This entry is part 26 of 33 in the series Tales from the top of the hill
Chronicles of a Distant Proximity

"Most of this town inhabitants understood the situations of men who have killed at someone else's will and that now would feel regret."

Almost a month had passed and my investigation hadn’t been really going forward, the principal cause for this was that I didn’t know where to look, I turned literally every wood plank in the house without finding much. I finally got a lead when I decided to ask people I was working with, I told them if they knew about some writer that lived in the same house as me before, most people said that they didn’t but one of them said that I might want to ask the archivist of this town. The archivist’s job was to keep track of this town’s history, recording all the events and the names of everybody who lived in the town. Everything would be written down in big books and then kept from generations so we could always know what happened to whom in the city since it has been built. That seemed like a really good idea but the problem was the fact that I didn’t know when exactly she lived or died, I did not know her name and I wasn’t even certain if she would have been in the town’s records since her house is a bit away from it. All I knew about her was the fact that she lived in the house I live now and that she was a writer, that wasn’t much. Well I had her background, according to the story I got told but I didn’t know if it was true or fiction, I think I can fairly say that I am far away from fiction right now though. With nothing to lose, I decided to pay a visit to this town’s archivist to see what he could tell me.

A moment after I knocked three times on his door, I saw him before me and I thought to myself that if I have wanted to make a picture of him in my mind before seeing him, that would be exactly how I would have seen him. He looked like a wizard you’d hear of in those dragon tales, his white beard was as long as his gray hair, he was wearing a sort of old robe and I actually wondered for a moment where he hid his staff. When he saw me examining him, he adjusted his glasses and asked me what business might have brought me here. I told him that I wanted to know about somebody who lived here long ago, interested by such an inquiry from someone of my age, he invited me to enter his humble residence. Humble was maybe pushed a bit, everything was pretty old but I guess that it followed the theme of someone who lives through ages, like an immortal. It was ancient but I felt that everything in here was very valuable so I carefully sat down on the armchair, waiting for him to come back with some tea, the season was starting to be quite cold after all.

Once we were ready to talk, I started to tell him that I wanted to know about a girl who lived here a long time ago, I didn’t know her name but I knew she was a writer and I guessed that she was at least a bit popular since she was living out of it. At first, the archivist seemed a bit concerned by this and he told me that with that much of information he couldn’t do much, there are a lot of people that lives and dies in a town and unfortunately, nobody remembers them after a few years. Even when a relative dies, you’ll probably remember him for the rest of your life but what about your children and grand-children, I also doubt that anybody would remember her except if they have a book with her name written on it but then again I didn’t know her name. On the bright side, he told me that according to what he remembers, female writers were pretty rare in this town, if she had been at least talked about, it might have been written somewhere. He started to browse quickly in a huge book and asked me if I had more details about her. I told him that she might have been born in another town that this one, she came for a literature contest and won it with a story called ‘The boy who wanted to become a knight’, he frowned a bit, probably wondering how I knew so much without even knowing her name. I asked if I could be of some help, actually I was just really curious to see what kind of information was stored in those enormous books of lore. He told me that he probably had the book that the information I was looking for was written in so I shouldn’t bother, I went back to the armchair and waited for him to find her in that big book while noisily slurping my tea.

After a few long minutes he finally stopped flipping pages like he was on a flipping rampage or a flipping ninja and said he might have found something, I immediately jumped out of my chair but he made a sign with his hand that meant something like I had to sit down, so I did. He said that there was a girl called Sofia Swans who lived a few years in this town, she was a writer and she made some noise when she was younger since she won that literature contest when nobody knew about her, it was really a big moment, there weren’t much more information about her though. I asked him if he knew something about her parents of where she lived before, even if she had an husband or a cat, that would still be helpful. He said that it was mentioned once that she never disclosed where she came from to anyone, she might have had a shady past that she wanted to get rid of and citizens of this town were pretty indulgent about this. One century ago, many new people arrived from different cities and towns to live here, most of them were war veterans or people who wanted to escape their past, most of this town inhabitants understood the situations of men who have killed at someone else’s will and that now would feel regret, life could get pretty hard on this point since other people would despise you for what you did. There was no records of marriage or newborns at her name so she probably lives a single life or something like that, I could imagine her, waking up every morning and sitting to her desk, in-between her going-to-be-glued-to-the-wall bookshelves, the were probably not as empty as I found them though. And then should would just writes all day, while watching the beautiful spring blooming outside by her opened window that wasn’t probably refusing to open back then.

I guess I was kind of satisfied by what I’ve learned today, I learned more in one afternoon than in one month so that was a satisfying ratio, I wouldn’t know right know where to look for more information but I guess that would come with time. As I was about to thank him for everything he told me that her death was recorded a bit further and he asked me if I wanted to know the details. That was right, I didn’t even know that she died, well I could have figured it but was kind of an information, at first I thought that I’d want to know it since every bit of information might help me but at the same time, I was currently living in her house and knowing how she died would probably make me feel uneasy when I’d cross the front door. The point that made me take a decision was the fact that I quickly remembered that she was the only girl from the stories she told me that didn’t die in the story, it was the missing information to make the link between the stories so I asked him to tell me. With a somber but professional voice he read me that about one century ago, she was found dead in her remote house after committing suicide. He was about to give me more details but I told him to stop, I had a pretty imaginative mind and would probably start to hallucinate hung bodies everywhere at night if she told me something like that, the suicide was already enough to give me twisted ideas. I thanked him for the tea and the knowledge and left his house, heading back to mine.

While I was walking, I thought back on what I’ve learned. A suicide was pretty different from the two other deaths, well I guess I could have considered the one who died in her sleep as a suicide since it kind of was her decision but I thought that this was a bit taking it too far, I went for an early conclusion that their death weren’t linked for now, there must have been some other link that I wasn’t think about. They were all girls, they all died and that was pretty much about it. Well if I threw the girl I knew in the mix, since she was the one who told me the stories, I couldn’t say that they all have died, well… I took a big breath in and entered the house.

I found her at the same place that I left her this morning, she has been bed-ridden for a long time now and I was starting to get worried. I went in her room to see how she was doing and she seemed fine, but she wasn’t doing anything. She was watching outside through the window grasping the few warm colors left before the approaching winter, I sat down next to her and patted her head, she closed her eyes for a moment and then looked at me with a forced smile. She wasn’t unhappy but she was pretty weak, she has been sleeping most of her days since one month now and when she was awake she was either fine for a few hours or just really sick, she would also throw up the food she ate sometimes, making it harder to get well fed. I told her that I wanted to bring her to a doctor but she said she didn’t want to leave the house and that her illness was quite normal, it’s the pregnancy that caused those symptoms. I had a few doubts myself about that but since I didn’t knew anything about it I trusted her words, it looked like she knew what she was doing and the bulge in her belly grew a lot while she was in the bed. I still decided to not talk about what I discovered to her yet, it might really have been a coincidence and if I told her that we were actually living in that house, well I’m not sure how to express it but I’m afraid on how she would react to it if she actually didn’t know about it at all.

As I left her to sleep I wandered around, wondering how I would keep on finding more information on the ‘Red headed case’. I just remembered that Palsye from the first story had light blue hair, so I couldn’t really call this the ‘Red headed case’, that also made me remember more about that first story that I unconsciously forgotten about. She said that it happened in her hometown that was a bit far from where we actually lived before, I started to wonder if she actually were born in another town or just hid the truth so I didn’t know from the beginning that Palsye lived in the same town as ours. Trying to remember everything she said was pretty hard but I could reminisce her saying that her father was an Alchemist and did something about having the right to stay in the town, so it wasn’t impossible that she came here when she was young but I still knew her for a long time, we kind of were childhood friends but that still was a hazy topic even for me.

Still, a town without snow that wouldn’t hesitate to kill a townsfolk if they thought she would bring misfortune, it sadly described the place where we lived before…

Series Navigation<< The Girl in the Photograph -- Heartblood Symphony >>