I can’t care forever. My heart would dry up.
I can’t give up on caring. My heart would become calloused, barren, unfit to love anything but my own self pity.
I walk the jagged edge of a knife. I do not know the cost of all that hangs in the balance. I do not know the true cost of bleeding, nor am I aware the true ignorance of walking safely.
There is a stamp on this letter that says TRUST IN ALL THINGS.
As it happens, upon its opening, I received a paper cut on my thumb.
Upon walking to the sink I slipped on some water.
Upon reaching for the towel I opened the oven to find a tunnel stretching deep into my apartment cellar.
For weeks I have noticed the missing of many little things. Being a depressed bachelor, I make most of my food via radiation and microwaves. Now I see the path of a borrower in my unused oven. Of course I decide to follow. Where I went, I can’t tell. Where I’m going I can’t tell. That is simply a story for another time.
I am at the table of a bumbling and endless idiot. The year is 1320. I have the healing rash of frostbite all over my body, and I am exceedingly drunk on mead. The castle is heated by a large fire. Large firs line the warmer parts of the hearth and there is singing coming from the head of the king’s table.
I am the courier of news from the western edge of the empire, and tonight the bastard Lord Tuberis has requested my company to fill him in on the goings on of the neighboring city states. This is usually a quaint and cordial business. We dine in the hall. The village peasants serve goblet upon goblet of the finest mead. I brief whatever Lord has requested my services, and I am paid in various mystical trinkets and a small sum of silver.
Then comes the feast.
Today however I have walked 16 miles through the wretched cold, stopping only to visit a witch-healer that she might apply balms upon my chill-bitten skin.
Now I am the discontent guest of the a exasperatedly drunken Lord, who has, in his excess, insisted I match him drink for drink in his child’s game.
Weariness does not even begin to describe the levels of my demeanor. This business, were I allowed to get one word in edge wise, would be, by now, done and over with, and I would have only the slightest bit of malice from the company of his rattled and self-inflated Lordship.
As it goes with my business. I go places most thieves dare not go and keep the company of men weaker souls shudder to keep.
So it is by this affiliation with the lowest of the low, that I have found myself in passing the tidings of the feudal underground into the higher circuits of England’s expansive, excessive, and elite.
It is not often, for the firmaments of a heart that deals in compassionate absolutes, to meet a man that makes the loving mind a nihilist. Yet here I am, in the abysmal horse latitudes of my regret, with nothing to distract the attention of my mind than the sullen wine dripping from the beard of Tuberis and the fetid flaps of chicken skin flying rampant around his false prince lapels.
Behold, I am become death. Eater of worlds.
Or something of the sort.
Tuberis: These chickens. So richly fed. Strict diets, actually. Kept warm in the stables of one of the more amicable serfs. They lay their eggs freely and know comfort from laying to slaughter. Such a sweetness in this flesh. Would you care for some?
Courier: I’m fine thank you, I would prefer to get to the matter at hand, the mead dealings and steel trade-
Tuberis: MEAD! MEAD! Why of course. Yes. Wench. Let there be more of this mead. Pour an extra goblet for courier here. Do you know of this mead, Courier? The Queen and her bees, reveled throughout the kingdom, as you well know, in addition to the full moon alchemies of the harvest, the grains picked by the young farm hands was particularly rich this season. What year again, dear?
He says this, mead in one hand, chicken in the other, and spilling on the nearest table guest.
I have resolved to be patient. But patience can only last so long.
It is here, where a much welcome interruption comes. Tuberis and his dealings with an informant, such as myself, happen, more or less, under the radar. So when a fellow Lord approaches to hold his council I make a welcome retreat, out of the castle, and into the courtyard.
The moon has awakened from the fullness of her slumber. The winter winds are crisp and silent.
Outside the castle, in the biting cold.
All is well in the empire.
In the empire, all is well.