Retruthing the Tale
By: Stephen Oram

She was the one who got to tell the story, her, and her posh boyfriend. And they lied, so I want to set the record straight. I know it’s futile but let me try. Stories get told and retold. They solidify. They become their own truth, and we all know who writes history but please indulge me with a few of your moments. Allow me to tell you what happened.

She spent a lot of time with us, the servants. Saying she was ‘keeping it real,’ whatever that means. Slumming, we called it. She hung out and even helped out. She wanted to live as we live. Really? Well, it certainly annoyed her dad and her step-mum. Not to mention irritating the hell out of her stepsisters to the point that they pretty much disowned her, taking immense pleasure in ordering her to cook and clean for them. And, while she reveled in her martyrdom it was incredibly uncomfortable for us, caught in the middle.

Then, it all changed. She was invited to a royal charity gala. She had no money or nice clothes to speak of and boy did she become sullen, slouched in the corner of the kitchen. Whenever she spoke it was to complain about how her parents, especially her step-mum, treated her differently to her sisters. There came a point where I really did believe that if I heard, ‘it’s not fair,’ one more time I’d have to leave the job or risk doing something I would regret. Of course, it didn’t come to that because she clicked her fingers and her rich godmother stepped in with cash for a ball gown and top-end transport.

Off she went, spruced up and full of herself while we relaxed, grateful for some peace at last.

She came back in a weird mood. Apparently, she’d met someone but had left without saying goodbye. She was sullen, again.

Then, out of the blue this posh guy turned up and she perked up. They met in our kitchen a few times and then without saying goodbye to us, or her parents, there she was in the news as the Prince’s new fiancé. We were gob smacked and couldn’t wait for her first live interview.

That’s why I’m writing this. She said she’d been disowned by her parents and had to scrape a living as a servant, but a passing fairy had helped her go to the gala where she’d met her prince charming. A real-life rag to riches tale that those who sell stories adore.

It wasn’t true.

Is it possible to reverse the aging process of a story which is wrong, but told well? Please allow her layers of deceit to be peeled back and the fabrications to be revealed. I implore you to pause and consider which version rings true. Apply your experience and test each one thoroughly with your common sense. Assure me you’ll open your mind. After all, you have the power to alter what the past becomes.


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