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Sweat dripping from your forehead, you hastily wiped it with the back of your hand. You then returned to sweeping. It was a hot day today. Even so, your stepmother wouldn't stop bothering you with chores - specifically the ones that were outside. The inside of the house wasn't any better, as the windows were opened and flies were buzzing around. You knew that by the end of today, you would be the one forced to spray down these bugs.

Nearing the bathroom, you tiredly walked into the small area and used the broom to brush the dust particles into the pan. Your [e/c] eyes accidentally caught sight of the mirror before you and you froze for a few seconds. Staring at yourself, you could see the dark circles that laid under the hues and the ashy gray soot that covered the side of your face. No matter how often you washed your face or showered, the soot stuck to you like a magnet. In terms of your clothes, that was a worst matter that you could barely fathom. You didn't have many spare clothes and it wasn't like you were allowed to wash your clothes often, so dirty clothes were all that was left.

That was part of the reason why you wanted to go to this ball so badly. You wished to for once forget who you were and experience joy that was no longer present in your life.

"Cinder!"

You nearly dropped the broom at the sound of high pitch squealing. Slowly turning around with a suppressed sigh stuck in your throat, you were met by one of your stepsisters, Rosa. Like her mother, she had thick, black hair that fell down to her waist instead of being put into a bun. Her squinty, brown eyes glared at you in annoyance and her red drawn lips were pursed tightly. Today, she was wearing one of her favorite gowns. It was a bright orange color and in your eyes, you didn't see the appeal. The laces were overdone too, but you weren't in the place to say anything.

"There's a fly in my bedroom. It's been buzzing in my ear for the last ten minutes! Why haven't you got rid of it yet?!" The girl shut the matching orange fan shut and jabbed it in the air towards you. You almost flinched backwards, but held your place and was glad that she would gain no satisfaction from your fear. You were afraid of stepmother, yes, but Rosa and Delphine were only annoying.

"I'll finish up the bathroom and then I'll kill the fly for you," you responded warily.

"No one's using the bathroom. My bedroom is more important, so why don't you just kill the fly first?!" she demanded, yanking the handle of the broom away from you. You began to protest, but she stepped out of bathroom and rose her eyebrows expectedly at you. "Well?"

Slowly submitting defeat, you followed right after her. Going through the narrow hallway filled of portraits of past ancestors that were not yours, you entered into the familiar kitchen. Passing the dining table and making way around the counter in the middle, you grabbed a bucket of water and quickly squeezed out soap into it. Mixing it well with your right hand, the cool water brushed against your skin, making you wish to dunk your entire self in it. You took it out when it was mixed enough and wiped your slimy fingers on your already-dirtied dress. Holding onto it, you began to head on over to your dear sister's room.

You climbed up the carpeted steps and lugged the heavy bucket behind you. Approaching the second floor, you had to stop for a few seconds to find your breath. When your heart calmed, you walked into the first bedroom on the left, where Rosa was already waiting impatiently for you. Her arms crossed across her chest, she tapped her foot repeatedly and grumbled incoherently. She pointed at a black dot in the wall and motioned you to hurry over to it. "It's right there! Cinder! Capture the damn thing before it flies in circles again!"

You stumbled over there with the wet bucket slightly sloshing over the floor. Ignoring your stepsister's glare for ruining her poor carpet, you placed the bucket on the floor. Scooping hands with the water, you carefully splashed it against the wall, aiming for the fly. It missed by millimeter and the fly flew away in lightning speed. Rosa started to scream at you for being so clumsy.

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