Cosmic: Tad to the darkness 1

This is a response to the darkness’s first letter.

Hello, the darkness. And hello to your human friend as well.

First of all (or second, if you count the hellos), I can assure you that I do not want to eat you or the human. I eat very little to begin with, and eating someone I would like to become pen pals with would greatly hinder the… well, pen pal process.

Anyway, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Your words are floating in front of me in my garden. They slithered from some of my yellow sunflowers, sneaking in among their scents. Yes, they are black. Like inky shadows or liquorice. The handwriting is neat and angular. I like it.

I feel like your message confirms my suspicion that this Project is in fact an interdimensional entity, capable of crossing many borders and boundaries. Our universes are very far away, after all. I think. I can only see you if I focus very hard. How fascinating. What do you think? What does the Project look like to you? Other than words on interesting portals or in the sky.

Oh, I digress, don’t I? I should introduce myself properly first.

You may call me Thanatos or Tad, both are fine. Or, since I can sense you are a lot like me in some ways, you may also call me by what I am: Death. Or any other word that means the same thing.

And how about you? Are you always called the darkness? Do you have nicknames? I quite like mine. My human friends use it often, and it grounds me to them.

You have a human friend too? Tell me more about them. If you would like to, of course.

The humans I have grown the fondest of are kind in their own ways. Some are sunnier, and some are murkier. Some say things they mean, and others mostly think them. And they feel things very strongly. All of them have taught me a lot about the world and life, and I feel I am more than simply what I am when I am with them. I love that feeling. We drink a lot of tea together. Sometimes I wonder about life and they wonder about death. And everything in between and around it all.

Perhaps that brings me to the question of I.

I cannot remember when exactly I began to think of myself as an I. I do remember that it was before words for it existed – well, before words for anything existed. It was a gradual process, I think, and not always pleasant. Especially after I realised that being an I required me to determine who I was outside of my Purpose. And that is very difficult without anyone else to reflect oneself on. Most reflections of me are fearful or veiled in not knowing. There was a time when that made me bitter, made me like how the living ones saw me. Nowadays I think I feel good about being an I. Very good. Most of the time. Yes, sometimes it is stifling, like a plastic bag over one’s head, distorting and blurring the world with questions about identity and where I fit in the universe. Even though I am not stuck in a skin… and maybe that is a part of the issue. It is hard to find a place when one is everywhere at once.

Are you everywhere at once? If you are the darkness – all of it – then I suppose you are.

Your current skin sounds quite comfortable. I am not partial to being one of the fungi, but I do appreciate them a lot. They are very connected to the earth and sneaky in their ways. It sounds like you can sneak into a lot of places, but that does not surprise me. You seem to have been to many universes as well. I am bound to the one I have been assigned to, though there is a Death in every universe, in some form. I think they are also me, and I am them, but we are still separate. I can see them and feel and hear what they experience only if I focus very hard. And I do not have time for that, most of the time.

My universe is quite diverse. There is chocolate milk, and a planet of winged kittens (and other fauna as well, of course, but winged kittens are what it is known for). I am not sure about intelligent sofa cushions. But I think the lawn chairs might have some cleverness. This universe has many lifeforms, and it has been arranged quite neatly. Planets with orbits and laws of physics and several habitable places, all cushioned by dark matter and tugged on by black holes. It also has Spooky Day, with orange plastic and sweets and tricks and treats. It has cataclysms and violence – too much of it – but it also has peace and so much beauty it all cannot be experienced by a single living one. I love it all. I am its and for it, for as long as it exists.

Though sometimes I still wonder about the other universes. The one you are currently in sounds peaceful, in a bit forlorn but accepting way, with its quiet bones and blood and old stone gods. Maybe it screams and bleeds because it has forgotten what visitors feel like?

The bones are old. Their memory has faded like the words in the stone, and very few know of them. But you are correct, I do know whom they belonged to. It is a private piece of information, though, since the words are no longer there. And I have a feeling that you might like wondering more than knowing. Or perhaps not. Do you?

My bones are made a bit of the things in-between, and a lot of my thoughts. Sometimes they are more visible, other times I wrap them in muscle and skin. I am quite proud of the bone marrow; I made it myself. I made all of my bones myself. Lately I have grown very fond of humanoid bones, but I still think bird bones are my favourite. Light and delicate, sharp when broken.

I do wear many skins, though usually they are just images of skins. Forms. Shapes. Masks that both hide and make me more… more something and less of an idea. Easier for the mortals to grasp. A uniform, if you will. I have many shapes, for the living ones see me in very different ways in their minds. Most of them are dark and foreboding, sad or scary. Some are lighter, more beautiful. I like my human form a lot, and I like the cloaked man with a scythe. I also like the more feline shapes, as well as the shape of an old, darkened tree with its roots reaching every part of the earth.

You also asked me about old traumas. I think I have some. And many that come from others. You are right that I am always experiencing other traumas, for I always feel everyone’s last moments. They are echoes of the real moments, not quite as significant as they were to those who really lived through them. I do not think I am worthy of talking about them. I am an intruder, stealing away little bits of pain, echoing someone else’s suffering to perhaps make things a little easier for them. But those that are really my own… they are deep and old, like stones stuck in my soul. Dark and heavy, like the graves with the faded names. But sometimes the stones can make me stronger too, I guess. Stones are resilient, after all.

Your human and you seem to have a strong bond. It is something to be cherished, I think. It is good to hear how much you care about each other. I wish I could tell you how to know what is wrong, how not to upset your friend. But I have come to realise that sometimes it is impossible to know how to keep someone else happy, how not to step over an invisible line that makes things disastrous.

Good and right, wrong and bad have so many meanings. It seems that everyone thinks they know at least partly what is right, but these rights rarely go hand in hand with each other. I think many of it is just mutual contracts and agreements to make life more orderly and safer.

I think that… something that causes suffering to others or the world is wrong. But sometimes even that is necessary, and suffering too can be viewed in many ways. But perhaps just striving to listen and to observe others, trying to figure out what makes them happy and lessens their pains, and then trying to do the things that would make as many happy as possible without taking happiness away from others, is as close to good as it can get, when viewed from the point of view of the living ones. But for concepts and cosmic truths, it is also crucial to do our jobs even when it might seem untimely or unfair. It is wrong for me to stop being Death and stop doing what Death does. As it would be wrong of you to stop being the darkness.

Perhaps right is not something that can be done. Perhaps it is all too difficult, a tangle of wrongs and dead ends. But it is worth trying, and I am glad to hear that you want to try that too.

I am glad you contacted me, the darkness and the human. Talking to you has been very calming and has cheered me up after a hard day at work. After the pitfalls and delightful oddness of the living world and the maze of social interaction, talking about simpler things like universes and Is is a very welcome break.

I hope this message reaches you, and I hope we will talk again.

Respectfully yours,


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Cosmic: Tad to Gee-Jay 3

Response to Gee-Jay’s third letter.


Hello, Ms. Gee (and Mr. Jay too, for I assume you will read this letter as well),

I am glad you took the time to write back to me again. And I am always delighted to hear about someone talking to plants. Yes, I do talk to plants too. All the time, in fact. Their voices are hard not to be heard. One plant talks with many voices, many pieces of consciousness forming a whole, but with the pieces still having their seams, after all. Plants know a lot of things, and I am glad that at least some people listen to them. And talk to them in return. They appreciate both the carbon dioxide the speaker is breathing at them and being acknowledged and treated with respect.

Thank you for telling me more about the “Time for Thinking” -club, Gee. So now it consists of you, Jay, Pinky the Thinky, Mr. Bucky Duckson, and me. Or are there more members? In any case, that is quite a group you have already gathered. I am familiar with Mr. Duckson in passing. Writing poems is a good gift to the world. His words cause thoughts and feelings in people. Meaningful ones. It is always lovely when one achieves that with symbols on paper, or metaphorical paper on a computer screen, or whatever else people can write on.

I do not write poems. I am not very good at creating anything. I like Jay’s poem. I have a feeling one of my colleagues would not, however. He does not have a very good sense of humour, especially when it comes to time.

I also do not think I have met Pinky the Thinky. I am glad Pinky the Thinky is excited about me being in the club, though. I am glad they is in the club as well. Perhaps you can tell me more about this being.

So you have members, a name, and some rules for the club. That is good. As far as I know, that is all one needs for a fully functioning club. Though I am still a bit unsure about the rules… I apologise; I am sometimes not very good at understanding things. So we have to think, which is good and understandable. And we also have to guess when someone says “guess what?”. That is… trickier.

I have thought that guessing is what one does when one cannot think up the solution and tries to get it right by chance. I may be mistaken. Would guessing in this case mean deduction? Or is it used to come up with unexpected answers through guesswork?

I could not guess what you were about to say after talking about Mr. Jay’s poem. I did take a moment to try to do so, though, but I got stuck wondering if I was supposed to deduce or just guess blindly… though I did slip into deduction and thought that maybe a clock near you suddenly violently exploded because Time reacted to the poem. I am glad that did not happen, though. It was a good, good-natured poem, after all. Nothing to throw temper tantrums over.

Again, I apologise for not understanding how this works yet.

However, I can help with answering Mr. Duckson’s query. I am reasonably fond of chocolate. Especially dark chocolate. The kinds that are dark enough to taste like coal and ashes, and maybe have some lively, fiery or sour taste in them as well. Such as pieces of lemon or ginger.

I can also perhaps tell a story. I am probably not very good at that either, but I shall try.

I have had my share of adventures in my time, I suppose. At first I was going to talk about meeting my best friend, Amelia. She was kind to me, rented out a room for me – it was the first home I ever had outside of the home I made for myself after I was born. She taught me about friendship, about people, and how to use a stove – something that still frightens me. And I was going to tell how my biggest adventure is being a friend to her, and to the others I am friends with. And especially being an honorary uncle to a remarkable young woman. But when I talked about stories with Amelia, she pointed out that if I was going to tell the story to a child, they would probably find those kinds of things boring in the context of adventures.

So I asked Amelia’s children – who are around your age, Gee – what they want out of adventure stories.

“Pirates!” they said.

“Danger and swordfights!” they said.

“Zombies! Rescues! Chases and giant monsters!”

And so on.

Amelia told me that a good adventure story – in her opinion, at least – is usually something that is not too far away from real life, but that is far away enough to be exotic and exciting. Exciting in a positive, thrilling way.

After a while of thinking I decided to start with something that is not too far nor too near, hopefully. Something that could possibly fit into a book of short adventures in the hands of a skilled writer, I suppose. Or then not. But it has a voyage. And perhaps a bit of danger.

I have travelled quite a bit because of my work. Many times I have boarded ships as well. The ship I boarded this time was fairly large, a cargo ship transporting tea and coffee to rich people in England. It sometimes took passengers who did not mind the not very luxurious travelling conditions as well. It had gone through the trip many times before with its experienced crew, but this time the captain decided to go rogue, so to speak. To turn the ship to a different direction and deliver their cargo somewhere else. Apparently the rich did not need all they had.

The crew was talking worriedly, most of them not sure why the captain had decided to change course like that. One of the crewmembers, a young man who was not from England like the other sailors, started lighting small lanterns. He added leaves and something else into the flames, making the fire smell oddly stifling and unpleasant.

“What are they for?” I asked. The other man was startled. I was used to that. Usually people paid no mind to me and forgot I was there. This man recovered quickly enough and greeted me:

“I haven’t seen you before,” he said, “Are you one of the passengers? What’s your name?”

I told him. He told me his name. Then he said:

“What the captain is doing isn’t very smart. There’ll be a storm coming. I’m lighting the lanterns to ward off death and to lead us safely to land.”

I looked at the lanterns. Their flames were almost blue and the smell made me feel uncomfortable.

“Do they work?” I asked.

“They should. And if they don’t, then at least they can show our spirits the way back home.”

He thought about it for a while. Then he said:

“And maybe they will keep the ghost ship away too. They say there is one in these waters. Though it sounds odd; how does a ship die?”

“Sometimes the living ones can breathe life into objects too. With their beliefs and stories,” I said, “Then they can also die when the people that made it alive do. Or that is what I think, at least.”


He did not speak to me anymore in a long while.

The journey continued smoothly for a while, but then the fog came. It was a thick fog, one born from storms and sea air and maybe out of betrayal. The lanterns shone in the mist, the crew was shouting orders and reports at each other. They were seasoned sailors, but something about the mist and the rising waves frightened them. I sat on the deck, far away from the lanterns. The waves and the fog became a storm, the wind beating the sails and the rain and lightning falling down around us. The men around me became more and more afraid. I was excited and thrilled. Everything was unsure, nothing was going according to plan. I did not know who would survive. I hoped they all would.

The storm grew angry, and the men started falling, hitting the deck and sometimes the waves. Something crashed against the ship, almost tipping it over. For a while, everything was chaos, and the lanterns went out before they were lit again. The young man who had lit them before grabbed my arm and looked at me with a reassuring smile.

“All is well, don’t worry.”

I was stunned about someone worrying about me for a brief moment. But I had no time for more than a second of that before the young man who had spoken to me shouted:


And we looked. In the mist another ship could barely be seen. It had no lights on it, and it was struggling against the storm like our ship was. Its sails flapped eerily in the wind. It was visible for only a moment, and then it was gone into the fog.

The men immediately started talking about the ghost ship. The idea of a vessel that remained with its long dead crew, causing misfortune on sea. A wisp of memory and stories.

I knew it was not that. I could see the people on the deck, very much alive, breathing and with blood moving in them, afraid of the storm. And of us. In the fog and the storm, we were the ghosts to them. Soon after that moment, it all was over and eventually the storm settled, leaving behind a deceptively calm sea.

If you are wondering what became of the two ships who were ghosts to each other, then I can assure you that the people on both are probably still doing what they love. Still at sea, voyaging and seeing the sights they want.

And I am here. Doing my job and being me, for good or ill.

I do not know if that story was good or not. It was not the most exciting thing that has happened to me, but it was exciting enough. I think I am not very good at comparing things like that. I have more stories, however. Perhaps I will tell you more if you do not deem them dull or inappropriate.

I hope you enjoy your cookies. They sound great. And I do get the joke. Comparing a second helping of cookies to seconds of time. Sometimes cookies are indeed like seconds. Lovely, gone too quickly, and sometimes unhealthy.

I wish you all the best.

Respectfully yours,


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Cosmic: Tad to Steve 2

Response to Steve’s 1st letter.

Hello, Mr. Steve,

I am so happy to hear from you and that you are safe. And I am doubly happy to hear that you want us to be friends. I do not know if that means that we are friends yet, but it is a start. A deal of sorts. But not a formal one. I did not mean to insinuate that you are now somehow bound to me. More than everyone is bound to the world, at least.

My point is: I am glad that you wrote me. You do not need to worry about your handwriting; I can read it just fine. I am glad your new hands are working well. Hands can be tricky, though I am usually more confused by facial muscles. Sometimes I put my hands to my face and make different expressions just so I can feel the muscles move. How are your facial expressions? Is it difficult or natural to make them now that you have a body?

Speaking of new bodies, thank you for explaining your origins to me. So you are a young android; that explains a great deal, really. I am glad to hear that your friend decided to save you. That was a thoughtful, caring and brave thing to do. Your friend sounds like a very good person. Thanks to what he did you have a new life now, it seems. A chance to explore the world and all the wonders in it – and I have to agree that they are wondrous indeed. And now that you are safe, we can write each other instead of maybe crossing paths in the gateway to the afterlife. Or in the sun, should your curiosity get the better of you. Though I wish it does not. While the sun is mostly hydrogen and helium instead of fire, it is a very hostile and quite an unhealthily warm place. I suppose the 500 light seconds between the Earth and the sun can be a temptingly long distance for some, but it is there for a reason, as I am sure you know.

Oh, I am sorry. I did not mean to start giving you advice right away. How inconsiderate of me. And yet… now I feel that I do have to give you one more word of advice. Or several words, but they all contribute to the one thing:

I am happy to hear that you are so trusting of me that you would tell about your origins, about your family and even their more illegal activities. I appreciate your honesty, and I can assure you that any secret you tell me is safe with me. However, I do not know if you know this, but I have learned that sometimes it is important to leave some things unsaid. If the wrong people knew about your family’s activities, your family might get in trouble. And I have no idea who the wrong people are. I just know that many people thrive on secrets, whether it is through keeping them, telling them, or using them against others. It is complicated, I know. Perhaps it has to do with curiosity as well. Like you said, it is incredibly curious. Some people do die because of it, but some people also cause death because of it. So I advise you to be careful – but not too paranoid, of course.

But like I said, I was glad to hear about your family. They all sound like good, interesting people. And congratulations to Altair and the rest of the family for the wedding. Weddings are indeed a lovely tradition for those who want them. Sometimes they take place in holy buildings, sometimes in front of cow skeletons. I do not know whether any of it is romantic or not, but I suppose it is a matter of perspective.

I must admit that I have a bit of a soft spot for weddings, even though I do not really understand romantic love either. Well, I understand it in theory… somewhat, but I am unable to experience it first-hand. So I suppose the two of us are in the same boat in that matter. Emotions are tricky and sometimes overwhelming. It is good to practise them if one has not experienced them before, and even when one has. Some are easier than others. For me, compassion and sadness are the easiest. Happiness, on the other hand, is much trickier. Which emotions do you know? Which are more difficult? Maybe we can try to figure them out together?

I am glad you have people around you. I have found that having someone to trust and call a friend is… indescribably grounding. And knowing one can make someone else feel better just by being there – as friends do – is also a very valuable thing in life. Or existence for those who are not alive. Do you consider yourself alive now, or did you consider yourself alive before already, when you were still a sentient robot? Some who do not start life out the traditional way may feel like they simply exist. I do not think it matters much. What matters is being aware, in this case.

I am very glad to hear that we share some common interests. I think a garden is a place where the soul can rest, and tending to one is like raising children… though I do not exactly know what it is like to raise children, but again, it is a matter of perspective. I am glad it helps you find purpose. Everyone needs a purpose, I think, both natural and “unnatural” things. Though I do not think you are unnatural, and it is good that you do not feel that way either. Is your garden doing well? Perhaps the often off-planet daughter of Lorcán could find out information that could help you identify the more alien plants? Or perhaps I can. Feel free to send me samples if you like. I hope the plants will continue thriving, and I also hope they do not end up in the surrounding ecosystem. Foreign species can do devastating things to local biodiversity if let out into the wild. But I am sure you know that and have taken the needed precautions.

Your garden also has Death Flowers? How did you find them? Or did you or some of your friends/family manage to grow them yourself? Death Flowers are extremely rare nowadays, almost extinct. Lorcán is right about their power, though. Well, as far as I know, they should work for more than a few hours, but perhaps their power has waned with time. Or then the beliefs have changed and that has changed their powers too. Using them to say goodbye sounds like a lovely thing, though. Many have used those flowers for far less heartfelt or noble goals.

I wish your garden good luck and good weather. If you wish to share more about your garden, feel free. I think I could talk about gardening for all eternity and not get bored.

I have two gardens. One is a vegetable, fruit and herb garden at my friend’s backyard. It is small, and I love it a lot. It also gives me an excuse to visit my friend often, even though one does not really need excuses to visit friends. My other garden is bigger, more dedicated to pretty flowers and trees, though there are plenty of edible plants as well. I have tried to contain many different ecosystems in it, and people and creatures from many walks of life visit it and may even call it home if they wish. For a while, at least. I always hope that they move on. One should not get too stuck even in beautiful places, I think.

Oh, I should answer your questions too. You may call me whichever you like. My friends usually call me Tad. Mr. Dustpine is more formal, implying less closeness. I usually only call very close friends by their first name, but I know that people in many places are more informal. Thanatos is fine as well, though many think it is too long or too formidable a name for casual conversation. As for my job… yes, it is important and often stressful, but I love it. Being a spiritual guide can mean many things and the vocation can have many names. Some help people in matters of religion or spirituality, some simply help people find themselves or try to heal their soul. And some are even liars, but even they may sometimes be able to sell some peace of mind to some. In my case, I help people find their way, to transition to a new place and state of being. I do not give much direct advice, simply tools for people to figure themselves out.

Oh, and books! I know many books I could recommend, as I love books and have had a lot of time to collect quite a large library. Do you have any special preferences for books or genres you like?

I am glad that we have opened a link between each other. I am looking forward to hearing more from you. We both indeed still have a lot to explore in the world, and I think no one is ever at the end of a journey of discovery. The world is endless that way… and many other ways as well. I am glad to share a bit of my journey with you, and I hope you feel something similar.

Respectfully yours,


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Letters: Emily to Lenora 4

Response to Lenora’s 4th letter.

Dear Lenora,

Thank you so much for your letter! And thank you for understanding. This Project is indeed a great way to make such awesome friends as you and Liam and Gentian. This has been a really good thing for me, writing to you guys. I’m glad that you like writing to me too. And yeah, I’ve worked things out with the other pen pal, so no need to worry about that. And Gentian is a really cool guy, so it has been fun to write him.

Thank you again for sharing so much about your family and trusting me so much. I’m really glad that the awful things you and your family had to go through just made you stronger, even though it all also hurt. I mean, it still sucks that they happened and that they hurt. Your family is really strong. I didn’t know your husband had to go through such extra pain because of what he is. I didn’t know werewolves indented/imprinted that strongly, but I can imagine it must have been really tough for him to think you were dead. But during happy times I bet the soulmate-bond-thing is really neat.

Aurora sounds really wonderful, being able to use her gift of seeing the future to help your family cope and all. She sounds really wise too. Seeing the future sounds like a really stressful ability, though. I mean, sure, it can be cool and all, and in a situation like what your family was in, it was probably really, really comforting. What’s it like to see stuff like that? Sometimes I think that seeing the present is tough enough.

I’m glad you guys have each other, and that you can help each other through difficulties and keep each other company in your long lives.

I’m also glad to hear that the kids you adopted are doing better. I can totally get them having nightmares. I had nightmares a lot after my mum died. And flashbacks, and times of being really scared in general. I’m glad I’ve got better over time – though the nightmares have never completely gone away – and I’m glad the nightmares are getting less severe for Tiffany and Layla too. And the guilt…

…yeah, I get that too.

I was right there next to my mum when she died. There was an accident in our house. The pipes in the kitchen burst – more like exploded – when mum was at the sink. One of the pipes went right through her lung. Sometimes I think that I should have done something, even though I know it’s stupid. I mean, I was only four, and there was nothing I could have done. I couldn’t even warn her because I didn’t know it would happen. But logic or common sense don’t take the guilt away. At least not from me. I used to just sit in my room sometimes, crying and wishing I could have done something. Or just staring at a wall and not feeling strong enough to do anything.

I’ve been reading stuff about survivor guilt. And a lot of other things, but that’s the most relevant here. Knowing that a lot of people feel guilty after bad things happen and that it’s normal has helped me deal with things later. I mean, right after my mum died, I was so young that it didn’t really hit me until much later. For a long while, I didn’t even realise what dying really meant. I kept wondering why mum had left me and why she wasn’t coming back. My adoptive parents were really good at dealing with it, and they never told me how to feel or not to feel, just did their best to explain things, help me adjust and cope and be happy. I had some friends who really helped with healing too.

Um… this is getting pretty confession-y from my end too. My point is that I can get why Tiffany’s feeling guilty. And I can understand Tyrone feeling guilty too because of what happened to you. I’m glad that you guys are there for each other, and that you can talk about things. I’m also glad that Tiffany can talk about the happier times. I’m sure they’re really good kids. I wish them all the best. Also it’s so cool that so many of your family members have or are thinking of adopting kids.

And then… I think I should talk about happier things for a change too. I should’ve probably started with this, but I wanted to get the sadder but important things out of the way first. But anyway, thank you so much for the wedding invitation! Wow, I don’t know what else to say. Thank you!

I would love to come to the wedding, and I’m sure it’d all be so cool and awesome, but I still have to think about it. My parents are pretty strict about us kids going out of town on our own, and I don’t know if they’re ready to let me see my pen pals, no matter how awesome I’ve told you are. And they’re not exactly “in the loop” about magic stuff. I mean they do know a little bit about the magic in the world, but they’re certainly not experts on it, and I don’t think they believe in most of the stuff. So I don’t think it would be good for them to attend. I’d need someone else to accompany me. And yeah, it sounds childish, wanting a chaperone and all, but it’s just for extra safety, you know? And to be fair, I’m a bit scared of going to places with lots of people I don’t know, even though I do trust you guys. I know, I know, it sounds pathetic coming from a person who dreams about adventure, but… well, dreaming and doing things are different.

I could ask my uncle to come with me. I haven’t told you that much about him yet, but he knows about the supernatural world and is all kinds of awesome. But he’s also really busy, and he doesn’t really function well in big social gatherings, so I don’t know… I’ll have to ask him or some of my other supernaturally knowledgeable friends. But I’ll definitely think about it some more!

Speaking of supernaturals, my magic-finding journaling got a breakthrough! Well, it wasn’t really a breakthrough, but more like coming across some people. And they’re not exactly new people, as they’ve lived in town for a long time, and I knew of them beforehand, but I don’t remember really seeing them around.

It’s a whole commune of supernatural people! There was a super nice werewolf-lady, her wizard son (well, he said he preferred the term ‘witch’ and said it’s a gender neutral term for him), and a really pretty vampire woman.

They told me they had been living out of town for a few years because the werewolf-lady’s (she’s the commune’s “leader”, but she seems more like a mother-figure) son was studying magical healing arts at some wizarding university. But now they’re back.

They live in a big old farmhouse at the edge of town, and they’re super nice. They’re friends with a lot of my friends, so they were more than happy to chat with me and tell me about them. They said they trusted me right away! They also told me that they’d had other members in the commune before, and that they were waiting for a new member. I can’t wait to see who moves in with them! And just a day later I was invited to my friend’s place, where this very same commune was also invited. We had tea and cookies. It was so neat! I’m really hoping we can be friends, because they’re really nice people.

So yeah, eating cookies is maybe not the most epic magical adventure there is. But still… well, I may sound like a kids’ cartoon, but making friends is pretty magical. And when I opened my journal to write about it, I noticed that I was already almost out of pages. The whole notebook was filled with random notes and feelings and sketches I’d done on my previous biking trips and hikes.

It was mostly just about normal nature and people. Because when I look for magic, I keep realising that the “normal” world is really magical in itself.

There’s plants and bridges and weather and seasons and mayflies and all those things that could be magic if they weren’t explained with science. And really, I don’t think science makes things any less wondrous.

…Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing a place that defies normal logic and physics. Safely and without it being too scary.

So yes, I’ll be thinking about the wedding invitation a lot. It would be really cool to see you and Liam and Mathilda and everyone. They all seem so great and strong and cool.

Wishing you all the best,

P.S. I don’t remember you telling me about Alina, but I’d love to hear more about her.


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Cosmic: Tad to Gee-Jay 2

Response to Gee-Jay’s 2nd letter.

Hello, Ms./Mr. Gee-Jay. Or Mr. McCumber and Ms. Giuliana or Ms. Tazer. Or Mr. %(*)% and Ms. dsajkpwaorijwapeindklcxpidrheiawmvdmfg @@ aseprieam ## amkdfpaewi 56g967.

I am terribly sorry. I did not mean to cause such concern and possibly harmful amounts of laughter. I honestly do not know how I even did that. Well, I suppose your thorough analysis of my writing shed some light on the matter, but I am still quite puzzled. I am sorry. I have been trying to sound less formal, but it is very difficult for me. Informal aspects of language have always eluded me.

Anyway, it is good that you took precautions to avoid hysteria. Death by laughter is not very common, but it is not unheard of either. I am very glad that I did not cause you to die. Even accidentally. That would have been terribly inconsiderate of me. Not to mention against many laws and rules. I will try to be more careful.

And yet, I am glad I made you more cheerful and delighted. It is good to know I can cause some happiness from time to time. And I am glad you still wish to write me. Your words are beautiful, and it is a delight to read them.

“Time for thinking” sounds like a lovely name for a club. Though I also like Gee’s club-name. “Now!” is a very short and clear, yet meaningful word. Now is something very few can escape, after all. But I suppose “Time for thinking” is more specific and tells a lot about the function of the club. I would love to join your “Time for Thinking” -club. Though I am not sure what I would need to do. I have never been a part of a club or an association that has nothing to do with work. I suppose clubs are for making people feel more connected and have a sense of belonging to a group and doing things together. Sometimes even when they are not physically in the same area or even country. Or planet. Or perhaps even universe. It feels that this Project has joined many people in a club of sorts.

Oh, I am straying from the point again, aren’t I? Yes, I would like to be a part of your club and try to figure out the mysteries of this world with you. And yes, I do spend a lot of time deep in thought. Sometimes I have nothing else to do. Or more accurately, sometimes a part of my mind has nothing else to do. And the world has so many things that warrant deep thinking, does it not? From the space-time continuum to the way bones and muscles are connected. And the way numbers become pictures and signals in a nervous system become intricate thought patterns that can create and destroy. And cupcakes. There are so many different types of them, and they are made to look pretty even though they will soon be eaten, and despite being food their main function to many seems to be happiness instead of a source of energy.

I am glad you were touched by my words, Gee. You are of course welcome to tell Mr. Mann about me when you write him. And Jasper, I do not think the words to the deceased need to be put on paper, should one not wish so. Writing or talking or thinking, the medium does not matter. If the message is to go through, I am sure it will. You said you believe there is more to a person than just the body. I like to think so too, even if saying that may sound unprofessional to someone who is bound to accept and respect all kinds of worldviews because of their job.

That – perhaps not so directly – brings us to what you said about consciousness and time and space. I do not think consciousness is something that can simply pop into existence. At least not usually. Usually it needs to grow and develop. The more simple lifeforms evolve into ones with more capacity for thought and a more defined consciousness. The malleable souls of small children gather information and influence and become more tangible, more complex. So I think a consciousness that has no time would not become quite as layered and deep as one with time can. It would be no less precious, as all consciousness has infinite value to me, but perhaps less likely to think about questions such as what you are thinking now. As for space… I suppose a consciousness could be completely intangible and require no space. But it would still need some kind of state of existence, at least.

This is just speculation, though. I could be wrong. Perhaps you will figure out the numbers you were talking about. The equations and theories. Sometimes numbers and equations and theories can explain something that is impossible to prove or even put into images. I wish you luck with that. Do let me know if you figure things out. I am not that good with numbers. In my work it is important not to start turning too many things into numbers, even though sometimes it might help. But for you, I am sure numbers can be helpful and not make things too impersonal.

Thank you so much for writing me. I appreciate your words and your desire to connect with me. There are not many who wish to do so. I would like to know more about your lives and your thoughts. They sound very interesting, and you seem like very lovely people. How have your lives been lately? What do you like to do in addition to thinking about things, telling jokes, and founding clubs about pirates?

I look forward to hearing from you again, and I wish you all the best.

Respectfully yours,


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Letters: Emily to Liam 5

Response to Liam’s 5th letter.

Dear Liam,

Thank you so much for your letter! Lenora is definitely right; you are a really smart, wise and nice grandpa! Well, you’re not exactly a grandpa to me, but something like that. Not that I know what it’s like to have one. I mean, I never knew any of my grandparents. My adoptive parents’ still living parents do visit sometimes, but they live in different towns so we don’t see them that often. My point is; you’re really awesome and I like you a lot. And I’m glad you’re always ready to talk to me about stuff. Even stuff that’s difficult.

It was cool to hear more about Mathilda too. I’ve heard that there’s plenty of gods and goddesses, but it’s still a very great honour to become one. I guess being a god or a goddess is important work at least if one has lots of power. How did Mathilda become a goddess? Does she have worshippers? She has to if she’s a goddess, right? And you know, being afraid to die isn’t anything to be ashamed of. It’s pretty normal, from what I’ve heard. Mathilda just had the power to stop herself from dying without causing much harm to others (I assume), and did so. Somehow. I’ve heard that lots of people try to stop themselves from dying, and many do it in ways that aren’t ethical at all. That’s really awful.

Anyway, thank Mathilda for the gift! I got the gem she sent me and I tried it. And it worked! At least kind of. I did as she told and haven’t used it all the time, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I think it’s because some of my nightmares aren’t just normal nightmares. They’re caused by this thing that happened to me and… well, they’re old and powerful. But the normal nightmares have stayed away when I’ve used the gem, and I’ve been sleeping really well! So thank you! And Mathilda especially! It’s an honour to get such a gift! And to be liked by a goddess… I don’t think I have spunk, but I guess I can come across a little braver in writing or when you tell someone about me. But still… thank you. 🙂

Can you ask Mathilda if I can let someone else use the gem too? My brother has nightmares too. I can tell him it’s a mystical space rock and he’ll probably try it then even though he isn’t that aware of magic.

Oh, you have a great-great-granddaughter? And she’s in the Project too? I knew it! Your entire family will soon be in this :D! And a ghost is in the Project too? Then my uncle being in it might not be THAT weird. That’s right; I talked to him about it again, and he agreed to participate! He was all awkward about it and said that no one would want to write him, but now he already has more than one pen pal! When he talks about it he looks pretty happy, so I think nothing’s going wrong and that it’s all good. And reality hasn’t been broken!

Oh, I’m jumping all over the place again with my writing. But yeah, ghosts… I know a bit about them. Especially about the in-between place! You see, that’s my uncle’s domain. Realm. Home. He says that in his home there are lost souls who don’t know how to get to the proper whatever comes after death, and he gives them a place to stay until they do find the way. And there are also those who can go back to the living as ghosts but are stuck and can’t move on. Some of the ghosts can get so lost that they can’t even find their way back to Uncle Tad’s place, but some are sort of shuttling between the living world and my uncle’s home.

I don’t know if getting forward from there always has to do with being good or bad. My uncle says that there are so many possibilities for what happens after dying and so many reasons for people to go to different places (he himself is totally impartial as to who goes where. He’s just there to make sure they go somewhere). If there even really is a different place for different kinds of living things. I don’t know. Anyway, my uncle says that the only one who can usually really figure out how to get a ghost unstuck is the ghost him/herself. I hope your great-great-granddaughter’s new pen pal will eventually find her way.

I also know a ghost, but I don’t see him that often. He lives with a friend of mine, but he can only come to the world of the living at night. He seems nice, though. I wish he’ll eventually find his way too.

I’m glad your time as a dead person was good and worked out for you, and that you could visit the living. And I’m glad that you’re here now.

So here I go again with the morbid stuff. Okay, now happy things… happy things… well, I mean, you mentioned teleportation and a Stephen King -story. It sounds cool; I’ll see if the library has it. But teleportation… I’ve heard that people at least around here need a permission to do it. If they even can pull it off, that is. My brother once said that teleportation would be impossible, at least with science.

“I mean, it would mean the body has to be broken into atoms and then be reassembled,” he said, “I don’t think anyone can go through that without dying. Even if it did somewhat work, the person who got to the other end wouldn’t be the same. They could have the same memories and look the same, but they would still be a new person.”

It sounded really creepy. But I guess (and hope) it’s different with some really advanced magic.  I’m not surprised you guys can teleport without ill effects. My uncle can do it too, though he says that in his case it’s not teleporting but just that he can be in all the places at once because of what he is. And if he wants to move someone to a different place he’ll just convince reality that said person is in the other place. It’s weird and I don’t get it, but as long as it works…

But man, I bet it would be cool to travel by broomstick too! Though it sounds a bit uncomfortable. Do broomsticks have some kinds of seats nowadays? Like a bike saddle?

And yeah, the wedding! It went really well, and I’m still kind of hyped and scared about it. Like “did I really do that? Play in front of all those people?” But I did and it was pretty nice. The whole party was nice. Also I bet you can already guess who the one who gave me advice to combat stage fright was: it was Lenora. 🙂 She’s so cool!

Your Aurora is also a musician? And she’s destined for greatness? That sounds mysterious and fairytale-like. I’d love to hear more about it! She sounds really skilled and amazing. Maybe someday I’ll hear her sing. And yeah, I think Uncle Tad harmonised with himself, but if you’d ever call him talented to his face, he’d get all embarrassed and say that calling him talented would be an insult to those who have real vocal cords and who actually need to practise so they can do stuff like that. He says that his voice gets echo-y and many voices at once because that’s what people often assume Death sounds like.

I don’t care what he says, though. Hearing him sing is still great.

So yeah. Music sounds like a good way to end a letter. Music and food. Again. My sister is doing fine with her veganism and getting all the nutrients she needs.

She’s one of my idols. She’s been through a lot, but she’s really tough and isn’t afraid to try to change things. I mean, both of my sisters are doing a lot to help people, and so are my parents. But the sister I’m talking about does it with such attitude and openness and isn’t afraid to call other people out on being mean or destructive. I heard she just arranged a big protest at her university. It was against plans to put up a mostly unnecessary, polluting factory near our town. She’s really good at talking and can manage to be mostly friendly about her values even when she’s loud about them.

“You can be badass and stick to your values, but just don’t be an ass about it,” she often says, “Then people will just shoot the messenger and ignore the message.”

I’ve been thinking of maybe going at least vegetarian too because of her (and my uncle’s – he refuses to “eat corpses”, as he puts it) example. But I can also understand the charm of meat and potatoes especially if it’s a part of your culture. I like meat too, especially the organic kind mum always buys, but I also like my veggies. We’ll see what I’ll decide.

I don’t mind your long letters, Mr. Liam. It’s always great to hear from you.

Oh, and I started looking for magic and mysteries in my hometown! And pretty sights too. It’s a lot of fun. And your Lenora invited me to your upcoming super-royal-fairytale double wedding! I’m seriously thinking about coming, but I’m a bit scared to travel alone and I’m not sure if my family would be ready to let me meet my pen pals yet. But I’ll let you know when I know for sure. It would be awesome to meet you guys, so I’m really thinking about it.

Until then, I’ll be glad to hear more from you. I hope things keep going well for you.


Author’s Note: Yep, for those who haven’t already noticed, Tad is also in the Pen Pal Project now. If you’re curious about his letters, you can see them and his profile here.


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Cosmic: Tad to Steve 1

Hello, Mr. Steve.

You can call me Thanatos Dustpine, or just Tad, if you wish to call me anything at all. I am a part of the Pen Pal Project, and I am writing to you because I would like to start a correspondence. I believe this is how it works. I write to you and you consider whether or not you want to write back.

I am delighted to make your acquaintance. If you want to, that is. Please do not feel obligated to write back to me if you do not wish to do so. I will understand.

However, since you joined this Project, you do want someone to write to. You said in your profile that you want friends. That is an admirable goal; something I too wish for myself – and for you too.

A friend of mine – a friend who got me into this project because she thought (correctly) that I need more meaningful connections in my existence – told me that waiting for people to write to me is all well and good, but that maybe I should get out of my comfort zone and take initiative in contacting people in this Project. So after some thinking I did let my friend help me find someone I might dare write to. And we found you.

I am sorry if I sound forward, but you are fascinating. Well, many things are; each individual has a story that I would love to hear should they wish to share it. However, it is not every day I meet someone who is both 90 years and one week old. And you said that you want someone who does not mind when you do not know things. I can safely say that I do not mind that. I do not know many things either, especially when it comes to living a life, so something about your application struck a chord, so to speak.

You also said that participating in this project may be good practice for your hands. I imagine it is. I got a notebook and I am writing each of these letters – and every letter in these letters – with a pen. The way my hand slides across real paper, and the tiny movements that draw symbols are something I too have experienced too little. Or perhaps you will want to write your letters on a computer or some other typing tool. I would assume that would help with your fine motor skills even more. With computers people often use many fingers – some two and some all ten and some something in between. I have not often touched a computer, since technology and I do not get along, but I have sometimes used an old typewriter. I like the click-click-click sound it makes and the feel of the buttons pressing down and the tiny recoil of the letter slamming into place. I suppose it is gentler with a computer, but I can assume it is good for your hands nonetheless. When done in moderation, of course.

You said that people fascinate you. People fascinate me too. I have met many people and many other living things in my work. So while I do not think that I myself am very interesting, I think I may be able to tell you about people. Nothing too personal, of course. And I would like to know more about you. About your life in the laboratory. About you in general. Have you ever planned to go outside of the laboratory? Or is it even possible for you? If you do not mind me asking, of course.

I was informed that I should also tell you something about myself. I suppose you can find my profile in the Pen Pal Project site if you wish to know even more. And you can write back to me if you are still curious after that. As I said, I am usually called Tad. I am a spiritual guide and a gardener, and I would like to talk to more people even outside my work. I like the world and the beings in it. I love plants and I love reading. I have a few very good friends and – as I said – I would love to have more.

If I sound like someone you would like to write back to, then I would be honoured. If not, then I simply wish you all the best.

Respectfully yours,

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Cosmic: Tad to Gee-Jay 1

Response to Gee-Jay’s 1st letter.

Hello, Ms. Giuliana and Mr. McCumber,

I am delighted to make your acquaintance.

I am quite surprised that someone wants to write to me – and especially surprised that I received two pen pals at once. I would be very glad to be a pen pal for both of you. For Gee-Jay. That has a nice ring to it, I have to say. It sounds spiky but not unfriendly. Names condensed into sounds that are like letters in your alphabet.

I do not know if that is a proper way to start a letter. I confess that I have written very few letters like this before. Usually I communicate differently. But I like this. Writing things down by hand is refreshing, a chance to pause and to really think about the words one wants to use. I even got a notebook for these letters. I am sitting in my garden, writing this now. I can hear the sea next to me, and it helps me think about the words you wrote to me.

So, first of all, I hope you are not too hopeful that I can answer all the questions you might have. I may have put “spiritual guide” as my profession, but I confess that I am not very good at dealing with a lot of things in life. My speciality lies in specific moments, often traumatic ones. But I will do my best. I do spend quite a lot of time for thinking, so perhaps I can sometimes think up something helpful. When I have time, that is. I am very busy, though I can always find a moment for myself when I really need it. Such as when I might want to write a letter. I do not know if I have wanted to do that very often before now. But I felt a burst of happiness, like a heart skipping a beat, when I received your letter. So I think I do want to write more letters from now on.

As much as it pains me to hear about your sadness, Gee, it is true that everyone is sad sometimes. Or at least most things. I am sad too quite a lot. In your case, it sounds like your sadness is born from happiness. Happiness from the time when you still had your now deceased pen pal. I know of Dusk Mann. I checked his profile, and I know a person who was in contact with him. He sounds like a very good young man who lived an eventful and full life. Still, I can understand your sadness. People cling to those they have formed attachments to, even after their passing. That to me often proves that the attachment was genuine. I am happy that you got such a good friend through this project. I imagine you have many good memories of him. And I hope we can possibly be friends – or at least friendly acquaintances – too.

It is not unheard of to write letters to dead people. It can help the ones who were left behind deal with the passing when done right. Sometimes it has been done because people have thought that the dead will really get the letters. And who am I to say they will not? The dead leave whispers and echoes behind when they leave, and sometimes the living can echo right back at them. I hope you can find happiness through still writing to Mr. Mann, even though he might not write back. It is a safe assumption that one needs time to write. Though sometimes I wonder whether – if contained properly – timelessness actually grants more time. Or at least takes away schedules. Then again, that might only work for beings who exist in a state that is not bound and guarded by time. Sometimes I try to find real timelessness. I search an old place and lie down there and try not to think too much. But I can still hear the clocks turning, or at least I think I do.

Time is indeed an interesting thing. Humankind still has not quite figured out what it is. Lines and spirals and blankets are just some of the theories I have heard about. What I can tell about time is that it is necessary and powerful. It is needed for a universe to function properly. Or at least most universes, I would guess. I think there are so many different universes that there might be some that could exist without time, and even without space. But such a universe would be very different, and it would need its own set of rules. Or perhaps such a universe would die before it is even properly established.

I am sorry, I think I am thinking about things that are too far away, even though I should be focusing on the nearer, smaller things.

I checked both of your profiles, Gee-Jay. It makes me happy to know that two very different people have become friends – friends who were ready to team up to write to me, no less. I would love to hear more about you. And perhaps I can tell you something about me as well.

That is how this goes, is it not? You are still young, Gee, but you have already seen quite a bit of life in your city. And Jay, you have had a life with many goodbyes. But goodbyes always mean there were hellos as well. And – I imagine – many fond memories in-between. For me, hellos and goodbyes are often the same thing, because I usually see my clients only once. It is wonderful to be able to share a life with people, even though the lives do not last for an equal amount of time. I hope I can help you “make peace with comings and goings”, as you put it. I do not know if I can, but I will try my best.

Also yes, I do know quite a bit about Buddhism. I am not a part of any religion or official philosophical group, but the people I guide are from all walks of life and from all sorts of backgrounds. So I have come across many, many different ways to look at life.

So, as I said, I do not know if I can give you what you seek, but I will try. And you are ready to give me something back. Thank you. You say you can give me fun and funniness, smartness and connection, mystery and curiosity. What lovely gifts! I am not funny, at least never on purpose. I just do not seem to have a knack for it. So I appreciate you giving me funniness, Gee. And I do not think that I am very smart either, so your gift is also very welcome, Jay.

It is nice to hear from people who like reading. I also love to read. I have a sizeable library, where I sometimes sit down to read. But I very rarely read to anyone, and it is even rarer that someone would read to me. So talking about reading and the things we read sounds lovely. Talking about things in general sounds good. I have a couple of friends, and I do talk to them, but more definitely would not hurt.

Curiosity is something we also share, I think. I love mysteries as well. Perhaps we can uncover some mysteries together, through words and connection.

I hope I will be hearing from you again, and I wish you all the best.

Respectfully yours,

P.S. I am glad that you like my name, Gee. It does flow quite nicely, which is why I am fond of it. And I suppose the meaning would come across as “cool”, as long as it is simply a word.

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Letters: Emily to Gentian 2

Response to Gentian’s 1st letter.

Dear Gentian,

Yay! I’m so happy that you want to write to me! Thank you so much for your letter!

You seem so nice. Reading your letter made me instantly feel at ease, like talking with a friend I’ve known for a while already. I already thanked Lenora for getting you into the project. She really is lovely.

Thank you for answering all my questions about Plant People! I’ve been really curious about them… I mean, you guys. It’s pretty neat that you don’t need food and just need water. You have a great excuse to dance in the rain, then! And you probably won’t get sick easily if you stay out in the rain for too long. Can you eat food, even if you don’t need it? Or do you just drink water and get nutrients from the ground and absorb sunlight? Do Plant People have their own cuisine? Would eating vegetables be cannibalism for you, or at least close to it? You said your blood is different; is it also a different colour than human blood? Also man, growing kids in a garden would be so cool! You helping other people have kids sounds like a really noble thing to do. I hope you’ll meet someone special you can start your own family with, since that’s what you want. If you do meet her and we’re still pen pals, feel free to tell me all about her. And about your future kids too!

The work you do sounds really interesting and valuable! I hope you make lots of helpful scientific discoveries that’ll make people’s lives better! Aging is fine, I think, but all those sicknesses and problems that come with age aren’t. So good luck and inspiration for your work! Also I’m really glad that you have immortal friends to keep you company. The thought of being immortal and alone is a really depressing one.

Oh, wow, your birth sounds like real fairytale! It’s so great that your mum got you. Thank you for your condolences. I’m sorry about the people you’ve lost too. Feel free to reminisce about the people who’re gone all you want with me. My mum used to sing too. She played the guitar for me whenever I was scared or had difficulties falling asleep. I guess that’s one big reason for why I like playing the guitar so much too. I’m glad you have recordings of your mum’s singing. It sounds like a lovely way to remember her.

Also your name does sound like a good name! My name sounds… well, I don’t know. Good, I guess. Emily. It’s pretty soft. Though I’ve read stories about a sea monster that lives near a town called Windenburg. Apparently the locals call her Emily too. I like that. It would be cool to be a badass sea monster. But sharing a name with one is enough for me.

The fairy your mother met sounded so nice. I wish my life’s fairytales were nice like that. So far I’ve had pretty bad experiences with some supernaturals. But that doesn’t mean I’m scared of magic. I mean, non-supernatural people can be bad too just as likely. Still, I think it’s really neat that this world has magic, and I’d love to meet some more cool supernaturals who aren’t mean. Writing to you and Lenora and her folks has helped with that a lot. I’m sure that someday I’ll have a magical adventure of my own, something nice for a change. That’s why I started keeping a journal.

You asked me what I’m going to do after the wedding. Well, the wedding’s actually over now (sorry for not writing sooner. It was a really busy time for me and my family), and it feels a bit weird to not be surrounded by all that busyness and people.

But at least it’s peaceful again, and now I have time to just be and relax – especially now that school is almost done too. It’s just a couple of weeks before the summer break! So yeah, I’ve been keeping a journal. A journal of adventures!

So far my adventures have just been bike trips around the town and a bit beyond that. I’ve documented all the fun magical and not-so-magical findings I’ve come across. Like a circle of stones at our town. Or strange noises at the cemetery. Or the feeling of being watched by something tiny – maybe some kind of fairies? – when I’m out and about. Or just regular, lovely things.

It’s been a lot of fun! It may not be all that exciting, but it’s actually nice because too much excitement can get scary. I’ve been asking my family if we could take a trip together somewhere outside the town during the summer. They said that we can! Now I’m just trying to narrow down all the places I want to visit!

But meanwhile it’s nice being just here. In my hometown. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the fields and the forests and the flowers here. Even when I don’t find adventures, I always find new, pretty places I haven’t paid attention to before, and I write and draw them into my journal. I’m not that great at writing or drawing, but I guess it doesn’t matter as long as it makes me happy.

I’ve also had time to read more again. I love dragon books too! I have read the Pern -series and I love it! And just the other day I finally managed to get one of Lenora’s books, and I’ve enjoyed it a lot! It’s so… magical. 🙂 Obviously. I’ve also been reading some of Sir Pratchett’s Discworld -books, and they’re probably my favourites right now! My favourite character is Death. My mum hadn’t heard of the caterer-detective stories you mentioned, but she got excited right away when I told her about them. She’s now reading them, all thanks to you.

So, that’s pretty much it. Busy but not too exciting. Life in a nutshell, I guess. Or well, I liked your way of seeing life as a balancing act more. A balance between happy and sad times, excitement and boredom. It’s not easy a lot of the time, but I hope we all manage it somehow.

What’s going on in your life right now? It sounds like you have things set up really nicely in your life. I hope you’re doing well.

All the best,

Author’s Note: While Emily has read the Pern -series, I haven’t. So I hope people don’t expect an in-depth conversation about it. 😀

Also I had to make Emily like Discworld because it just makes sense. Her uncle owes his existence largely to my fangirl-ism of Sir Pterry’s Death after all.


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Letters: Emily to Lenora 3

Response to Lenora’s third letter.

Dear Lenora,

I’m so sorry for not writing in a while. It’s been so busy here with my sister’s wedding preparations and my school and all. And I also had to use my writing time to get a letter to my other pen pal because we were talking about emotional stuff and I didn’t want them to think I was upset because of the things we talked. And yeah, you were right about me liking your Grandpa. He’s a great friend and a lovely person. Also thank you so much for telling Gentian to get into the Pen Pal Project! I wrote to him, and he’s a really cool guy.

But it’s really nice to write to you too! I was so glad to get your latest letter!

And thank you for being understanding about me not wanting to tell everything about my family right away. I promise that I’ll keep everything you say confidential too – like I have so far.

It was nice to find out even more about you and your family. Though I’m sad and angered that you guys had to go through all that with the kidnapping, revenge and faked death and all. I hate it when people pull innocent people into their own stupid schemes and issues. Sorry, I’m so close to ranting too much. I’ve had some bad experiences with evil schemes too… but let’s not think about that now. I’m just happy your family is okay.

I really hope the kids you adopted will adapt well too. It can be scary at first, being a kid in a new place, especially when everything one used to know is gone. Ripped away just like that. It took me years to come to terms with it. And even after all this time, the pain is still there. But it’s bearable, sometimes even almost not there at all because there are people around me who have helped me shape a new life. People I love and who love me back. So yeah, I can guess that the kids you adopted have a good chance to heal, considering what a wonderful family you seem to have.

It was reassuring to hear that even a professional like you can get nervous before performing. And thank you for telling me how you deal with that nervousness. I think that was partly why I actually said yes when my sister asked me to play the guitar at her wedding.

Speaking of which, the wedding’s over now. Done. And I’m glad about that. I mean, it was fun and beautiful and great, sure, but man, did it take a lot of time and effort! But my sister and her fiancée – well, wife now – looked so happy that I know it was all worth it.

There were fancy-looking guests and awesome food and cake and flowers and music… I got into the feel of it all too. I was even super excited to wear a cute dress, even though I’m usually a tomboy, at least according to my classmates. And yeah, I did play the guitar for quite a while there. It went really well. My other sister played the keyboard – she says she’s not very good, but it didn’t matter much, since her main thing was singing while playing. I took care of most of the music. I could never sing in front of a crowd, though. I mean, I know my voice isn’t that bad, but just speaking in front of lots of people is really scary. Playing the guitar was easier because I didn’t have to use my voice and I could just pretend people were listening to the guitar instead of me.

The people liked my playing too, and I was glad I could do something nice for my sister and her wife. And maybe it wasn’t too bad… maybe I could play a bit more in the public. At least around people I know. But not to too many people at once. At least not to levels of really being famous. I chuckled a bit at your anti-fan wards. They sound creative and effective.

Are your family’s fairytale weddings done already? Or are they still in the preparation stage? I’d love to hear about them!

And thank you for telling me about the time-travelling stones! I had read and heard that stone circles usually mark some kinds of magical places, but I didn’t know you could travel through time with them! Wow! I actually found another set of stones in my town. It was far less dramatic and awesome; it was partly broken. Some of the stones had probably been moved away, so there was no feeling of magic or the past there. Or maybe there was, but it was too faint to feel because the stones were all scattered. They mostly just looked forgotten.

Still, I started thinking that maybe this small countryside town I live in has more secrets and more magic in it than I’d thought. It’s no Moonlight Falls – and I really want to visit that place now! – but it does have little sparks of magic and mystery here and there.

I was thinking that maybe I should start keeping a journal on my walks, kind of like you keep a journal about your life and to sort out your thoughts. It could be a Journal of Finding Magic from Unexpected Places.

…I still need to work on the name.

It sounds like your life is pretty well set up, with people who’ll always be around for you, and with lots of rewarding activities and experiences to keep life meaningful. That’s good. My dad says that life is all about making meaning, and I think it’s even more important if one is immortal. Or then it’s just different. Then it’s less like making a brief life mean something and more like giving meaning for yourself so that you don’t get bored, I guess.

I’d love to hear even more about your life and travels and your family. It sounds like there’s so much more to tell! I mean, if you want to share more, of course. I don’t want to get too nosy.

Wishing you happiness and good times,


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