This week’s installment is an excerpt from my current project, for which I do not yet have a name. This excerpt would serve as a prologue, setting the stage for the set of letters that would make up most of the rest of the book.
Thank you for reading. ❤
For my niece Evelina, to be read either in the event of my disappearance or arrest:
I have often longed, dear Evie, to enlighten you on my doings beyond the social scene in London since my marriage and subsequent departure from the golden shores of America. I know, my dear, that you have heard in great detail from this pen of mine the social happenings that my husband and I have been involved with over the last fifteen years, and have also seen these things for yourself on your visits, seldom though those must necessarily be. However, there are other, more…clandestine doings that have not been the subject of any of my writings or your visits thus far, for reasons that will be abundantly clear as my letter continues. I believe, well as I know you, that you would not disapprove of such affairs, once you hear my reasoning behind my involvement in them. Thus the reason for my writing this to you now: I would wish you to know the reason behind my actions, so you would not judge me as others will.
Below are letters that I have written to your mother, may she rest in peace. They were sent to me on the occasion of her untimely death, and I am passing them on to you to help you understand. I have included the responses she had sent me, against the express wishes of your mother. Your mother was adamant about this: you should not know. However, I am breaking this wish of your mother’s, in order for you to truly understand what we have accomplished.
Please understand, dear Evie, that what was done was absolutely necessary. We did nothing and committed no act that was not for the greater good. However, society will not see it that way, unfortunately. Your mother, especially, wished you to not view her with any contempt, no matter what you discovered. Therefore, your visits to me became synonymous with the deeds your mother committed, as well as your visits to other members of our family and your father’s. However, apart from me, there was no one else aware of our deeds. This I must stress, my dear Evie: you shall not confide these secrets to any other party. To do so would result in catastrophic consequences that will be made clear in the following letters, both for you and the rest of the family. I cannot stress this enough my dear: no one must ever know. You alone shall hold this secret, at your peril.
I do not wish to threaten you, Evie, but merely impress upon you the imperativeness of such secrecy, for your sake as well as my own. I may have arrested, which makes secrecy all the more important. If I have disappeared, I can imagine these letters will reach you long before this news will arrive of my disappearance. However, if the former has occurred, I will assume that you have already heard such news as that. However, the details of such may not yet have sullied your innocent ears, and so these letters will indeed be a shock to you no matter what the circumstances are that bring these letters to light.
However this letter and its cousins shall arrive, please know that it is only for our safety and your knowledge that I send them. I wish you to understand, and love us as you always have, my dear Evie. I remain, my darling, your faithful and devoted aunt,