Beauty to the Beholder

The Eiffel Tower had been pleasant, it was an amazing piece of human architecture, as was the palace. Humans had once been great builders, but now, in the cities like New York, London, Los Angeles, things were not meant to last and be beautiful. All my people built beautiful things, like the eiffel tower. It was why I was so interested in paris, it was full of beautiful things. Beautiful buildings, beautiful people, beautiful flowers... Flowers.

The girl, dancing with the roses, like a young debutante at her first ball. Fascinating that she was not terrified, not subdued. She had seemed to glow with energy and wonder, her face lit up in laughing. Beautiful. I twirled the stem of the single rose I still held in my hand, one of its thorns stained now with the girls blood, its blossom was one of the most beautiful in the bouquet she had selected. I set it in a glass of water on my dresser, and left my room again. I could not stand to be cooped up in my room, though the threat of ambush from the dreadful Princess Salina, who's name meant treasured one, how ironic, loomed like a dark cloud over the halls.

Somewhere far off, a bell rang for dinner and I made my way to the dining hall.

Tonight, to celebrate Salina's arrival, the cook had prepared a last minute feast of french delicacies. First was an appetizer of escargot followed by a delightful french onion soup, the main course was Coq au vin, a chicken marinated in red wine. Served with one of the finest wines the country could offer. After the main course, we would be served crepes filled with chocolate and covered in powdered sugar, followed by cups of french hot chocolate, with the chocolate melted directly into it, and cane sugar served on the side in little crystal dishes.

None of these were exactly appetizing to Princess Salina, the rich tastes all seemed to overwhelm her. I on the other hand, enjoyed every bite and sip. Salina did however enjoy the wine very much and drank copious amounts of it in a manner that grew increasingly unladylike with each refill. The one who refilled Salina's glass was of course, the girl. She kept staring at me when she thought I wasnt looking. A close scrutiny that was only betrayed by the intensely focused expression on her face that lingered for a second after I turned and she looked away.

"Oh it is sooo lov'ly here." Salina slirred after her final glass. She'd drunk nearly half the bottle of the fine burgandy before I put a stop to her refills, sending a manservant to replace the slave girls wine bottle with a pitcher of water. In Salina's intoxicated state, she wouldnt notice a thing. "Its soo lov'ly, the yellow everywhere...what iiss it?"

"Its gold." I replied calmly, taking a sip of my own glass, not yet refilled, as the chicken was taken away. Salina was tottering on her chair. "I will give you some if you like, the humans have hoarded it like dragons, and there is much of it here."

"Tha'ss lov'ly. So wond'r'ful... I looove..." She didnt finish, but instead, carreened out of her chair and into the arms of one of the manservants. "Youu!" She sang, loudly and badly. "I waan' you to hold me tiiight."

"Take her away." I ordered sharply, glaring at the drunken thing. Two servants picked the princess up and carried her away down the halls until her singing and noise could no longer be heard. I glanced at the girl, standing, confused at my sudden anger. I relaxed and looked at her. "Sit. I dont want my cook to feel his feast has gone to waste."

She sat, putting the pitcher on the table. The crepes were brought out, the servants carrying the dishes seemed undisturbed by the changing of the female presence at the table.

"What's your name, girl?" I looked directly at her. Her eyes were cast down, looking at her plate. Her hands were in her lap, her mouth closed in a determined line. Then she raised those bright green eyes to meet my blue ones and she spoke.


The End

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