the process of forgetting

May 30, 2012

My Dearest Clara,

I awoke this morning bathed in cold sweat and dusted with flakes of stone. It seems a fierce fever overtook me in the night, rendering me all but helpless. My damp form huddles weakly in the corner of our cabin, and a haze has fallen over my eyes. I long with each passing moment for a draught of water, though my supplies have already run dry. The blankets I had stowed in my traveler’s sack have all been thrown about my sodden skin, and though I pull them tight, a bitter chill still hounds my core.

In these aching hours, I find myself pouring through E.L. Wheatley’s tome further, hoping, perhaps in vain, for some manner of reprieve.

Following the tale of the man in the paper boat, there is a story of a boy and his dog, wound tightly in the space of a single page. Though they had always lingered close in life, the boy did not appear upset upon the untimely death of his faithful companion and only friend, who had been struck down by some strange pestilence in the eve of summer. On the contrary, his smile brightened with each passing day, and his jovial laughs rang clearly through the garden for all to hear.

It was only when his parents told him of his friends demise did the sun leave his face. He stared about his legs, horror filling his eyes. Upon their curious stares, the boy informed them that since that eve, his pet had found voice, and spoke to him in the garden while they played as a dear friend. It was only now, the boy said, that the dog was gone.

***

I have come to the conclusion that I must leave this place, though the mere notion of abandoning my search for Dana Elizabeth Allen burns hot and sick in the pick of my stomach. I wonder, dear Clara, if you could forgive me such a retreat, and if I may be able to reconcile the loss myself once I reach the base of this lonely hill. With a half day’s rest, I shall commence the first arduous steps down the path, leaving this spot of empty homes and paper swans in the hands of the slippery sea creatures. In its hands I lay the decision to drown alone, or resume eyes on the shore beyond parted waves.

***

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