The Freehold of the Shaded Wing
Jacob's Journal - January 30
I’m alright. That’s the important thing. I made it, so to speak. Even if I am covered in scrapes and bruises, dressed in hand-me-down clothes and writing on a scrap of paper I found: I survived.
I don’t know where to start. I look at myself, and I don’t understand. This pale, damp skin isn’t mine. This greasy, seaweed hair. This stale breeze about me. Even these scratches from the Hedge don’t look like my scratches.
I wish I could get the hideous discovery I made out of my mind. After the most arduous task I’ve ever faced, all I can think of is going back. The more I try to remember my life before being captured, the more I remember Arcadia and the Hedge.
There seem to be friends here, at least. Friends that are now sworn to protect me. Frost and Barrim were the ones who came back with me, with Sugar Molly. There’s a lot I don’t understand about everything, but at least there are some people who seem to feel the same way. Sugar Molly and Bailey are endlessly helpful, too. Even though Sugar got me more “relaxed” than I’m used to (I figure the return from hell was enough of a reason to smoke for the first time). I just need to be sure not to promise more than I can repay in return, like Frost might have. Then there’s the Autumn Court. Can I trust this new kinship? Isaac and Earl seem nice enough, but I don’t know their motives. My own reasons for joining—learning about magic, finding out more about the Hedge—are sinister enough. I wonder what draws these two to the court as well. I don’t have a good feeling about their intentions. And then there’s Mr. Hoyle. He’s intimidating, for sure, but he seems to have taken an interest in me. I regret mentioning going back into the Hedge, because it seems to have stuck with him. Now that he’s so determined, I wish I had never mentioned it. But I can’t chicken out of it now.
Why am I not preoccupied with my family and my fetch? I don’t understand it. Barrim, Tracy, Sparrow… they all have so much emotion and anger. I can barely relate to it. At first I thought being in Arcadia made everyone less empathetic, but now I’m starting to think it’s something more unique. Sure, I want to know about my family, but I know I can’t go back. I forget too much about them. I’ve lost whatever bond we had. I can barely remember the tiniest sentimental experience. Meanwhile, sadness and rage are filling everyone around me. I’m worried that my lack of emotion will start to become more apparent and cause suspicion. I have to keep looking at the bright side—which I admit is hard to find since my return—and if I’m not worked up about my own fetch I can help others deal with theirs.
Besides the rush of new experiences today, I managed to get something done. I… remembered something. I saw a busker down the street on the way into the Hot Box Cafe. He was playing a violin. Just like I used to. It took me until tonight to realize it, and now that I have I can’t imagine how I forgot. It’s suddenly all there. I would practice for 5 hours a day sometimes. Maybe if I can get my hands on a violin somehow, I can start to rediscover some of my absent emotions. At least it gives me a goal of some sort: if I can get a job, I can save up and buy a new instrument, and hopefully have something to keep me sane over these coming months.