Part 1

Part 1

A Chapter by Karl

When it feels the rain doesn't end, it takes over the world, we end up living in the thin film between water and clouds. It's hard to even imagine something else exists. This story was my journey lost

My dear Mildred,
  my love, I hope you are well and our Hilda is too. I myself am well, today at least. Over the past few days I have made an inventory of my rations and realize that my time in the tower will come to an end. I will leave here to come back home. I'm not sure what will happen. My letters to the duke have not lead anywhere. The messenger had promised to deliver them and ensure they are read, I have asked every week what would happen. Nothing came of it, nowhere it went. I have taken stock of my obligations too, to you, Hilda and to the duke and the king. By leaving I will challenge the duke's sovereignty to the king, but the duke has left me no choice. Though I could last another week, I would not be able to make my way home again. Of this I have informed the messenger too, of this the duke should be aware. I will to live and I refuse to be abandoned here to starve. While it is my duty to protect the tower, I can only do so while I live. Without the strength to defend it, lest the tower would fall. The tower though still stands strong, the marsh itself and the perpetual rain has deterred any foes and the duchy remains unchallenged. Our family, while few in number, have protected the duchy for centuries. Know this and be proud, for knowing I would return to you has kept we with my wits and sanity. As our duty to the duke cannot go unanswered, I would want to humble ask you to write your brother. For the tower will still need defense and I am the last in my blood line. No more noble men live in my family. Your brother could answer our duty to the duke. Please Mildred, please ask him to seek out the duke and take my place.
  Later today I expect the messenger will come to take this letter. I will leave with him and leave this cursed place behind me. They say that the tower was built before the rain. Though its white stones hide it, from far away it's difficult to see the structure. The perpetual rain, the endless grey clouds, this must have been made with purpose. Every day I look outside and see the same horizon, wet marches that fade into the grey cloudy horizon. Every time I go outside, the same water mist gradually finds its way into my clothes. Every day I dry my clothes by the fire. Over the years now I have only seen this rain. I remember when Hilda was just born, the last week that we had spent together. I remember how our town looked, the dark wood and warm houses. Even with this unending rain, we found life and we celebrated life. The rain was no more than an inconvenience. Caught out here, this tower stands alone, lifeless except my own. It is surrounded by dead trees and shrubs. I recall three days in my time here that it didn't rain, though the grey horizon was still endless. The silence was deafening, it was uncertain and empty and unnatural. Worse still were the days that it snowed. The snow absorbs any sound and the even muffles any sound I make. Those times, there was no sound, no life, there was nothing here. I spent the dry and cold hours with my hand clutched to my sword in fear. Every moment I felt the madness grow, I felt my anger grow.
  I have spent many days watching the area outside. It is that I know the orientation of the tower itself, I know the main gate is to the west. That is all that I see, there are no landmarks around me. There is nothing to even suggest that outside of these marshes anything exists. I look out and only see the endless water. I see the endless dead trees. I see a profound monotony. I recall when I came here, when I looked saw the tower, it seemed a mirage at first. When I entered the marshes and took me first steps in the water, I was instructed to simply stay true to my path, that eventually I would see it. Strangely, it's always there, but it's not until I got close that I actually saw it was the tower. It blends in the environment in a peculiar, almost unnatural way. Obscured by the clouds, the trees and the rain it barely stands out at all. I recall how it took me the first week to make the fire, to dry out enough of myself and some wood to start even a small kindling. The warmth of the fire though, that saved me, the orange glow kept my wits. The warmth kept my soul.
  As though I could have felt it, the messenger appears in the distance. I have some food, my sword, my clothes, armor and sword. Countless times have I dressed to go outside, this time though it feels different. Countless times I had tightened my clothing and armor to proof it for the rain. This time though I had tightened it three times more than otherwise. Countless times had I checked my scabbard and countless times did I run my hand over it. Today though was a different day. The day that I would start my journey back home to you. I hope that this letter will reach you only a few days before I do. I wish to embrace you and Hilda again only shortly after you read this. For all these years I have been away, knowing I will eventually come home has kept me alive. That I would need to abandon my position and ask that you go to your brother was not how I had thought this would go. Regardless, I come home knowing I defended our land. My dear Mildred, I will hopefully see you very soon.

© 2023 Karl

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Added on April 14, 2023
Last Updated on April 14, 2023
Tags: rain, melancholy



Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands

I'm Karl and I write short fictional stories more..

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