by Jay Lake
My dearest Imago —
It has not failed to come to our attention even here in these benighted South Coast precincts at the shore of the reeking sea that you have been making something of a name for yourself at home in the City Imperishable. Mater has begged me to write you as sib to sib, and entreat you to speak to us of your motives, methods, and — to use her unfortunate turn of phrase — "particular and present madness" in this course of action upon which you have embarked.
Belisare the dwarf, who has secret ways and means of gathering information (and if he is reading these lines now will live to regret his actions, I assure him) has advised both Mater and me that the odds against you in the Cork Street betting parlors have risen to over forty to one. Contrary to his counsel, I have wagered a small sum on your success, for after all, you are my brother, and blood will tell. However, Belisare also advises me that you were read out in the Assizes Court this past Reckoning Wednesday and there are even now writs against you traveling via the post coaches to such distant outposts as this squalid nesting ground to which circumstances have forced us. Were you to consider seeking shelter or succor here, I would regretfully suggest that you consider another plan entirely, for Mater has waxed excessively wrothful in light of the allegations of the writs against you, which therefore also sully our family name.
We are an ancient and honorable line, serving the City and its people since long before the Blading of the Throne. Should you succeed in your ambitions, it might be the case that we will all be bathed in glory. In that happy event I will personally journey into one of our delightfully foetid coastal swamps and cut your palm frond and bring it home for the procession triumphal. However, should your current trajectory of failure continue to its logical, and perhaps inevitable, conclusion, I am afraid you must consider yourself disowned, read out of the family, and removed from the Peerage. I say this not on my own admittedly non-existent authority, but at Mater's
Nonetheless I wish you well. Not since the legendary time of Margolin the Cooper has anyone acceded to the Lord Mayor's office through the trial of flowers. If you are able to bring this coup to blossom, you will indeed shine in the pantheon of heroes both Civic and familial. Meantimes, I have set bravos to guard the posthouse and the bridge over the River Eeljaw with strictest orders to turn you back with all due prejudice.
I pray this letter finds you well. Or perhaps I pray this letter finds you at all. For the time being I remain your humble brother,
© 2008, Joseph E. Lake Jr.
Imago of Lockwood is the hero of Trial of Flowers [ Powell's | Amazon ]
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