I did write this on the first day of NaNoWriMo, but am disorganised. May miss the odd day, but my aim is to write the beginning of a new piece every day this month, so that I can go back to an with potential afterwards.
I am telling you this because you are the only person who will not judge me.
Do believe me when I tell you that I would much rather tell this story to no one. As it is, however, I find that I must confide my sins in someone and, as you must know, that person could only ever be you.
I could not tell you where it began. Perhaps it has been since the loss of my mother. Perhaps it began long ago, in the house to which I was born. A household to which I am still a pariah, an embarrassment, at best.
Many, upon hearing my situation and believing themselves to know its facts, would certainly be inclined to blame my predicament on my mother. Since her passing, I have often found myself traversing the Limehouse streets again, and, as you are one of the few who know of her origins, and consequently my own, perhaps you can understand that such a practice has brought me some small comfort. As you are the sole bearer, aside from myself, of the true nature of my inheritance, please allow me to make certain things clear.
The popular fiction of many of our writers may show Limehouse to be a source of mystery, but I can assure you that no cunning villain, nor fierce creature, nor exotic spell has ever presented itself to me outside of such paper fantasies. These alleyways offer me peace acceptance, no more, no less, until I must once again emerge into the larger, louder city and remove myself from the distractions of my grief.
Alas, friend, I could not tell you what has changed to cause such an outcome in me, but the consequences of the change are, without question, the strangest that I have ever heard of in the papers of science, or of fiction. I will explain as best I can. All I ask is your trust in me, to tell you the truth in its entirety. After everything, I could do you no greater disservice than to lie.
And so, I offer my truth.
Death is like this. It is a wave, not the crashing flood-waves of the Old Testament, but a gentle ebb and flow, engulfing our city, then releasing it again. It sweeps away the souls of the lost, their abandoned bodies mere shells on the shore of greater things than we. Invisible, the tide folds around us every day, stretching into eternity.
The unlikely truth of the matter, my friend, is that I can see it, and see it all.
The gentleman on his bicycle, his heart weak and approaching failure. The expectant mother who shall not survive childbirth. I see them, see through them, to their end.
You may fear me to be hysterical, made ridiculous by my recent grief, but I assure you, I am quite sane. Understanding that those words would likely be the first defense of the insane, please allow me to outline my actions of the past few weeks, in order to persuade you, I pray, of the soundness of my mind.
Upon first experiencing my – we shall call it “condition”- I was taken quite ill, and, shamed though I am to admit it, succumbed to unconsciousness right there in the busy high street. Returning to awareness in a busy infirmary, surrounded by those who’s sicknesses played out before my eyes like the acts of a play, was a highly unsettling experience and, after diagnosing my attending physician with the fatal beginnings of an illness of the blood, I fled. I have since learned to contain myself, and ceased to share my visions. The clear play of fear, emerging from the disbelief on the good doctors face, is one that I should not wish to inspire in my fellow man again.