Now I apprehend why you were reluctant to tell me about the last page that you have in the book. After your experiences in the wood, the thought of going back, of returning to the source of thoughts and memories so haunting, cannot be easy or comfortable. But if the women in the story brave the trees, the fog the path, the pond, perhaps that is what must be done?
Have you heard from Dr. Torres yet? Do not keep in a dark as grey as that between the innermost trees
I suppose we should have known that the last tale in the tome would be the one you needed. But it is maddening and too, too cliche that the last page is missing! Have you asked Dr. Torres if she has it? It might have dropped out at her house or office.
Forgive me ~ I know you’re busy ~ but I have questions. Your summary says that, in the story, a weird has been placed on the family, but does the legend say by whom or why? And the illness that strikes the men has the same sense of duality that Dr. Torres discerned? It is strange, fantastic even, that the woods and pond as described in the book are exactly like the woods and pond now. One would expect many changes to have been wrought by Nature over the generations. Tell me in more detail about the last page whose paragraphs seem to point to a missing resolution.
I have, by the way, done something selfish. In order to soothe my sense of uselessness, I have sent ’round to the bakery a note, asking them to deliver a box of pastries and treats for you and your father. I wanted you both to have something tasty from
These coincidences are almost too many to believe, queer and eerie ~ we shall have a neologism: queerie ~ but perhaps that is just how the world works.
Dr. Torres found the volume in a book store ~ I should like to know which one! ~ as she was driving here to open her new practice? Do you believe this account, Bridie? It makes me a little dizzy in those parts of my brain struggling to maintain a link to logic.
And to find out that you, or your family, are part of local legend and you never knew! I was aware that your mother was another Bridget, but, like you, I had no idea that your family always had a Bridie in every generation of the family tree. All this you learnt from the introduction! Do any of the legends in the book hold clues as to what is happening now?
It saddens me that your father is not improving any longer. How often what we see in others reflects back to us; how aching it must be to have your father look through you as if you were a ghost. In my little world, you are the reality that is
These are dark matters indeed! Dr. Torres has discovered an ancient shadow fallen on our wood, one that reaches to your house, that place of refuge for me ~ my second home; that is what you tell me. Write me as you read through the book she lent you so I feel I am
I still feel like a ghost unto myself ~ my present, weary incarnation constantly haunted by the specters of who I was and who I might have been. I would dress as Lethargy for Hallowe’en were I not already cloaked in it.
Why do you think someone might be seeking revenge on your father? He has always been ~ always seemed to me ~ a kind and decent human. Whom do you suspect? Whisper more in the epistolary ear of
I had the dream again, though it had a different feel to it. This time I wasn’t part of the dream; I was more of a spectator gazing out over the landscape from a height. I watched the wood turn from a place of sun to one of mist. I saw the fog tread over the trees like a fever over the forehead of a sick child. And like a fever, it seemed to play a dual role, inflicting suffering while burning out a disease.
The world turned under me and our pond came into view. Again, the setting sun emerged and illuminated the pond and again I thought —— dragon.
The dreams mean something; they must, don’t you think? I feel the connection is just out of the reach of
You are ~ you always are ~ kindness itself. Even with our long friendship, I don’t know how you tolerate my moods. I also don’t know I’d tolerate the world without you. You are the one person who will never sling my heart around.
Dr. Torres seems genuinely to want to help, but she is Sibyllic in her utterances. The riddle is in the parted ash? What might that mean? Are you as confused as
There was no letter from you today. The low-tending part of my brain says you have every reason to ignore me, that I am a weary, wearisome parasite sucking out your energy when most you need to conserve and hoard it for yourself.
But this line of thought is unfair to you. I have been several kinds of misfit in my life, and never have you made me feel
I have just awakened, and before I drift away again, I shall tell you what I had hoped to impart in yesterday’s epistle.
You never told me what you thought of the dream I had, but I don’t blame you; you have enough and more on your mind, and it seemed such a silly, sleeping story.
But, Bridie, I keep having the same dream — or versions of the same dream. One aspect is always the same: I walk alone, but you are with me, or I am you, or we are one. I’m never sure how it works, but in the dream it now seems quite natural. And now that I think of it, this odd fusion seems like what Dr. Torres described in your father, doesn’t it?
And, Bridie, I become more convinced that there is something to these dreams, some message I am missing. Perhaps it is a wish born of my frustration at being confined here when I want so urgently to be with you!
Last night, in the dream-world at least, everything was wild, wild, wild. The wood was wild; the tame trees of our childhood stared from their knots wildly; the mist swirled with a contained wildness, as if it took enormous will not to fling itself out and up through the treetops; the pond itself was wild, with waves flinging themselves on the shore like an ocean in miniature.
And I/you/we were wild ~ wild with a strange freedom, with a compelling seeking, with a desperate hope driving me/us along paths familiar and ways that were strange. It felt exhilarating, dangerous, right.
And then I woke, full of disappointment ~ no, anger, wrath even ~ at how useless in the real world I am to one who has stood by me so