" there is no enjoyment like reading!" was a line in a book far too old and torn to have a visible title. To her own amazement, after years of silence and tranquility that she broke, she scoffed at the line. It actually hurt as she did so as her face didn't show emotion in possibly years.It intrigued her, in truth, to actually change her usual routine so much. In fact, it was intriguing enough to pay attention to the surrounding world as well as it seemed different after her little experience of change. The bookshelves were still and the library quiet. Quiet enough to hear someone breathing even if they were sitting on the other side of the room. She could, in fact, hear the guards breathing outside the giant door leading into the east wing of the castle. But her surroundings were as still and lifeless as always, and even the dust seemed to be still settling over the fading wood of the bookshelves. It was herself, her reaction to a book that was up until now exactly the same as the thousand other she read. She read the line again and although she didn't react again, she still felt the urge to complain at how terribly wrong and hopeless that line was. But she read on, because she was far too interested in the break of the pattern, at the new path of the labyrinth she hasn't yet explored. She doesn't know how long has passed for most of the book was the same as any other, however, she found another line that made her stop and think of the meaning of the line. "The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters...". It was, perhaps, most interesting due to the contrast of the two lines that made her think of a book as more than just a variation of the original. She read too many books to be surprised by such a quote, however, it seemed to finally tell a variation that wasn't utterly hopeless. Hopeless. That's exactly what this world was. A world where nothing ever changed. Where everything of interest was gone and where she would forever be drowning without a chance to take a breath. And yet...Did she not experience something new after possibly years of routine? Did she not run into a new part of the labyrinth? Did she not do something she hadn't done in eternity? It wasn't the world, however, that changed, it was herself. The world was the same, the story unaltered, and nothing would ever change as this world was "Hopeless."It sounded hoarse and raspy as if she didn't speak long enough to forget how to use her voice properly. Although she wasn't as surprised as she was before, possibly due to the sudden mundane feeling of these things, she stared at nothing in particular as she thought. How long has it been since she last spoke out loud? She never had the need, as the food would be prepared by the servants, and her guards knew of her path to the library well. She never felt the urge to speak in the world that has been the same for far too long for her to care. How old was she? Was she 20, 40 or 80? Was she dying, finally leaving the mundane? No, her hands were far too soft and her skin pale but unworn. She couldn't guess at how old she was except that she was younger than 30 but older than 15. She was 15 when she last thought to check her age. Even then she checked merely as a curiosity. How long has passed since then? The door to the east wing of the castle opened. It didn't creak but the sound of air the clinging of armor told her enough to know her guard was peering inside. She didn't look away from her book, tilting her head to the side, ignoring the guard. She knew why he was looking at her. He didn't hear her speak yet. He was here for a couple of years at most, few months at least. He was checking if everything was alright as it was, in all probability, more surprising to them than her. Without glancing away from her book, now once again following the exact steps of the others, she said, her voice still raspy but louder and clearer than before "Are you going to return to your position or shall I have you executed?". Her voice was foreign to her too. Beyond the raspiness, her voice was clear and commanding, powerful, however, it was all too light, almost sweet. Her voice had the authority that could bring kings to their knees, but it was monotonous, demanding to be followed without forcing it. It was hard to describe as it was a combination of far too many she heard before. Her father's voice, the last time she listened to it, sounded fake and forceful. His voice was rough and loud, but the force he put behind it was too commanding, almost showing desperation in his successful attempts to make all his subjects and enemies fear him. Even her mother feared him. She hid it behind a mask that perhaps fooled the others, but she saw the fear even when she was so young when she wasn't used to the coldness and stillness of this world. Her mother's voice was different from her fathers. It was commanding and strong. It was powerful naturally. It might have been similar to her own however it was missing the sweetness and the flow that made it all tie together. The floor shook, a book hit the floor and the explosion sounded. She stood and started to make her way down to her room. Her world was once again normal and desolate. There was some comfort in the stillness where she didn't care to pay attention to the similarities, or there would be if she didn't hate it so much.
234 Days Before