from the “Ella and the Ball”(by Kaye George*) in Once Upon a Fact, Futuristic Fairy Tales edited by Katherine Tomlinson and published by Wildside Press May 2018
*formerly known as Janet Cantrell, the Fat Cat author
I can’t tell you what a relief it is to be out of that house, even if I would be in the same place as my stepmother and stepsisters.
Oh, my wrist phone is vibrating. It’s Dustanna, my maid friend who lives across the street. When I shake my hand, she answers.
“Elly,” Dustanna cries. “Where are you? I just ran over to your place and no one is home.”
“Hi, Dusty. My stepsisters and stepmother left for the ball an hour ago and I left just now.”
Dustanna squeals so loud my wrist phone screeches. “You’re going to the ball? How did you manage that? I thought you didn’t have a dress.”
“I didn’t! A drone came by and dropped the most gorgeous gown you’ve ever seen. Then a man named Pierre came to the door and said he was supposed to do my hair, makeup, and nails. Another drone dropped a pair of … kind of weird shoes. Then, just now, a self-driving carriage shaped like a giant pumpkin stopped in front of the house.”
These shoes are transparent and I think they’re made of glass. Just before I left, I slipped a pair of flats into my reticule in case they’re too uncomfortable to wear all night.
I tell Dustanna this is going to be the best night of my life.
***Note: The proceeds from the sale of this short story anthology go to organizations that benefit women in STEM.