Inktober 2019 Day Nine: And the moon changes even as your mind…

Inktober Prompt: Swing
Goldspot Prompt: Madness

9 October, 2019

Dear Bridget,

Oh my! I confess I never saw this coming. I was afraid your father would rage, become abusive, possibly even violent if you thwarted his demand. I hoped that in his upset, he would would let slip some clue about what is driving him. 

But his swing into tears and despair never entered my mind. Oh Bridie, maybe I was wrong — indeed, I think I was. I think you ask Dr. Morgan to bring in a psychiatrist to examine your father. Though there be method, yet there may be madness in it. Tell me what you think, Bridget. I hardly know what to say, but am still

Your friend,
Hannah

Inktober 2019 Day Six: An unfortunate turn…

Inktober Prompt: Husky
Goldspot Prompt: Terror

Bridget!

At such a time — oh, at such a time! — my lassitude suffuses my bones, turns my skin husky, weighs me down with terror so that I can’t even break the seal on your envelope. I’ll attend to your letter tomorrow. Forgive

Your exhausted,
Hannah

Inktober 2019: Some links seem to form…

Inktober Prompt: Build
Goldspot Prompt: Whisper

 5 October, 2019

Dear Bridget,

I have never liked the wind. I don’t mean the breezes that cool the summer days or waft the turning leaves along rivulets of air. It’s the locomotive winds that start like an idea in the mind and build to a roaring whisper that irritate my soul and de-rail my mind. 

But now, knowing what you told me, the wind troubles me even more, especially when it blows from the woods. I can’t help but fancy that I detect the reek of something noisome and malicious, almost a presence that seeks to distract me and slip my thoughts into another stream.

And my fears may not be unfounded. Dr. Morgan tells me she now suspects that my perpetual lethargy may be related to your father’s illness. Thinking back together over tea (and really, Bridie, when we get this all sorted, you MUST share your soup recipe with me. It would have been the perfect accompaniment to the sandwiches), we realized that my fatigue came upon me shortly after my coming to visit you and your papa when he first fell ill. She will be at yours before long to drain you of blood as she did me. She wants to compare our samples with your father’s.

Thank goodness your father hasn’t smoked your subterfuge of heading to the store instead of the woods. Yes, I do know the dangers of the ice cream counter, but that is a sacrifice you will have to make to ease the mind of

Your loving friend,
Hannah

Inktober Day Four: Some mists begin to clear…

Inktober Prompt: Freeze
Goldspot Prompt: Blood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, Bridget! 

You know how I abhor a cliché, but I must tell you that your letter made my blood freeze. Truly, I felt it run cold in my veins. 

Thank heavens Dr. Morgan was able to get rid of your brain fog. Funny how it took a doctor to see clearly that you needed a cup of strong tea!

While I understand your tale now, I would credit such a story from no one but you.I do not know if we’ll need to involve anyone else in this perilous conundrum, but if we do, it will be of tremendous value to have Dr. Morgan’s corroboration. 

It must have been terribly unnerving to hear your usually patient papa speak to you in a voice so unlike his own in timbre, tone, and pitch. You’re right: I have never heard him raise his voice either, not even when he caught you packing to run away to prove, at eleven, that you could too take care of yourself.

If only his querulousness were due to his advancing age and poor health. It seems indeed that some thing has taken over your father’s mind, even if it manifests at intervals.

I know you are worried that Dr. Morgan’s tests may have a deleterious effect on  your father’s health, but I think that you have to trust her. Whatever is affecting him must be taking a toll on his body and his mind.

But no matter how upset he gets, do not let your father persuade you to return to the woods. Pretend, if you must, to accede; let him see you in your jacket and gloves; open and close the front day and walk to the corner store so you come back wreathed in scents of fresh autumn air. 

I must think further about the venomous fog and your vague recollections about believing yourself to be bait. Have you remembered anything further?  How you came by that idea? For what you might be the enticement? Or to what purpose?

Sit tight, Bridget. As you know, Dr. Morgan comes to me tomorrow and I shall keep her to tea after she finishes my examination. As soon as she pronounces me well enough to leave home, I shall come to see you (how plagued you must feel, caught between an ailing father and a foundering friend!).

I shall send you a note tomorrow by the good doctor; I hope together she and I will be able to hit upon a course of useful action. Watch out for yourself, and keep away from shadows. Give your father, when he is himself, my fondest regards, and hoard for yourself the best of my

Friendship and love,
Hannah

Inktober 2019 Day Three: Many Questions are Raised…

Inktober Prompt: Bait
Goldspot Prompt: Venom

Bridie, Bridie, Bridie,

You must calm down! You write in such a panic that I can hardly decipher your meaning. It has always been so: Remember when we were were small and you tore up your basement steps all in a state, so terrified you couldn’t form words? You tugged my sleeve until I crept down the stairs with you, only to find a “monster” made of a mop, some towels, a bucket, and the ambient moonlight?

Don’t be upset; I’m not implying that you’re inventing monsters now. But you tend to be less than articulate when you are frightened. 

I shall tell you what I’ve extrapolated from your note, then you will tell me how well I understood your letter, and then we shall figure out what to do.

So: two days ago (is that right?), while caring for your father (that part is clear), he became, you wrote, “agitated.” What do you mean by that? Was in in pain, angry — disturbed in his mind, in his faculties? You say, “He insisted with a strange urgency that I go for a walk, out in the woods where we used to play>” What was strange about his desire for you to get some air? Could he be feeling ill at ease that you spend so much time in his chamber and might he merely wish for you to care for yourself by visiting the scene of so many of our innocent games? Has Dr. Morgan noticed a change in his demeanour?

Now, Bridget, I come to the part that most puzzles me. To calm your father, you agreed to the walk (good) and strolled down the path to the pond (how well I know that lane!). As you walked, you told me, “the trees became strange.” In what sense, Bridget dear? Odd? Your tone implied that the trees, the ones we climbed, that grew as we grew among them, were unfamiliar. But how could that be?

And then your story becomes strange indeed. You wrote that a fog, a “miasma, a mist full of venom,” filtered through the trees. No — wait; you write that it emanated from the trees. (How could that happen?) It was, you maintain, an unnatural fog, one that thickened behind you and, you seemed to say, breathed a venom that drove you, running, toward our pond. Please explain how a mere fog was “venomous.” Was it truly poisonous or, perhaps, was it infected by your fears for your papa, by the sometimes fetid air of the sick room? I do not doubt you as much as it might seem, but I want to be sure I understand what you’re telling me.

Bridie, you end so wildly!: “Bait! Bait! Nothing but bait! My skirt covering nose and mouth, I ran ran ran. Instinctive feet, somehow home. And a note to you.”

If you wrote me after such a shock, I can well understand why your earlier note carried such a pall with it, a pall that has only grown heavier after reading your letter today. Again, I urge you to write swiftly back to your

Steadfast friend,
Hannah

Inktober Day Two: A sense of foreboding steals in…

Inktober Prompt: Mindless
Goldspot Prompt: Chill

Inktober Day Two

2 October, 2019

Well, Bridie,

As happens so often, our letters must have crossed in the post. I was pleased to see it; I was expecting your recipe for pumpkin soup — goodness knows I’ve asked for it often enough!

Your missive started out well enough; I am pleased that your dear papa is improving. But, Bridget, as I read on, I confess a chill brushed through my soul and left a pattern of ice crystals there. I can hardly say why. There seemed to be a creeping, mindless aura to your words that has settled over my own brain like a living mist and has quite put me out of countenance.

Write back at once to either reassure or confide in

Your anxious friend,
Hannah

P.S. And please don’t forget the soup recipe!

Inktober Day One: And so it begins…

Inktober Prompt: Ring
Goldspot Prompt: Mystery

Inktober Day One

Dear Bridget,

Autumn is good and finally here. For weeks, the flowers & trees have seemed still & quiet  — waiting. But now they begin to ring out with glory and colour. It started with the drifting, spinning leaves of the locust, floating down like slow-motion largesse, looking like the tinkling of a wind-chime in a lazy breeze.

But now the reds & oranges ring out on the trees and bell out that ‘Fall has come!’ in deeper tones than even the aspen can manage. There is a mystery to the liminal seasons, a mystery of which I never tire.

You are laughing, I’m sure, at my florid prose, but I am even more sure you will forgive and indulge

Your tedious friend,

Hannah