Glass slippers were a trap. The silvery tinkle of the heels across the ballroom’s marble floor possessed a meticulous music I couldn’t shake; it jangled around in my head each time the waltz stopped, each time I stepped from one partner to the next. I danced like the wind dances. I danced like falling leaves. It was so effortless, so natural, to swirl and cavort in those enchanting glass heels. I could feel all eyes fixed on me, I could feel the yearning (that night I preferred to call it “yearning”). Ah when you’ve had nothing, had to beg for the small patch of nothing you were allowed to call your own, then you enjoy the pleasant pang of others yearning in your stead.
So I revelled in their yearning, my bosom heaving with exertion and delight. My skin flushed pink and I felt like I was blossoming. The slippers’ music led me far more than the waltz did, far more than the men whose yearning hands held me close.
Then finally I caught the glance of the prince. He was stouter than his portraits, his creased face looking sweaty from his own dancing efforts. I curtsied. He bowed, with some difficulty; his breeches pinched a little and made his face spasm in a grimace or a smirk, I don’t remember which.
It never occurred to me to wonder why the keen, old woman was so insistent I should add glass slippers to my attire that night, after she promised I’d attend the ball. I supposed she simply had an obscurely elegant taste in shoes. But no, she knew her market well. The prince was sold on me at once.
Now I lie still and dangle a glass slipper behind my back, so the silvery shine contrasts against the nudity of my buttocks, exactly as he likes. Utterly still, I listen to his breaths, try to gauge how much longer, as he begins grunting out the countdown to another climax.
This piece of flash fiction was written in response to the Photo Challenge #26 “Silver,” at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, where all stories in the link-up were prompted by the painting at the top of this post, by Cesar Santos.