Summary: She suspected it was all about the head… that perhaps everyone in Underland was painfully fearful of, not her, but her head… that perhaps it was the cause of her bitterness, her vengeance… And the offenses that ate her inside out spoiled her soul, and killed everything around her.

Chapter One: Seldom Following

She had heard the rumors and the whispers from her workers… She was not ignorant, she knew what they were saying about her, yet the many years of her torment had hardened her heart, and made her all but immune to the cruel words they spoke of her. So she spoke with a stern voice, she held her head up highly and she walked as though she were the most important woman in the world. Nothing mattered anymore on her toughened outer layer… yet… inside, she was hurting something awful, that tugged at the strings of her heart and threatened to pull her apart.

"… Where's that damn pig!" She screamed, as she suddenly realized how long she had been sitting at her throne with chilly feet. Within moments, the squeaking, high pitched squeals had sounded far off in the distance down the hallway, approaching quickly accompanied by the pitter-patter of cloven hooves. She couldn't crack a smile, and she only stared at the open door to the left of her, to which her pig was obviously entering.

The pig approached, panting and squealing and with a powerful leap, it dove underneath her lifted feet to allow her heels to rest on its warm, fuzzy belly. It squealed in content and relief as she settled her feet in the warmth…

"I-is… everything to your satisfactory, Your Highness?" One of her monkey servants begun to ask as he approached her with an empty silver platter tucked underneath his arm. She could see that he was visibly shaking, and she raised her nose at him, in a succeeding attempt to appear larger than he. Then, she surveyed her room… her rug, the lamp that was held by the birds… She tried to pick out one, one tiny little thing that was wrong with the picture. Her face contorted in discomfort when she found nothing.

"For now." She replied dryly. The monkey tipped his hat and bowed to her politely, slowly shrinking away still clutching the silver platter like a hidden weapon under his arm. She never broke her eyes away from him as she watched him sneak back into the dark corner where he waited on her… As she sat, she realized just how bored she had begun to grow… thinking of nothing but the cruel things she knew they were saying about her.

The hatred sank in… and she could imagine it so clearly in her mind, the faces of the creatures as they spoke of her, "Bloody big head…." The way their faces would contort in laughter and fear when they saw the size of her head… the way they would jest about her, or recoil in honest terror. Why not play some music to add to the show…?

She hadn't realized how roughly she was biting her lip until she felt a horribly, painful sting and could taste the copper in her mouth. With a sigh, she turned her head away; to be sure that none of her servants noticed the redness of her eye caused by the burning of tears threatening to fall. Why…? She asked herself, why of all the people in Underland, was she born so ugly? Why? She hated everyone… blamed everyone.

Underland would suffer greatly for all the times they'd ridiculed her. All the times they've humiliated, and hurt her… Her name would go down in history books, and they would never forget her during her reign. She would make sure of that.

She was not so lost in her thoughts, however, that she did realize her sudden sweet tooth.

"SERVANT!" She called. Quickly, a monkey came to her, the silver platter tucked under his arm and his eyes wide, giving her his undivided attention.

"Yes, Your Highness?"

"I'm going to take a little walk…" She grinned devilishly, and motioned towards the door. "When I get back, I want a plate of squimberry tarts on that table over there, waiting for me…" She lifted a little finger to point to a lonely table far across the room next to a lonely window where the light shimmered ever so brightly enough to light the area. "I want an even number, and I want them fresh and hot when I get back…" The monkey nodded and she reached out to pat his head in a mockingly loving gesture.

She lifted her feet, a signal to her pig that it can now scram… which, it did, squealing and scurrying away with its hooves clicking down on the hard, cold rock floors of her castle. She fixed her posture and lifted her skirts, slipping from her throne to stand tall on her heels. She looked to the monkey again, repeating her orders with her eyes… Then, with one, swift, sweeping motion, she stepped away, her head lifted high and she left the room.

. . .

As she walked alone through the near-silent halls of the castle, she took this time to think over those hurtful words… those painful stares… everything they had done to her. She couldn't seem to let any of it go… none of it. Hell, she still held on to things that were so far in her past that she couldn't remember whether or not it actually happened. Her bitterness grew as she let the memories flood over her being… washing away the pureness and the kindness in her heart.

She felt her bottom lip shiver and she quickly sped up her pace as she walked… The light that shone through the stained glass windows colored her pale features and only added that much more memory to her as she dove deeper into her thoughts. She felt sick… hated. Her growling stomach suddenly brought her back to some sense of reality, and she turned around, heading back to her throne room to eat her tarts…

. . .

She was happy to see that the tarts were sitting on the table, a top a silver platter. She leaned over, closing her eyes and taking a long, deep whiff of the beautiful scent they released. It was obvious, they were fresh from the royal oven, baked to perfection, just the way she liked them. She smiled… then, lifted a dainty finger to count the number of tarts, making sure there was an even number…

"… nineteen… twenty." She smiled at the healthy size portion and looked to the monkey servant that had placed them. Her smiling growing with the minutes that slowly ticked by. She continued to smile… yet, her actual happiness faded as she noticed her servant began to shake and tremble under the weight of her gaze… as though she were some kind of rabid animal that was staring at it's pray before devouring. It saddened her… yet, she felt an anger rise inside of her. For fearing her, this servant deserved to be punished….! But first… a little snack.

She sat at her table, slowly eyeing the other hungry servants around her as she lifted one of the tarts to her lips. The aroma was hypnotizing, and she took a slow bite, savoring the sweet, tart flavor in her mouth, as well at that warm, buttery crust as it melted in her mouth. The face she made must've showed her happiness, as when her eyes opened, and when she returned from her moment of pure bliss, she noticed her frog servants staring hungrily. Some of them licked the corners of their mouths, with others were eating her food with their eyes.

She smirked, enjoying the slow, unusual torment. "I will be back… I am going to run to the loo…" She purposely did not warn to them not to touch her tarts… She was still aching, shaking from the offenses that haunted her, that she wanted… needed to punish someone else. Make someone else feel miserable for a while. Take off someone's head. Yes… She smirked as she lifted her skirts to stand and walk away from her table… leaving the fresh, warm tarts to sit on the table… surrounded by hungry servants.

"I wonder which one will screw up first…" She smiled as she pressed open the large, metal door that led outside to the corridor.

. . .

Upon her return, just as she expected, three of her tarts were gone. She knew, she had not eaten them… and that it had to have been one of her servants, as her Knave friend never had much of a sweet tooth. Her smile quickly changed into a look of irritation, and she surveyed the room. To be sure, she opened the large doors again, calling for her cards to back her up. Then, as they approached, she yelled, loudly, her voice echoing off the rock walls of the castle,


Author's Notes:

I tend to write stories in a story... this is another one of those that takes place during the time frame in which the movie is set.

And for this one is particular, it is a little challenging, yet the plot bunny looked so tempting, I had to hunt it down and eat it, you know?

I drew up some very, very real emotions for this story, seeing as how I had been bullied for years, and I held on to those offenses for years, which, led up to some very, very unpleasant mental issues when I got older. I've been through therapy, and I'm working my way to a full recovery, yet I still find myself holding on to offenses and carrying them with me. I still get offended easily, yet I don't hold any grudges. In other words, I will hate the offense, and continue to let my mind wallow in it's stink, yet I won't hate the person who offended me.

It's complicated, yet I felt that there weren't enough stories about the Red Queen, and that the way they portrayed her in the movie was good, and accurate, but too subtle for any of us to really understand why she is the way she is.

Am I making sense? Sorry for confusing you, if I am. xD

Anyway, I appreciate feedback. Thanks!