Winter in Hieron 08: The Meeting House

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Do I yet write to an empty room? An empty desk? An empty page? Or do you remain, too busy with your work to respond? Or, perhaps I can lure your eyes from your sense of duty, as I learned to do years ago.

Let me try, at least, with another story from my childhood.

As you know, the Grand Tour makes endless, circuitous route across the east with no regard for what is below it. Water, earth, air, blood--it strides over each with little regard, so determined it is in the necessity of its pace.

The first time I saw it appear on the horizon, I pulled on the prelate's sleeve and found only the sort of questions children ask. "Is that a new sort of sea?" It sounded like thunder or a flood; a braying beast for each speck of dust kicked up, a speck for every moment of every life expired in the history of Hieron.

The prelate yanked me back by the wrist--perhaps he was worried I would fall in--and he shouted to the others to pack their things. "No, my son," he told me. "That is the oldest sea there is."

Had you heard that one already, Arrell? Do I bore you? Yes, I know my effort to keep your eye is narcissism. Yes, I know that you'd tell me (if you weren't so busy) that I risk admonishment. Have you not considered that my misbehavior has always been by design?

Ah. The sorts of questions children ask. But I will not throw this letter away. You are not yet gone, I know that much, they've told me. So let us at least carry on correspondence until you truly leave. I dare not wait for you, but will anticipate your response, nevertheless.

Yours Faithfully,

Alyosha

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