The Diary | By: Nicole Jakobsen | | Category: Short Story - Fantasy Bookmark and Share

The Diary

Antania smiled brightly at Tangnak and patted him gently on the head as he floated through the door, his massive arms of shadow heavy laden with baskets filled to the brim with wares purchased during his latest venture into Undercity. "It looks as though you bought everything in the city, Tangnak," Antania declared with a giggle as her shimmering goldenrod gaze drifted over each basket while her voidwalker gently placed them down on the ebony countertop in the kitchen. "Now then, let us begin the task of putting everything in its proper place, Tangnak. We would not want this mess to be standing on the countertop when my beloved comes in from tending his felweed, would we?"

With a clap of her bony, child-sized hands, Antania set herself to rifling through the contents of the first basket, squealing merrily as she beheld the new, exotic cloths and threads her voidwalker purchased for her; cloths bearing such names as frostweave and ebonweave. She knew she would be required to do a bit of travelling in order to learn to use these fine cloths; perhaps Illaden would not mind if it only meant a small jaunt into a city... Then again, she had promised him not to venture out alone and certainly would not break her vow. "My beloved will know a way for me to learn without leaving home, yes," Antania thought to herself while lifting her gaze calmly to Tangnak and declaring, "You will need to place the contents of this basket in my cabinet in the workshed. You may do that after we have finished with the rest of the baskets."

The next three baskets were full of a plethora of fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, meats, fish and grains Antania would use for preparing the lavish meals she served her dearest Illaden on a daily basis. She and her voidwalker spent over an hour placing the ingredients in various cupboards and boxes located inside the kitchen. When Antania happened upon the last basket, she smiled happily as she saw an ample supply of Illaden's favourite bourbon, along with several bottles of wine. "Good, Tangnak, I would not want my beloved to have to do without." The bottles were placed in a wire rack with the greatest of care and as she lifted the last bottle out of the basket, she espied a book lying at the bottom. With a questioning gaze, she took it up and stared at it, noting that the burgundy velvet cover was well-worn and dotted with bits of mildew.

"What is this, Tangnak? I did not ask for any books." The voidwalker shrugged in reply. "I do hope you did not steal this!" Antania's accusation caused the voidwalker's shadowy chin to quiver as though he might begin to burst into tears at any given moment if he possessed tear ducts. Gathering himself momentarily, Tangnak stammered in Demonic, "I--I d-d-do n-n-not know wh-where t-t-the b-b-book came f-f-from! I-I-I d-d-did n-n-not s-s-steal it! P-p-please d-d-do n-n-not b-b-be angry with m-m-me a-a-and t-t-take away m-m-my c-c-cookies! M-m-maybe s-s-some-someone p-p-put it in t-t-the b-b-basket while I-I-I w-w-was s-s-s-shopping!" With that, the voidwalker could speak no more and threw his arms up in despair, his pathetic wails filling the homestead. Antania, not having wished to upset her friend so, gently wrapped her frail arms around him in a reassuring hug. "There, there, Tangnak. I know you did not steal it and I am not angry with you. I simply wished to know from where this book came. If you cannot tell me, then let it remain an exciting mystery." This seemed to calm the voidwalker, who ceased his wailing. "Come, then, let us explore the book for clues."

Upon closer examination of the cover, Antania discovered the title, which was partially eroded and read The Diary of E---- H---- in Common. "A diary! How fascinating! It does not appear to be a new one, though, given the state of the cover. A shame I cannot read the name. Perhaps that will be revealed inside!" With that, Antania sat herself down in one of the high-backed chairs at the dining table and opened the diary, whose gilt parchment pages were just as mottled with mildew as the cover. "Let us see what the first entry holds." As she glanced over the first page, she noticed the day and month of the first entry were still legible and were the same as the very day she was sitting reading the diary, yet the year was covered by blot of mildew. "Oh! Tangnak! The first entry was written on this date some year in the past! Listen while I read it aloud!" Running her frigid tongue across her cyanotic lips (out of habit, not out of necessity,) she began:

Mother gave me this diary today as one of my birthday gifts, so I sit and write to make good use of it. Though I reached the age of seventeen years today, my heart is full of sadness. I stood outside from dawn until Father bade me come inside awaiting letters of well-wishing or small gifts from friends and received not a one. As each hour passed, so did my disappointment grow. How could these people I have known for so many a year and upon whom bestowed the title of 'friend' have so readily forgotten me, especially when I so faithfully remembered them upon their days of birth? Even the feast Mother and Father ordered the servants to prepare in my honour did nothing to raise my spirits; nor did the gifts they lavished upon me. What reason have I to be glad when I apparently have no worth outside of this manor; when I am so easily effaced from the minds of companions I believed cared something for me? I know on the morrow and on days to come, these same people will behave as though I am still their dear friend and they mine though they forgot me on this day; the reality of their falseness sickens me to the core of my being. Oh, how it would have been pleasant to have been remembered and know my companions genuinely cared something for me. Alas, that was not fated for me. Perhaps it shall be my fate to be known as the Forgotten Lady...

Antania's skeletal visage contorted itself into a frown as she completed reading the last line of the entry. "How utterly sad to be forgotten on one's own birthday!" With that, she rose from her chair and procured a lilac-coloured candle from a drawer in the kitchen and placed it within an etched crystal candlestick. With an Immolate spell, she lit the candle and whispered as she ceremoniously laid the candlestick down on the window sill in the dining room, "Happy birthday, Lady E, whoever you are, or were. You have not been forgotten."
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