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The steaming pot whistled loudly in the kitchen, catching your attention. Quickly letting go of the knife that was cutting onions, you hurried over to the stove. In distraught, you used a bucket of water to dispense the fire beneath it. You had been too distracted with other things that you had left the porridge cooking for too long! Opening up the cover, you noticed how it was slightly burnt. Your stepmother was going to give you hell for this one.

The dreaded voice that called out that mocking nickname came just in time. "Cinder! You slow girl! Why haven't you finished cooking yet?!

You whirled yourself around to find your stepmother standing there at the doorway. Her dark, gleaming eyes stared into your soul and her small lips curled in disgust. Her long, black hair was tied into a tight bun and she was wearing a crimson dress that she no doubt spent the family's savings on. You guys weren't rich, but the members in the household often liked to think so.

"In...just a few more minutes," you softly replied, bustling back to the cutting board. A scoff could be heard behind you, followed by a loud slam on the kitchen counter. You fearfully looked over your shoulder to see that she had placed a slip of paper and coins on the counter - coins that you probably earned yourself, since it was you who had worked as well.

"After this, you will immediately head out to the market, you hear me? I need you to go buy fabric for the dresses we need for the upcoming ball. You will only be eating the leftovers once you get back. That's punishment for taking so long," she sneered. She swept out of the kitchen and you were left alone once more, your stomach dropping at the sound of that.

The grip on the knife's handle tightened and you shakily chopped the rest of the onions. Tears slid out of the corner of eyes and though you were cutting onions, that wasn't the main reason for the waterworks. Taking a few deep breaths, you thought back to your dearly beloved father that you terribly missed. Father would not have wanted your anger to take over you. Neither would it be a good idea, especially at this time, because you wished to convince your stepmother in letting you attend the ball.

This indeed did calm you down, as it always did before...but what if...it couldn't calm you down anymore? What would happen if you couldn't bottle in your emotions anymore?

Using your forearm to wipe the unwanted, salty droplets of water from your eyes, you let out a staggering breath and looked up determinedly. You were just fine. Hunger may lingered in the pits of your stomach, but you shouldn't complain when so many others had it worst than you. At least you had a roof over your head and food that kept you going. It didn't matter if you slept on the ground near the fireplace, or that you would do all the chores and pay the taxes, because you needed to stay grateful.

You finished the onions and added it into the vegetables that were frying into the pan. Mixing them well for several minutes, you finally completed the meal that Delphine - one of your stepsisters so desperately wanted.

The coins glistening in the golden sun, you reluctantly picked the pile up with your greasy hands and stuffed it into your dress's pocket. You scanned over the piece of paper and saw it was a list for the fabrics. Untying the dirty apron from behind, you slipped it off of you and hung it back on the wall. Trudging across the kitchen and into the hallway, you turned left and reached the front of the house. A closet stood there beside the stairway and you walked into it to grab your one trench coat.

Draping it over your sooted, white dress, you then slipped into your sandals. Once you looked presentable enough to appear in public, you opened the door and walked into the evening sun that was beginning to set in the distance. You needed to hurry if you wanted to be home before it gets too late. You didn't feel safe walking alone at night.

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