April 2nd, 1906
Winter in Mooringen had been set into its inhabitants bones so as if you were to take it out of them they’d drop dead on the spot. I’d come early, waiting for the river to thaw out and the water lens to form the green carpeting over the water. Now that spring was somewhat here, they still lumbered round in their big coats and even bigger boots, thundering the defrosting ground beneath them under each leather-laden step. It was a bit odd, though, now that the world was beginning to come alive around them, they seemed nearly vexed with it.
I couldn’t really consider it “wintering” here, more like I’d left Canonbury and willed myself away to Germany and in a week passed into the tired little hamlet as if I’d been here my whole life. Father never really gave me official consent to leave, but he and his blood money seemed truly amorous the day before I went, and so I never said a thing.
The Lahn River is quiet in these frigid days of spring. The chunks of ice flow down in dismal heaps, and I’m told in the summer - it rushes and pounds like a charging animal. But now, it is calm and almost lazy - and I thank it for such consideration because now I can observe.
What microorganisms can be observed so early is astounding, creatures with Armadillididae-semblances float by (or is it crawl? they have too many legs to classify such a thing as merely floating). The fish are not yet full-size, but whenever I’m to stick a bare finger into the waters, they frenzy around it - not biting, simply surrounding. Curious as I am, and silver as a coin.
Myra, my hostess, gracious and nice of face - claims she worries that I am to captivated by the water, and I only laugh - saying that those with unconventional and odd beauty are those that hold a vice grip on the hearts of men.
So I go on, writing and talking and being a fool.
April 5th, 1906
I have not yet received a telegram from Father.
I wasn’t expecting one, but it i suppose I miss his unnerving cordiality when in the face of blatant disrespect. I try not to mind myself too much with thoughts of him - though I must give him credit for his paying for my University, no matter how much more insufferable he’s been since then. Marine Biology, he said, Stuff and nonsense, there’s fish and there’s water, that all you need to know.
Well, yes there was fish and water, it was hard to find one without the other in such a setting, but if I could - publish these works, find something interesting in the sleepy little river, I’d leave him and his blood money and Canonbury. Probably even settle in Madrid, though even in this time of year its’ scorching.
The last time I found myself in his study was the day before my graduation last spring. It wasn’t the first time I realized how many books he’d kept in there, but it was the first time I thought that maybe he’d never read a single one of them and I always ended up choking with laughter.
My observations have been steady, pods upon pods of new fish - some simply passing through and some larger ones out hunting. The wildlife isn’t awfully diverse, in fact - it seems as if all the animals are familiar with one another. They’ve known each other for so many years that if half a pod of fish is to be gobbled up by a larger one, the remaining smaller ones don’t even bat an eye. It’s like knowing of a particularly odd family’s antics for so long that they stop becoming antics, and more so just who are they are.
Nature has an odd way of repeating itself on different faces, but it makes for good comparison.
The days get longer, but Myna continues to worry me, stating that when she is to leave for her cousin’s wedding in a couple of weeks, who will there be to dote on me and make sure I remember to eat? I tell her she is too kind, and if she is to have future children, they will be the most spoiled moppets this side of the Channel.
She laughs and laughs and her eyes crinkle, and yes - she would definitely make a good mother.
April 11th, 1906
I haven’t been to the River in days.
There was a massive bout of sleet the day following my last writing, and it stubbornly continued for nearly two days. I returned to the river the day after the storm, to check and make sure that any of the families of fish or frog or little water beetles hadn’t perished amidst the brutish storm. The Lahn was covered in a thin, transparent sheet of ice that broke apart once touched and I made myself a decent sized hole in it to watch the chilly water.
There were few floating ‘creatures’ which were only dead leaves upon further inspection, no tadpoles, no large pods of fish - nothing.
Then there was a mass of black that darted by, greater than all the creatures I’d seen in the river before.
I jumped back, refusing to let out a scream because Dear Lord, what was that? It swam quickly, as the water parted for it, leaving a trail of melted ice in it’s wake as it rounded a corner and turned back towards the opposite bank.
I tried to convince myself it was simply a fish, but the way it moved was odd, quick, yes - but somehow odd in comparison to that of the other creatures.
There was silence from the opposite bank, and I squinted to get a better look.
A tiny splash, and more ripples, it was turning around again, swimming faster than the first time. I eased away from bank, watching as quick ripples and tiny splashes began to form in its wake until it was next to my side of the bank, but several yards away from me.
The quiet was shattered as there was a great tumult under the water, splashing and the hint of a tail just barely surfacing before darting back down.
Then the spot went from pale blue to vibrant vermillion and the struggle stopped.
So, I ran, how typically human.
Now going back to said River brings me both intrigue and unrelenting anxiety as to what the hell I saw.