first part here*
“Be prepared, Doctor. I tried to stop her but she wouldn’t listen.”
Dr. Moreno frowns at his secretary’s cryptic words. He had just gotten back from a fine lunch at the Big Bad Wolf’s Barbeque Bistro. The chipped ham sandwich once sitting comfortably in his stomach rolls about with agitation inside him. He reaches for the knob, takes a deep breath, and opens his office door.
The disinfectant smell slams into him as he wishes he had taken a second breath of fresh air while in the lobby. His eyes squint at the brightness in the room, all the woodwork and leather sparkling in its shiny cleanness. Dr. Moreno notices Cinderella standing in the far corner, her shoulders hunched, her hands held up to her face. She grips the cleaning rag up to her nose. Loud sniffs echo in the room as her eyes roll up in blissful enjoyment.
Dr. Moreno struts across the room and snatches the rag from the woman’s hand. He tosses it out the window.
She screams. Cinderella dashes over. One leg is up on the sill before Dr. Moreno yanks her away from the opening and gives her a rough shake. “We’re on the FIFTH FLOOR. Get a hold of yourself, Cindy.”
Cinderella’s eyelids blink several times. She fights through the chemical haze in her mind to realize her near plummet to her death. Her knees bend as she collapses to the floor, stunned.
Dr. Moreno closes the window and latches it. He pulls the blinds down and deliberately walks away from the distraught woman to take a seat in his leather chair. His butt slides on the waxed leather, and he has to spread legs wide to wedge them against the armrest to stay put. His fingers reach for his clipboard on the desk and the pen from his pocket. He takes down notation while smoothing the stern expression from his face.
After ten minutes, Cinderella pushes herself from the floor and makes her unsteady way to the reclined lounge chair. She settles onto the cushions not looking at the doctor because of her embarrassment.
Dr. Moreno finishes his notes and lays the clipboard aside. He laces his fingers as he rests hands against his stomach. “You’re in pain. I want to heal it. Tell me what happened after your father passed away.”
“My happy life ended,” Cinderella whispers. “I could tolerate my stepmother and sisters when he was around. But when Papa left me, I felt lost. Alone. I used my chores to take my mind off of things. Always cleaning. Always scrubbing. Always doing the cooking and shopping. That was my world now. I barely ate. I barely took care of my appearance. My clothes worn down to rags. My stepmother and sisters didn’t say anything. They didn’t do anything. They expected me to be like this, since it was all I ever did while around them. They didn’t care about me then.”
“Why would they? You didn’t care about them when they first entered your life. At the most pivotal point in creating a family relationship, you pushed them aside like they were unwanted guests. If they tried to do anything in the house, you changed it to how you wanted it to be. If they tried to show affection to your father, you interrupted so as to be the only one who receives his love. They got sick of trying to be a family with someone who is so controlling.” Dr. Moreno closes his eyes to rest them from the bright room.
“The villagers in the marketplace cared.” Cinderella speaks as if she hadn’t heard the doctor’s words. “They saw how I looked, all dirty and disheveled, and took pity on me. They gave me discounts on things. I could visit the butcher, baker, or candlestick maker and they would give bathtubs full of free purchases to me.”
Dr. Moreno sniffles, then reaches into his pocket to pull out his handkerchief. He lets loose a mighty sneeze before speaking. “You found your center stage again. You had the wanted attention you lost when your father died. Another form of control, you played on the sympathies of the villagers by acting as if you were being made into a slave by your step family.”
“It made me happy again,” Cinderella admits.
“But it didn’t last long, did it? The feeling faded the moment you left the marketplace. You had to find something else that could give you that ‘happiness.’ Cindy, tell me what happened next. Tell me about these hallucinations. Your husband, Prince Charming, said you talk to mice and imaginary fairy folk.”
Cinderella shakes her head. “They’re not hallucinations. The mice do talk with me. And I have a Fairy Godmother who grants me wishes. She was the one who helped me get to The Prince’s ball. She gave me a beautiful dress to wear and glass slippers. She created a carriage out of a pumpkin... oh dear lord! That does sound insane, doesn’t it?” She chuckles.
“Yes, it does,” Dr. Moreno sighs. He reaches for the manilla folder and slips out two pages. “Cindy, I’m going to read you something. Do you know what these are?”
Cinderella glances over and shakes her head.
Dr. Moreno clears his throat. “These are police reports on the night when The Prince had his Grand Ball. I want you to listen as I read them. I want you to keep an open mind about it. Can you do that for me?”
“Will it help? Will it help so I won’t need to come to therapy any more?”
“They will help by letting you see the truth. Sometimes the truth can be painful. But I’m here to heal the hurt,” Dr. Moreno reassures her. He reads the first page.
Date: April 24, 2---
Offense: Assault & Battery, Mugging
Victim: Little Miss Muffet
Victim’s Statement: I was on my way out the door. I had picked up my dress from the cleaners and called for a carriage man to drive me to the Grand Ball. My great-grandmother’s heirloom glass slippers were on my feet. I thought I had a real chance in catching The Prince’s eye. While I stood on the welcome mat, I saw this woman staggering up the road. She looked to be the girl living in the cottage up the road. Something was definitely wrong. She muttered to herself and waved her hands in the air and occasionally rolled on the ground several times. I thought maybe she was running away from home. There were rumors that her step family abused her. I rushed over to see if I could help. She screamed, “FAIRIES! THE FAIRIES ARE IN ME! THEY SPEAK TO ME. THEY TELL ME I AM THEIR GOD!” Then she grabbed me by the hair and whipped me about before knocking my head into the ground. I blacked out for a while. After I woke up, I found I was stripped to my undergarments. My dress and slippers were gone. My great-grandmother’s glass slippers were stolen.
Dr. Moreno pauses in his reading to glance over at his patient. Cinderella’s face appears pale. Wetness lurks at the corners of her eyes. She says nothing, her body tense, her eyes staring straight ahead at the door as if ready to bolt out the office. Dr. Moreno blows out a deep breath. He would rather have her go out the door than out the window onto the sidewalk below. He reads the next report.
Date: April 24, 2—
Offense: Impersonation, grand theft, possible DUI
Victim: Jack Horner, carriage driver at the Corner Plum Escort Services
Victim’s Statement: I was driving toward my next pickup whom I would take to the Grand Ball. Halfway down the road, I saw this woman dressed in this fine dress and glass slippers. I slowed down, and she told me I was her ride to the Ball. I asked for identification and she pulled out the photo id. The picture didn’t look much like her, yet the client who had phoned in earlier had described what she would be wearing and it matched what this woman had on. So I shrugged my shoulders and opened the carriage door. I drove her to the Ball and I waited my required time to take her back home. When the bells started ringing from the clocks signaling midnight, the woman rushed out the palace doors, losing one of her slippers on the steps. She climbed up beside me and yanked the reins from my hand while screaming. “MY FAIRY GODMOTHER WANTS THESE RATS HOME BEFORE THE PUMPKIN ROTS.” The woman pushed me out the driver’s seat and sped off with my carriage. I caught hell by my employer when I found it wrecked against a tree. The woman was nowhere to be found
Dr. Moreno stops as he hears weeping. He places the papers back into the folder and lifts from his chair. He pulls out a tissue from the box on his desk and hands it to Cinderella. She wipes away the tears and blows her nose.
“I know it hurts, Cindy. We’re getting through it. Once you tell me about the pain, we can start to heal you. But it’s not over yet. There’s more that you have to endure.”
Cinderella stutters through the tears. “Why would I do such terrible things? Why would I make things up about my fairy godmother and hurt innocent people?”
“It’s the same reason you would almost jump out a five-storey window to go after a dirty dustrag.” Dr. Moreno points at the large satchel sitting by the reclined chair. “The answer is behind those latches and locked inside you where you don’t want to see. But it’s time to open up and let everything out. First, let me get you some water to drink. Then, you will tell me where the last of the hurt is. Come. Tell me.”
Here ends the second half. The last part of Fractured Fairytales: Cinderella’s Therapy Sessions, will reveal the truth lurking inside Cindy and a startling revelation about her parents