“THE EX-GUARDIAN OF THE ISOLATED CASTLE AND THAT FAMILIAR PHANTOM”

It’s been four years since The Ex-Guardian of The Isolated Castle chose this path. She’d exited The Isolated Castle and started living on an exile.

She never thought that she’d ever come to this. She’d heard that dark, sinister voice for a very, very long time. Once in a while, she learned to ignore it.

Other times, that familiar phantom kept coming back. It whispered the same damn thing to her, sometimes with its evil laughter:

You’re worthless. You’re nothing.

For years, she’d been hiding this alone. The Other Residents of The Isolated Castle didn’t know. Some people had a different idea about The Mighty Queen, though.

The Ex-Guardian refused to recall those dark(ened) days. Sometimes, That Familiar Phantom became the voice of her classmates. They made fun of her as an odd, fat little girl.

Sometimes, That Phantom, Evil Voice was heard among those who praised The First Princess. That was up to them, really. The Ex-Guardian didn’t care. She just wanted to be left alone. Somehow, they didn’t get the hint (or chose not to, probably). Somehow, they loved the idea of setting her off.

It was also a challenge to get the people around her to understand. It didn’t take long for them to label her as: a freak.

The Ex-Guardian had tried to fly off the third floor balcony once. Somebody stopped her, knowing she had no wings at all. She was no bird. It was all in her head.

Her saviour feared that she might have been possessed by some evil spirit, but The Ex-Guardian just smiled at him before walking away. Then, the darkness left and she forgot about it for a while. She moved on.

Some years after that, The Phantom returned inside her head. Its Evil Voice whispered to her, leading her down the middle of the quiet roads some nights:

You’re nothing. Nobody needs you. The Mighty Queen still has The First Princess. Why does she even need you?

However, The Holiest One had shown His Mercy those nights. The Ex-Guardian was still alive.

More years passed by. She thought the storm had been over. The Phantom Evil Voice would no longer be heard of again. It would leave her alone for good.

Two bad encounters at once. It was all it took. Being cheated on. Being fooled and stabbed in the back. After that, The Phantom came back to taunt and haunt her again. This time, The Ex-Guardian was more ready. She’d grown sick and tired of That Same Evil Voice inside her head.

Some of her most trusted companions had noticed it. Lucky for her, they were still sticking around. They said they’d help, but also reminded her that she needed to have the willingness to help herself too.

The Great King may never have had his past issues resolved and received the help he’d needed (and deserved, The Ex-Guardian thought sadly.) It would be different for her, though. She’d make sure of that.

R.

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