Tuesday, August 13, 2013


(For previous chapters, see right side bar. If viewing by mobile, scroll down from http://leannareneebooks.blogspot.com for all chapters)
Chapter Eighteen
Dear Maggie,
I would have liked to have written you sooner. But I fell ill. I was, in fact, targeted again, sought out by the demon's tendrils, and laid low by the Master's Society's most recent experimental horrors.
Regrettably, the journey I am on currently will mean it will take even longer for this letter to arrive at your doorstep in Chicago. I embark upon a journey in hopes of resolution, as you have done. I hope you will keep me in your prayers, along with anyone in this dire situation who tries desperately to turn evils around into justices.
From your perspective, considering the expansive and bold contents of your letter, there are things I would like to encourage of you and things I would like to discourage. Not because I think I know any better than you. I chafe at people acting like they "know better" than me. What I write, I write simply because I am trying to take my own advice.
But first, allow me to thank you.
Not for what you did in almost getting us both killed.
But in being willing to reach out, to write a letter, to try and salvage something of what might someday be a truly beautiful friendship. For that, I commend you. It is a brave thing to reach out to another person. I spent most of my life being quite solitary due to my lack of speech, so I understand what breaking isolation means when you've been forced by circumstances to withdraw from average society. Society, for you, meant so much more to you than it ever did to me, so I'm sure your separation from it is all the more troublesome.
But, there are always consequences for actions, and this ostracizing is the unfortunate consequence of your letting the demon in. I believe you are weathering it well, but I would not be a friend to you if I did not share my perspective on these most unique and peculiar and dangerous circumstances.
I encourage you to appreciate Chicago for what it is. My trip out west made me only appreciate New York all the more, so I hope you can truly take in the contrasts as perspective. Absence making the heart grow fonder for home will allow you to reclaim your own self more fully upon your return. You are displaced there for a reason. In my case, I did not weather the effects of dark magic well because I was too quickly wrapped up in it once more, snapped back to New York before the evil had worn off. You need this time, distance, and space for cleansing yourself of the spiritual grime and stain of the demon's making.
I encourage you to listen to the counsel given you there. It is a precious gift. Karen is your guide, as is the lingering presence of lost Amelia. Treasure them as I treasure my deceased mother who yet guides me. Internalize their words and sensibilities down to your core. People like them will save your life. Mrs. Northe gave you the gift and protection of her friends; please see this as her taking care of you. Do not believe for a minute that she doesn't care. She always has, though she hasn't always expressed and acted upon it as thoroughly as she should, in my humble opinion. I do believe she grieves for what more she should have done with and for you. Allow her the opportunity to rectify it here, by sending you somewhere safe, with her dearest companions.
I beg you this: do not entertain the Master's Society's aims in the least.
Do not try to see the perspective of the darkest nature and lend it credence.
Yes, you must understand the enemy in order to fight it. But thinking it has any right to do what it has done or that its agenda is somehow worth considering only gives it more space to breathe. Like a fire that needs air to expand, do not blow upon the embers of the Society. It is already ablaze in several major cities, and the firefighters may be outnumbered. (Well, at the least the police in all cities are entirely unequipped for these conditions.) We'll see how it all plays out. There are many conflagrations that require stamping out.
But, I am dead sure that the answers the Master's Society seeks are to unnatural questions that should not have ever been asked. One cannot invert and pervert the ways of God's kingdom so. I do not believe that the processes of science are meant to undermine God, but the Master's Society members are not scientists. They are backward upstarts, seeking to pervert progress unto chaos.
Most of all, do not feed anger and misery. Do not let it grow within you. That's another way for devils to enter. Don't give them the threshold. Don't show them the door.
The phrase of scripture "I renounce thee" will serve you well. If you were not a person of faith before, I encourage you to become one now, in whatever liturgies or practices that empower you, provided they are about love and not hate, graciousness and not omnipotent power, free will rather than enslavement. Otherwise, it is no faith at all but a prison, one in which your mind and soul will rot.
I look forward to all the ways in which we can become better friends and confidants. And, when we're back in New York, let's us go shopping, shall we?
Your friend,
I stared at the nearly sermon-like response I'd crafted, thinking it might sound a little too grandiose or a little too much of a lecture, but the young woman needed help. And true friends gave sermons if they felt that something needed to be said, for the sake of the friend in need. I'd appreciate this if the situations were reversed. The strange calm I had when I was delegating and instructing others was one I wished I had when I turned inward. But that's the trouble with advice, it's easy to give and hard to take.
I wasn't about to reveal my location or any of the latest clues in that letter, as I didn't feel either were appropriate or useful. And if for some reason this letter were to find its way astray, or heaven forbid, the Society was still after Maggie and had a way of getting to her, I didn't want anything incriminating or too revealing to cause me (or Jonathon) trouble.
Something I had written unlocked something for me. The natural versus the unnatural. The sequence. Mrs. Northe said the Master's Society had a penchant for inverting that which had a divine pattern. I would need to consider the orders of the things I would see. In that, I would know where to look for the disorder, the sinister path veering off from that which was right and true. And therein I might find the chink in the armor of dark magic. Deducing its dissembling pattern and righting it again, subverting the subversion back toward something loving. The simple good in the world they sought to upend.
I knew that this battle, this odd adventure, might upend me. Upend my life. Result in the death that Mrs. Northe feared. I wasn't, despite this impetuous flight, ignoring the base possibilities. But I simply couldn't give them traction to derail my forward momentum. I couldn't stop to think enough to talk myself out of what had to be done:
Find Jonathon. Fight. Enlist the best help along the way we possibly could.
Much like how I knew I had to aid Jonathon from the moment his painting changed before my eyes and gave me clues to help him, I had to do this. Make this journey. See this through. Meet the Society face-to-face. I think I'd always known, somewhere deep within me, it would lead to this, from the first moment I heard the demon wax rhapsodic about the Society's aims there late that night in the Metropolitan.
The world was made by single people doing brave things. Or it was unmade by single people refusing to do what fate decreed.


(End of Chapter 18 - Copyright 2013 Leanna Renee Hieber, The Magic Most Foul saga - If you like what you see, please share this link with friends! Tweet it, FB, + it! The Magic Most Foul team really hopes the audience will continue to grow and it can only do so with YOUR help! If you haven't already, do pick up a copy of Magic Most Foul books 1 and 2: Darker Still and the sequel: The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart and/or donate to the cause! Donations directly support the editorial staff.

Cheers! Happy haunting! See you next Tuesday!)


Anonymous said...

loved Natalie's letter to Maggie. I hope that Maggie takes Natalie's words to heart.


houndstooth said...

Very good question there at the end, I'd say! And that was a lovely letter Miss Natalie penned!