They issued the same challenge last year. It was the perfect thing for Damian Ashelocke to write to Christopher, when I was working on 'Stealing Myself From Shadows', so I did it. Unfortunately, I was worried that the letter contained too many spoilers, so I didn't post it.
This time, the letter is from Ashleigh to Map. I won't say anything more about them, other than they're characters in 'A Godling for Your Thoughts?', my NaNoWriMo project for this year. I'll let you find out the rest for yourself in the letter.
I’m writing this letter, although I doubt I’ll ever have the courage to give it to you. After all, I left you. I left the boys.
I doubt I’ll ever be able to explain the reason why to you, either. This compulsion of mine to open every Door to every world I can find…but that’s just an excuse. The title ‘Ashleigh Beyond the Door’ sounds impressive, but it’s as much about running away as it is about running towards anything.
The boys scare me. Oh, we call them our sons, but neither of us gave birth to them. Not exactly. They just appeared under strange circumstances, if not downright weird ones. Leiwell, Danyell, and Dayell don’t belong to us, any more than the ground, the sky, or any of the shadows cast between ever can.
I admire you, Map. I admire your courage in raising those boys, as if they were human. As if they were truly our sons.
I want to love them, I truly do, but I’ve never had the courage, or the generous, accepting nature that you do. You’ll never know how much I regret not being able to care about them the way that you do.
Perhaps there’s something else I can do for them. Something which will make you, myself, and the boys part of something greater than we could ever be as a family. To bring us together in a community the likes of which we’ve never seen, since we lost Omphalos. Since Christopher, myself, and everyone else abandoned the little village we once called home.
I write ‘everyone else’, but that’s not quite true. You never abandoned Omphalos. You raged against it, hated it, but you never abandoned it. You were the only one who didn’t.
I want to bring that world back to you. I know you mistrust it. You’ve got good reason to. We were happy there, for a while, regardless of what it became. You, Christopher, and myself had something very special in that cottage. I want to return a little of that happiness to you. I want the boys to experience that happiness, as well. I may not be able to love them, but I may be able to do right by them. Friends, a community, an entire village of people like themselves; I’ve got a chance to give them these things.
Of course, there’s a price for all this. There always is. I’m more than willing to pay it, if it means returning our home to you and making the boys a part of it. Maybe there’s a chance we’ll finally be able to spend time together as family. I pray to Seraphix that there is.
I love you, Map.