Just something I thought of after rereading WTHG book 3, Bold Beauty when Winnie says something about being Cinderella of the muck.

This is cute and just plain sap. It was basically written for the fun of it really. Tell me what you think and if you have any ideas for another one-shot let me know and I'll gladly write another. I just love writing in the category. I wish there were more stories in it.

~Cinderella of the Muck~

Here I was again…Back at Stable Mart mucking out stalls again. Yes I know you wonder why I'm here again.

Let's put it this way. Over the years I had needed money for different things. Pat wasn't able to pay me much so I always needed a second job. I had my horse gentling business too but yet it wasn't enough

So it was always was a repeat when I went back to Stable Mart.

Hire Fire…

Hire Fire…

Hire and Fire again.

This time I was here because I was trying to make enough money to get a car. Didn't have to be a nice car just a car. I could never go anywhere anymore unless it was on the backbike and frankly I was tired of people staring at me. You would think they were used to seeing the kid pedaling backwards.

Catman always graciously took me places at times but I didn't want to burden him all the time.

Today I had decided to walk to work but now I was regretting it. It was beginning to get dark outside and I was still in the stables mucking.

At 16 years old I still didn't own a cell phone to call anyone to pick me up. It wouldn't have mattered anyway so since Dad was on a business trip. He had gotten pretty famous for some of his inventions as of lately. As for Lizzie she didn't have a license or a car since she was 15. There was Catman but I was slightly embarrassed to call him from the Spidell's phone in the office.

"Am I in a fine mess," I sighed as I dumped the last of the manure in the pile outside. By then it was pitch black.

I was a little sore about not being able to go to the school dance tonight. I didn't have a date but I had wanted to go anyway. It might've been fun but oh no I had to work.

I was pretty sure Summer set it up this way or maybe it was Richard getting back at me for saying no when he asked me on a date last week. It was really creepy to have a 20 year old ask you on a date, especially when that person is your rival.

He had gotten really angry with me and stormed off, muttering about how I would regret my answer. I really hadn't known what he meant.

No one knew anything about the refused date.

I went to put the scooper and wheelbarrow back into the tack room. I was careful not to let the door shut because it locked when shut. I had to squint to see where to place the barrow. Someone needed to put a new light bulb in.

Now I had to figure out how to get home. I wasn't too keen on walking back in the dark since there were some not so nice guys along the way home at night.

"Oh Grant, I had such a nice time tonight," Summer giggled. "Oh hey Richard! What are you doing hanging around the tack room like a burglar?"

I froze in place. Yeah what was he doing?

"Oh nothing much," I heard Richard say in an odd tone. "Oh look Summer; someone forgot to shut the tack room door behind them." The door shut on me with a click before I knew what was happening.

I sprang to the door quickly, "No, let me out of here!" I knew Richard knew I was in here and that's why he shut the door. I banged on the door but their voices were leaving. I was shut up in here for God knew how long.

I slumped to the floor in a heap. What was I to do now? I really was Cinderella of the muck. With no Prince to save me. Who would the prince even be?

My thoughts immediately went to Catman and I blushed. I couldn't deny my feelings for him. I'm quite sure I've liked him since I met him four years ago. Maybe even the like was starting to turn to love….

Stop it Winifred Willis. Don't torture yourself. He clearly has no interest in being anything but friends.

Catman Coolidge with his Siamese like blue eyes and blonde hair was very handsome if you didn't mind his hippie-like appearance.

I banged my head against the door a few times in frustration of being locked in the room and about my feelings for Catman.

Could there be a phone somewhere in the room maybe?

I stood up slowly and felt my way toward where a side table was. Just maybe there was a phone.

I was feeling lucky as my fingers felt the cold plastic of an old timey phone. Could I punch the right numbers in the dark? All I could do was hope.

I picked it up and dialed.

"Hello, Coolidge Residence," a familiar voice said into the phone. My heart did a flip and a hand came up to touch my pounding heart.

"Ca—Catman?" I said, trying to hide my fear but failing horribly.

"Winnie? You chill?" he asked in a worried voice.

"I'm locked up in the Stable-Mart tack room. Richard shut the door on me," I explained knowing he'd get the message.

"He locked you in? Why?" he sounded angry and it surprised me.

"I don't know why." I gave a shuddering sigh.

"I'll come get you out," Catman promised in a soft tone that made my heart flip a second time.

"The stable doors are locked, Catman. How can you get me?" I asked, my voice was in a desperate tone.

"Is there a window somewhere or in the tack room?" he asked simply.

"Yes-," I started.

"Don't worry, I'll get you out of there Win," he promised and then he was gone.

A window…?

I was puzzled but you never doubt the Catman. He always lived up to his promises. But what I wondered was how he'd in through the window when it was so high up? All there was to hold onto were stonewalls that stuck up like tiny steps. It was sort of like a climbing wall-uh oh!

Catman would be crazy to even try to climb the wall.

Every small sound was beginning to make me jump. I wasn't too fond of the dark. Not to mention just thinking of what would happen if there was a burglar on the loose.

It was then there was a bang on the window.

I screamed in surprise before a flashlight was shone into the dark room by no other but Catman gripping the stone walls. I gasped and quickly ran to the window to open it for him before he fell.

"What do you think you're doing?" I yelped as I pulled him in the room away from the dangerous window.

"Saving you," Catman flashed me a catlike grin. His blue eyes watched me as I eyed the window where he had just been.

I was scared to go down the wall. It was a twelve foot drop to disaster. The ground was concrete.

That grin nearly undid me but I tried to keep a straight face. Inside I felt nearly like swooning which was out of character for me.

Catman took my arm and led me to the window. I balked like a horse.

He stared at me patiently as if he were waiting for me to follow again.

"I can't do this," I shook my head and would have taken a step back if it hadn't been for Catman and his grip on my arm.

"Can't is not in my dictionary," Catman said pointedly but gently. He pulled me closer against my will.

I stared up at him in fear, "What if one of us falls?" my voice cracked.

He handed me the flashlight. "No one's falling. Chill Winnie," he made a calming motion with a hand before climbing out the window.
I gasped in fright, "Watch out!" I glared the flashlight down on him.

He dangled by just his hands as he let himself drop on the ground, landing on his feet skillfully. "Your turn."

I through the flashlight down for him to catch and with a barely audible whimper swung myself out the window. I gripped the window sill tightly as my feet found something to catch.

Two feet down I was panicking. "Catman?" My arms and legs were feeling like jello and I almost was certain I was slipping.

"Calm Winnie," he sounded worried. He sat down the flashlight where it still shined up at me. "Drop."

"Drop?" I cried out, trying to keep myself from being in tears. "And meet my death?" I trembled on the wall in fear.

"I'll catch you," Catman announced.

I gripped the brick. Could I trust him to be able to catch me before I hit the concrete?

"Trust me," he said softly.

My eyes closed and my grip was loosening dangerously.

"Count of three?" Catman called up. He didn't wait for me to answer. "One, two—three!"

I let go of the wall with a cry. I expected to hit the concrete but I landed right into Catman's arms and then he was holding me bridle style.

I stared up at him in almost shock. What a predicament we were in. If anyone had seen us right then they would suspect us to be two teenagers madly in love with each other.

Catman stared at me. It was like he was frozen and couldn't put me down.

"Catman?" I whispered. I couldn't breathe. I felt like I was suffocating. I realized my hands were pressed against his chest. His hair was tickling my face and he was leaning so close if he leaned just slightly further he could press his lips to mine.

My heart did a nose dive at that wonderful thought.

His blue eyes held some type of emotion in them that was overwhelming. "Winnie," he breathed before his lips met mine.

My eyes closed and black dots darted behind my eyes. I wasn't expecting such a reaction. It lasted only a few seconds before the light-headedness disappeared entirely. My eyes opened to meet his.

His eyes were soft and there was that emotion again. Stronger than ever. The longer I stared the more I realized what that emotion was about.

My heart pounded and I was certain he could hear it.

He smiled at me and brushed his hand across my cheek. My eyes closed again at the contact. It was like an electrical shock.

The look in his eyes was love. Genuine pure love.

"Wild Thing, I think I love you," a smile lit up his features.

I also smiled remembering the day when he started singing the song that time when I was trying to gentler my mare, Nickers. It wasn't long ago at that time we had met.

He sat me down the ground but my legs wobbled and he caught me quickly by my arms.

And then he kissed again and my knees buckled by reaction. His arms wrapped around me and I held up by him.

"Oh, Catman," I said as he pressed his forehead to mine. "I love you."

"It's about time," he said with a smirk, He then wrapped an arm around my shoulder and led me toward his yellow corvette.

The day had started at just plain awful but now I sure couldn't complain now. It couldn't much better than this.

It looked like I had a Prince after all.