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Once upon a time
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Once upon a time.
Once upon a time, a beautiful girl was forbidden to look at
her reflection. In the castle in the forest, mirrors are cloaked
by dust and disuse and years of bad luck plague those who
dare look in them. To all who enter, the castle is a place of
change and development to all who leave, it is a place quickly
forgotten. Inside the castle in the forest, there are
beginnings, and there are endings. The crumbling stones
represent the end of childhood and the beginning of
something new to the weary travellers who come through
the forest to reach the spiralling towers. The wilderness
outside encroaches on the peace of a building that could be a
masterpiece and the girls inside shiver and reflect and wait to
be pronounced adults.
Her father had told her that the experience was nothing to
be afraid of. He had said that she would return in every way
different, and yet in every way the same. Her sisters had
smiled and nodded and agreed; behind his back, they had
warned her of the goblins in the gardens and the wolves who
stalked the trees. Their soft whispers sang in Belle’s
subconscious as she walked up the remnants of a broken
You won’t survive.