Pree's letter to Farthing
A moment of hope
My home is a small place, my love. It is two rooms overlooking the Missing Sea, bathed in sunlight and warmed by a gentle breeze. On the seaward side it has a small veranda where I sit, leaning against the posts and dreaming of you.
This island, this Isle of Hope, is so very far away from anywhere, it seems. Sometimes it is like a different world.
You and I grew up in the dusty, busy world of Wead-Wodder and though this place is warmer and drier, it feels clean and fresh and so very quiet. When I ride around, for I have a little horse that I use with a blanket thrown over its back and a rope around its neck, there is no red rock that we were used to, but white and yellow stone peeking up through green bushes and raising up from the forest in the central hills. The dragons tell me that they are called the Gerwill Hills but I have only seen them briefly from the air.
I was surprised as Mr Seddon brought the ship into Dragon Bay on the north coast of the island. I had assumed from description that this would be such a small place but it is bigger than many of the small countries in The Prelates! I first stayed for a couple of days at Dragon Bay with the dragons in the village but I have to confess that I felt a little overwhelmed. They are such a beautiful people our dragon friends, but they are so large compared to me and I found I had sympathy with Mab-Tok and his fear of being trodden on in the Neauth at Taken. One of the dragons was living in a small village near Ten Bay in the south and she told me of this small fisherman's hut a couple of leagues from her home. She and her friend helped me move here and it was such a beautiful choice.
I know I should be with others, but while I am torn away from the war, from my place by your side, it is almost easier to pretend I am living a completely different life; otherwise my heart would be breaking daily.
The dragons found me a patient little horse and supplied me with plenty of rugs and silks for my bedding. I have used a packing case from the boat as a table and small box as a chair and I have candles, paper, my few clothes and plenty of the Jipperson's beer that Seddon left for me. I am able to ride into the village every few days and buy food, though the dear dragons seem little interested in my coin, but just happy to see me.
I wake in the morning and the first thing I do is to call out hello to you. I pretend you are out on the rocks that lead down to the ocean, fishing for our breakfast while I sort out our few belongings. We need so little at this tiny place, you and I. The ocean is full of fish, the rock pools dance with baby crabs and other little creatures that fight around my bare toes. The sun is warm each and everyday and the dragons say that it remains so all year round, even in the storm season. The cottage is really just a storage hut, probably left by a whaler many years ago. It did not rain while I was there but if it had I think I may have had an emergency with the roof! I shall make a note that it will need looking at in the future.
The front veranda is sheltered and bleached by the winds that can blow up a little. Behind the cottage is rough but grassy scrub that would be perfect for small goats or some such. Perhaps we could play at being Mistry and make cheese here. With that, the fish and the local dragon village, we would need for nothing more my darling man.
Inside I have hung my few things, some clothing and some beads the dragons gave me on little hooks and my lamp sits on the makeshift table. I have left them there with my dragon rugs and silks so that I have a good reason to return. I have to admit that I do not have great hopes of their survival if the storms blow in the door and damage the roof as I suspect they have done so before, but perhaps if we can persuade Tekkinmod and Henry to run off home quickly, it will be fine.
My dearest, dearest friend, my lover, my confidant and my very breath. This is the happiest place in the world, but I am aching to have you there with me. I was born in a palace and even as a child, though spoilt by the excesses of my terrible father, I never felt it was my true home. Since then we have travelled and found moments together in quiet places, but a home we have yet to find. At last, in this old world on a quiet island I have found a small corner that I can truly call my Own Small Home. Please, let life be kind to me so that perhaps one day it will be ours together. Pree.”