City Lights at Night

To: Vincent DelRay, c/o King Lear, Freehold of Milwaukee

To be delivered pending death of sender

Inside of an envelope addressed to Lear, a letter and another sealed envelope.

To: King Lear, Monarch of the Winter Court, Freehold of Milwaukee

I have never met you, and I’ll be awful sorry if I never get the chance— but the way things are goin’ at the moment, that’s a distinct possibility. As of tonight, your Ambassador to the Freehold of Las Vegas is headed to Texarkana along with me and my brothers, to undertake somethin’ terribly risky— an attempt to overthrow Las Vegas’ Monarch of Spring, who resides in the Tower of Hubris. She’s been locked away an awful long time, and en’t fit to rule I suppose. But in order to do that we have to retrieve somethin’ from Texarkana.

I’m sure you know that it’s a city where the Lost go in and don’t come back out— I don’t know if you know the reason, but that doesn’t matter so much. Anyway, in the event that I don’t come back, Mr. Saul Jackson is supposed to send this to you. Enclosed is a letter— if Mr. DelRay makes it back to Milwaukee and this letter’s been sent to you, could you please give it to him?

Many thanks, and here’s to hopin’ this doesn’t reach you (for my sake, among others),
Wren Swift

The sealed envelope

Dirge,

You know I’m not religious, but Lord Almighty, I hope you don’t have to read this.
When I got back from my time in Arcadia, there wasn’t much more to me than a scared little bird lookin’ for somewhere to land. Funny ’nough, the first of the Lost that I met in Vegas was you. You dragged me ’fore Ms. Silver (feels like ages since she was on the throne, now) and hauled me over to the Barnswallow. That day, you saw me at my worst—scared out of my wits and about to fall to pieces.

What I wanted after that was to feel normal. To have a job, and a place to live, and family. I found all three of those, but there was somethin’ else missin’ yet. Then there was Yule, and what started as Ms. Silver wantin’ me to ask you somethin’ wound up with me wantin’ to ask you a whole lot more somethin’s, and well… here we are. I’ve heard about the places you’ve been and the things you’ve done, and some of ‘em carry more weight than others but the most important thing is where you are now, where you have been since I got to Vegas— here. Here’s home, darlin’, the thing I was missin’ even though I had family and somewhere to live. You told me once that home’s where you hang your hat, and that en’t strictly true. You ought to know by now that home en’t where you hang your hat, it’s where your heart is.

You’ve seen me at my worst, and since then you’ve seen me at my best and all the in-betweens. There’s been trouble with ‘squitos, pelts, helsings, even a wonderworker and a demon— there’s been secrets, and not-so-secrets, and very un-secrets, and really-ought-to-be-secrets— I have learned to shoot, learned that hobs can have a king, and learned that the past doesn’t stay buried (because the Lost go gravediggin’ once in a while). You’ve been there for me through all of it, and I thank you for that. I’ve sworn on my life to stand with my brothers to try and overthrow Galt, and you’ve sworn to come with us. No tellin’ where that will end up, but it’s been one hell of a road, en’t it? If all goes well we’ll be hittin’ a different road soon, the one leads out of Vegas and off somewhere neither of us has seen yet. But just in case, I wanted to let you know how grateful I am.

Thank you for bringin’ me home.
All my love,
Wren

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