so i was watching cinderella while doing my nails and waiting for them to dry which was clearly a Mistake because now i can’t help but think -
the evil stepmother was always evil, okay. say her abuse of her own daughters was different than that of cinderella’s - but it was still abuse. giving them impossible expectations, telling them they were never good enough, never pretty enough, never smart enough. and then she gets married, and anastasia and drizella are ecstatic because this man seems kind and warm and maybe just maybe he can temper their mother, maybe with him around she won’t be so cruel. so they’re on their very best behavior in the beginning, they do just as their mother taught - they trot out their best upper court manners in an attempt to get their new stepfather to like them. but it just comes off as cold and snooty and they’re trying, they are, they’re just bad at it. and they see how he is with cinderella, the smiling girl their own age, and they are jealous. they don’t mean to be, they try not to be, they know it isn’t becoming of young ladies. but she gets hugs and kisses and affection and they get rulers slapped on their hands when they reach for desert and sharp jabs to their sides when they slouch and - soon they hate cinderella, not for anything she’s done, but for what she has and they dont
but then her father dies. and it’s all a tumble of things and cinderella is crying and they’ve lost their only chance at escaping their mother’s clutches and it’s terrible. and everything settles and there’s no reason to be jealous anymore but resentment is hard to let go of and they don’t know what to do. they’re only kids too after all. and they’re so terribly bad at comforting people, they can do flowery words and know all the right bows but cinderella is so sad and they just don’t know what to do with that, because they’re supposed to be sisters but they’re not even friends
and slowly but surely their mother starts abusing cinderella, starts making her a maid in her own home, and she’s their mother, what are anastasia and drizella supposed to do? she rules them with an iron fist, and cinderella doesn’t even like them anyway, it’s none of their business.
except one night anastasia crawls into her sister’s bed in the middle of the night and wakes her up. “i was thirsty,” she explains, eyes wide and shiny, and they’re bad at this with other people but drizella has no problems with pulling anastasia into her arms. the younger girl clutches her sister and continues, “i was thirsty and i went down to the kitchen to get some water and - and cinderella is still up! she’s doing the dishes, and she should be asleep, mom is going to make her make breakfast in the morning and -” she cuts herself off with a hiccup and whispers, “it’s not fair.”
“life isn’t fair,” drizella says, echoing one of their mother’s favorite phrases. but her sister is staring at her with wet eyes, and it’s not like their mother is likely to get up before sunrise anyway, she hates waking up, so she pulls herself and anastasia out of bed and off they go.