October 22, 2017

In Which Eldona Needs Something to Tell

December 10, 1204

Eldona had translated the diary. She'd read over that translation twice. She'd checked the translation, re-translated, read it over yet again, repeat. She could practically recite it--what she thought it said, at least--from memory. She was right, she was sure of it, or at least as right as she could be without the context of Searle's mother's fractured mind.

And she had no idea what the hell she could tell Agathe.

What was there to tell, really? Most of it was nonsense--the ravings of a madwoman whose madness had flourished under years of neglect and abuse and self-loathing. The rest of it was the years of neglect and abuse and self-loathing, a private account of deeply personal pain that belonged to a dead woman, pain that Eldona had no right to disclose. A cruel father, a crueler brother, a mother whose fate would repeat in her daughter. Agathe, at least, would be spared of that, in both life and knowledge. Perhaps that was the one comfort to be found in the early death of Riona as well.

But aside from the pain was... well, it was back to the nonsense. Something about a well, the blood of demons, trees with roots that knotted at the center of the earth and the things that slept amongst them. Something about beings made of starlight, clouds that rained emeralds, lions that devoured worlds. Something about seeds of darkness latent in the earth, windows masquerading as mirrors, the grave of the father.

Something part fiction, part delusion, part metaphor, part prophecy. Something Eldona couldn't explain, couldn't define, couldn't fathom. She had neither the ability nor desire to live in Euthalia's mind. She did not want to translate and read and re-translate and re-read again.

But she had to tell Agathe something.