Sunday, February 21, 1869

Dear Diary,

Yesterday was quite exciting! Suited up in my best aeronautics costume, I hunted the mighty Air Kraken. After my poor showing at the Caledon Games, I was determined to face the beasts again. Fortunately, I had a much more successful time of it yesterday. All in all, I bagged three of the great beasties.

Of course, it was not so easy as all that. First, I had to hit upon a strategy that worked. My first attempt was to go up in a bi-plane. I tried to circle the area while shooting the kraken. My skill at handling a plane while simultaneously discharging my firearm proved faulty, however, and I struggled to keep my plane aloft. After awhile, I felt obliged to land and to try another tack.

My next plan proved much more successful. I went up in my passenger dirigible. supported by two elongated balloons, the vehicle holds eight people, so it is roughly the size of one of the kraken. In the air, I was able to hover in one position and draw the creatures to me. Often, the dirigible provided sufficient cover to protect me from the thrashing tentacles and crushing beaks of the monsters while I shot at them from safety. Other times, the creatures would work their ways upon the deck of the ship and become trapped. Then, I had only to climb up into the rigging of the balloons and shoot at the trapped beast below. In both cases, my vehicle afforded me significant protection even though I frequently found myself close enough to shoot into the monsters’ unblinking eyes.

I cannot describe to you how thrilling it felt to face the beasts and not only survive, but win. How my heart palpitated! How my blood rushed audibly in my ears! My focus sharpened. My breathing slowed. In the midst of it all, I wonderful sort of calm permeated every fiber of my being. Then, when it was all over, the calm gave way to a pent up sort of fear or tension that I can only describe as pure elation! Truly, I do not think I have felt so strong an emotion, let alone so positive a one, since I mourned for my dear parents. Yesterday, I felt alive and hopeful for the the first time in more than a year.

And so, my dear confidante, that is the story of my bout with the infamous Air Kraken. Until we meet again, I remain —

Your Affectionate,

Miss Palabra Puddlegum

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