(A note from Atticus: We are partnering with Jillian Venters of Gothic Charm School [also: Tumblr] to publish the journeys and adventures of her network. Mrs. Venters, being a preeminent member of they fey community, has a deeper reach than nearly anyone else alive, dead,or other. It brings me great pleasure to kick off this series today.)
Excerpt from the diary of Elsie Swinthope, self-described scholar of the paranormal and unknowable mysteries
It is not well known, but the favorite fruit of departed spirits is not, as commonly assumed in Spiritualists circles, to be pomegranates. The logic behind the assumption is impeccable, as it harkens back to the myth of Persephone and Hades, lord of the dead, the glistening red seeds evoking the vital droplets of blood that tie all people together, high and lowborn. But no, departed spirits disdain such obvious imagery as mere trumpery.
[Archivist’s note: The next paragraph in the original diary is mostly illegible, with sentences heavily marked over and scratched out with brown and purple inks, while the rest of the diary is written in, presumably, black ink, which has faded over the years. The remaining words that were in a readable condition have been transcribed as follows.]
After several [illegible] attempts at [large blotches of ink, some ink splatters and possible water damage] dumb supper using Aunt Merricat’s favorite[illegible] . I had intended to write down my observations directly after[lengthy illegible section] . I must remember [section marked out so vigorously that paper was damaged] not the universal panacea as supposed.
Departed spirits are overwhelmingly fond of blackberries. The dark luster of the berries recalls the fathomless eyes of ravens and bees, their roles as psychopomps well-known to all learned folk. The succulent fruit wavers between sharply tart and crushingly sweet, reflecting the varied moods of life itself. But yet, I have been told by the spirits I have communed with, the strongest call of blackberries for them is that the vines can envelope and transform everything to a maze to trap the unwary, a tangle of thorns to scratch a grasping hand, to snag those striving after those inky, succulent orbs. For all sweetness comes at a price, and the those who have passed beyond the veil, no matter how good their souls or how kind their hearts, still delight in knowing that mortal flesh can be torn and scarred.