As I have occasionally remarked before, there are times when I feel I am alone on this strange island. I know this is not true, but tonight, the only people I could see were Gwyn, whose conversation is currently limited to the word “run”, and the palace guards, who aren’t exactly famed for their loquaciousness. Aside from them, I could see no signs of life or light in the palace. The courtyard, tavern, bookshop and so forth were equally deserted. Sitting alone in the tavern, I was minded of Conan Doyle’s tale of the Marie Celeste. What was the story called now? It was presented in the form of a witness statement, I recall; “J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement” or something much like that. It is certain that much about this place is a mystery equal to that of the ghost ship though I don’t know if an island can be said to be adrift, save in the rather peculiar sense that we seem to be detached from the tethers of time. In common with Doyle’s version, the lifeboat is still with us, in the form of the ship that is always at the dock. Unlike that ghostly ship, however, all the alcohol is accounted for. This much I know, for I have accounted for it, twice. Such was the level of my boredom tonight, with no customers or colleagues to relieve the silence.
Neither could I find much occupation in my writing. For some reason, I seem to be becalmed when it comes to Edmund’s journeys. I have become caught up in telling the tale of his first day on Serendipity Island, and lost sight of the longer term aim. I should revisit my notes concerning the society of the island, work out what I want to contrast with the mores of Edmund’s, and my, time. Perhaps it might help to visit the bookshop, or gain permission to visit the palace library, and see if I can’t find some of the works that inspired Mother, such as that of Mary Wollstonecraft, or those of William Morris.
It does not help that I am distracted by thoughts of other projects, yet, at the same time, plagued by doubts. I would speculate upon the future, but how can I? Lalla and Gwyn have already seen my future, and if Brigitte really did go the long way round, so to speak, she has already seen their future. How can I create some fantasy of my future, when there are people who already know it and would tell me I was wrong? Similarly, I would write other fantasies, such as I knew as a child, but how can I write fantasies on the affairs of the fae, or werewolves or dragons, when I speak with such creatures, serve drinks to them, on a daily basis? They say that you should write what you know, but do I know enough? Well, perhaps I do, to some extent. I read to the comatose Gwyn from my journal, reasoning that to her, Victorian vampires were a popular fad. Now there is an area I could explore. Of course, no doubt the likes of Cristof and Brigitte would tell me I had it wrong, but should I ever return to that which I naively thought of as the real world, who else would know? Who indeed?