Seriously, this was not my fault.
I mean, most girls in these stupid stories – well, you could blame them for what happened.
They did something wrong.
They made a stupid choice.
Little Red Riding Hood – well, everyone knows you’re not supposed to talk to wolves. Really, who trusts a wolf? And Cinderella? It’s not like she had to wash and clean and sweep for her stepsisters. Well, I guess she had to. But if you think about it, she was really just a pushover.
If it were me, I would’ve just up and left those hags. I mean, those are marketable skills. She could’ve just as easily left her sisters and actually gotten paid for what she was doing, instead of getting bullied by those bitches. If I were in her place – and trust me, I wouldn’t have been for long – I would’ve left those witches on Day one. And by the time she met her Prince, I would’ve been running my own little maid service – and making a profit.
After all, who needs a prince when you can take care of yourself? Between you and me, her prince is actually pretty boring. He collects butterflies, you know. Which is just plain creepy, if you ask me.
Of course, no one ever does.
But I think you get my point. Most of those things could’ve been prevented – those women made choices and those choices led to specific consequences.
I didn’t have a choice, which actually makes it a whole lot worse. I can’t reason my way out of this. I can’t fix this.
It’s all my stupid father’s fault. He shouldn’t have been bragging.
Ok, so I did save the farm. It was really just a redistribution of assets, you know. He wasn’t making good use of his resources. And after I made a few minor adjustments, it wasn’t long until the farm started to prosper.
But that looks suspicious, I suppose. When you ride by a farm and all of the animals are sickly and the workers are lazing about (another problem I fixed, by the way – hired some people who actually worked, instead of lying around), you make certain assumptions. And the king did.
And when he drove by again, a few months later, to find healthy animals and a productive farm, he started asking questions.
Because apparently, these changes couldn’t be due to better management and hiring better help. Nope. It had to be some kind of magic.
It’s amazing how wrong-minded rulers can be. They’re responsible for the management of entire kingdoms and yet they can’t accept the logic of simple asset redistribution, I swear.
So he didn’t believe my father when he explained it. And he didn’t believe my father when he started bragging about how smart his daughter is – and how she was responsible for all of these changes.
A smart woman? Who’s ever heard of that?
But when my Dad started getting all poetic – making up odes to my beauty and brains and wit…. Well, the King believed that. It’s mostly crap. I’m not particularly pretty or clever. You wouldn’t pick me out of a crowd. And I’m just fine with that. But you know how parents can be…
And when he said I was clever enough to make straw into gold…. the King definitely believed that.
A little too much.
And that’s how I ended up stuck here, in the biggest room I’ve ever seen. Not that there’s very much room for me to move around. The entire place is filled, floor to ceiling, with straw.
All I’ve got is a spinning wheel, a glass of water and a giant room full of straw. It’s a waste of a perfectly good room, if you ask me.
I imagine this room on any other night. I imagine it decorated with rich velvet tapestries, candles glowing from tables filled with food. There would be an orchestra in the corner. Handsome men. And women wearing beautiful gowns that cost more than my father’s farm. But I’ll never get to see it.
Because if I can’t spin this straw into gold, then I lose my head tomorrow morning. I wonder if they’ll let me see a final dawn. And it will be my final dawn.
I don’t know how to spin straw into gold, just in case you haven’t figured it out.
And I’m not a pretty princess.
I don’t have a fair godmother on my side.
It’s just me.
And no one is coming to save me.
But I refuse to spend my last night on earth crying or bemoaning my fate. And I can’t exactly make it a good night, but I can make it a better one.
So instead, I choose to imagine this room in the glory of any other night, filled with glowing candles and shimmering gowns. I close my eyes and imagine them waltzing around the floor. In my mind, I imagine music that I will never hear.
And I wait for morning.
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