There was a girl who lived in a house that was too big for her.
The house was filled with bookshelves and sealed boxes, but the girl never read any books or opened any boxes. She kept herself to a little room off at the edge of one wing, and never, ever, went exploring.
When she was hungry, she would pry open cans from the basement of the mansion, using a screwdriver to dig at their seams until they gave up and surrendered their contents. She never knew exactly what she was going to eat, because most of the cans had lost their labels; but it seemed that the former owners had a great love for pasta, so she ate pasta most nights. She heated the cans over a little camp stove that had been left behind, and when the winter pressed against the house, it kept her warm as well.
In the summer, light would stream in through the windows of the mansion in long, slanting rays that showed every fleck of dust in the air. They filled the house with a still, deadening heat that made movement almost impossible.
The girl hated the light, just as she hated the house. It was a quiet, accepting sort of hatred, the kind of anger that one only has for things one has long since given up on changing. But the girl never stepped into the light, at least not deliberately. She could deny it that much.
One day, the girl found that there were no more cans left in the basement of the house. Desperate for something to eat, she was finally driven to explore the mansion, to disturb the dust and stillness of the darkened halls - and worse, the ones filled with the hungry light.
Searching through crates and boxes heavy with dust, she found not food, but a mirror. She had never seen a mirror before, but she recognized herself when she saw it. She always knew she looked like that. Not a beautiful girl. Not an ugly girl. Just a girl.
She reached out, and touched the mirror.