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An Ending

Grandfather’s Fifteenth Letter




It seems we are approaching both the end of your holiday and my story. I am very sorry for both, my dear, but when you return next summer, I will have another, less grim tale for you. 


Indeed, I apologize for my last letter ending in such darkness, but I am afraid there was no way around that terrible incident, no poetic conceit that could hide the tragedy. William and I stood in the forest as Eleonore sobbed over Jakob, neither of us moving to comfort the poor woman until the sobs became wails. 


I pulled her away from the body and, at William’s insistence, took her from the scene; she resisted at first, but after but a few steps, Eleonore practically collapsed and leant heavily on me as we walked away. I did my best to ignore the blood. 


William stayed with Jakob’s body and, as he told me later, burnt it away once we were out of sight.


“There was a significant amount of power still clinging to him,” he told me, “that was the only to be certain it was destroyed. If some desperate spirit came upon his grave,” he didn’t finish the thought, though it was only because I asked him to stop.


We returned that night to the Swiss’s chalet, which was now at the edge of the forest rather than inside it. The family welcomed our return joyfully, but quickly quieted at the sight our somber faces and the blood. We spent the night there, the wife doing her best to comfort Eleonore, the father keeping the children away.


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You can also buy the novel The Grand Tour, a story about William Bridgeman’s journey across Europe during the twilight of magic.

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