Father has done the unspeakable. In his grief over the loss of Mother, he took one of the servant girls against her will. The act was so violent, it is believed she will not survive. I tended her wounds myself. Some reach the bone. Even if we could heal her body, we will never heal her soul. Father has willingly allowed himself to be restrained. The other elders have chained him in the dungeon. I knew they had planned for times like this but I had not known of the prison that hides under the manor. I swear I hear him cry, now as I sit in my room. My heart weeps, though I can not muster the tears. I think of my own daughter locked in a room above. What will be her fate?
I fear I’ve become superstitious. With Emile’s death coming so shortly after Mother’s and Father’s madness, I can not help my desire to cleanse the air. I’ve ordered a complete cleansing of the manor including the burning of herbs to drive away bad spirits. Our family has lost control over the manor, though no one has argued against my wishes. Uncle Constantine has become master. I suppose he is still family. His son has married into one of the other families that joined us here. I look at the marriage proposals our uncle and the other fathers have planned and I wonder at our future. The servant girl who is serving as wet nurse to my niece may be the only example of how we will survive. How long can they expect us to live so far away from society?
A knock on the door disrupted my reading. Tears streamed down my face as I opened my bedroom door. “Are you alright,” Thomas asked.
“No,” I cried, retreating back into my sanctuary. “Em is dead. One moment she’s preparing to be a mother and then she’s gone. How much can they endure? First their mother dies, their father goes mad and then she’s gone.” I sat on the bed, sobs wracked from my body.
Thomas set his hand on my shoulder, “maybe you should take a break, get some lunch with us.”
“Oh,” I jumped up. He backed away to keep from falling over. In the bathroom, I splashed my face with cold water. When I looked up in the mirror, my face was as fresh as it could be, the advantage of this part of my cycle.
“You do know that today is the day of rest,” he asked as we stepped into the hallway.
“Reading is resting, does it matter what I read?”
He stopped partway down the stairs. “Maybe a novel would be better. I’m reading Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently.”
“That’s a good choice,” I said, taking a few steps. “I found the first book a little tough to start but once you get into the story, it sweeps you away.”
He nodded, joining me on the landing. “It’s slow going but I don’t mind.”
I laughed with memory. “I love the refrigerator in the second book.”
He hummed with thought. I moved to take another step as he stopped me.
“Will you tell me something if I tell you something?” His grey-green eyes pleaded. I nodded. “You scare me terribly.”
“You shouldn’t be,” I said fulfilling my promise. I took an additional step down, his body near collapse with self defeat. Taking his left hand in mine, “trust does not come easily,” I said as I placed my palm in his upturned one. I gripped his wrist, his fingers mimicked my movement, “especially for beings such as you and I.”
Adelaine Day Five
My heart is broken. I know that Emile died hundreds of years ago but my heart doesn’t care. I feel as if I lost someone I knew. Why can’t I hold on? I am floating, falling away. Where is my tether? Where is the one that keeps me from disappearing into the stratosphere? I am unadorned, barren, empty.
I don’t mean to be so depressing. Perhaps now is the time to give up journalling, does it mean anything? I will not leave a legacy to read my words. My book will disintegrate and dissolve just as I do. Well, if I wrote this in the traditional format. Instead, I will be deleted which might be even worse.
I tell myself there is still time. I am still young. But am I? When do I become hopelessly old? When do I become like the others, alone and abandoned? I am grateful for the life I have had. I feel like there is nothing else. Yes, I came to the island that I always dreamed of coming to but what is next? Nothing, I have nothing left to wish for. Perhaps I will never leave.