"The Princess and Her Tale" by Mari Ness appeared in Daily Science Fiction on May 10, 2013. "A princess is doomed to live out the story of a faery tale princess--but will she accept or fight her fate?"
Sometimes I feel like I am in a faerie tale or some other work of fiction, most often The Matrix. I have been know to wonder upon occasion where I am in life is the part in the "story" where the misunderstood, struggling young physician seems to be about to lose it all, when suddenly his writing gets noticed and he saves himself and his family thanks to a new, generous income from his first best-seller. The MC in Ms. Ness' tale would understand exactly what I mean.
Ms. Ness offers an interesting, original, and memorable twist on the usual Cinderella story as well as a subtext that causes the reader to ponder the question of predestination versus freewill. I found the use of the first person present a bit jarring at first, but became used to it and accepting of it as I continued to read this riveting faerie tale. That the princess somehow knows that she is a faerie tale princess in a faerie tale also takes some getting used to--here again, my advice is to accept and enjoy. 6 out of 7 rocket-dragons.