June 7, 2013
Eeriesoil, New York
My last correspondence with Yvette left me oozing unease. My sister said you were tormented by gifter guilt, which I believe unfounded. Mama, everyone at Camp Cute, Creepy and (quite conveniently) Remote relished in the gifts you sent for our first Hauntingly Mad Tea Party.
Cordelia arrived a few hours before your parcels were delivered. She was in a horrid state, Mama. For the first time, since she could remember, her parents went to the Ghoulish Eat-a-Ton Carnival without her. She was glad to see me, but rather crossed to have to spend the weekend at camp. Your gift mollified Cordelia’s mood. She said that the rabbit was the tenderest of gestures.
“I’ve never had”, Cordelia said to tell you, “anyone more delectable or willing.” Most beings she invites to tea start screaming as soon as she puts them near anything resembling a serving platter. Not the rabbit, Mama. The queer little beast leapt about in euphoric glee, shouting, “I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!” Cordelia chomped him down with a sharp grin, and spat out the gilded pocket watch he used to accentuate his misjudged tardiness.
Mistress Claudia gasped in pleasure when she glimpsed the top hat you included for her. “How does your mother know that crimson, black, and murder are my favorite colors?” The severed head you used to maintain the shape of the hat did a marvelous job, Mama. The camp mistress simply adores the genuine silk weave, and thought the bits of delicately splattered skull and brains added tasteful definition to the nap.
My own gift, Mama, evoked palpitations and produced tears of ecstasy. I love my yerba mate tea set. You should know that it was a complete hit with every grownup in attendance.
Cordelia and I left the pot and bombilla on our table. I needed a more substantial fluid to brew my tea, something thicker than water… When we returned, we found all the adults giggling madly, and eating every morsel of pretend food Cordelia and I had made to decorate the tables. They were happy.
Someone was happy enough to nibble on the ears of Mistress Claudia’s top hat’s stand. But the camp mistress did not get upset. She just yelled, “Off with his head!” and laughed like the delightful maniac she truly is. Cordelia and I laughed, too. Maniacal laughter and cholera are so contagious.
So, you see, Mama dearest, your insides should be bursting with satisfaction and mirth. Really. You will always be queen, when it comes to the subtle art of gifting haunting memories.
Yours in blood,
Drusilla Amarantha Tepes, the Only
P.S. Mistress Claudia and a few others requested your yerba dealer’s calling card.
the wee notes…
– The 2nd letter: Camp Cute, Creepy and (quite conveniently) Remote.
– This bit of Drusilla’s story was one of the main reasons why I revised the letters. In the original version, she writes about Cordelia being at camp without telling us how (or why) her friend got there. And although not as important as Cordelia’s elusive arrival, I should also point out that I changed the word “Haunting” for “Hauntingly” in the title. It reads more, um… haunting *cough, cough, cough*.
– Yerba mate, a shrub that is part of the holly family; used to brew a caffeine-rich infused drink. Bombilla, a metal straw used to drink mate.
– The 4th letter: A Charming Unkindness of One.