Once upon a time, a young girl longed to live alone in an empty castle.
Enwrapped by mists, and echoing with a magical, breathing emptiness, this castle was a place where anything could happen. She’d often gaze out the tower windows at another place of mystery: the deep forest all around. Where white stags ran. Where certain ancient oaks had secret doors that one magic word could unlock. Where witches tended their herb gardens by moonlight, and the Questing Beast roamed.
Some might feel such a life to be lonely. But young as she was, the girl had already learned to be comfortable with aloneness, and this breathing emptiness felt like a haven for her dreaming self.
When she wished for something to do, she undertook what seemed to her proper castle-dwelling pursuits; wove at her loom, strummed rather melancholy melodies on the lute, and read for days on end, rich tales of unfolding wonder. In these tales, life delivered on all its whispered promises, and the world sang her down a path marked by signs…birds and animals guided her on her way, speaking to her in words she could understand. Things made sense on a level strange and deep and true as dreams.
By living in the castle, she did more than just read tales; she was inside one, her specific tale, which called to her continually in its undeniable, wordless voice. She, like every human, had a soul-deep yearning for mystery and beauty, and knew, with a bone-deep certainty, that she had a destiny that shone as brightly as that of any hero-princess in any written tale. Even if she didn’t yet know what it was. Even if.