Ashes and Cinders

This story was inspired by seeing requests for this sort of fairytale.

To explain some choices I made while writing this in regards to Ash/Cinderella’s identity, I’ll have to explain a bit about myself. I’m a transman, not a transwoman, but I let that inform how I wrote Ash/Cinderella. Since I was seven, I’ve known my gender and sexuality (in the same moment, oddly) quietly held it as part of my identity my whole life, learning the words for it as I went along. I never really discussed it with anyone until I was much older, but I would use a male pronoun internally and draw myself as a boy.

I considered writing Ash/Cinderella’s identity as the major conflict, but it didn’t ring true to what I personally knew and I decided to err on the side of experience instead of trying to write what I felt people wanted to see. Everyone’s experience is different, here is mine. I hope you enjoy my perspective.

Sidenote: I chose the name Cendrillon because while it is a woman’s name, it sounded masculine enough if you didn’t know its origin and I thought that was rather fitting.

I deliberately left the step-family and Ash’s father ambiguous in regards to appearance. Let them be whatever you want.

I would like to thank Goddessdster (who not only gave this a wonderful beta, she also contributed a paragraph or two) and Missy Pixels who helped brainstorm and give the go ahead.

Story influences:

Part of the inspiration for this story, besides the above requests, was a quote by Kiera Cass from this interview:

“Cinderella never asked for a prince. She asked for a night off and a dress.”

I love this point, even if the context heads in a totally different direction than I went with this story.

On a couple choices I made:

Ash and the Prince’s conversation during the dance was inspired by another Perrault story, his version of Sleeping Beauty where upon waking the Prince and Sleeping Beauty talk so much that the servants who have also woken up yell at them to cut it out so they can all eat dinner already. Plus the fact I think it’s important to at least make friends before marrying. Romantic standards.

The Grimm version of the tale with the chopped off bits of feet on the step-sisters is why I chose to go with larger feet for Ash, as well as it being a reflection of my piteous tiny t-rex hands.

I discarded an original line that implied the fairy godmother might actually be the ghost/spirit of Ash’s mother because I couldn’t make it work. This wasn’t inspired by anything. Fairy godmothers that appear suddenly after years of abuse are hard to explain, so I did what I could.