* Purloined Letters #3: Demons and the Summer Solstice (1 of 2) (Happy Summer Solstice, Northern Hemisphere!)

in fiction •  last year

21st of June, 2017

Dear Professor Mandrake,

I’m writing this letter while sitting inside for the first time. The last few days have been a torment, I don’t know what kind of demon blood the locals have to survive this, but even the plants seem to be infected.

The temperature in this part of the planet has risen so much that breathing can become a chore. The ground gets so hot that it would scorch their naked feet. Remember their wondrous transportations machines? They become deathly traps, so lethal that even their four-legged guardians may succumb if left alone to face them.

With this in mind, you could have thought that the landscape would be a desolate wasteland, but I assure you, it is not. Instead, the people celebrate this heat, they get happier, I have heard some of them even glow during this time, they call it “Summer”. But it’s not just these humans, if they even are human, it’s the plants too! Instead of being scorched by the heat, they grow green and strong, and not only those in their gardens.

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Speaking of gardens, if our lawn in the tower keeps dying, try putting fruit peels to rot in there. Johnnys grandmother recommended so. Although Johnny had to translate, since she speaks another tongue. Yes, one completely different! Isn’t that amazing, it seems to be an uncommon but not particularly rare gift, and they tell me it can take years to master. But, can you imagine that? What if we could talk to the far-away lords? The King in the Forest, or whoever leads the kingdom beyond the mountains They could teach us their knowledge and we could teach them ours.

I have been thinking about it, and what I don’t yet understand is how did that first encounter happen? You can always learn from someone who speaks both tongues, but how did the first person learn how to speak them both? I asked Johnny this question and he told me he doesn’t know much about his own tongue or his mother’s. I don’t understand this. Do you think it is possible to speak a tongue without understanding it? My only explanation is demonic possession. I believe him and his kind must have been possessed or somehow contaminated by demonic blood.

To support this theory, I have seen it represented in some sort of representation of historical magic. It seems like this magic long lost, I have seen figments of it, but in general it seems to have been forgotten, only these representations of it remain. John and his friends seem to like those tales of old glory days very much.

When I pressed the matter and chanted a simple protection prayer, they agreed to take me to see the wise-man Google as soon as they came back from buying fruit in the market. Being aware of their demonic nature, I no longer fear they may faint in the unrelenting heat outside, but now I fear the kind of inquiries I can make on the topic. Should I ask about it? Are they even aware of it, if not, should I bring it to their attention? For now, I suggest the following:

  • Avoid inquiring in case they are not aware of it, this would be too much cultural contamination.
  • Since they seem to be self aware and have, so far, caused me no harm one of my own couldn’t also have caused, I suggest we recognize them as human just like us. We should extend any understanding and precaution we have regarding our own kin, to them. I have looked for native documents on equality for foreign groups, however, I have found very little. There is a surprisingly greater amount of documentation arguing for the opposite More of those things that should be one thing and, for some reason, are another.
  • As much as it pains me. It has become evident to me that the humans in this world are as diverse as the our Majesty’s Royal Hares. To enrich our logs we should ask Remilla, back at Portal Island, to attach a document covering her experiences there. She must have a very different perspective on the people fire demons living there. I suggest we take them and customs of that locality in to account when defining our attitude towards these possessed-humans. -Xx Remillia

With that, I must leave, as my friend has returned and it’s time to go visit the Google the Guru. I’ll write another letter, perhaps in his temple or wherever it is Gurus here live. I’ll hurry now to make a proper traveling pack. Please let me know if there is anything, perhaps hidden among the lore of old deserts, that could help me endure the harsh conditions this world seems to have.

Your faithful student,

Thomas Strong.


Hi and thank you for reading this far! I hope you enjoyed this short story. It is one of two I'll be publishing to celebrate the Summer Soltice. You can find the second part HERE. Please Follow me if you'd like to see more. You can find the letters that came before this one here:

If you'd like to support my curation of transmediatic narrative in the platform, you can follow my Trail here. And if you'd like to support me and my writing, you can also join my Fanbase here. (You'll need to register, same account for both)

With that,

Thank you and I'll see you next time.

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