“Cindy” by James S. Dorr

August 3, 2012

Post image for “Cindy” by James S. Dorr

It seems like a lot of trouble for a godmother to go through to get Cinderella ready for the ball and the marriage which must inevitably follow. But what if the fairy has her own agenda? [19 min]


So I light a cigar. I know they’re not good for you. But in the old country—under the sidhe, you know what I mean—even in my svelte Green Lady days I enjoyed a good smoke. Corn silk, maybe, or fine, dried peaseblossom. Sometimes stuff with a bit more zing in it. But now, with Cindy, I’ve got to be careful to have it finished before she comes upstairs.

Talk about priggish.

Like now, as I hear her dainty hand scratching against the rough wooden boards of the trapdoor. I douse the butt quickly and hide it between my—well never mind where. Where I’ll find it later. I pick up my needle and thread it with silver and get on with sewing. “Is that you, Cindy?” I whisper, demurely.

“Yes,” comes the answer. The trapdoor rises and golden hair shines through, brightening even the dingy attic I use as my workshop. She climbs through completely, her milk white skin glowing even beneath the dirt, ruby lips smiling, her lithe figure straightening when…a chittering…

A black straw beetle scuttles across the floor and Cindy’s lips twist, just for a moment, as her foot comes down, crushing the creature. I hear its shell crack, hear the ooze of its life fluid—just for a moment. Then daintily, scarcely missing a step, she flicks a handkerchief down to her shoe and, still gracefully, pirouettes to my side and sits down beside me.



“Cindy” was first published in the Spring 2001 issue of Fantastic.

Kate August 6, 2012 at 8:35 AM

This is a simply delightful story. I love the answers given to some of the unsatisfying parts of the story, such as the charm around the magic slipper. I think this is one of the best fairy tale twists I have read.

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