‘You killed him!’ Ella screeched. ‘You killed him! If you had only loved him enough, he wouldn’t have died.’
‘Ella, please sit down in front of the fire, now.’
‘What are those called? The black, yucky aftermath of the fire?’
‘Cinders?’ I said calmly. ‘I am sorry, Ella, about—’
‘No!’ She yelled, interrupting me again. ‘You will never, ever call me that again!’ Tears
streamed down her face. ‘You are the reason that my mother and father are dead!
You are a curse to everyone who knows you! You are evil! It shows on your face!’
Her breath was shaking then. ‘You will call me Cinders, because that is all that
is left of me, since you have destroyed it all.’
Before Cinderella meets the prince, before she loses her glass slipper, before the happily ever after, there was the stepmother.
Thrown into a forced marriage, she is haunted by her past, by her love for another man, and by her inability to hope for her own happily ever after. So much happened before the ball. So much happened Behind the Lace.
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