The First Door

I watched from the doorway of my father’s study as he hunched forward over his desk with his hands between his knees. The linkpen stood tip-down on a blank page and scribbled as if guided by a ghost. Father stared at the words and I craned my neck, trying to read, terrified of any sound I might make—afraid Governess Mayna might catch me, or Michael might wake and scold me for snooping—but I couldn’t make out the letters. The room was too dim and Father’s bulk cut off my view.

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