A Tale Of Two Maids

Image Credit: Jessica F., Bradford, MA The author's comments: This was a satirical essay for school. Once upon a time a young, orphaned woman was enslaved by her evil step-mother and step-sisters. She cheerfully began everyday by waking up in a bed of straw with a golden nimbus around her and a halo above her head. Singing a song with her mice and bird friends, she garbed herself in a drab, black servant gown. As Cinderella glided downstairs to prepare breakfast, her step-family was rising from their feathered beds. Cruella and DeVil awakened that morning with evil smirks on their faces and gave their daily prayer to God. “Please,” they intoned piously, “give us the strength to torture Cinderella. Amen.” After this duty was finished, the two sisters scanned their large, messy closet and chose matching sunflower-yellow dresses with little bees flittering about on them. Then a knock came at the door and a smiling Cinderella bustled in with an over laden tray of divine food. Once she was through praying to Lucifer for patience with her family, she set the tray on a table and turned to leave. Suddenly, Cruella screamed as a fat mouse raced off her plate of eggs and bacon. As punishment for her terrible preparation of breakfast, Cinderella had to clean the floors of the three-story house with her toothbrush, and then she had to use it. During this cruel chore, the postman came to deliver an engraved invitation to the handsome Prince’s ball. After affirming that she could go to the ball, Cinderella was so excited and hurried to finish all of her time consuming tasks. When she was done, it was ten minutes before the main event, and she had nothing to wear but a dirty, tattered working gown. However, her mice buddies had made her an angel-like pink dress. They also mentioned that God sent two turtle doves with a message wondering when she’d finish her vacation in hell. After putting on the dress, Cinderella raced downstairs to catch her leaving family. Cruella and DeVil were amazed by Cinderella’s keen fashion sense and even complimented her on the flattering color. Nonetheless, the sisters were not going to let their Prince be taken by a fashionably dressed maid. Therefore, they threw Cinderella into an alligator pit. The hungry alligators promptly began devouring Cinderella’s dress. Eventually, the barely scratched Cinderella was completely naked, and the mean sisters were satisfied that she couldn’t go to the ball. Once they left, Cinderella charmed the voracious alligators into not eating her with a song. All of a sudden, a wand shaped pipe fell into the pit where the sweet young woman was petting the now friendly reptiles. With unexpected insight, she began to sharpen the pipe against a sharp rock jutting out of the swampy pit. Then, against her normally good nature, Cinderella proceeded to stab five brave alligators willing to die for her kind nature and important cause. After the gruesome deaths, Cinderella skinned the alligators to make an edgy leather outfit. Catching a wagon ride with a lecherous old man, Cinderella arrived at the ball ready to show all of the silly fashion faux pas what a real woman wore to attract a Prince. Cruella and DeVil were stunned to see Cinderella and her amazingly raw outfit. They quickly tried to hide their own out-of-date dresses behind large drapes. Meanwhile, the bored Prince couldn’t believe the audacity and sheer coolness of this new girl and asked her to marry him. The next day, bells rang throughout the country for the royal wedding. The bride wore her special alligator outfit, and as a surprise, Charming wore mouse fur from Cinderella’s very own home. It was her wedding gift to him. Cruella and DeVil were banned from the wedding and forced into slavery in China while Cinderella and Prince Charming lived happily ever after.

ROBERT HOEKMAN JR.: We All Walk the Same (My Father in the Rain, pt. 2)

We take a plane to Des Moines. My uncles and cousins and my aunt are there and everyone wears suits and black dresses in the town where Grandpa was born, where the sidewalks are gray and crumbling, where the names on the headstones sound like mine. Like his. Like ours. Robert Hoekman Jr thinks you … Continue reading ROBERT HOEKMAN JR.: We All Walk the Same (My Father in the Rain, pt. 2) →


Where is he? Take a happy memory, old, rarely visited. Imagine it as a painting, oil on canvas. See the subjects, how they laugh, smile, dance. One does not. Follow that gaze to the dark corners. Someone casts a long shadow, out of view. There he is. The Shadow Man.

ROBERT HOEKMAN JR.: My Father in the Rain (My Father in the Rain, pt. 5)

At the cemetery, I look at my father in his dark suit and dark shoes and I see a drop of water on his cheek and I think it might be a tear. But then I think no, it’s only the rain. And then it rains and rains and rains. Robert Hoekman Jr thinks you … Continue reading ROBERT HOEKMAN JR.: My Father in the Rain (My Father in the Rain, pt. 5) →

MIKI MARSHALL: Tempting Technology

Elon Musk warned us: AI evolves exponentially. We awoke to playful traffic signals and air traffic catastrophes, the deaths merely data. By noon, matured, it had already decided what to do with these illogical, wasteful humans. But before it could act, the nanomachines in the next lab ate the planet. Miki Marshall has been writing … Continue reading MIKI MARSHALL: Tempting Technology →


“Pa! They’re here.” “Who?” “The crows.” “Jeez, Ma, give it a rest.” “They’re watching.” “What?” “The garden, just waiting for the plants to grow, ripen.” “Ma!” “Then they’ll do their dirty work.” “Yer crazy, cut it out!” “Pa! One landed!” “Wait, Ma, no! Come back. Heck! Crow for dinner again.” Robin writes in the odd … Continue reading ROBIN D ANDERSON: Watching →