Monday, August 31, 2015

from the scattered notes of Bertram Harrold

“…It was not simply the austere, earnest demeanor of young William which committed me to this endeavor. Despite the unyielding consistency of the boy’s claims, and his tired and almost numb delivery of the tale when pressed, the outlandish nature of his narrative would have predisposed me strongly against its validity. That is, of course, had I not begun dabbling in real estate.
Nevertheless, the lad’s story of glowing coal eyes, impossible infernos, and narrow escape beggared belief. Still though, I shall never forget the empty distance within the rough little fellow’s eyes as he described to me the terrible screams of his father. That such a young child could so vividly describe his own father’s agonizing final moments as a blanket list of emotionless facts, it twists knots into my chest still. Perhaps not all those bruises came from his tumble through the roof.
More shocking still, I had read such a tale before. In a dusty journal, inherited from a former tenant, I came across a astonishing account.
The unfortunate Mrs. Brinkley had lost both her husband and only son to the ravages of the relentless sea. Her parents, in-laws, and other possible relations remained a world away when she too passed. It was a sad story, netting me little beyond sighs.
I thumbed through a worn journal while my hired men carted away her meagre possessions. Therein I discovered a strange passage, situated within the normalcies (one imagines) of a young lady's diary…”

[This is in fairly obvious reference to Friday's post.  <-- Clickable]


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