Dragon's Breath Magazine, September '91

Steven King Rewrites Perrault or, Cinderella Gets Even
by John Kalstrom

      Cinderella pulled the well-oiled .45 from under her tattered dress and leveled it.
      "Whaaat?" said the stupefied Evil Godmother.
      "Anarchy now!" Cinderella screamed. The hammer slammed down, ripping the silence with its amplified echo. The slug sunk home, finding a rib that slammed the obese body against the wall.
      The Evil Godmother glared back through a reddening haze, then slid down the wall to lie still, the frothing blood running from the twisted mouth to form a horrible pool at her side.
      Cinderella heard the running footsteps, and had the automatic off the floor even as the door crashed open. She rolled aside as the axe blade bit into the table behind her, then sprayed a run of bullets into the stepsister's back, covering the antique with bright liquid.
      The last stepsister dodged twice, evading Cinderella's fire, then ran down the darkened hallway. Cinderella calmly centered the gun and squeezed off single shots until she heard the body thump against the floor. The stepsister screamed, and screamed again, as Cinderella continued to fire every few seconds, waiting for the agony to relent each time. ...
      The Prince had been pressing Cinderella all morning for an explanation to the mysteries that enshrouded her past. "Come, dear, there should be no secrets between us. Tell me about your childhood, your family, where you lived."
      "All right!" Cinderella shrieked. She stared hard at the Prince for a moment, then her tensed mouth relaxed -- with resolve. "Both of my parents were killed when I was young in an unfortunate accident," Cinderella began.
      "My adopted family blamed me for my stepfather's suicide, just because I was new. They treated me terribly..."
      The Prince saw Cinderella's hand as it crept down into her handbag, but was unable to move as he heard the metallic click...

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