Featured Story
Recent Stories
Stories by Topic
News
Make the universe a better place! Support DSF with a donation:
small-go-arrowdonate
Take me to a...
Random story
top-rated stories only
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
small-go-arrowsearch
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private

Breaking News
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Kindle Edition
Kindle Edition
DSF stories are available in monthly digests for Kindle!
DSF for Kindle
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
Submit your story
Check story status
Not just rockets & robots...
What is Science Fiction?
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.
close






She Missed Her Chance.

C. J. Maloney spends his days working to fix incurable patients, and his nights dreaming of faraway worlds glimpsed through the fog of imagination. He has taken down a number of these ramblings, which vary from dark fantasy to slapstick science fiction humor. Just for DSF, he's added a page of his fictional work onto his medical website (chrisjlmaloney.com) which should raise the eyebrows of some of his patients but delight others. Thank you for reading, and giving him the rockets he deserves!
After locking her in, her stepmother blocked the attic door with an old armchair. The mice and sparrows had been useless, so she heaved and sobbed for over an hour. In desperation she sent the sparrows and mice to slow his exit, but they had driven him out instead.
When she finally broke free, scampering down the stairs clutching her single crystal shoe, only her stepmother waited for her in silence. The old woman saw the shoe, took it by force, and raced away. Ten doors down the prince hadn't come yet. So the mothers broke a girl's foot, kneading it so that when he came it slipped into the tiny shoes with ease. Producing the other shoe was all the confirmation the prince needed. What did he really know of some beautiful girl he'd seen for a few nights?
It was a triple wedding, as the stepmother had brokered a deal for both of her daughters to marry into nobility. The whole happy family depended on the services of a single serving wench, and the new husbands added extra chores.
She blamed the mice and sparrows. They grew distant. Her voice grew raspy and deep from hours of weeping. She made friends with the crows, and cultivated the rats as more worthy spies. Her tiny feet put strain on her knees, crippling her with arthritis. It was the rats who brought her bits of spell books stolen from dungeons and wizards' lairs. Over the years her hair grew tangled and her face twisted from misery.
Her stepmother died under suspicious circumstances, and the rest of the family followed at an alarming pace. They had been living beyond their means, and creditors descended. So she was turned out of the house, her house, and departed into the woods.
Perhaps she will build a house made of sweets, the sweets she never tasted in her childhood. Or perhaps she'll visit the king and his bride at the birth of their first-born child. But even a quiet life, growing magic beans in her garden, will give her no peace. She missed her chance, and someone has to pay.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, July 13th, 2017


ve always wondered where the witches in the fairy tales came from, if they popped up like toadstools. Like all my stories, this one visited me briefly, and I managed to capture its image before it departed again. Credit for it goes entirely to wherever stories come from, and I am only a faithful transcriptionist. As a doctor, I understand that each of us contains both our best and worst selves. My task is to work beyond healing the physical, to retelling the story of a patient's illness so that they continue on the path to their better selves. If only I'd had a chance to talk to the princess....

- C.J. Maloney

RATE THIS STORY
Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

4.9 Rocket Dragons Average

SHARE THIS STORY

JOIN MAILING LIST
Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):
 
Copyright Info
Tell a Friend
Send Feedback
About Us