Ink blots ruined the perfection of the swirling, artsy penmanship on the parchment. Her hands shook as she glossed over the contents of the letter, eyes glistening and lips quivering.

"Dear Mad--"

The largest dried pool of ink cut off a large portion of her name. The readable part fit the circumstances, as she had been rather mad at the time, so perhaps it was done that way on purpose.

She laughed, a bitter taste encircling her tongue. "What a fool, I am," she thought.

Remembering the cruel words that leapt from her own lips not too long ago, she cursed and drowned her memories in thoughts of regret.

Gone.

The house was quieter and emptier than it had been in many years. It felt cold and distant.

She was alone, physically. Mentally... she felt...

Lost.

Madeline felt completely lost.