This story is old.

On the first day…

A human, seemingly fragile and insignificant found itself entering a lonely castle in the wilds far from home. The human knew not how it had ended up in the windowless, shadow soaked, towering mass of stone and twisting maze like corridors, just that it could not find an exit no matter how thorough it had searched.

After a few hours the castle became less unfriendly to the human. The grey walls and rigid structure quickly began to feel like home as with any prison. Humans make do, adjust to your surroundings or they will kill you.

It wasnt pleasant, no but there was no concievable way out. Even though the day had been cold and confusing the human settled. Uneasily it settled.

On the second day…

After wandering the hallways of the castle for some time, the human found an ordinary window located in the highest tower and to the human’s knowledge, the window was the only one of its kind. The glass appeared to have been broken in but the human hadnt found any other of it’s kin in the castle who could have done that. Just the human on its own.

The human took a peek out in to the darkened wilds which seemed mysteriously more harsh and cruel than before especially in the deep blinding night. The human also realised at this point that it had lost track of time. The past two days had drifted away.

The human decided that it would come back on the next day at an earlier time. Perhaps then there would be a visible way out when the sun had risen over the horizon.

On the third day…

The human woke in a cramped rusty iron bed. The human didnt remember finding the bed or sleeping in it but it knew somehow that it had been uncomfortable and felt exhausted. Exhausted and alone. As the human went to get out of bed it jerked backwards, seeing glass shards covering the floor. The glass had no mouths but could talk eloquently and asked the human questions about it’s life. The human tried to respond but the jagged blades seemed to draw it in. The way they glistened without light was alluring. There was never any light in the castle, not a single beam of sunlight-

Sunlight!

The glass shards seemed to disapear at the human’s sudden desperate urge to rush out of the room and find the window. Sprinting faster than it had ever done before the human found itself in the tower moments later out of breath and panting heavily. Yet the human’s heart sank further… The sun was hidden away behind a sheet of black spotted clouds that matched the colour of the castle stone. The human looked down to the wilds only to see they had grown twice the size since it last saw them and that rain from above was now drenching them. The wilds seemed to stretch on for an eternity.

The human shrank back through the castle back towards the bedroom. As it did so it passed a peculiar looking wooden box in one of the wings. The box was finely polished and had a large hole about the same shape of the human’s arm in it. The human couldnt help but place it’s arm deep within the box, it felt natural. The human however, instantly regretted it’s decision as the box tightened its grip and seared a brand in to the human’s flesh. The human quickly ripped it’s arm from the device which vanished in the blink of an eye. The brand was a small circle on the forearm that was still smoking from the burn. The human gripped it in agony and continued on to bed.

On the fourth day…

The human woke to find the glass in it’s bed. The sheets were soaked in blood.

The human hurt all over especially on it’s brand. Alone and exhausted it curled in to a ball and found tears seeping in with the red on the pillow. It hurt.

The human didnt go back to the window that day. It stayed still and pondered letting the oily glass stay in the room with it. It pondered a lot of things that day.

Time drifted away.

On the fifth and final day…

The human, for reasons unknown to itself, was stood near the bedroom wall that was closest to the wilds. It felt a breeze coming through one of the large stone bricks that whistled lightly. It was a warm breeze and strangely familiar to the human. The human ignored the breeze though and thought of laying with the glass. The glass had hurt it though. The human cleaned the bed, neatly wrapping the glass in the bloodied sheets and placing them in the corner of the room. After it was satisfied the human put its ear to the crack in the wall.

There were two whispers on the wind.

One gentle.

Get out.

One cruel.

You cant.

The human heard a hideous screeching and banging coming from the locked bedroom door that sent a chill down it’s spine. Frightened the human darted it’s eyes over to the bundle of glass and sheets dripping with blood.

The shrieking got louder. The whispers got stronger.

The human fell to it’s knees and wept silently.

There appeared to be no end to the madness. The unholy castle bearing down upon the fragile human’s mind like the weight of a mountain.

The human wept and cackled deeply. No way out. No way home. Madness.

                                   
                                          …

Then like a miracle the walls of the castle shook violently, crumbling one by one to dust and ruin. The human fell with the rubble, terrified for it’s life. Luckily it landed in the wilds where it got to it’s feet, looking wildly for what had caused the castle to fall apart. The human searched the remains yet the fog had already soaked them leaving any sign of an answer long buried in the heaping mass.

The human turned to the wilds that were being illuminated by a slow sun rise. It stroked it’s brand and saw to it’s surprise and joy a search party of it’s kin emmerging from the bushes nearest to it. The human hugged them and told them all of the castle and it’s experience there. Bewildered yet also happy to see their friend, the other humans took our human arm in arm and lead it back home. As the human got to the exit of the wilds it let it’s brethren go forth a short while and turned back to where the castle had been. It was there once more. Rebuilt standing tall in the clearing of the wilds many miles away. The human traced it’s fingers over the brand and lowered it’s head.

Feeling uneasier than it ever had before, the human turned it’s back on the castle and ran to it’s kin.

Yet the castle once again loomed and stood tall against the sun rise.

This story is old.

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