Author: Who Is This Girl Anyway PM
This is basically just something to keep my brain going before uni starts, but any opinions are appreciated. Set in England, 1897. Some supernatural themes later on are a possibility.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 6 - Words: 4,713 - Reviews: 34 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 07-26-12 - Published: 06-25-12 - id: 3035714
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Letter from Robert Cole to Helen Cole. Received 12th October, 1897.
My dear daughter,
I promised that I would write to you, didn't I, treasure? My train left later than expected and set off at 10.02 rather than 9.35, so I arrived at 45 Shelley Street at about noon. In fact when Joseph greeted me at the door, he still had a napkin tucked into his collar! (Fortunately I joined them just in time to have desert, which was cherry pie.)
Joseph seemed pleased to see me, albeit a little weary. We talked for about three hours over what must have been at least a gallon of sweet, milky coffee. I told Joseph about the surgery and my patients; he told me about his colleagues at the police station. After a small glass of brandy, he told me more about his John's illness.
For the most part, the boy's symptoms are fairly commonplace; loss of appetite, fatigue, occasional night sweats, weight loss, etc. However, a few things Joseph mentioned struck me as strange. The boy complains of a burning sensation despite being cold to the touch. He lays completely still for hours on end and his flesh begins to stiffen in a way that mimics rigor mortis. He sobs and talks in his sleep- nothing coherent. Curious, I asked if I could examine him in case, by some strange chance,
John's illness is unlike anything I've seen before. When I went upstairs to John's bedroom he was very pale and in the middle of a coughing fit, which led me to consider tuberculosis. However, when I held out my handkerchief to him, he was coughing up an thick, black substance inconsistent with. There are no bumps to suggest smallpox or variolois, and he does not appear to be suffering from diphtheria. The only thing I noticed in my examination was a small lesion on the palm of his right hand, which- though I am almost certain I imagined it- appeared to be moving of its own accord, but to mine and Joseph's disappointment I was unable to arrive at a diagnosis. The only thing I can say with any degree of accuracy is that, whatever this illness might be, it is probably not contagious.
That's about everything for now. Write back soon, treasure, and let me know how you are. And how is Mrs. Cross treating you? If you get any trouble from her, simply send me a telegram and and I shall have a word with her.
P.S. The servants' wages are due on the 15th October. Mrs. Cross ought to get seven shillings and Bridget should be getting three shillings.
P.P.S. I found this locket in a jewelry shop I passed on my way from the station. If you dislike it in any way, send it back to me and I shall exchange it for something else.