There, she sat, typing futiley at the typewriter that sat on a chair in her dark room. This wasn't actually her room anymore, however, as she'd been moved out for several months, now. Yet she visited, and sat alone, and let her fingers find the keys to press. This action created pressure, which forced letters and numbers and words to appear on the piece of white paper that scrolled through the machine. These clack-clacking sounds were the only thing that broke the silence, there. She had come by bus, to walk, and to use her own set of keys to have a place and time to think to herself, away from her apartment, and away from everyone else that knew her.
'To whom it may concern,' she wrote at first, and closed her eyes to think, while her fingers moved on without her. 'By the time you read this, it will be far too late, I'm afraid.' She hit a vein of thought, and made steady progress for the course of two hours following. Although there were mistakes, the proofs and re-types only made her message more powerful, correct, and accurate.
Once finished, she took the sheet of paper, folded it neatly in three, and placed it into the envelope she had reserved for just this purpose. She took a moment to look around the room, taking in old memories that laid in dust-covered shelves. It had changed so much in here, all of her own, personal belongings- save typewriter only- had been removed long ago to make room for the house's own agenda. She moved to the large bed, and placed the envelope carefully onto it, sure that it would be found within a matter of time.
For now, however, she had something to do.
She crossed the street and walked bravely into the wind, lips pressed tightly together to hold her whirling thoughts within herself. She looked to the East, and stared for a moment at the tall, looming mountain that she had, for eight years, watched and dreamt about. It seemed so far away, even now, but held the majesty that she had come to worship. The gorge called for her name on the wind, but she shook her head, and continued to walk toward the West, folding her arms against the bitter cold that surrounded her.
It didn't take very long for her body to carry her to the designated place. With a pre-check, looking left and right for approaching people or observers, she decided it was safe, and slowly started to cross the cement bridge. Just across the road was another town, and another large field that she knew well... but just as the gorge, this was another place that would never be traveled by her feet again. Once across the bridge, she turned, and slowly started to descened into the ravine that was called only The Canal.
The banks were rocky, and she found it difficult to place her footing accurately, but somehow, just as she had many times in the past, made it down to the bottom. All that was in the canal by now was a struggling stream and ice. She crossed the dead plants, and closed her eyes as she stepped underneath the bridge, feeling the darkness and cold overtake her body. But even with her eyes still adjusting, she knew where she needed to go, and felt along the large, cement walls toward the center of the place.
She heard a voice, from somewhere behind her. 'Touch the third chord, and step through...' The girl turned her head, but could not make out who it was that directed her. She could only assume it was one who she had talked to much earlier in her years. She felt along until she found the first chord, and moved to the third. In order to go further, she had to crouch, which she did, and crawled into the small, invisible tunnel which lead through the wall.
Once on the other side, she was greeted by a short ledge, and a light from a little ways off. 'The only way to he who you seek,' the voice said again, 'is through the water.' This time, when she turned, she was able to see him; a short, grubbled looking old troll. He dressed in brown rags and a dirty hat, and gestured with long, pointed claws. When she began to move into the water, however, he shook his head. 'To go through, you must give me give up your clothes.'
Although slightly startled, the girl began to remove her clothing, which was taken by the troll, and wrapped in a small, wreed basket. Once she was completely stripped, the troll beckoned her to the water once again, and she followed. It was waist-deep at first, and a dark, murky green color. She shivered at the cold that it brought, but kept onward, feeling slime and plants beneath her feet and between her toes. Nevertheless, she followed him, and found herself watching the ceiling more than where she was going, eventually.
The tunnels which he led her through were covered in ancient murals and intricate carvings, which were lighted by candles and the reflections upon the water. Each seemed to have its own personality and voice, and they whispered to her as she waded.
Upon the end of their travels through the coridoors, the troll bade the girl to come up the marble steps, of which water rushed freely over. She stepped up, and only then noticed that her youthful, white skin had been turned to wrinkles, dirty, and worn. And although it hurt to see, she continued on after the troll, under an archway and through another hallway.
Her skin had been dry before, anyway, she thought to herself. As she did this, a large, marble horse leaned over to her and gave a grave nod. 'Dry, cracked skin all over your body. It burned so easily in the sunlight, and bled so easily in the cold. One spoke about the softness you had, but it is gone, and you are safe from he, and them.' She nodded to him, and went on.
The troll reached another archway, and paused before going through, to explain that this next step would cause her great pain. 'But nothing is as great as that in my heart,' she replied, and the troll only nodded. The two of them crossed through, and the girl found herself engrossed in flames. The heat was unbelievable, searing and scortching her flesh. It felt as if her very skin were melting off of her bones...
When she stepped from the fire, she found that her skin had remained as it had from stepping from the water. Yet the fleshiness of her had disappeared. 'The flames have purified you,' a golden frog, who sat upon a rock said. 'All of the unncessary from your body has been melted away. Those who would mock you for your fatness could not now.' She looked upon herself, and nodded again, seeing that it was true. The troll bandaged her body in gauze, and then they went on.
They went to a large, crystal mirror, where the troll stopped, and gestured to with his claws. She looked upon it, and saw that her apperance had approved, but not by worldly standards. 'What shall I do here?' she asked, and looked to the troll again. He tried to explain. 'In order to go past this point, you must shatter the glass. It will damage your arms beyond repair.'
The girl considered, but stepped up to the mirror, and began to beat it with her fists. It took the long run of an hour before it started to crack, and by the end, her wrists were torn up, and her knuckles bled freely. She ached, and all the way to her elbow was covered in crimson. A finger fell to the cobbled ground and she grimaced. 'You'll have no use for them on the other side,' a young dog who watched from the ceiling remarked. 'Those talents are forbidden here.' Then, the two traveled on.
The mirror led to a tunnel, and the two of them crouched to walk through. For four miles, she hunched, and the arch of the tunnel scraped her back, pulling flesh, and furrowing rows of red, burning stripes through her skin. Eventually, however, they reached the other side, and she found that she could not stand straight. Her body was permanently bent. She shuddered, and hobbled along behind the troll, dreams fading from her mind with each step. 'You need not good posture or a flexible body,' the troll whispered sternly. 'There's no one to cuddle or fondle you here.'
Reaching a stretch of space where rocks littered the ground in seemingly all directions, the troll started across, leading the bare-footed girl behind him. Each rock was sharp and jagged, and tore into the flesh of her soles and toes. Her feet bled, and ached, while rocks continued to tear into her. By the end, she had large holes in her feet, no toenails, and cut heels. The birds that flew overhead, dropping rocks to continue the path sang to her, 'You won't have to travel far when you're finished...' So they continued on.
A ways further, the troll bade her to stop once again. He reached down low and picked up a handful of worms from the ground, which he offered to her lips. 'You must eat these,' he said. 'They will tear through your vocal chords, and make your teeth fall from your mouth.' Crickets nearby whispered and chirped that they would sing her song for her, so she took the worms.
It took only a few moments before the wriggling destroyed the lines in her throat, and stole her voice away. She would no longer sing, and no longer eat, or speak. Her teeth fell from her mouth and onto the ground, only to be gathered up by smaller worms that squirmed along by her feet. Once the process was finished, they traveled on.
Finally, after an eternity of traveling, the troll stopped her from going on. She stood, arms bloody and hanging, useless, over her crouched form. She was covered in bandages and matted hair from her head. She looked to the troll quietly, and waited for an explanation, which he gave hastily. 'He cannot let himself be seen,' he said. 'So I must take your eyes...'
She frowned, but gave a small nod. 'But I have a present for you...' The troll stepped forward and reached to the girl's head, and carefully removed both of her eyes. He then replaced them with small, blue stones. 'There's no one here to look fondly into your eyes,' he said, and frowned to himself. 'But you now have eyes for yourself.'
Blinded, the girl followed the voice of the troll as he sang his songs of dispair, and walked up slopes and down roads, hobbling every step of the way. And finally, the troll stopped her again, and left her side. She waited and listened, and listened and waited. It was only when he spoke did she realize that she was standing just before him.
'Wretched creature,' he said, looking upon her with the most disgust he could muster. 'What do you bid of me?' She could not answer, and only stood, body aching and bleeding onto the floor all around her. He looked her over, and asked her again, 'What do you bid of me?' She could not move her arms, or her feet, and could not stand any taller than she was.
After several moments of waiting, watching, and pondering, he got up from his throne and strode to the creature. 'I see now,' he said, and pulled up a long dagger from his robe. 'You are so miserable and useless, it would be wrong of me not to end your suffering.'
The creature remained silent, but nodded her head gravely. It was getting difficult to stand. Please... she thought in her mind, and closed her eyelids over the crystal stones in her head. He raised the dagger, and pierced her heart, driving her down to the floor amid the piles of bones and rotting flesh around.
There she laid, bleeding, tears falling from the stones. She could not move, could not scream, or even whisper the name that was on her mind. It was over, and there was no going back, now.
Finally... as he reached in to remove her heart with his claws, she let go of her regret. She had already given her heart away once... and it had been broken. Why not let someone take it away, now?
And so, with her last breath, she gave in, and fell into a deep sleep...
She stopped travelling, then.