Letters from Afar

Letters from Afar

A Story by StarNinja
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A series of letters from one Reginald Woodworth to his friend back home.

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1.

Hello my dear friend!

How do you find yourself on this fine day? I am glad to inform you that I have finally made it to Headway Island after a grueling five week journey across the sea. We stopped by several other islands on the way to resupply and I saw the most amazing sights, my friend. My traveling companion and sometimes editor, Samantha, said that I had seen nothing yet in regards to the wonders of this world. It fills me with excitement just writing about it! Unfortunately I must retire for the night for tomorrow our journey to the mainland will begin.

Until Then!

 

2.

Hello again, friend!

The trip was a short one. We departed Headway Island and made it to the shores of Brinland the very same day. As the sun sets on another day’s journey a thought occurs to me. I would like you to save the letters I’ve sent you thus far if you haven’t already. Once I return I would like to collect them. Perhaps to publish them, perhaps to use as notes for my eventual memoir. I do not know. I plan to take my journey all the way to the farthest reaches of the East so I know I’ll have plenty of material. I do hope it is not too much trouble for an old friend to ask of you. I will have to think of a name for this collection when I return. Perhaps I will call it “Letters from Abroad.” That has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

 

3.

Greetings, old friend! 

As my traveling companion and editor, Samantha, informed me, “letters from abroad” could easily be misconstrued by twisted young men to mean something completely different than was my original intention. Thus I have been forced to change the title of my current project to “Letters from Afar.” It doesn’t sound as exotic, but I suppose it is as good a title as any. I do wonder how many great works had to be changed because of circumstances like mine. Did Flavian Duchas ever censor his own work so the filthy headed masses could not ridicule him? It makes me shudder to think of it. The journey continued once more and we’ve already lost sight of the sea behind us. Now it is only forward, forward through the forests and mountains to the East! We are traveling by horse now, and our little entourage has grown a bit since we’ve landed. I will have to tell you about these interesting folks whenever I get the chance. First I will have to learn their exotic names! A monumental task if ever there was one.

 

4.

I stumbled across a curious thing today. A lake that is so calm and still that upon first viewing one is struck with the sense that someone had left an enormous mirror in the middle of a field. The water has a perfect reflection, my friend. A most serene and beautiful sight. I am sitting by it as I write this. There are few things I’ve seen in my life that have struck me like this sight has struck me. Don’t get the wrong idea, though! I am certainly not getting sentimental over some pool of water. Curiously, none of my companions, far traveled as they are, are familiar with this lake. It would seem the kind of place that people would come from far and wide to see. There is a little village just a stone’s throw down the hill from here. Perhaps tomorrow I will ask around.

 

5.

When we arrived at the village I learned that there is a local legend associated with the lake. It is said that the lake does not reflect our world, but rather the world as it should be in the eyes of the beholder. This is why many a young person have died looking into its waters, mesmerized by the sights they saw beneath its placid surface. I found the legend interesting, to say the least. When I had observed it I saw nothing so mesmerizing as what the villagers described. Simply the natural beauty of a lake in midday. I caught a glimpse or two of something flitting beneath the waters. Fish most likely, but nothing more. But I must say my curiosity is piqued! Perhaps there is some curious effect on the mind when one stares too long at a surface that looks for all the world like an inverted copy of our own. I will go to see the lake again tomorrow once I’ve rested my legs.

 

6.

Some of my traveling companions left today. They were kind enough to say good bye at least, but I will miss some of their company all the same. Others not so much.  I sat by the lake again and looked into the reflective surface. I saw the beautiful day reflected back at me. Nothing unusual happened. I was almost let down by this. I suppose it’s better than the legend being true in some sense and causing me harm, but, the sense of mystery unfulfilled! Maybe that should be the focus of my letters from now on, hmm? An investigation into the mysteries of the lands I travel through. It’s an exciting thought.

 

7.

I sat by the lake again. I don’t know what drove me to return but I just had to see it one last time. It really is a thing of beauty, my friend. Looking down into lake from the nearby hillock gives the impression that one is staring into the sky below the earth, subterranean clouds and birds flying past the opening to the hollow center. I sometimes find myself staring and it takes a moment for my sight to readjust when I look away. Though the image in the lake is a near perfect copy, for some reason it disorients me. My head hurts. My eyes hurt. I think I’ve been looking at this lake for too long. Before I left to find dinner in the village, a most troubling thing happened. I looked away and my vision blurred. The world was swimming, as if I was seeing the crude reflection of the world all around me while the real world lingered below the calm still waters of the lake. We have been here for three days now. We are well rested and resupplied for the journey ahead. We leave tomorrow. Perhaps I will go to see the lake one last time before we do.

 

8.

I met a little king today. He said his name was Milandro. He was a member of the Mothran People, those child sized creatures of exotic persuasion. I admit I didn’t believe him at first and thought perhaps I had misunderstood his difficult accent, but after speaking with him I recognized his princely manners. I asked him why he wasn’t dressed like a king and he informed me that he was traveling “incognito”, a Mothran word for a special sort of discreetness. Our conversation was very riveting and I don’t have the room to transcribe even a portion of it here, but we talked about most every subject under the sun. If he wasn’t a real king, he was certainly a learned Mothran. He and I talked so long I regretfully ran out of time to see the lake one last time before we departed. I found out that Milandro was heading in the same direction as me and I decided to invite him to join along. To my joy, he agreed. A new companion and a new chapter to my journey. Until next time, friend!

 

9.

I think it’s time I told you about my other traveling companions. They are a fascinating lot and have quite a few stories of their own to tell. I hope to one day have stories of my own like they do. Today I will tell you of the old hermit named Jotus. I say hermit, but this is a self-imposed term. His actual profession is writer and indeed he has been working on a book since I met him. It is a monstrous thing of nearly 300 pages and yet he says he is not even half way through with it! It consumes him, the poor man. The writing I mean, not the book. Could you imagine? Its working title right now is “Jotus and the Whale.” It is a tale of obsession, about a man who searches for a whale that wronged him in the past. Unfortunately, the sea where the whale lived has dried up so that it is little more than a pond but the man does not give up his search. He wanders the desert looking for a whale that has probably died long ago, a fitting allegory for the act of writing the book itself as much as anything. It seems like an interesting story, but the man refuses to share more than the premise with the rest of us. It would certainly help the dreariness of this train ride pass if he did.

 

10.

Our journey has turned perilous indeed! Bad luck has plagued our travels for near a week now, from sudden outbreaks of illness to blocked paths, long delays from inclement weather and more. Milandro tells me he suspects that one among us has done a great misdeed which has cursed us. I laughed and told him that things like curses don’t exist, but I saw in his multi-faceted eyes that he was not joking. He had traveled far and wide as an exiled king, and he had seen many a sight that someone like me would consider impossible, or so he said. I tried to change the subject to something less disturbing but he insisted that we find the one who cursed us. I am keeping an eye on Milandro for the time being as I am worried about what his superstitious belief will amount to. Hopefully it will amount to nothing but it is hard to tell with Mothran.

© 2016 StarNinja


Author's Note

StarNinja
An ongoing project occasionally updated.

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"I am keeping an eye on Milandro for the time being as I am worried about what his superstitious belief will amount to."

Milandro seemed like a mysteriously powerful person from the very beginning. Don't underestimate people by their heights, I always try to remember.

"Looking down into lake from the nearby hillock gives the impression that one is staring into the sky below the earth, subterranean clouds and birds flying past the opening to the hollow center. I sometimes find myself staring and it takes a moment for my sight to readjust when I look away."

I remember having previously told you that unexaggerated length of your description keeps things simple and easier to follow for the reader and it also leaves good room for our own interpretation and imagination. Sometimes I get dizzy and overexcited as I try to explain an emotion or demonstrate a dramatic scene and it just results in my own boredom during the editing stage and -sometimes- it leads to the loss of the true spirit of the story.

This is why I'm glad I'm back to reading your worlds of adventure, and in the meantime, I might as well learn a thing or two about getting better at writing fiction.. Fiction, really? Or maybe your real encounters with magical lakes and little kings ;)

I'm home.

~Rain.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

StarNinja

3 Years Ago

Thanks for stopping by, Rain! Yes our Reginald is a bit verbose and I often find myself wanting to s.. read more



Reviews

"I am keeping an eye on Milandro for the time being as I am worried about what his superstitious belief will amount to."

Milandro seemed like a mysteriously powerful person from the very beginning. Don't underestimate people by their heights, I always try to remember.

"Looking down into lake from the nearby hillock gives the impression that one is staring into the sky below the earth, subterranean clouds and birds flying past the opening to the hollow center. I sometimes find myself staring and it takes a moment for my sight to readjust when I look away."

I remember having previously told you that unexaggerated length of your description keeps things simple and easier to follow for the reader and it also leaves good room for our own interpretation and imagination. Sometimes I get dizzy and overexcited as I try to explain an emotion or demonstrate a dramatic scene and it just results in my own boredom during the editing stage and -sometimes- it leads to the loss of the true spirit of the story.

This is why I'm glad I'm back to reading your worlds of adventure, and in the meantime, I might as well learn a thing or two about getting better at writing fiction.. Fiction, really? Or maybe your real encounters with magical lakes and little kings ;)

I'm home.

~Rain.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

StarNinja

3 Years Ago

Thanks for stopping by, Rain! Yes our Reginald is a bit verbose and I often find myself wanting to s.. read more

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Added on March 13, 2015
Last Updated on March 15, 2016
Tags: letters, from, afar, travel, adventure

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StarNinja
StarNinja

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