(Exclusive piece written by Sarah Porter)

Oh, Erg,

I’ve been home for a few weeks now, and I’ve thought about your letter a lot. I had to try to write you back, even though I thought at first that there was no way you could ever read anything again, so what would be the point? But then I realized that you can still read it, because you’re with me, looking out of my eyes. Thinking of it like that makes me feel like less of an idiot when I talk to your little wooden body, which I still do whenever I’m alone, even now that you’re not in it, even now that it’s really just a doll. I can’t stop myself, but I can hear you in my head making fun of me for doing it. Like, Jeez, that’s just wood, Vassa! Can’t you tell I’m in here? Hell-O!

Should I tell you how much has changed in the past month, even though you must know, in a way? That I’m working as an assistant investigator for Picnic and Pangolin, and learning the most amazing things about magic law, and magic crimes, so that I’m starting to think I’d like to just keep working for them forever, and seeing how deep it all goes? Pangolin just said something like, “First sleep, then dreams, and next the netherworlds. Yes, indeed. I believe you may get there, Miss Lowenstein. With the most assiduous practice, of course.” How am I supposed to resist a temptation like that?

I’m also seeing a lot of Tomin. Believe me, I hear enough about it from Chelsea and Stephanie already, so I’d appreciate it if you would rein in your impulse to comment.

Oh, you were totally right about Chelsea and Miguel falling madly in love!

See, Erg, I still remember everything I learned from you, like for instance how to change the subject.
Tomin wants to start going to animal shelters, just in case we can find my dad. I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet.
But really, Erg, none of this is what I really need to tell you. The tricky part is that, the more I feel like I need to say something to you, the more completely you’ve known it all along.

You’re right that I love you, Erg. Forever.


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