Hand-written note delivered to the Katorga estate, tied in a silver ribbon.
My dearest darling Grigori.
Are you surprised to hear from me? I don’t doubt it – I imagine you still believed yourself to be half mad, daydreaming or perhaps hallucinating all this time. I would not blame you for thinking that our brief moments together were nothing more than the fractured imaginings of a lonely young man. I’ve often wondered myself if it was so…but then…in my world nothing has been constant for too long.
I can hear you now, in that incredulous tone you reserved for the most fantastical tales I would tell you…’I though you were dead! I was told they’d killed you.’
Yes, my dearest, yes you did. And yes I did die.
But here I am.
I will not lie – I could never lie to you, the circumstances in which I return are anything but cause for a happy occasion. Our ‘mutual acquaintance’ has made this rebirthing a rather painful affair, and not to my liking at all. That I should die so that he might live is perhaps the biggest and cruelest surprise and joke of all…for I do not have to tell you how he has wasted his life, after all we had to sacrifice so that it might be so.
They say, of course, that every cloud has a silver lining…and perhaps this is ours. I am here now, and we are away from that hellhole in which you first discovered me. I grow stronger every day he grows weaker…to what end, the Gods only know.
Perhaps it was destiny that did this to us…perhaps we had to learn the hard way what we possessed and what we lost.
Perhaps we had some growing up to do.
I was greatly concerned to learn of your little ‘altercation’ with the Other. Dearest, you must not put yourself in such danger…for what use are you to either of us dead? That you would defend my honor in such a way only confirms to me that you are indeed the shining light and chivalrous knight I always knew you to be…but I fear for your safety.
I fear that without you close by, I will not have the strength to do what must be done.
These final weeks are vital, if we are to succeed in putting the child to bed for the last time. I cannot do it alone.
I am going to ask something of you now, my darling heart…something you may not want to give.
Like any kingdom, the Underground possesses rules, and in order to remain within the folds one must abide by them.
I need you to throw yourself upon the King’s mercy…receive judgement from the Queen and her Family…allow them to see you are contrite and willing to recant and repent for your sins. They will allow you close again, if only to keep a better eye on you so as not to upset the balance of their delicate little eco-system. Your sister, Kayla, must also be allowed to remain…she must beg clemency for you both.
I know it is distasteful…I know it shall stick in your throat, but if we are ever to be reunited again, you must do this for me.
And Kayla cannot know that I have written to you – though a dear-heart she is, her loyalties are still too heavily entwined with the ice queen and her black prince. I am not sure that she would choose to support our ends, were she required to make a choice.
You will be summoned before the Family soon, that I can guarantee…and I cannot plead with you enough to be the obedient little schoolboy and tell them what they want to hear. Make all the necessary conjectures and noises…give them what they want, let them think they have their precious control back.
They will not believe you, of course, but will not denounce you outright before the rest of the court…not without losing the support of many.
And by the time they realise their folly, it will be too late.
My beautiful prince, I cannot tell you how long I have dreamed of you…of hearing your voice and seeing your face again, of the touch of your hand and that glimmer in your eyes that was once reserved wholly for me.
I pray that we will soon be together again. And this time…no one will be able to take me away.
With all my love,
All characters and story lines remain the property of N.Ristovski and the Underground. All character writings within the Underground are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013. Natalie Ristovski.