Previously: The Legend of Leonard Letterman, Pt 44
Leonard was oblivious to time’s passing and was too tired to care. His head was much too heavy to bother with moving, so he didn’t. His only concern lay in the freedom his mind would have to roam without the focus of animating his limbs. Mercifully, his mind remained still enough to drift off to somewhere resembling dreamland.
Leonard’s dreams were made of the familiar luminescent blue and purple lights from his travels between the ponds, winking at him in their plethora of shades. He drifted through an endless tunnel of the memorable storming hues. Arcs of colored lightning streaked past his weightless form, ruffling tufts of his hair and feeling like a warm breeze.
A sound suspended somewhere between voices and music seeped into the background. Occasionally they blended and became what could have passed for an enchanting song, but the thread would break and the oscillating would begin again; the colors seemed to vibrate and meld in conjunction with them.
Eventually all that was left were the voices whispering, murmuring, chanting, in the palette of his surroundings. The surrealness made him no less eager to catch hold of the words wafting around him like he could tuck them into a bag and take them back to the waking world as long as he managed to gather them.
From across a distance too impossible to fathom, with a certainty too improbable to explain, Leonard recognized his father’s voice and knew this was not entirely a dream. He grasped with frenzied fingers towards the disembodied sounds of Gerard Letterman; it had no beginning or end, nowhere to follow a voice to, and still Leonard wandered through the colors in search of his father.
Leonard tumbled past an amethyst eruption of lights and caught a thin string of distinct words in his father’s recognizable baritone, as deep and encompassing as he remembered:
This will become the end, or the beginning…
Then, he was awake.
Leonard was not aware of when he shifted from the enchanting wonder of the luminescent realm to the muter settings of reality, but he felt the change acutely. He was lying on his back, arm still shading his eyes from the wall-lantern light. He was hesitant to move, unsure of what had pulled him back and wondering if staying immobile would lead him back to the colors, and a certain voice.
But it was not to be. He remained stationary on the bed, silence stretching further all around.
Leonard moved with a sigh, pushing himself into a sitting position and bracing his back against the wall. He blinked groggily as he surveyed the room, subconsciously searching for a clock he knew wasn’t there. He was all the more disoriented, uncertain of how long he’d been dozing, or how long it’d been since the tea; his stomach surprised him by giving an expectant grumble.
He shook his head and repeated the words, this will become the end, or the beginning, their meaning no more clear than when originally uttered. Before too long he was massaging his temples and muttering under his breath, throwing in the occasional curse out of pure frustration and lack of anything resembling progress.
Then there was a knock.
Leonard leapt in surprise and thumped his skull against the wall. He winced as he reached back to rub the newly sore sport; his head was becoming a minefield of tender areas. He chose not to bother with wondering who was on the other side and settled for finding out when he got there.
He rose from the bed on unsteady limbs, momentarily struck by a wave of dizziness from getting up too fast. He stumbled against the wall, gripping it for support and grazing his shoulder against a nearby bookshelf as he regained the ability to stand and see straight.
At last, he was able to step towards the door, sparing a moment of curiosity for the identity of this patient visitor. So far, they had left the steady knock-knock-knock as their only appeal to entry. Leonard was grateful.
He took a deep breath for no particular reason, then pulled the door open.
Osric’s sizeable form filled the entryway, his arms occupied by a tray laden with an assortment of food and what looked to be two large mugs of tea. Leonard took an experimental whiff and was pleased to recognize the same sweet scent from before.
Click here for Part 46!