Once upon a time there were two shadows clinging to our character. One was of the present, and one was of the past.

Neither had been banished.

Once there was a warrior lass who had passed through the shadowlands about four years before. She had had a shadow clinging. And in time, she banished it. The shadow hadn’t left easily, and it’d left wreckage in its wake, but it had left. She had not tolerated its existence.

She walked for a while with a fellow lass. She, too, had banished a shadow. Her shadow had treated her as nothing. It had not valued her. It cast shadows across her face.

Once, four years before, the warrior lass had welcomed a shadow. He had seemed like a king, but was only a ghoul. He ruled her with iron. He manipulated her artfully. And how she felt didn’t matter.

The warrior lass left that shadow behind, but it still haunted her dreams sometimes. She knew what she was, and what she wasn’t. She knew her full value, and that she was a precious bride to her perfect Bridegroom. And in a lot of ways, she understood Him well.

She understood how He felt when He told His bride Israel not to have any other gods before Him. She knew how that felt–like there were other things between them that were full of evil and harm. She wanted those shadows gone. She wanted those gods gone. She wanted to be the princess–the pearl of great price worth giving up everything for.

She felt like ashes instead. She felt like a ghost–present, but not seen. Something that can speak, but not be heard. She felt like nothing. Nothing more than sea foam to be washed away by rising tide and dispersed into an essence of nothing. The shadows made her feel like a shadow herself. The character’s shadows surrounded her, and their voices were the voices of demons.