The creak of a hanging iron cage breaks the rhythm of the beautiful night song. The prison houses one of the loneliest beings of all the land. A girl dressed in rags confined for all her life, knowing only the company of the creatures able and willing to steal a glance. Her treasures are those that have traveled on the westerly wind to become tangled in the bars that separate her from the rest of the world. So many years have passed in solitude, yet the girl finds happiness in the smallest of forms. The fluttering moths and singing songbirds are her friends in the light. The scuttling rats and nipping cockroaches warm the nights. And her small pile of treasures stacked in one corner birth fantasies of something much more. Pages of long forgotten fairy tales, pictures of unimaginable places are her escape from this reality.
The creatures that comfort her are not alone in filling the castle with life. Others less willing are brought within the castle walls, their cries of torment echoing through the night. Even the night creatures' song could not mask the screams. The girl had only a glimpse of one of these visitors; a boy with horns upon his head. Who they were and how such beings came to be in the castle, the girl could only guess. No longer did the sounds of their agony disturb her sleep, though the questions always remained.
Laying her head down gently, the girl slowly slips into slumber to dream of a better life. Memories long forgotten haunt her sleep. Shadows follower her, though they are not her own. They reach out and lash at her, pulling her to her knees. Her body trembles as darkness creeps over her skin, engulfing her. The largest of shadows stretches higher and higher, dwarfing all other forms. Within the shadow, a porcelain white beauty peers back at her. Before her stands the Queen of Darkness, the ruler of the ancient castle and keeper of the girl. "Your life shall be mine!" The whispered threat brought chills to her spine.
Pulling violently from her sleep, the girl sits up and gasps for air. The Queen of Darkness, her mother, she disturbs her dreams often. Leaning her forehead against the cool metal bars, she sighs, sweat dripping down her temple. One day... One day she would escape this fate. Lying down once more, the girl falls into a peaceful sleep as the night song carries her to distance shores, temporarily free of her life of servitude.
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