Danielle looked at the stone wall and the figures on it

on

“It hasn’t told us its name so we can’t call it by it’s name,” said one of
the knights. “But we know it’s a woman.”

“She’s not from here,” said another.

“And she’s the person responsible for all the bad things happening,” said
the first knight.

Danielle looked at the stone wall and the figures on it. “You’ve seen her too?”
she asked.

The knights said nothing.

“You should have said something,” she said to them.

“We should have been prepared for it,” said the first knight. “We knew this
woman could be dangerous. We just were not prepared for her to take over
the castle.”

The other knights nodded.

“How did you know she’d take over the castle?” asked Danielle.

“We thought the same when the first reports of her in the area started to
come in,” said the second knight.

Danielle glanced at the walls with all the knights staring at her. Then she
looked back at the woman.

“I’ll have to talk to you,” she said and turned to go.

She reached the main doors, looked at the knights, and nodded.

“We’ll keep watch,” said the second knight.

“Don’t let her escape,” said the first knight.

They nodded.

Danielle started to say goodbye.

“I don’t expect you to say anything,” she said.

She walked by the knights and looked up at the statue of an eye. She looked
back at them. They were both staring at her.

“Have a good day,” she said and left.

She stepped onto the road and began her walk home.

“You have to walk in the opposite direction from where Carson is heading,”
one of the knights said.

Danielle paused at the edge of the main road and looked into the castle.
She could not see Carson. “I understand.”

She turned down the main road again and continued on to her home.

She did not turn up the next set of roads.

She did not turn up the next set of roads.

She did not turn up the next set of roads.

She decided to walk past the road. It was no longer marked on the map.

“Do you understand?” asked the knight.

Daniele turned down the road. If she walked past the road, she would not
know if the area she was walking through might be dangerous, but she was
willing to risk that. She decided this was safer.

She walked past the road.

She made it as far as the main gate.

“You have to turn around,” said the knight.

Danielle looked up at the castle. She could not see Carson, for all she
looked.

“We know Carson was in the castle,” the knight said. “We don’t know why
she moved in and how she took charge. This morning she killed two guardsmen
and another guy just walked in with two swords when we would have expected
her to have sent a servant.”

“What did she do to make you know she was in the castle?” asked Danielle.
She didn’t expect the knight to answer that question. She had always
been told she would not be able to tell.

“You and I should talk,” the knight said. “I’ll take you inside.”

It grabbed her arm. “You need to wait here.”

Danielle was angry. She was tired, and she did not want to spend much time
waiting in a dark room and talking. She did not want to have to make this
even worse than it was.

“You have to wait here,” said the knight.

“I’m not going to stand here and be talked to like a child,” Danielle said.

The knight sighed. It had always been easier to talk to her than to be
talked to. She didn’t like it, but she understood that it was her duty.

It turned to her and she noticed it was not the same man who had stood next
to her at the castle.

“We’ll take down the castle,” the knight said.

The castle was no longer standing. It was a collection of stone pieces, the
skeletal remains of the castle, that had the look of bones.

“It’s not the same castle,” Danielle said. The castle she had stood in
before was one and the same.

“The castle you stood in before,” said the knight, “is not the same the
castle you stand in now. It’s been torn down. It doesn’t have the
same look, the same feel, the same feel in it. It cannot be the same place.
You can’t stand here. We have to finish what we started. Come with me.”

Danielle nodded. She was tired, but she was not ready to leave. She
lifted her hand and held on to the wall for a moment.

“I’ll be the death of you,” she said and gave the wall a little pull.
“Come find me when it’s over.”

The knight and Danielle walked slowly to the center of the castle. It was
not as big. There were fewer stone pieces and they could see a little more
of it without having to step over the dead bodies.

“Does this look like it,” asked Danielle.

The knight held up what looked like a stick.

“This is the stick you use to break through walls.”

“What’s the point if you can’t get through?” asked Danielle.

“This is the stick you use to get through.”

“How does it work?” asked Danielle.

“Because the stick is you,” said the knight.

“But where’s the wall?” asked Danielle, looking at it again. She thought
this place looked more like a castle with a graveyard in the middle with
the dead in it and no walls. She did not understand how it could look like
the old one was still standing.

“There,” said the knight.

Danielle looked back at the knight. It looked different. “Why would I be the
wall?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” said the knight, “but I think you are.”

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