once there was a girl who lived in a Dark Wood, only she didn't know it was dark because she'd never seen the light. She came of age and chose to travel--she wanted to know what went beyond the trees. she came upon a forked path, and having never left her little yard, was forced to choose one way. she chose blindly, as one must always do in the Dark. little did she know that one path led further into the wood and the deep dark, and the one she chose led towards Beyond. as she walked and walked, little golden beams sometimes showed through the canopy of branches, and she felt a prickling sensation when she stepped into the little puddles of brightness. she was being introduced to Light, and she felt she loved him. by the time the last tree was behind her, and she walked openly in the well-lit Beyond, Fragile felt she'd known Light all along. in fact, she thought she'd seen glimpses of him even in her Dark Wood; had he not been in the fire where she cooked her meal and warmed herself? had he not been in the stars where she imagined her friends? yes, he'd been quiet and unnamed, but he'd been there. yes, she loved this golden Sun.
But one day, it felt too immense, too surreal--perhaps she was dreaming and it was still Dark. thus, she was introduced to Fear, and he wooed her for some time. Fear introduced her to his friend Anger, and he was so seductive, so beguiling. he made her feel safe and made her forget Fear's cold hands. she also forgot the warmth of the Light she'd loved once. Fragile and Anger journeyed for years together. he taught her the meaning of her name and how to abuse it. little by little, cracks were appearing all over, though Fragile wasn't aware of her changed appearance. what she did know was that she was getting weary, often having no strength for more than a day or two at a time on her journey. Anger became impatient with her, and so she became impatient with herself. the fissures were getting bigger, and now that Fragile saw them, she wondered what was wrong with her-why was she breaking? Anger didn't notice the cracks; in fact, he didn't notice Fragile at all anymore. Depression met them then, and she took Fragile's hands in hers, hugged her tight and whispered lies. "you were happier in the Dark, weren't you? the Light is making you ugly because if you were in the Dark you wouldn't even be able to see them. you deserve the pain you feel and inflict on others-wasn't it you who kept Anger all these years?" Depression's sister Loneliness visited often, and Anger kept his distance but followed still.
Fragile was more tired than ever, and the cracks began to hurt. she wished for Peace. she didn't know who he was, only that she'd dreamt of him long ago when dancing in the sunbeams in the forest. she wondered if Peace could ever find her. she went to sleep that night flanked by Anger, Depression, and Loneliness. She wished she'd never wake up; maybe that way she'd find Peace. In her sleep she dreamed a child named Hope cried. When Fragile asked why she was crying, she merely cried some more. waking up and confused by the dream, it took a moment for Fragile to realize someone was watching her. it was the child Hope. "you! i dreamed you were crying! why would such a beautiful child cry?" the child answered quietly, "i was waiting for you." Hope then introduced Fragile to her companion who came forward, Peace. Fragile looked around for Anger, Depression, and Loneliness, but to her surprise they were gone.
Fragile walked with Hope and Peace and asked what more they could possibly see in the Beyond. they arrived then at a castle ruins, and she was told it was the most precious thing in all the land. "but it's just an old broken castle," Fragile muttered, disappointed. "not, 'just.' it is also the house of the sun, and you are welcome." indeed, the castle was aglow, and from it shined the Light she'd once known so intimately. a tear trickled down her cheek as she whispered, "im sorry i forgot you on the way." upon entering the hall, the castle righted itself and transformed into its glory, and she was asked to bathe in the fountain of life. she did so, half-thinking her cracks would disappear, but when she emerged she was no different. Light took her hand and led her to his great mirror. "what do you see?" he asked. in it, she saw her travels with Fear, Anger, Depression, and Loneliness, and her short time with Peace and Hope, and she said, "i see Fragile." "no, my child, that is not who i see. look again. i see Treasure." she asked Light "why did i have to break, then?" "look again." this time when Fragile looked in the mirror she saw what Peace had seen and called Beauty and what Hope saw and called Worth waiting for. looking into the Sun's mirror, all she could see was the Light shining. she realized if she'd never been broken, she'd never have seen the Light inside her.