Written by

Emil E. Bulut


TILLY, a girl wearing deer hide clothing and a worn green cloak, is herding a flock of sheep on a rocky hillscape. The sun is blazing in the blue sky. The black shapes of birds of prey fly high up.

Tilly guides the sheep to a river. She walks over to a nearby tree and leans against it. She stares at the sky with a contended look.

Two rams fight over a spot near the water.

Tilly turns to look at the rams. She sings a short, catchy TUNE. The rams stop fighting and turn to look at her.


A cloudy sky. A decaying gray mausoleum stands in the middle of ancient ruins. Sculpted angels with four wings stand on the roof with their gaze facing down.

THE BARON, a lean man in his thirties wearing an immaculate silk doublet, looks at the mausoleum with an excited look on his face. He’s surrounded by soldiers in black liveries with a white castle in the middle.

The Baron points at a rotten wooden door leading to the mausoleum. Two of the soldiers with axes step next to the door and start chopping it down.


Darkness. Rays of light start shining through slashes. The slashes become larger and larger until axes break through the door and the inside of the mausoleum is lit fully.

The Baron pushes past the two soldiers and steps into the mausoleum. He walks to the end of the mausoleum room. There a sword hilt with a star-shaped pommel sticks out from the wall.

The Baron pulls on the handle. Shining light erupts from the spot where the hilt is pulled out. Pure white light covers the room.


Tilly walks along a dirt path leading to her village. The village is full of old houses with colorful fabrics hanging between the buildings to create shaded streets.

From a hill viewing the entire village Tilly sees a dozen soldiers in polished breastplates attacking her village. They’re setting the buildings on fire and cutting fleeing people down with maces.

The fires are reflected in the soldiers’ breastplates.

Tilly runs to the nearest house. She hears the screams of people trapped inside. Tries to open the door. Then the house comes crashing down.

The soldiers notice Tilly. They ROAR as they see her.

They run at her with their maces at the ready.

Tilly’s shadow starts to dance around her.

The first soldier reaches Tilly.

Tilly falls to the ground in panic as she tries to get away from the soldier.

The soldier brings the mace down on Tilly. Tilly raises her hand in self-defense between herself and the mace with her eyes closed in fear. The head of the mace crumbles to rust as it hits Tilly’s raised hand.

The soldier takes a step back in shock. The other soldiers stare at Tilly.

Tilly gets up and runs to the nearby forest, not looking back.


Tilly sits near a fire in a carved cave jutting off the side of a mountain. The cave is dark save the fire.

The shadow from before appears on the lit wall. Dancing around in swirls.

It creates a shadow show on the wall of the Baron finding the star-pommeled sword, using it to strike down people, and finally ruling over all the land under a bright shining sun.

Tilly turns away from the images. She puts her cloak on the cave floor and lies on it to sleep.


Tilly walks out of the cave onto a sled above the forest canopy. She sees the smoldering ruin left of her village in the distance. She cries out like a muffled wounded animal.

She lifts her hands. Her small daytime shadow becomes darker and larger. It twirls around her on the ground. Tendrils of black shadow slither around her outstretched arms.

Tilly walks down from the sledge into the forest.

She sees a small chubby green DRAGON sitting on a tree branch ahead of her. The Dragon looks at her but vanishes seconds after Tilly notices it.


Tilly is crouched down behind bushes looking at a military camp. The camp has several tents, horses on the side, and soldiers sitting near fires. Black flags with a white castle fly around the camp.

She hits her palms down on the ground. Shadows emerge from her hands and dash into different parts of the camp.

Some of the shadows bring down tents, some put out fires, some turn water into foul green sludge, some put men asleep, some let the horses go free, and some turn weapons to rust.

Tilly opens her mouth, and a dark ball of shadow emerges out of her. It becomes bigger and bigger till it’s three times her size. The big shadow leaves Tilly and goes to the camp’s center, disappearing into the earth.

Nothing happens for a few seconds.

A great CRACKING sound comes deep from the earth. The ground under the camp splits in two. Tents, soldiers, and fires disappear into the split.

Soldiers try to run away from the splitting earth. Some help each other, some push their way past their fellow soldiers. The horses run away from the camp into the forest.

The same female soldier who tried to hit Tilly earlier climbs out the crack in the earth and runs away from the camp’s ruins. She is dirtied, afraid, and limping.


The Baron, with a white cape over his silk doublet, is looking at the forest. He has a lit torch in hand. He throws it in the forest confidently. Hundreds of flaming arrows fly over him into the forest.

The forest starts to burn.

The fire reflects in the eyes of the Baron.


Tilly walks in ash. She sees burnt-out tree stumps. She cries. Her tears drop into the ashes. The droplets stay intact with swirls of ash in them.

She notices something green in the distance. She walks to it.

The green Dragon is dancing on the ashes. Small green sprouts appear where the dragon dances. Tilly smiles.


Tilly walks into the courtyard of a large white castle. Soldiers run at her. She lets out shadows. The shadows move towards the soldiers and disappear into their eyes. They’re blinded and stumble.

She gets to the great door and puts her hands against it. The door turns to dust.


She walks inside. Men run at her in the corridors. Their weapons turn to rust before they reach her. The men run away.

She walks on in the stone corridor and up winding stairs.

Tilly enters the Baron’s chamber. The Baron holds a sword made of light and attacks Tilly. Every time the Baron hits Tilly, the swirling shadow protects her.

The Baron becomes irate, and the sword shines brighter. He goes to hit her again, but the heat of the sword vaporizes him. Just a shadow in the shape of the baron remains on the wall of him.

Tilly falls to her knees. The shadow emerges out of her chest. Tilly looks older, and her skin drier as the shadow leaves her body.

The shadow moves to the sword and embraces it. The sword loses its shape and becomes a pool of light. The shadow and the light swirl around each other until the swirling ball vanishes.