Saturday, July 28, 2012

Are you still alive, Philippe?

I'm linking up with Rosamund Gregory's character letters for the very first time.  Oddly enough, I've chosen a character who can't read or write for this first letter, but I chose her because I want to get to know her better (and what better way than to get directly inside her head?).  So though this letter will never be written down, never sent, never read by Philippe, here is the letter Margot composes in her head to her older brother.  Even in her thoughts, Margot frequently rearranges what she wants to say, which will account for the multitude of strike-throughs in this letter.  The fact that Margot and Philippe's relationship is rocky at best will account for the rearranging of Margot's thoughts.

Margot's handwriting is nonexistent (as I said, she doesn't even know how to write), as is her stationery, and she doesn't doodle in the margins because she has no paper on which to doodle.  Even if she did have paper, she wouldn't waste it in doodling, though.  I'm not sure what she'd do with it.  Maybe she'd give it to Philippe, just as she wishes she could give this letter, but of course there's no way to do that.  

Dear Phillipe
Hello, Philippe

Are you still alive?

Are you coming to find us?

If I say nothing else here, I must say that at least.  Fina and I are safe-- I hope I'm sure you'll be glad to know that.  We're in a village I've never seen, a place I'd never even heard of... but of course I know so little of the surrounding villages.  I don't know how far we are from home.  We walked for so long that horrible night, but I have no idea how much distance we covered.

The people who found us are good, I think.  They are gentle and kind, and one young woman especially has become attached to Fina.  They have told us we may stay with them, but I do not know what to do, nor indeed what to think of them.  I do not know who they are, exactly-- their manner of living is like the gypsies that came to the manor last year, but these people do not steal as the gypsies did.  They make their living, so far as I can see, as tinkers, traveling from village to village with no fixed destination.

All this is not really so strange, I suppose, but the oddest of it all is their religion.  I'd never met a real live heretic before, and I always imagined them to be great brute beasts with horns, but these travelers look just like you and me.  Yet their beliefs--though neither pagan nor occult--are in direct disobedience to the holy Church, and I fear that Fina and I may be tainted if we stay with them.  Of course we do not listen to their heresies, and we try our best to shut our ears when they recite their prayers around the fire each night.  But might we, too, be condemned (as they will surely be) from association with them?  Why am I even asking you?  You are the one constantly searching for answers.  You are the one who went on a pilgrimage.  But I do not think you came back with any more answers than when you left, now did you?  

I do not know what to think.  All I know is that we must get away.

I miss you terribly I should like to see you again.  Each night as I lie awake I think over the last words I spoke to you, and I wish so much that I could take them back I would like to apologize for what I said.  I know you only want what is best for me  Perhaps you did not mean to be so autocratic.

I know you'll come for us, Philippe-- you wouldn't abandon your sisters, would you, if you could possibly avoid it?  Please still be alive I'm sure you must be all right.  They wouldn't dare to capture you or harm you in any way, would they?

Please come, please come, as soon as you can I look forward to seeing you again.
We need you. 
I need some answers.
I miss you.  Fina misses you.

With love,
Your sister,


Maria Elisabeth said...

Ooooh, I like this. This one letter says so much about the characters and the plot - what I know about the characters and the plot, that is. Do post more, please.

An Old-Fashioned Girl said...

What a lovely letter!