And since you know you cannot see yourself,
so well as by reflection, I, your glass,
will modestly discover to yourself
that of yourself which you yet know not of.

-William Shakespeare

There was nothing Amber hated more in the world than onions, and that was including vomit and old socks and Richard Simmons exercise videos.

There were, of course, plenty of people who could have choked them down in politeness, if not purely because they were being hovered over by a very crazy, and very dangerous old woman whose only joy in life was cooking.

Amber, however, was not plenty of people. She was just Amber: someday princess of a not-so-prosperous kingdom; raven haired and amber-eyed; heart the temperature of liquid nitrogen; seemingly completely emotionless and unaware of others' feelings, but more likely had simply forgotten over her years of virtual solitude that anyone else was real.

She'd heard tales of princesses like herself—burdened with running a kingdom and not wanting anything to do with it. Princesses that were sought after from places all over the world by perfectly decent princes that the girls would always manage to find something wrong with.

Amber, however, was not like other princesses. She loved the attention. She found that nothing was more fun, in fact, than to one by one make all of the visiting men fall madly in love with her… and then to reject them faster than you can say "you are the weakest link."

By the night she was eating the old woman's cooking, there weren't many princes left within nearby kingdoms that had not already been scorned by her. In fact, there weren't even many more dukes or lords or earls or even knights left that had so little sense that they would try to win her over.

She had already had a particularly bad day because of a particularly stubborn duke who didn't seem to care what she did to him as long as he was king. Even when she told him that she required that the man that married her wear nothing but pink chiffon nighties when they made public appearances.

He'd eventually left, but she was in a sour mood because she didn't beat her record time for scaring away a noble. In fact, she didn't come anywhere close. The only thing she could think to do to make herself feel better was to spit on the disgusting onions that had been presented to her—a food that she specifically let be known that she detested.

The woman, more offended by Amber's arrogance in refusing to eat the casserole that had taken all day to prepare than she would have been had the girl simply disliked it, was furious. She was unable to control her anger because whatever part of her body controlled her inhibitions died long before her organs would start to shut down.

She said nothing at first. Surely words would have fallen to the ground as if they'd never been spoken; even she, in her state of mind, recognized that. She had no doubt that if she'd said anything, the princess would have had no second thoughts about sending her to her to the gallows. Had she spoken too soon, it would have lost her the chance to teach Amber a lesson. She'd never offend anyone again, the woman thought, were she dead.

Five years earlier and the woman would have shrugged it off and taken the uneaten food to her husband—who loved her cooking almost as much as he loved her. But he'd died about the same time as all of her reason.

She was given the chance to cook another meal—this one given specific instructions as to the girl's likes and dislikes. The woman figured a few extra ingredients (arsenic, perhaps?) could only do good in that case.

However, her unclear thinking did not exclude itself from any part of her life. She didn't bother reading labels on any of the jars and cans she dumped into the mixture. Something that looked like porridge and tasted like dirty water would have been all that had come from it had it not been for her will being stronger than any sort of poison (or tangy flavor).

When the woman gave it to the girl, she loved it, though she would never say it. She had never tasted anything like it, and the more she at the more she wanted it. It became, besides herself, the only thing she had ever loved, and the only thing she would have ever loved had it not been for a boy who had no idea what he was getting himself into…


A/N: So... I would DEFINITLEY appreciate some constructive criticism... and I would also definitley appreciate you dropping a review if you read this, whether or not you liked it and even if it's just a couple of words.

Basically: should I continue?

Please and thankyou. :D