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Detective Shoemaker set out on a personal mission. Winter had set in and his clientele had dropped off precipitously. Now that he had plenty of time on his hands, and knowing full well that idle hands were the Devil's workshop, he sought to investigate the origins of the fabled Cinderella story.
Shoemaker wanted to know more about the background of the fairy tale. He had a hunch, a sneaking suspicion, that something wasn't entirely right with the story. And while it was just a hunch, professional detectives like himself worked on hunches and then gathered clues to solve a case.
Right away, Shoemaker knew he wouldn't be dealing with a butler, a maid or whatever else that silly game of Clue had for characters, but rather there were several other real characters that captured his suspicious bone.
For example, there was Cinderella's hapless father, her stepmother, the three stepsisters, all of whom deserved further scrutiny.
But were there more characters real or imagined, such as, who drove the carriage that whisked Cinderella away?
And how on God's green earth did the carriage turn into a pumpkin? Or did it? And if it did, was it a miracle or sorcery? These things rattled his brain like a bowl of marbles in a tin box. Detective Shoemaker wanted to know, just had to find out, so he could set the record straight once and for all.
The first thing he uncovered was the fact that there were over 500 versions of the Cinderella story. This investigation would require some legwork to run down that many leads.
The question that came to mind when he found so many versions was whether the French writer Charles Perrault was indeed the original author. In Perrault's version, the Cinderella we know today was named Cendrillon. Odd name it was. Was that an alias, and was Cindy (as he liked to call her) running from the law and using Cinderella as an alias?
Detective Shoemaker opened up his Tor browser and searched the Dark Web for clues.
Over a chilled bottle of Dom Pérignon, Shoemaker sipped from the gift he had received after he had successfully cracked a cold case file - the brutal murder of a teen in Russia, Anastasia.
On his second glass of bubbly, and slightly tipsy, Shoemaker found what he was looking for: the Cinderella story was over 2,000 years old! Perrault, Walt Disney, and all the others has plagiarized the story and twisted it to suit their greed. The detective grinned and shook his head. There were two things behind every case: greed and/or lust. He was onto something.
Now the primary question was whether the Cindy story was real or indeed a fairy tale. Had the truth been hidden in the echoes of time?
He had to know. But for now, it was time to call it a night before he drank much too much.