She was fearful of whatever it was that the future held. The familiar confines of her childhood room, this comfortable prison, kept her immersed in a kind of cold comfort. There were warring factions inside — a restless spirit and indefinable dissatisfaction on a low boil, with the tattered clothes of her past around her, her history, which she loathed but from which she was loath to escape.

The impatient snapping of fingers drew her attention to the situation’s importance, and to the cruel passage of time. Rust and mold from the ages grew all around, vines intertwining, and the overwhelming temptation was to hide in the weeds — or to run. But to run from a shadow is a pointless and exhausting exercise.

In a clear mirrored lake she bore witness to her life in parallel, but was powerless to help. The only solution was right in front of her, in her own toils, if only for the courage to face them.

A string of paper dolls without physical substance though enduring and strong as a singular iron soul joined hands in solidarity as her elite guard.

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