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Mads Strand Karlsholm

Cassandra

I

heard the scream as clear as if it should have been me myself who uttered it. “Cassandra!” I yelled, but there was no answer. I ran from my bedroom as fast as I could, and entered her room. The curtains were blowing violently in the wind, paintings lay on the floor, the room was colder than winter itself. The bed in the middle of the room was messy, the two red pillows were on the floor, and the large mirror on the wall above the desk had been broken. I ran to the window and looked outside. The window was situated right above a steep cliff, leading straight down to the sea, several thousand feet below. The waves were thrashing against the rocks of the shore, and then I saw it… her red dress, floating in the violent sea. Tears flowed freely down my cheeks, as I realized that my only companion through the last ten years had now gone. My heart felt broken, like the mirror, and I clutched my chest and gasped for air as I sat down by the desk. On the desk in front of the broken mirror lay my book. A book with a red cover, my masterpiece, and the only important thing I’d ever done. It was not a diary or a journal, like I’d told her so many times. It was a story, a story I started ten years ago. It was a story that had just finished. It was a story called Cassandra. It started ten years ago. I was a writer, out of money and out of ideas. I would walk around my lonely house day in and day out, thinking and pondering upon what I should write. When I finally thought of something to write, I noticed that I was out of paper, my usual luck. I walked down to the village of Mirror Breeze, a long and tiresome walk from my isolated house, but I needed to find some cheap paper. As always, I was out of luck. Paper was expensive, and I was out of money. As I was 71

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leaving, only bread new to my bag, an old woman approached me. Her clothes were ragged and filthy, but she had a kind and gentle smile. She told me she’d seen me asking around for paper, and told me she could give me a whole book with paper, if I only gave her the bread I’d purchased. The bread had been cheap, and I was in no shortage of food, living so close to the forest and the sea. I thanked her sincerely, giving her the bread and a fish I’d brought to trade. She smiled at me, handing me the leather-bound book, telling me to write something beautiful. I promised that I would, and started walking back up to the top of the cliff and the comfort of my house. That very night, I started writing. I had a solid idea. I started writing about a girl being the only survivor of a shipwreck. Lost and confused, she walked towards the only house around. A lonely man lived in the house, and he took the girl in to take care of her. After writing the first few pages, about the girl and the man meeting, I noticed that I was out of ink. Now, ink was cheap, but it was far too late to go back down into the village, so I decided to wait until the next day. As I went to bed, I felt good about finally writing again, and I was looking forward to continuing the story the next day after buying ink. The next morning, someone knocked on my door. For me, this was strange. I rarely ever had visitors, and if I had, they did not walk up the long and tiresome road to the top of the cliff at this time of the morning. I opened the door, and there stood a young girl. Her clothes were soaking, and even her lovely long golden hair was completely covered in water and sand. She looked at me for a second, and then the tears started flowing down her face. I took her in my

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