Magic, murder, intrigue, missing relatives, secret caves, fantastical creatures, royalty, nobility, romance...
Who ever said our lives were dull?
To follow our story, use the sidebar links and start at the beginning of it all...

Keish- November 13, 2003

November 13, 2004
Dear Arri,

I've been so anxious to receive your letter. I wanted so badly to apologize-- my last letter was so cold, and I haven't written to you myself in my own hand for far too long.

Tell Imato and the others that I am glad they arrived safely. I didn't realize how uneasy I was about their quest to find you until I read that they had arrived. I'm not even sure why I was uneasy, I just was. It isn't something I can put my finger on. I think part of me was trying to follow them, track them in my mind and guard their steps. Knowing that they are there takes a burden from my mind.

I'm still not sure where we're going. I wish I could answer all of your questions-- that I could somehow conjure up that arrogance of our childhood when I thought I could answer anything you asked, but those days are gone. I feel so lost inside myself, like I'm not in control. You mentioned that Imato says to use my head before my power, but I don't always seem to have a choice. I don't really know how to explain it. I know I'm worrying you and others, but I can't seem to help anything I do. I know Jace is worried, though he's trying hard to hide that from me.
We continue passing through villages, telling fortunes and such. I try not to use anything but the slightest magic. I wish I had your healing power, though. Even without fully developing it, it would mean much to some of the people we've met.

Jace and I were talking the other day about what we wanted when this was all over. Although neither of us expressed it fully, I don't think either of us wants to remain in either castle. We both love the feeling of being free of those pressures and making our own way in the world. Jace started to say more, but he suddenly became shy. For the first time, I couldn't read him. I guess it sounds trivial, but I want to know what he was thinking right then and what enabled him to shut me out so completely. With all that's going on, that's probably terribly selfish of me, but for some reason it feels so important. Not important like finding the cave, or figuring out how to help your father, just important in knowing Jace. Maybe when this is all over… if it ever ends. Sometimes I feel like we're going to be stuck going around in circles in the semi-nightmare forever.

I'm glad Imato is letting you be out on your own. It's good for you to have time to yourself to think.

Mendel, Mendel, Mendel. I knew there was something he was hiding. It's bothered me since you first mentioned him! I'm glad he's finally confided in you. Does he know anything about why Marigold was trapped? I'm not sure why, but I feel like it could be important.

It's really amazing that he found her at all. And that she recognized you! She must have been in communication with your mother until she died, or nearly until then. Interesting that she didn't mention your brothers, though. Maybe she did, and Mendel just didn't mention it.

His story does explain a lot. I wonder how you knew Marigold had left… though I suppose I knew as well in my own way. I knew there was a shift of power in this world, but I didn't know what it was until reading your letter. Perhaps all of us are sensitive to it in different ways. You should ask Imato if he has felt anything. I'll ask Brynn to talk to Liop as well. If we have a connection of some sort with her, it could help us find her. I agree with Mendel, though, that she may be in terrible trouble. She left this world as a child, and though she's had contact with it, she's not had to live in it as an adult. Even simple things that we take for granted every day could pose a problem and possibly even a danger for her.

The country is beautiful. I want to come back to this grove where we are resting sometime when all this is over. I wish we could enjoy it, but when we take a moment and allow ourselves to, we ultimately feel guilty. How dare we be enjoying this time to talk and explore without being under the conventions of palace life, when we should be planning and searching and thinking and… I don't know. Doing something to help solve this whole mess. And yet, what can we do? After traveling all day, being led only by my instinct, what else is there? We can't make definite plans for when we get to wherever it is we're going. We don't even know where we'll end up! Is it so terrible for us to enjoy talking and getting to know each other better? To enjoy musing together about how our lives would be different if we'd grown up outside of the palaces-- if that hadn't been all we knew for so long? We have lived such similar, closed lives. And now that they are opening so quickly, is it wrong to take some pleasure in it?

I'm rambling, I know. What else did you say in your letter?

Oh yes, about Liop and the map. I don't dare. In fact, I've instructed Gretel and Brynn not to even let him know that I'm searching for a cave. I feel we must guard him from this knowledge, at least for now. I would hate for him to become a target. And, honestly, I would hate for anything to trigger in him the kind of power and changes that are happening to me. He is so young, too young to feel taken over by something like this. Brynn agrees with me on this. I wonder if she knows more about Liop and the old woman and the mysterious water from the cave than any of the rest of us. I've never thought to ask her. And it doesn't seem like there's much reason to ask her right now. While I can communicate with her, it is draining and if I am to travel in the morning, I must not overdo it. Something tells me she wouldn't really answer me anyhow. That she would just tell me to be patient, to wait and that everything would resolve itself in time. Whatever changes are taking place, I am still NOT a patient person.

I wish I could tell you when we'll reach the cave… I assume that's where we're going, but I guess I'm not really sure. I do feel the pull growing stronger, which means we're getting closer. And we are approaching some mountains. The locals call them the Solotuns, but what they are called on official maps escapes me. Maybe I've just never noticed them before. They aren't a large range, but I still can't imagine they would have been completely left off all official maps. But then again, we searched those maps so much… Perhaps I just don't remember.

Nov. 14th

It's morning. I decided I should sleep before sending this letter, in case I thought of anything I wanted to add. Sometimes it's maddening waiting for Hermes so that I can send word to you. Not that he takes a long time, I just seem to think of things just after sending him away.

The other day I was thinking I should be making a more detailed record of our journey, but what would I say? "Told 4 fortunes today, most of them ridiculous dramatics. These people simply do not have lives where there is much to foretell. Got food and a little money in return. Excellent stew, though the meat was not as tender as Brynn's." Honestly, what good would a record like that be? I suppose our conversations would be worth recording, but somehow that would diminish them… make them less like confidences shared and more like the minutes of some dull council meeting. Recording the words could never capture the longing, the nostalgia, the wistfulness that accompanies them.

I'm rambling again. I guess I feel like I should have more to say. And yet I don't. I did visit Brynn last night and all is well with them. Father is much stronger and they are going to talk with him today or tomorrow about all of this. I have left it to Brynn what to tell and what to keep from him. I imagine she will tell nearly everything, though. There's little reason not to now. You know, in many ways I feel like I should protect my father from all of this. Silly, considering he's the adult and he probably already knows a fair amount. But somehow, I feel sorry for him. I realize now that he's spent 10 years torn between indulging me and not letting me get involved in all of this. Like he's been struggling with whether or not he wants me to be like my mother. On the one hand, he feels she would be proud if I developed my powers and talents and became like her, but on the other hand, he blames all this for her death. He's never been completely sure how to deal with me because of that and so in some ways he simply hasn't dealt with it at all. He's let me do whatever I want (within reason, or rather convention) for most of my life. At least since Mother died. Will he be sad or relieved that I know so much now? Will he be happy or disappointed that I'm more like my mother every day? I see now that he's always been torn between his great love for her and I, and his fear of losing me the same way. To stamp out anything in me that is like her would be a betrayal, but to not do so, he risks losing me. I wish I'd figured all this out sooner.

Well, we've finished our breakfast of cheese and bread and must start out now, so I will have to close. I'm sorry I never seem to have all that much to say. Maybe next time I'll make Jace help me think of stories to tell you. I'm sure we could come up with something amusing.

Give my love to everyone there. Oh, and you may tell Tulson that if he checks the "secret" pocket of his bag, he will see that at the very least, we are even. (I may have been out of it lately, Liop wasn‘t! He is quite a helpful scamp.)

Stay safe, Arri.
Love always,


Go to NEXT Letter

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave us a little note-- Hermes or Clotho will be sure to deliver it!