This new year’s resolution came in pieces from a waterlogged leather journal, with most of its pages smudged by ink beyond repair. Gone were the late-night musings, the sketches of places and faces, and the accounts of this first trip, the hard work reduced to a mess that would warrant a heartbroken early trip to the bin.
There were only a few that survived well enough to be salvaged, however. It wasn’t enough to mend the muted distress, but David will take whatever was left behind. … I don't think I ever told them that I was truly proud of them, truly loved them. Their faces elude me, they are all in faded silhouettes, I should be thankful that I remember anything about them at all. I am ashamed to admit that I have no regrets about leaving them behind, these nightmares told of things that no child of mine should face. My curious, dauntless Briar. My sweet little Florentia– all I can hope is that they lived long, happy lives, far from the miseries we all had, and their descendants will follow suit.
If fate allows it, perhaps I could even glimpse upon how far they have become.
From here, I shall see if Lucia's gods were truly capable of protecting them when they failed her faith so many times.
. . .
So many things have changed since I last sighted everything with these eyes, but perhaps there are still those that remained. I should have known better than to forget. This world has always been intent on devouring the ones who stood alone, and if I wanted to start somewhere in retrieving these memories, making new acquaintances should be in order.
The dispute with Mr. Onyx was not a pleasant start, but it took me to unexpected places. Romania! Who knew I could travel so far? It almost gives me hope that I may not be as much of a wretch of a sorcerer as I thought I was. Would you even believe it if I said that I have been taken in–
…I eschewed the affairs of vampires in the past, and many entities that stalked those halls seem to tear through living flesh as a habit, but perhaps, I found one I can call a friend. He was quite the merry gentleman if he was not in the presence of his lord– dependable and friendly to a fault, I can’t help but wonder how he wound up on those grounds. This strange fellow has saved me over and over, clutched my hand when death would have easily grasped it once more.
I am truly grateful, and yet I still believe I have only given him trouble to no end. I don't think there's a proper amount of chocolate that could ever allow me to repay him.
I thought I would be acquainted with the castle’s kitchen staff, but that place was always empty and lonely. It was never short on food, however, and it gave me so much liberty to try new things. I am yet to discover who was responsible for keeping the pantry full. It may be eerie and cold, but there was warmth to be had in its obsolete corners.
As for our recent travels, I've seen many carry these strange devices in their hands, acclaimed to contain so much information and conveniences. While I still prefer the cradle of books, I wouldn’t mind learning that as well if they will bring decent counsel. I would need to find someone patient enough to teach me these things, but for now, I can only scratch my head at the meagre idea.
I aim to return as a changed, knowledgeable man. Preferably alive– I can't believe I have to specify.
For better or for worse, he may have changed somehow.