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Dear Emily,

How lovely it was to receive your letter. It is always a delight to hear from ye, Miss Emily.

Och, lassie! I’m relieved to hear ye are feeling better about things and that I could help. There is no need to be thanking me for listening. We are friends, so ye can tell me anything you want or need to. I promise I will listen and even offer a virtual shoulder to cry on when ye need it. As to thinking ye are crazy, not a chance. I’ve seen and done things that most people would never dream of, so hearing that ye are great friends with Death is a drop in the bucket for me.

 

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Ye reminded me so much of my Lenora when ye referred to me as kind and wise. When she’d cone to me with what looked to be the biggest problem anyone ever had, I’d give her a couple of solutions I guessed she’d be open to. When it worked itself out or blew over, she’d throw her wee arms about me and say, “You’re the smartest, nicest, wisest Grandda ever!” Well, my heart was fit to burst, it was, because I loved her so much. Still do, and seeing her and the others I love happy makes being a Grandda extra special.

Ah, life and death, a never ending cycle. A spiral that loops back onto itself is like a circle in that it has no beginning and no end. It has all kinds of twists and turns but ye always end up in the same place eventually.

 

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Ye are absolutely right abut how sometimes people get out of that spiral. My Mathilda comes to mind, for if anyone is out of that spiral, she is. Mathilda can be very intimidating but once she gets to caring about someone, ye won’t have a better ally. Aside from me, Lenora will be the best person to tell ye that. I think ye’d like her and I believe Mathilda would like ye very much, too.

 

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It’s funny ye should mention ghosts. Just the other day, my wee Great-great granddaughter, Tara emailed me and asked me about them. Seems she has a wee ghostie for a pen pal, so she had some questions for Mathilda and me. She asked how people became ghosts and why they’re stuck in or near the place they died. Here is the gist of what Mathilda and I told her.

Ghosts, or spirits, are imprints of a dead person that is left behind. Sometimes they go on to the Elysian Fields if they’re very good whilst others end up in the Bad Place if they’re wicked and evil. Others who are neither very good nor exceedingly bad go to a sort of in-between place until the gods and goddesses decide what is best for them.

However, there are others who just get stuck, like Tara’s pen pal. She remains rooted to this world, but in a way, she is not there since most people cannot see or hear her. Ones like that have usually gotten stuck for a reason. Perhaps they were afraid to die and so chose to live an afterlife like that. Others are confused and have lost their way, so they are waiting to be guided to their rightful place. Others may have died before their allotted time and therefore cannot leave until certain things come to pass. it goes on and on, so it’s impossible for most people to surmise why Tara’s pen pal got stuck. There are witches and wizards who specialize in that sort of thing, so they probably have more answers than I do. If given the choice (and I was when I passed on), I would not want that kind of existence.

 

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What I did get, thankfully, were opportunities to visit when I was needed. I visited a lot when Lenora lost her first husband and son in the plane crash. I spoke to Mathilda as often as I could and was granted permission to visit Lenora from time to time. I was happy to spemd that time after my death with my Anne and other loved ones who left before me, but I reckon even then, I knew I was meant to return to life some day.

So yes, I think ye are right about ghost sometimes popping through the spiral sometimes to say hi. My Anne certainly did that with the flowers and sometimes I see my Maggie when I especially miss her. Not all of the dead get to come back even for short visits but I believe they find ways of whispering to us. Perhaps messages from them are carried on the wind or heard within the crackle of a cozy fire. Ye never know sometimes.

 

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It was lovely to see a glimpse into your relationship with Tad. Thank ye for sharing such a wonderful gift with me, Miss Emily! As I was doing a wee bit of woodworking, I thought about some of the things ye mentioned, especially about how multiple universes is a concept too big to really comprehend, My Great-grandson, Chris, is interested in anything having to do with space travel and parallel universes. He’s a major sci-fi fan who loves to bend your ear about all these different theories he has. One day, he handed me a book by none other than Stephen King called “Skeleton Crew” that had a marked page. “Read this, Grandda! This one will really creep you out.” I chuckled as I opened the book to the marked page and saw a story there called The Jaunt.

That evening, I sat in my easy chair and did just that. It was a pretty short story, so it didn’t take me long to read. The concept was about how man conquered distance traveling via teleportation, making him capable of traveling to long distances, even to other planets in a matter of mere milliseconds. The only catch was, ye had to be asleep whilst in transit or ye will come to great peril. I won’t spoil the rest of the story or the outcome, but I’ll tell ye the reason ye had to be asleep to undertake a journey through “the jaunt.” Ye see, as the body teleports, it de-atomizes itself, then reforms at the destination. It happens immediately, so there is no puff of smoke or loud bang – it just happens. One instant, ye are in one place and before the eye can blink, ye are somewhere else. However, conscious thinking continues and to the mind, the journey takes an eternity. Basically, the alert mind cannot handle such a thing, so a person or living thing remaining awake goes hopelessly insane and then dies. It is a strange, chilling wee story but well worth the read.

So ye see, there are certainly things the mind just isn’t capable of enduring,

 

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Luckily for people like Mathilda and me, teleportation doesn’t leave us in that state and we can do it under our own steam. Even so, it is a skill that requires practice for a witch or wizard to accomplish proficiently and without ill effects. Many witches and wizards still prefer traditional means of travel, and of course, there is still the tried and true broomstick.

 

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I am pleased both ye and Tad enjoyed that Twilight Zone episode. I showed it to Mathilda, who grew rather thoughtful.

 

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“You know what, Liam?” she asked, her lovely eyes seeming to look into another life. “it is said that as people age, they become wiser and more accepting. In my case, I wonder if that’s really true in some areas.”

“Now, Mathilda, love, how can ye even say that?” I asked her, perplexed.

She sighed almost wearily and rubbed the bridge of her nose. Miss Emily, it is not often I see Mathilda in such a contemplative, brooding state. She said, “To this day and even after everything I’ve seen, I’m still a coward. I wanted immortality so I could have all the time in the world to make a name for myself. But the biggest reason was that I was afraid to die. Once a coward, always a coward, at least in this instance. Call me narcissistic and vain, but I cannot imagine a world without me in it.”

“If it makes ye feel any better, love, I cannot imagine a world without ye in it either,” I said.

She just smiled and patted my cheek. “You’re married to an old fool, Liam dear.”

“Better an old fool such as ye than a fresh young thing who doesn’t know which end is up or down,” I grinned at her.

She kissed my cheek and smiled again. “How about if we have Lenora, Alina, and the others over for dinner tonight? It’s been a while since we’ve had everyone together.”

I agreed, and Mathilda went to the kitchen to start the preparations. My Mathilda can be hard to understand for some folks but never for me. This was her way of saying that although she had a never-ending life, she still wanted to cherish beautiful moments with those she loves. I didn’t try to placate her fear or even tell her she shouldn’t feel that way. Ye see, when Mathilda shares something of this magnitude about herself, it’s a plain and simple fact and not something to be debated. Plus, it’s not something she shares with just anyone.

I mentioned to her that I wanted to share this with ye, and she just shrugged. I’d already told her a little about ye and gave her a barebones rundown of subjects we’ve written to each other about. Not to worry though. I didn’t divulge anything ye asked me to keep silent and would never do that. Mathilda understands that and is happy that ye and I have found such a great friendship.

Anyway, as I said, she just shrugged and blew a strand of hair from her face. “I think I like her. She’s got spunk and a thirst for knowledge, and I like that.” She then waved her hand and produced a beautiful blue gem. It’s one I’d never seen before, and I suspected it must have come from some other world she’s visited. Her explanation confirmed it. “This was mined from a world called Utopiana. Send this to your friend and tell her to put it under her pillow when she goes to sleep after a bad or long day. It’ll keep nightmares away and she’ll wake up feeling refreshed and energized. Warn her not to use it every night, for she’ll develop a tolerance to it if overused. Then, it’s effects won’t work on her anymore.”

So, Miss Emily, here is a gift from a true goddess who sends it to ye with many blessings and well wishes. This is a very rare, special honor, for my Mathilda does not give out such things lightly. I hope it brings ye peace and a sens of well-being whenever ye need some extra magic in your life.

 

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As I said, it was such a nice gift, me getting a glimpse into your relationship with your uncle. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your talk and how he asked ye to play your guitar for him. Most people never think of Death as having human qualities and feelings. I’m certain that as long as he does not interfere with events that are destined to happen, writing to a pen pal would be fine for him. Perhaps that will do him and a potential pen pal a world of good. As Chris (yes, the same Chris I mentioned above) likes to say, “All work and no play makes for a very dull, dull day.” Anyway, it sounds like ye got some great advice about stage fright, and playing and singing with your uncle helped ye feel not so terrified to play for the wedding. I’m certain ye will do amazingly at the wedding. If it has already occurred, well, I’m certain ye did amazingly.

 

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People who have “extra” in the area of musical or artistic talent always amazes me. When your uncle sang in three voices at once, did he harmonize with himself? Now that takes talent. 🙂

And speaking of extra musical talent, I’m going to be a proud Great Grandda and brag about my wee Aurora. Ye see, she is no ordinary singer, our Aurora. Her voice, itself, is laced with magic as is any of the music she plays and sings. Not only does she have extraordinary healing powers within her voice and music, but she can conjure any mood she wants her listeners to feel by simply singing or playing an instrument like the piano. She can do other things as well, and it always strikes me dumb when she gets going. It’s so beautiful ye don’t dare to even want to breathe. Her voice sounds like a thousand angels at once with voice upon voice complimenting each other perfectly. When she sings a darker piece, it gives ye shivers. But when she sings something melodic and lovely, it makes ye want to weep for more if she were to stop.

We are told that her gifts and abilities are very rare, even in our magical world. She is destined for something very, very special and even has a prophecy told about her by an ancient Seer. I shall tell ye more about that in another letter.

 

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Food is a fabulous way to end a letter. Isn’t it funny how something that sounds quite awful turns out to be delicious? Your lemon meringue pies sound lovely! Your sister going Vegan – that’s quite a lifestyle change. I do hope she’s taking some extra vitamins and supplements because she will need those due to cutting out certain things in her diet that the body needs to remain healthy. I’m afraid Veganism (if that is a word) won’t be visiting this family. We are Irish, need I say more? 🙂 Meat and potatoes is a staple in our family, as is Guinness and a lively jig.

Well Miss Emily, I have, once again, written ye a novella.  Wishing ye many blissful days and lovely, mild nights.

Your friend always,

Liam