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The Glass Slipper – a modern take

The Speak Out Team are working with the creative writing group at Welland Park Academy and came up with a brief to write a modern-day fairy tale. Here is a modern twist on ‘The Glass Slipper’.

“Who’s that?” I yell in Adam’s ear, louder than intended. Though I doubt anyone could hear us over the music being blasted behind us.

“Huh? Oh, her? That’s Ella.” Adam turns around, vibrant disco lights flashing across his face. He holds a cup in his hand, containing some sort of dark beverage. Probably just Ribena.

“I’ve never seen her here before. I wanna talk to her.” I steal a few glances in her direction – nothing too obvious. She’s wearing a blue top with flowing sleeves and a dark pair of jeans. What stands out most about her, however, is her bright red sneakers. I could see them from across the room.

Adam takes a swig of his juice, not bothering to even look at her. “She’s, like, never at school. I’m surprised she even came to the dance.”

“Should I introduce myself?” I chew at my nails. She stands in the corner of the room, studiously reading a poster advertising the school dance. It states: END OF SCHOOL BALL in huge letters.

“I mean,” he finally looks over to her, pulling a disgusted expression, “you might be the first person to even talk to her this year. But, if you can live with that, then sure. Why not.”

Adam takes a final gulp of his drink. “I’m gonna go get some more juice. Have fun.”

I gulp. “I’ll try.”

Adam wanders off. I see Ella leaning against the wall now, tapping her red shoes to the beat of the song. Carefully, I navigate my way around the screaming groups of my dancing classmates.

That’s when my father bumps into me. He’s a member of the PTA, which is the only reason I’m even slightly popular at this school. “Henry Prince!” my dad addresses me by my full name, for some reason, “Have you found a good girl to dance with yet?”

I nervously look past my father’s shoulder, making sure Ella is still there. She’s gone. Oh no. I haven’t missed my chance, have I? “No, dad. Not yet.”

My dad chuckles at my blushing face. “Okay then. I’ll leave you to it, shall I? Looks like Adam’s at the buffet. Great, not again! ADAM, NO!” My father stomps off to the other side of the room, and I sigh in relief.

I glance around. That’s when I catch sight of her shoes. I look up to see her running out the door. It’s barely just turned midnight, why is she already leaving?

I shove past the crowds of students. I keep my eye on the door, as sweaty people cross my path, the vivid lights flashing past my vision. I reach the doorway, gasping for air as the cool breeze hits me.

The front stairs of my school descend before me. I can barely see Ella running down the road. I’ve missed my opportunity – she’s already gone.

I sit down on the step beneath my feet, cursing under my breath. As my head falls into my hands, I notice something beside me. A single red sneaker, sitting on the stairs.

I reach over. Folded between the worn laces is a slip of paper.

Hi, Henry. Here’s my number 🙂

By Niamh Whelan

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