Thursday, July 14th, 1870

My Dear Diary:

Oh, you poor dear! Do you feel better now that I’ve released you from that musty old crate? How you ended up with the dining room furnishings, I’ll never know. Fortunately, the kraken bisque did not stain. How do you feel being dusted off and approached with pen in hand yet again? I certainly hope the new house agrees with you.

As you must be aware by virtue of your short sojourn within the confines of a packing crate, I have yet again moved. No great disaster prompted the change; this time, a lovely lot became available at a reasonable price. I have moved to a new neighborhood in Caledon Glengary, is it? I shall have to check on the name. Here, I enjoy a very well appointed house with woods and shade aplenty. I have waterfront access, which you know I adore, and a splendid view of Steam Sky City! My uncle says I’ve finally found a home befitting my station.

Matilda, too, seems pleased. Of course, that may have more to do with the miracle of his transformation than with its location. Diary, it is true. I have indeed witnessed a miracle! Tiny, my sister’s ex-monk friend, told me to have faith. I am sorry now to have questioned the wisdom of his words. When Matilda found an incantation in one of Mr. P’s old grimoires, I felt equal parts trepidation and hope: trepidation that the incantation might be demonic in origin and result in some sort of terrible tentacled nightmare and hope that the incantation might do as it boasted and restore the physical appearance of my maid to one in better keeping with that of Matilda’s soul. I need not have carried my shotgun as we performed the ritual. In fact, for the first time in my life, something actually went according to plan! Matilda has been restored.

It started with an elaborate chalk circle. Matilda and I retreated to the attic, where I watched as my maid bent down and took a great deal of time and effort to trace out a circle filled with strange symbols. I then averted my eyes as she divested. With trembling hands – one of which held firmly to my weapon – I stood outside the circle and began to read aloud. A flood of light seemed to wash over the room. Warmth, too, and love settled into our little attic. From these elements, a shape akin to that of a winged human gradually began to form. This creature, this angel, favored me with a smile. A smile! Oh, diary! Such a beatific sight I have never before beheld. I fell instantly to my knees, tears blurring my vision, and dropped my gun with a clatter. The creature seemed undaunted. It transmitted to me a sensation of… well, it is difficult to describe, but I felt at peace. I felt as though the angel approved of my actions. I felt almost as though I had been washed clean, made pure and whole merely by the presence of this being in my life.

I do drone on, though, don’t I? The focus of this miracle was not my own amazement at merely beholding such a sight. Rather, the focus was on my maid. The angel turned away from me and began to actually caress Matilda, at least that is what it did if a being comprised of light can be said to actually touch a person in any physical manner. Physical changes, though, it wrought upon the person of my maid. Where the angel touched, porcelain gave way to pure flesh. Glassy eyes turned moist and real. Hard, machine-hewn joints became more malleable machines of flesh and bone. Real hair grew, replacing silk. And where Matilda had been bare before, a small male member appeared to announce his re-entry to the human race.

When the creature departed, taking with it the light and the chalk but not the heady emotions that beat within my breast, Matilda and I clung to one another as I imagine the people of the Bible stories did after being faced with such a visitation. It seemed a long time before we both recovered enough to realize not only what had happened, but that poor Matilda was nude!

Having no male clothes about the house, at least none that would fit so slight a figure as Matilda’s, I ran next door to Danyell’s estate. I hollered for him, but no one seemed to be at home. I rifled through his drawers, a rudeness I am certain he would forgive, until I found a small suit of masculine apparel. This, I took immediately to my maid – or should I call him a butler, now? Or a valet? And should I call him Gordon instead of Matilda? Goodness, who can say?

Lady Kylerra, Danyell’s wife, must have seen my hurried flight across her lawn from a distant part of the estate. She came to my door a few minutes later, upon which time she bore witness to Matilda’s remarkable recovery. He is a slightly built youth of indeterminate age. He seems uncomfortable in his new body with its longer hair, shorter stature, and its built-in necessity of bowing rather than curtsying. He wore clothes once belonging to Kylerra’s daughter, Acclesia, which is a testament to the slightness of his shape. For her part, the Lady Kylerra expressed amazement. She also forgave me my sticky fingers, acknowledging that had she been home, she would have gladly lent me the clothes for so sudden and unexpected a use.

It was a miracle, Diary. A true miracle occurred, and I felt privileged to have witnessed it. In other news, I have lately connected Lady Kylerra with a lawyer friend of mine from the club. She has a need of representation regarding her sister, I believe, and he is a charming fellow of excellent reputation and wealth. I hope he will be of use to her. In light of recent revelations regarding the state of my soul and the indisputable presence of angelic creatures, I have not yet decided whether or not to maintain my connection to him or to any other member of the club. If there are angels and devils, both of which I know from vivid experience to exist, it stands to reason that other stories may also be true. Rather than regarding my soul as a wretched, bloody, soiled attachment as I have been doing, the angel’s reaction to my deed leads me to believe that a soul once tarnished is not beyond repair. It is possible that I should look toward my future instead of my past and to stop spilling new stains willy-nilly here and there upon my most precious of metaphysical accoutrements.

How I am to earn a living eludes me, as I am not certain who else hires a former bookseller-governess-murderess-convict-harlot like myself. Perhaps I should trust in a miracle?

Well, that is a question for another day. Until that day, I remain —

Your Amazed,

–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–

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