|Angkor Wat, Cambodia (image source)|
Sometimes he would tell her the story of the guard who protected the imaginary castle.
There was a castle. No. It wasn't necessarily a castle, it could be anything: a factory, a bank, a gambling house. So the guard could be either a watchman or a bodyguard. Now the guard, always prepared for the enemy attack, never failed in his vigilance. One day the long-expected enemy finally came. This was the moment, and he rang the alarm signal. Strangely enough, however, there was no response from the troops. Needless to say, the enemy easily overpowered the guard in one fell swoop. In his fading consciousness he saw the enemy sweeping like the wind through the gates, over the walls, and into the buildings unhindered by anyone. No, it was the castle, not the enemy, that was really like the wind. The single guard, like a withered tree in the wilderness, had stood guarding an illusion.
– from The Woman in the Dunes by Abé Kobo and E. Dale Saunders
See also "A Message from the Emperor" by Franz Kafka and Mark Harman, a sort of streamlined version of Das Schloß.