That odd stone and wood house hid behind a tree line, it was my childhood home. My castle was surrounded by a forest filled with dragons, and vines snaked their way to my window. This house stood out in the row of single-story boxes. The green shutters hung crooked from the windows scaring away those who came near. The menacing face screamed at the runners below, keeping me locked in my tower. I still remember playing sardines with my sisters. We would wait for our parents to leave and turn out all the lights. I chose the darkest and scariest places for a six year old to disappear. I crawled under tables or in the pantry. My favorite place was my stuffed animal toy box. I threw half out half of my furry friends and squeezed in on top of the bed of stuffing, opening the lid just a crack. “Sardines! Sardines!” Once the phrase was spoken we sprinted to the basement, our base for the game. My little legs carried me as fast as they could but I rarely made it safely to the basement and my sisters refused to let me win.
My house was a haven from the evil outside its doors. Its dark structure created a shelter. Passersby’s would not dare to enter, and I ran to it for protection. I was always a fearful child, scared of the snapping of a twig, or the creaking of footprints. Many said my fear was irrational, coming from the hero movies I let fill my head. Every car that raced past was a burglar scouting out its next target. That house was my guardian angel. It shielded me from all of my childish dreams. There was no killer robot under my bed; he was outside my house peering through the windows, and the wicked witch rode by one her bicycle. My house was untouchable to the pain of the outside world. I grew up a princess in my own castle. I slayed the dragons and saved prince charming. My home was my play pen. It was big enough to reach the stars.