This entry is part 30 of 33 in the series Tales from the top of the hill
The Color of My Soul

"I want to show them how much I have changed in such a short time."

I’ve been investigating a bit on the side during the past few months about that ‘Red haired case’ and I must say I’ve learned quite a bit. I tried to speak more with the inhabitants of the town about what I was looking for, re-telling the same stories over and over again that she told me a bit more than one year ago. It didn’t tire me though, I was kind of happy to spread her stories to people that seemed really interested by them, that made me feel really happy and I guess it would have made her too. Sometimes, some people would recognize the stories, the story of Palsie was the most known I think, but that wasn’t really surprising since she told me it was a tale from her former village. I wanted to know more about her since I had the firm conviction that every of those stories were true so I started asking people if they knew when snow suddenly stopped to fall. To my greater content, some of the elders of this town confirmed that they have seen large amounts of snow during the winter in this very town, it gave me hope that I could probably once again find answers if I asked my friend the archivist.

This old man wasn’t just writing a registry of the name of all the people who lived in this town, he was also a collector of tales from all around the world, that alone felt really impressive to me since I lived in two different towns in all my life. He clearly had three times my age at least but that still made him someone far more knowledgeable than me, and I had a lot of respect for him. He welcomed me quite warmly as usual and after a quick gossip I asked him if he knew the story about when it stopped snowing. He nodded and said that this was a pretty local tale since it’s only in our region that it stopped snowing all of a sudden. I made a quick allusion to Palsie, just to confirm that we were talking about the same thing, and he nodded to everything, as if we had the exact same version of the story. I started to believe that she didn’t made up every story she told me, there was something that wasn’t connecting with what she said and the actual facts. When she told me the story of Lady Winter, she said herself that it was a tale from her village but when I asked her if she made up every story she told me she said yes. I guess that she didn’t bother thinking back to confirm that every single story was from her imagination, but that was changing my game just a little. If every story I thought that had a link with her were actually stories that everybody knew, that wouldn’t lead me anywhere and that could possibly a case closure for the ‘Red haired case’.

I decided to give it one last chance, I asked more about Palsie’s tale to the archivist. To my surprise, even if thought about it once, he told me that the tale was originated from the town I came from. That was quite a surprise on a few aspects, the first one being that I didn’t even know this story myself before she told me. Usually you get told myths and legends from your own town when you’re young, though I must admit that it wasn’t really a story for kids. The old man told me that there was a reason why I didn’t know about it, it’s because almost nobody in my old town knows about it so they couldn’t tell me. I was a bit perplex at this statement but he immediately saw through my anxious mind and explained me the reason. Soon after doing such an horrible act, people living in the town felt guilty from doing such a thing and thought that it probably wasn’t a good idea to tell everyone about it so they kind of agreed to never speak of it again. Of course, humans being how they are, the story still got told to others, especially to outsiders to scare them, this town never really liked people after all. That would explain why more people here knew about the story than where I lived. Something still tickled me, the oldest in here said that they have witnessed snow in their young ages, that would mean that the tales isn’t that old, I could probably said without a doubt that still a few people in my old town knew about this story, she, for one, knew it. He told to me that this story was quite shameful for the people of the town, they probably didn’t want to talk too much about it, even less to their children.

He was right, and that made me remember how much I already miss that town. I didn’t know a lot of people back then, well not as much as I do now here, everybody’s so nice to each other and I feel like everyone wants to help me on my quest but there are things that I just cannot replace. I haven’t seen my parents since the last time I closed violently the door behind me on that day, almost two years ago and I missed them, I wondered how they felt about me. I want to go back there, I want to show them how much I have changed in such a short time, I want them to see my child so they can finally know that they are grandparents. I also want to go back on that hill to watch the beautiful starry sky at least once again, there are too many memories left behind to just abandon them right away, I kind of also want to know more about that Palsie person but from the people of my town. Waking up from my daydream, I realized that I don’t even have to courage to go back there yet, there is a wound in my heart still opened and I still have some business to do here anyway, I can’t just abandon the house where I lived with the one I loved like this, the place where she died and where our daughter was born. That was a strange dilemma, like if I couldn’t come back if I left this town. The road I had to walk was pretty long I must admit but that wasn’t really a factor, it could have been if I planned to go there more often but I was only planning to go back once for now.

The old man asked me if there was anything else I wanted to know, I almost told him when I thought I’d ask him about the girl who died in her sleep. I told him the story and for the first time since I first him, I saw some kind of surprised expression on his face. He was really curious how I heard about this, and I was really curious why he was so curious about this. He told me that it was actually something that happened about thirty or forty years ago but in a distant city. Back then he was corresponding with another archivist from an oversea town and he once told him this story that happened in a family next to his. It wasn’t exactly the same story though, it was an unexplained death to everyone but they found the stories she wrote about her dreams so they probably concluded that since she was paralyzed and bored to death, she might just have committed suicide. That was quite intriguing since there is no way she could have known this story, nor invented it and yet she knew the real reason why the girl died.

After exchanging a few words of mutual respect, I left his house with my head full of new theories. Could it be that she had another power than the prophet one, she could have been able to see thing from other places in the world. That would have been awesome but it was also quite unlikely since those stories happened in the past, she wasn’t even born when they happened and I refuse to believe that she had lived more than one hundred years even if everything that I now accepted as a fact was really out of this world, that wasn’t something I could even ponder at, she had that child’s heart after all. I’m still unsure about the limits of the mind or the spiritual realm but I know the physical limits of the humans. Then something made so much sense that I felt stupid not to have thought about it before, well it didn’t really make any sense at all but that’s my way of saying it. What if the spirit of those girls were all the same? What if it has been reincarnated at every generation in a different girl, ending up living in her. I know that it would be breaking the first rule of reincarnation who says that memories are erased when you die but I think that it’s not that right.

I feel that memory gets erased but there are some moments you just can’t forget about no matter how hard you try. I know that sounds crazy but every story she told me about were the peaks of those girls’ lives. That theory somehow pleased me, it would explain why she knew all those stories when she thought she made them up and why she suddenly chose to come to that house where the girl lived before, she somewhat felt security between those old walls. I must say that now that I think back about it, it also happened to me quite a few times, you know when you live something and think to yourself that you did that before even if you haven’t, that’s what some people call ‘déjà-vus’. I heard the theory once that it might be memories from another life you lived but back then I thought this was merely an interesting myth, I didn’t really bother about it. I must say though that now, it is of the utmost interest to me, it might as well be the answer to so many questions I had before.

I was satisfied with this conclusion. Even if it seemed pretty unlikely and coming directly from a tale where you would also see dragons and honest people, I believed strongly in it, I thought that it was quite a beautiful story and a sad one too, that’s probably the kind of story I wanted to tell people about. I don’t care if they don’t believe it, I know that most people are able to enjoy a story even if it isn’t true. I for one, liked every story she told me even if I thought at the beginning that they were inventions so why shouldn’t I believe in this one? I thought for a moment that it might have been why she said “Now it’s your time to tell me a story”, she might have seen that I started to suspect something and knowing me I would do everything to know more about it and discover the truth. Even if I didn’t I would probably come up with a crazy theory, but sometimes in a crazy world the fool is the king.

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