Another Cinderella

Press one to listen to message

An exhale on the other line.

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Press three to include another

From the mess of dripping leaves a woman approaches. A red heel steps through the threshold. A long smooth leg like a white sheet of paper follows behind.

Press four to keep your soul

She found her body in the gutter. She grew up here. She calls it home now. It’s a way of getting by, to cover herself with dirt.

Press five to speak to a missing person

From above falls cold snow, more beautiful and soft than rain. She reaches her hand up so that she can see what the snow looks like and she finds a handhold in the sod.

Press six for a lesson

Press seven for a change

Through the sway of grasses she can make out an immense body. It breathes deeply and roughly. Billows of smoke escape of moist nostrils. She only perceives a massive shoulder of a brown hide as she crouches closer. At once, a frigid gust springs on them and flattens the grasses down. She finds herself face to face with a buffalo. Eyes gentle and shining like glass.

Press either 8 or 9 for an answer

The roaming mountains are larger than giants that don’t wait for snow. Their tops are forever white and distant. One day they will be gone, but not now. Now they rule.

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The girl is gone for years with no shoes at all, just some hide, dried meat, and a pair of glass eyes. She travels until she can feel a beating that measures the length of her heartbeat. On a winter night, from the distance she swears people are dancing.

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She recognizes something in the refracted light. She understands the words. The party people call her name. She approaches and slips into the bodies like an eel into a river.