yesterday. The days turned into weeks, then months. Before they knew it, years had passed. Ella and father fell into a routine. Ella tended to the house mostly, and she did all the cooking. She loved to cook. Since Ella cooked the food, father went out to buy it. She would make father a very detailed grocery list. Market day was Monday. Routine. Well, one Monday, father brought home more than just food. Father had brought home a woman! Ella was startled when she turned around and saw her standing there.

"Ella, my dear, I have met someone." Father said with a smile.

"Oh. Hello ma'am." Ella said with a curtsy.

"Hello Ella. My name is Mary. I have two daughters around your age. The three of you simply MUST meet!" Mary said happily.

Mary seemed nice enough. Father seemed to be happier. Ella would catch him smiling or humming a tune. She wanted him to be happy.

Mary started coming over more often. She started bringing her daughters along. Mary had two daughters: Mary Ann and Mary Lou. Ella and father did not know it yet, but Mary is a narcissist. That is why her daughters are named after her. Of course, everyone started out nice at first and was on their absolute best behavior.

Their romance was quite the whirlwind as Mary was very charming, attentive and sweet. Mary and her girls moved in within a month.

"Surely Ella won't mind sharing her room with my Annie and Louie girls." Mary said to father.

Before Ella had a chance to object, their clothes and shoes were in her closet and dresser drawers. Annie and Louie were very spoiled. They were very messy too. Ella found herself being the one to keep the room tidy. None of them could cook very well either.

"I wonder what father sees in her. I mean she is quite nice it seems, but that is about it." Ella thought to herself.

"We are getting married!!" Mary shouted while waving her left hand in the air.

Her outburst interrupted Ella's thoughts.

"That is wonderful news mother!" Louie and Annie exclaimed.

Father just walked into the room and stood quietly smiling. He was never much of a talker. It was official, Ella was now STUCK with Mary, Annie and Louie...FOREVERRRRR!!!! Ella didn't go out much, so she didn't really have any friends. She had no one to talk to. She did have a pet cat. Her name is Penelope, Penny for short. Penny is Ella's best friend. She knew all of Ella's secrets. Before Mary and her daughters moved in, she would lie across the bed talking to Penny for hours. Now she and Penny hand out in the cellar. She kept her journal down there.

"Ella, you spend so much time down there that you're always covered in cinders.

"Cinder-Ella! Cinder-Ella!" The girls chanted.

The name stuck.

Father and Mary have a wedding. Father didn't want anything very big. Mary, instead, insisted on inviting the entire town to the event. Cinderella was fine as long as father was happy. He seemed to be very happy. After the wedding ceremony was all said and done, Mary was different. She appeared to be changing a bit. Cinderella noticed she was a little less nice now. She was a little more demanding now. She was the most demanding when father was away from home. You see, father was the town doctor, the ONLY town doctor. As such, he could get pretty busy at times. These busy times keep father away longer.

"Where is lunch Cinderella?" Annie shouted.

"I'm starving!" Louie whined.

"Cinderella, stop being so lazy and get our food done!" Mary chimed in last.

This became Cinderella's new normal. She simply did what she was told. Things were easier that way. After she finished whatever task she was given, she retreated to her favorite spot in the cellar. Eventually, Mary convinced father to move Cinderella down there permanently because obviously that is where she likes to be. As always, Cinderella kept quiet. She did what she was told and took it all in stride for the sake of fathers happiness. Fathers happiness means everything to her.

As the town doctor, father took care of everyone. When his health started to decline, there was no doctor to take care of him. Cinderella became his nurse. She helped him with whatever he needed. It started out as just a little assist here and there. Eventually, father became bed ridden. Cinderella did all the cooking anyway, so she would whip up soups and stews for father. Mary would offer to feed father from time to time. She actually started offering more and more as his illness progressed. Cinderella wondered why this was because Mary barely wanted to feed herself. She wasn't the type to ever do something "out of the kindness of her heart." Sadly, father did not last too much longer after he became bedridden. No one could pinpoint what had killed him.

Mary couldn't bury father fast enough it seemed. His body wasn't even cold yet before she was putting him into the ground. Mother had come from a wealthy family. When she passed, she left a sum of money for her and some for father so they would not have to struggle. Cinderella didn't know that Mary had gotten father to put the money in her name when he got sick. Mary had access to both portions. Immediately after the funeral, they all went back home. Cinderella had made a large pot of stewed pheasant the night before, so she didn't need to cook.

"Good riddance!" Mary said as she all of a sudden grabbed Cinderella and shoved her down into the cellar. Annie and Louie laughed. The door was closed and locked behind her. New clothes from the tailor. New shoes from the shop. New hairstyles from the salon. Mary and her mini's wasted no time blowing through the money. Cinderella was locked in the cellar almost all day. She was allowed out to make meals and clean whenever Mary felt it necessary. The isolation was meant to be a punishment, but Cinderella enjoyed it. She was thriving. She hated Mary, Annie and Louie so the less she saw of them, the better. She had everything she needed in the cellar: clothes, shoes, sink, toilet, bed and her cat.

During her many hours alone, Cinderella began to wonder what killed her parents. They both died fairly young, and the illness had a rapid onset. It then progressed very quickly. In her spare time, Cinderella read medical books, journals and research papers. This was before the internet, so she did her research manually. Plus, father is a doctor, so he has loads of medical information in the house. No one knew that Cinderella was doing this research.

"Mother was in good health. What were her earliest symptoms?" Cinderella said aloud. She was half thinking out loud, half talking to Penny. She bounced ideas off of Penny all the time.

"Cinderella! The royal gathering is tonight. Prepare us at once!" Mary demanded.

While putting together the pieces of her parents' deaths, Cinderella was still a servant.

"Yes ma'am. Cinderella said as she scurried up the cellar stairs. Cinderella became a jack of all trades. This was largely due to her stepmother and stepsisters being lazy and incompetent. After all was said and done, they actually looked good.

Mary wore a blue floor length gown. Cinderella had decorated the dress and her hair with ribbons of different sizes and lengths. Each daughter was dressed in a corresponding shade of purple. Annie and Louie's dresses had parts of Mary's dress design to tie them all together as a unit. Hair and nail extensions to add to the look. Cinderella was proud of herself. she hustled the ladies out and into their carriage. Off they went.

"FINALLY!" Cinderella loudly. Mary, Annie and Louie were always in the house. Them being at home meant Cinderella had work to do. She would be free for several hours.

"Back to work Penny." Cinderella said. Her and Penny headed down to the cellar. Cinderella was developing a theory. It seemed like mother was fine one day, then suddenly sick the next. How? Why? Father seemed genuinely concerned and put together medicines for her to take. Cinderella was only 5 when mother died, so she didn't remember too much. She switched back to fathers and death.

"Rapid onset..." Cinderella said, trailing off.

"Meow." Penny added.

Penny sauntered over and sat on Cinderella's lap. Penny then looked up at Cinderella and said, "You are on the right track. I have witnessed many things because no one ever pays attention to the cat. Nothing was natural. Keep going..." Then she lept up and walked away.

"Cinderella squinted her eyes. Then she shook her head quickly from side to side as if shake something off.

"You are losing it! Cats don't talk! The isolation is finally making you delirious." Cinderella said to herself.

She grabbed her journal to write about what happened. As she was putting her journal back in its hiding place, something fell out. It was a little blue book. Cinderella picked it up to check it out.

"DEAR DIARY", it said on the front.

"What the...?" Cinderella thought.

"Mom's diary?" She gasped.

Cinderella was facing a fork in the road. Should she invade mothers' privacy and read her diary? Is it an invasion of privacy if the person has died? This book could answer the questions Cinderella has. This book could shed light on mother's death. Cinderella decided to open it.

The first sentence said, "My husband is trying to kill me!"

How ironic is it that father may have killed mother and Mary may have killed father....


Short Story

About the Creator

Latoya Giles

I'm just a single mom tryna make it. Come with me on my journey through life in writing... "A dream deferred is not a dream denied"

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