Élucide: part four
Below the greeting, each paragraph was over-indicated with a pilcrow:
¶I hope ________.
¶May the Temperance Fellows count on the honor of your presence at our annual Autumn Bazaar, to be held on the ________ day of ________?
¶Tickets are to be collected at the door; and may be purchased in the amounts of:
Party of ()___
Children under age 16 admitted free.
¶A further contribution of ________, if you are able to assist our very worthy cause, will be most appreciated.
With Sincerest Gratitude, Yr. Obedient Servant, ________
“Well…start with Mrs. Carpenter.”
Mrs. Horace stretched her arm towards the window. The paper in her hand caught light, the names growing legible. Élucide penned in “Mrs. Carpenter,” and sat back.
“Let me think.. I hope this letter finds you well, will do for Mrs. Carpenter.” She laid the paper down, crossed off Mrs. Carpenter…then tsked. “Oh, but Sarah’s the one gets that airysisipus flaring up in the summertime. That’s a question…”
Élucide had written the words already. She listened to her godmother debate Mrs. Carpenter’s feelings.
“Comma. And that this hot weather has not been too trying for you.”
Working start-stop fashion, memory needing to be sieved for those personal tidbits represented by the template’s blank opener, Élucide had helped her godmother write three letters before the Horaces’ early bedtime. She had dozed under a stuffy comforter, in a room once hers and Ranilde’s, woken in darkness, without even the chime of a clock to tell the time. She had overlooked the possibility of missing Ebrach. Mother hadn’t told when he meant to leave, and might not herself know…Ebrach’s plans seemed to depend on Jerome’s.
This morning she felt she’d waited out the night’s remains without a wink.
(2017, Stephanie Foster)