Well, so far, so good. I didn’t spill water on the page, nor did I set it on fire, nor did I misspell anything. I will say that drawing wisps wasn’t easy, nor did I find a satisfactory way to do so. All I could think of was fog. We’ll see where the wisps lead us.
If you find this note, come find us. If you don’t find us, please take this note to Dr. Morgan Stone; she will want to know what happened.
How we got up this tree I hardly know. My friend Bridget and I left her house around four in the afternoon ~ late enough for the day to feel ripe in our hands. Hallowe’en has always been one of our favourite days; the evening held no terror for us.
We walked through the woods to the little hill to watch the sun set. Just as the rays turned scarlet and gold, Bridget’s father, who has been ill these many weeks, came running through the the woods on the straight path to the pond, shrieking for his daughter, angry and almost berserk. He skittered to a halt at the edge of the pond as Bridget and I tumbled down the hill, fearing for her father’s health and sanity.
Bridget and I lost sight of her papa ~ usually a dear, sweet man ~ as we ran and stumble among the trees. We burst through the trees just as a geyser reached ~ reached ~ out of the pond, poured itself over Bridget’s father, and when it dissipated, Bridget’s father was gone.
Bridget and I ran to the water, pleading with ~ we didn’t have any idea with what. Bridie kept saying, “Please, please, please…” and I just held out my hands. The water reached out again. It touched Bridie’s hair, my hands, then gathered itself together and pushed us off the pond shore. And then Bridie and I were moving through the trees. We had lost the clew we’d brought and were confused by the mist that seemed to shepherd us about.
And then I realized I had used up my energy reserve and more. Somehow we found this tree. How we got into it I don’t know. Bridie is drowsing and I don’t know what will happen now.
Oddly, I’m not afraid, but writing this out seems sensible. Dr. Morgan’s address is ——— wait;
• You will persuade one of the doctors to stay with your father.
• In the late afternoon, we will bundle up and tell your father that we are going for a walk.
• We will set out, as did the women in the tale, heading toward the pond. Unlike them, we will tie a clew of string from tree to tree to follow back if the mist gets thick.
• Also unlike your predecessors, we will not approach the pond directly. Rather, we will climb the small hill to wait for the sunset and watch the pond. I know you expect something evil, but I remain convinced that we shall find some beneficial energy or spirit that will provide some answers to the mysteries that affect your father.
• I shall stay by you always. I know you are sure you are the bait for some kind of monster, but I shall hold you as fast as Janet did Tam Lin, and no creature shall catch you out of my hold.
And then, Bridie, we shall have to hope. The Bridget of the Book was forced to accept a curse for the future as the cost of saving her loved ones. Perhaps we shall make a better bargain.
I shall slip this plan under your door to peruse during the slumbers of
Your drowsy, Hannah
P.S. Bridie, look again at the maps. The decoration of scattered leaves ~ I think they’re TRACKS!
Didn’t you and Dr. Morgan give me a start, sitting by my bed, watching and waiting for me to wake up! Yet how happy I was to see you after all these weeks apart.
You told me so much on the way to your house that all I could do was ride the crest of the information wave that flowed from you. I had no chance to respond before we arrived at yours and I, of course, had to sleep again.
And now that I am awake, I find you where you where you should be ~ at your papa’s side (how glad I am to see him too, though I would he were better). I cannot talk to you freely in front of him, so I pretend to write a letter to my cousin, but I shall leave it on the escritoire for you to read while I sit with your father.
How kind it was of Dr. Torres to stay with your papa so you and Dr. Morgan could fetch me. And how fortunate it was that she found the last page of the Legends book. Now that I’ve read the story through and looked at the unexpected map on the back of that fateful final folio, I wish to talk with you more. Will you, tonight, come sneak into my room, as you did when we were children so we could read under the sheets and giggle and whisper, so that we can puzzle over the chart together? Our two heads will be more effective than the one of your
P.S. It is a small torture to have you so near, yet be unable to speak freely!
My thoughts have been swirling so that I have been roused from my bed these several nights. I have bundled myself up against the chill of the darkling hours and gone to sit on my balcony to watch the Orionids. With the collar of my jacket turned up, I have watched the falling stars coat the sky with movement, one startling wonder after another, then returned to bed to dream of the woods, the pond, and the sense of dragon.
Last night ~ this early morning really ~ perhaps I dozed while star-gazing, but it seemed to me that there was an outbreak of brilliant meteors and that, in one of those elongated flashes of time, they coalesced into the same semblance of a dragon that the sunset casts upon the pond in my dream. The dragon-stars’ head was pointed toward your house, and all the meteors streamed in that direction so that the dragon seemed to fly.
I must have dreamt it; there was nothing in the morning papers about the occurrence.
I write this before the post has had a chance to bring a note from you, but I wanted to jot it down before the rational light off day could persuade me the vision was mere nonsense springing from the fevered brain of
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