Dearest Brooke;

May this letter find you well.

I write to you in haphazard uncertainty. I know little of how this message may reach you, nor if it shall. I am obliged, nonetheless, to attempt not only to reach you but to contend with my reality. Should this correspondence reach you by miracle or inevitability, I must demand your action forthwith and duly.

The days grow uncertain–but long–in the absence of my understanding. I have resigned to a life of cowardice and bare subsistence in an attempt to undercut the encroaching darkness. For years, or perhaps hours, I have expunged one-by-one the undertakings that I had thought defined me. No more, Brooke, are the days of fine cognac in the garden where once you sat with me and gave your gaze. Such nefarious malice that I would pick apart the wings of the wasps–rendering the hungry bastards into slugs for your amusement–and I have picked apart my perceptions. I, as those insects, have become landlocked, hopeless, angry. What a blessing if that were all! My paintings, Brooke, and the toys we used to share are dead now: Unreachable, unthinkable. The eccentricities of myself that once I believed to be me were mere promises of normalcy. Mirages. Water in the distance that has now left me with sand between my teeth. Dry.

What had defined me instead was the madness that held a carrot before my eyes. For too long had the persuasive imp of my madness been stifled. Shortly after your departure, that imp took the better of me and has since reclaimed His throne. He has taught me, Brooke, and I have seen a new world wherein the imagination and the objective are so intertwined and so beautiful.

Do you remember how I was?

That man; broken and uncomfortable, unable to rest upon idea or pew. The man who sent you away, who forced you to grow up without me, was so trapped inside his own sanity. Every waking moment of myself was a conscious action. So many times I had taken to the throes of Boston’s streets in an effort to find myself but found nothing in the sunlight. How could they, the cityfolk, live? Was not each step a mission in itself and a chore of inevitable failure; a roundabout conflict against entropy without reason or hope?

Yes, Brooke. Yes.

What I have found is that I am that Imp. I am that uncertainty. I am the hopelessness; the blurred line of reality and imagination. I am the leper as I am the Lord; the peasant and the king, the slave and the master. What lashes I had unleashed upon myself and what agony brought about by the isolation of me against my own being, when always it was me!

I cannot articulate it. You must experience it. This is why I write you today.

Brooke. Ian had grown into a man in your absence; eager to be as I was with the persistent pursuit to stake his claim in history and sow his seed of the womb. A man of endless potential. A man entrusted to my care.

Help me, God. Brooke. I know not what I have done with him. I recall his presence in recent times, I think. His cologne was that of the world–eager to tempt a woman into regret as with yourself, Brooke. It was uncomfortable to watch this man grow up around me. As I snuffed the light that was my pretense of normalcy, Ian came to know it and resented my philosophy. Contempt and dismissal came to define his attitude. I understand why he would act the way he did, but I cannot ascribe such certainty to my own actions.

I have little in the way of news or evidence about Ian’s health or whereabouts and find myself concerned. I understand that this may be my doing. Perhaps Ian had left me a decade ago to pursue his own life as a man, or maybe I had smothered him as a mere boy.

It would be insufficient to merely find Ian. For his safety, and for your safety, you must ensure that I will not find him again. Please do not allow me to be as I am any longer. You must see to this, Brooke, as I am unable to do so. I need your help.

Brooke, you more than anyone understand my persistence in these endeavors and that, despite my tendency toward inaction, my resolve and momentum know no bounds. I am coming for you, Brooke. You will meet Ian’s fate if you are unable to seal a better one for him and yourself. Not until I have been rendered drained and white will he or you find peace.

Please heed this warning. I cannot describe what ferrous horrors I would find within you, were I allowed to do so.

I love you.

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