Monday, November 16

all the years I walked unknown behind the faces I'd assumed

Through enchantment you may find this tome sitting upon on your desk or shelf or coffee table, on your favorite tree stump or box of gears. Is it truly there? Your fingers pass through it, yet you can read the pages that seem to know when to turn when you have taken your fill from the open leaves.

The crest embossed on the front is unmistakable. The ziggurat with a pyre at its peak, flanked by batlike wings. As the pages turn you catch scents that are familiar, perhaps not pleasurable but somehow reassuring. It may be absinthe, soot, sulfur, or the lingering vapors of reanimation serum.

Handwritten inside the front cover, addressed to you by name:

It is my dedication you and the many friends I have made in the Steamlands and beyond that has compelled me to return. As a fugitive, the smog and brick canyons grant me anonymity. The sea of tuxedos in allow me to blend in with the other dapper gents on the ballroom floor. The tunnels beneath the streets echo my whispers to your ears.

I have made my presence known to many of you. Some of you have glimpsed me as I raced in silence from one danger to another. Some of you have prayed for my return. I thank you for your prayers, for they have been answered. For you, I write this book so enchanted that only those I trust may see and read.

Is this selflessness or sheer folly to return with nothing more than the clothes on my back and an inoculation pistol? Only time will tell. As Surgeon, Sorcerer and Spark, I will help you however I can, whenever I can. My life has no meaning otherwise.

All I ask in return is that you refer to me in your tales only as "The Scientist", and that you never publish an image of my face or otherwise explicitly reveal my identity. In this regard, my life is in your hands.

Be Well, my Friend.

The Scientist

The book then vanishes in the blink of an eye. Were you only dreaming?


HeadBurro Antfarm said...

Sir, I am delighted beyond measure at your return and honoured to be entrusted with your secret. Be assured, I shall say nothing...

Veles Jagermonster said...

Velcome beck, zir. For der zake uf our common kin, az vell az for you own zake, pliz call un me et need.

Baron K. Wulfenbach said...

It was a delight to work with you again. I need to have to explain my methods in infinite repetition around you, nor do I have to question the level of your skills.

Birdsan Weezles said...

Vell met und about time, kyootie. Hyu left a hole around here -- a beeg schmoking vun, vhich Hy could zee from my bedroom vindow! Hoping to zee you schveet kinder beck in the Schteamlendz at zum point, too!

Ama said...

[swoops in for a swift hug and takes off again]

Wren Mornington said...

Wren places her new father’s journal back where she found it, leaving no evidence of her snooping except for a single hair in a length and shade similar to her own, a jammy handprint on the cover, and a bookmark with the words “property of Wren.” between the last pages she’d read.

HeadBurro Antfarm said...

I fear I have missed all your posts as your RSS seems to be broken - can you please chack as I would hate to miss any more!