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3 [Year 502 Winter]








Tennesee Walker


16.1 hh







Last Visit:

02-25-2021, 07:17 AM


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To my Dearest Lady Pritha,

I am writing you to inform of Lady Edelgloss’s imminent return home. While my love for you, cousin, is great and unyielding, I can no longer abide the strangeness or curt tongue of your youngest. She oscillates wildly between being disrespectfully silent and an inability to hold her opinions.

When I first saw her, I must admit, I expected more from her. She is beautiful and petite, with the lovely earthen tone skin of our family, perfect and unmarred. She even bears grandmother’s beautiful white face and blue eyes. She is of a size with my girls and so I expected them to get along wonderfully-- but it was not to be. Within moments of arrival, Edelgloss had insulted them countless times, and turned them off from being even the barest of acquaintances. Not such a good show, cousin!

For the first week, I implored her to grow her hair out longer, in a ladylike fashion, but it seemed each time we let it grow an inch she would hack it off. I don’t even know where she procured an object sharp enough, but sure enough, she butchered her mane and tail and made it look like she was half bird!

It’s been on two months now and I must say I cannot bear it any longer. At times she frightens me, cousin. There is no doubt she is brilliant, I will not argue that. But her mind… it goes to odd places. I place no blame on you for this, of course, for your elder daughters were wards of mine as well, before they married, and they were both good girls. I must venture a guess that it was your… advanced age when this one was born that made her so… unorthodox.

In any case, I wish you the best of luck, and hope to see you at the next Court function!

With love, your cousin,


Nessius Aldercott, Doctor of Psychology
236 Summerburst Street
Dawn Court, Delumine
Spring, Year 506

PATIENT’S NAME: Lady Edelgloss Weiss
AGE: 3 years
BIRTHDATE: Winter, Year 503
REFERRING SPECIALIST: Dr. Timia Kerou, General Practitioner


I am now overseeing the care of one LADY EDELGLOSS WEISS, the youngest daughter of LORD EVERON WEISS and his wife LADY PRITHA. The Weiss family is well known in Delumine for their studies in botany and medicine, with Lady Pritha being a skilled surgeon, and Lord Everon’s expertise coming in pharmaceuticals.

Lady Edelgloss was referred to me by the family’s primary care physician for strangeness of mind and uncontrollable mood swings. Indeed, it seems the young lady can go from tight-lipped and silent to an explosive, berating anger in moments. In an attempt to culture the lady, her parents sent her off to be a ward of their cousin, Lady Angelica Disglair. Lady Edelgloss was promptly sent back for “disrespectful behavior, and an overall uncooperative nature.”

In my talks with Lady Edelgloss I find her to be extremely intelligent and, like many other ladies of noble stature, under an immense amount of pressure, socially and psychologically. Lady Edelgloss is fully expected to follow in the footsteps of her older siblings, Lady Dimetria and Lady Sazurain, both of whom are interred at the local college and pursuing degrees in medicine. They are both married to noble lords who, according to Edelgloss, “ nothing but cheat and steal their time.”

Contrary to what the referring physician had suggested (to quote Dr. Kerou, “the lady is abrasive, unpleasant, and prone to foul demeanor”) I find my talks with Lady Edelgloss to be quite gratifying. She displays an uncanny ability to grasp concepts with little explanation, even in difficult subjects such as math and foreign languages. She displays the personality traits of an autodidact, in the sense that she sets a fast-paced and self-selected rhythm for her studies. This, I believe, is her main problem: she spends a great deal of her life being unchallenged, until as such time as she finds a mental obstacle, at which point she slows down and hyperfocuses on the issue at hand until she masters it. Therefore, I do not believe her issues to be that of “psychological imbalances” (to quote again the good Dr. Kerou) or even a strangeness of mind, but, in fact, normal mental facets of a person with higher intelligence.

Simply put, this one was born with a spine and, instead of being willing to submit to what lot in life she is handed and succeed at the path laid out for her, she wishes to make her own path. In a family of normal birth, perhaps not altogether an oddity… but for someone of such familial stature, an unheard-of abomination.

She speaks with brevity, and what she lacks in eloquence she makes up for in sensibility. Short, to the point, caustic in its honesty. She does not conform to normal social graces (despite, she claims, her aunt’s attempts to beat them into her. To quote: “She didn’t actually beat me, but she was really annoying about it, and that’s kind of the same thing”) and has a difficult time making friends in the societal spaces she is expected to inhabit. While not overly prone to humor, I have been able to elicit a smile or two from her, usually at the expense of some close family, about whom we are trading less-than-stellar remarks.

Despite her cold outer exterior, Edelgloss does not display sociopathic tendencies, an innate thirst for cruelty, or a penchant for mischief-making.

She is, im summary, too smart for her own good.


- Enrollment in a school of higher learning to facilitate challenges to keep her mind busy.
- Distance from the immediate and extended family.
- Encouraging travel and exploration of the natural world.


The front pages of the journal are crumpled loose paper with a hole poked through one corner and tied together with knotted string. They are shoved inside the front cover and yellowing with age.

First PageMiss Nouelle looked at me funny when I asked for something to write on, like I shouldn’t know how to do that. Like she looked all confused until she came to an answer which was I probably meant something to draw on and just got the verbages mixed up. I don’t know why it surprises everyone that I can write. It’s easy. Letters are shapes, they make sounds, they go together. There are hard words that I have to stop and think about but not too many. Definitely. De. Finite. Ly. Beautiful. Beau (like a lad that’s going to marry my sister) and then… tiful, I guess. That one’s easier.

Second Page Today Miss Nouelle told the nursemaid to tell the seneschal to tell my mother’s assistant to tell my mother that I can write, and well. Miss Nouelle said my legibility could use some work. I said she can read it, right. She said yes. I said then it’s fine. She sat me in the corner for a while. I don’t mind the corner, it lets me have a think, like how I can’t call Miss Nouelle a ‘lady’ because she’s not from a good family, like mine. I mean I can’t call her a lady and have it be good-- I can call her a lady and have it be bad, like, ‘hey! Lady! Come over here!’ I had a sit in the corner for that as well because it was rude.

I also don’t think my family is so ‘good’ either. I never see them and when I do we’re not nice to each other at all. I get that there’s context, but that’s not ‘good’ in any sense of the word.

Third Page When Dimmy was a year old she got sent to stay with Aunt Angelica and become ‘cultured’; and Sazu did the same when she was a little older than a year. I asked Miss Nouelle why I have to go so early and she said it’s because I’m well advanced what she can teach me, what she calls ‘primary’ learning. She says Aunt Angelica will do a better job of teaching me to be a ‘lady’ so I can learn my ‘graces’. I asked why mother can’t teach us and she said because she’s really busy. So from what I can gather the only thing that makes Aunt Angelica a good teacher is she doesn’t have a job. I said that and Miss Nouelle laughed until her face went red and we had a sit in the corner together.

The journal proper is expensive, thick, and heavy, with a golden lock and latch. The handwritin is not much improved.

Fall, 504, entry 1 Aunt Angelica lives in a grand mansion carved out of marble and has more fountains than sense. All of the stewards wear matching uniforms with coattails just long enough to be impressive but not to get dirty. She swept down the six trillion stairs in a blue and red silk dress emblazoned with swallows and a train that remained at the top of the steps even when she was at the bottom. She kissed both my cheeks and swept me into the house before I had enough time to breathe.

Aunt Angelica is related to my mother by means of my grandmother’s sister. Her husband is a shipwright and an architect and he makes lots of money and is never home, which means Aunt Angelica doesn’t need a job and has nothing better to do than stress me out all day. She had maids brush out my hair and put oil in it to make it grow but it just felt greasy and heavy. When I asked if I could wash it out she tut-tutted and said it wasn’t ladylike to have such boyish hair.

Aunt Angela can go to hell. I like my hair.

Fall 504, entry 2 I made my first mistake in thinking that my journal was actually private. This lock doesn’t do shit, even if I’m the only one who has a key. The maids brought me in front of Aunt Angelica today who said my comments about her going to hell really upset her and it “took her hours to calm down.” I said what, I’m not allowed to have opinions. She said I wasn’t allowed to have rude ones. I said well it looks like she thinks any opinion that isn’t hers is a rude one so I can’t really win, can I. She yelled at me and called me an ungrateful wretch and sent me back to my room.

I’m not a baby anymore and I don’t really sit in the corner but that’s essentially what she asked me to do. So I sat on the big fancy bed and ignored the maids and they complained to Aunt Angelica and I got yelled at about that, too. The concept of privacy and my own thoughts is a fallacy. Everyone gets to be privy to my thinking. I’m not alone in my head. It’s a terrifying realization.

Winter 504, entry 4: I got in trouble again because I called my cousins Lillivet and Someria idiots, but it’s the truth. And not because they don’t understand math or photosynthesis, I don’t care about that and I’ll happily teach them, but because they’re vapid and senseless, and they’d rather go sit at the fountain-- the one that looks like a golden fish, and not any of the other ones (there are sixteen)-- and make goo-goo eyes at the boys. And when I go with them I apparently don’t make goo-goo eyes enough because they said Edelgloss, why aren’t you talking to us. And I said I’m not talking because I’m not listening because I don’t care about what you are saying. I’m having a think. And they got this funny look on their faces and said what does that mean, having a think. And I said I’m being alone with my thoughts. And they said that sounds dreadful boring. And I said they wouldn’t know because they’d never had a thought in their lives. Because they’re idiots. And they told on me and now I’m banished to my room and they’ll slide me a tray under my door for supper.

Winter 503, entry 7: I’m on the carriage home. Two nights ago at dinner, I said that maybe if Aunt Angelica had a job she’d have something better to do than following me around criticizing me all day, and she stood up and said “THAT’S IT!” and wrote home to my mom that she was sending me back. And I’m relieved but also I’m not. I don’t know what to feel. Nothing is going to be different at home. I’m tired of everyone thinking there’s something wrong with me just because I don’t wanna grow out my hair and I’m not interested in rich boys. I’m tired of everyone following me around all day and saying everything I do is wrong. And I want to tell someone that but I can’t. I want to cry about it and I can’t. Because I’m never alone and I have no privacy and even when I’m banished to my room and have a think I hear the maids outside the door whispering. And even now I’m in a carriage going home and there’s a family retainer sitting catty-corner to me making eyes at what I’m writing.

I feel so stuck and I don’t know what to do.

Spring 505, entry 12 I told Dr. Terou to go stuff it and now she’s sending me to see some fancy psychologist because she thinks I’m a sociopath that’s going to murder my whole family in their sleep. If only she knew I didn’t care enough about them to exert the energy. I’m just tired of her asking me why I don’t like to do the things they want me to do and not being happy with my answers. I don’t want to be a doctor. I don’t want to be a surgeon. I don’t want to grow plants. I don’t know what I want to do. Why isn’t that okay? I’ll be two in half a year and I’ve got plenty of time.

I’m not trying to knock doctors, my sisters are both very smart, but they’re also very good at doing what they’re told. Dimetria doesn’t think I notice but there are tear stains on her letters because her husband is never home & Sazu’s caught hers cheating on her twice and doesn’t want to do anything about it. Or can’t. Because it will make the family look bad. But the family is already bad. Who gives a shit. Who gives a single shit.

Summer 505, entry 3 I had my second session with Dr. Aldercott and he’s probably the only medical professional I’ve ever met in the whole world who has a brain. He says he doesn’t think I’m crazy and I said I know I’m not crazy but tell that to my family. He said he would. We play chess together. He’s a NICE person. He asked if he could read my journal and I said sure everyone else does and he said does that bother you. I said yes. He didn’t ask why but he did offer me to leave it here and said if I didn’t want him to read it he wouldn’t, but if I did let him, he also wouldn’t tell anyone else what was in it because that’s illegal. Doctor-patient confidentiality. I said I don’t mind, honestly, and said I wasn’t even being sarcastic. But I’m going to leave my journal here now so the maids stop peeking in it and telling the seneschal to tell mother’s assistant to tell mother about what I’m saying.

Fall 505, entry 2 Oriens above, it’s a miracle. Mother called me to have dinner with her. Just her. It was a quaint affair, just the two of us, but it was still at the big table. Me on one side, her on the other. Like it had always been. My whole life is a big long table with mother at one end and me at the other. Father’s there too but, like, not really.

In any case, her first question was if I’d stopped journaling, and I said no. She said she was surprised because she never saw me write anymore and I said she never saw me write, anyway, it was always the maids, or the seneschal, or her assistant. Mother sighed and asked why I’m always argumentative. I asked why she can’t just let me exist. She said she can’t because I need guidance. Guidance to what, I asked. She said to make this family proud.

I said I don’t give a rats ass about making this family proud, mother. I said if she wanted a professional’s opinion, Dr. Aldercott says I’m fine just the way I am. Mother said she didn’t trust Dr. Aldercott’s judgment and said that if I don’t shape up she’ll institutionalize me. I said I’m basically already there. I told her to go to hell. I don’t usually let my feelings get the better of me but I did. I stormed out. I sat in front of Dr. Aldercott’s office and waited until he came in so I could write. But this will probably be the last time I do so because I might have to run away soon. Not to be dramatic. I hate being dramatic. I know it’s a lot of bullshit to be a rich little girl and complain about her life. But I don’t want to be here anymore.

Dr. Aldercott asked if I was suicidal and I said no, but I just don’t, physically, want to be in this space anymore. He said he was just the doctor and his hands were tied. He couldn’t legally facilitate my running away and besides my family was powerful enough my mom could probably have him run out of town. I said that was fine, I didn’t want anyone else to get into trouble because of me. When the retainers show up at the door I’ll go with them. I’m leaving my journal here, though.

The final entry is written in an almost unfamiliar script.

Summer 506, entry 1 I’ve had this forced eloquence berated into me by headmistress Sarine, and try as I might I can’t knock the fancy out of my writing. But I’m free, I’m finally free. I did a whole year at a finishing school for troubled young women and then by the grace of Oriens, chaos erupted. A new sovereign! Everyone with bigger problems than whatever happened to little old me! Sarine may have forced me to hold a pen and practice calligraphy until my eyes felt like bleeding, but she was never a creative headmistress, and, like everyone else in nobility, wanted my writing to be just the same as hers. Forging her signature on the graduation documents was no issue. A stolen seal, a slip of the wax, a letter in the mail, and my mother welcomed me back home with open arms.

I have no intention of staying. I’ve learned to fake it as a survival tactic, and I’m good at it, but it’s not making me happy. Dr. Aldercott says I should travel. He said he was happy to see me back, when he handed me my journal, covered in dust and untouched; I said no you’re not, doc, because I was never here. He winked.

I’ll burn it, probably. I’ve told mother I’m going to stay with Dimmy and observe her practice, how she does medicine. I have no intentions of doing so and I’ll be gone before they even notice I didn’t show--

Smoke begins to lick at the pages, torn from the binding, as Edelgloss camps at a crossroads with a handful of traveling strangers. She shoves the papers into the fire and no one bats an eye at her.

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SATAN SAYS, by Sharon Olds.
Post and Profile bit by Unsplash. original design by @ kumoulogy on dA

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02/24/21 Character app accepted, Dawn Outcast. +20 signos for visual ref. -INKBONE