Love Letters to Voltaire: First Contact (Part 2)

Here is part 2 of my time traveling historical fiction involving Voltaire. He and I have very different writing styles. He narrates and summarizes more, and I prefer to SHOW and not tell what is happening. That’s why his stories were so short. I am very heavy dialogue oriented when it comes to writing. He did most of the writing in this section, and we hope you like it ^_^

To read the first part, click here: Love Letters to Voltaire: Financial Crisis Parallel (Part 1)

 

England 1726

I’m even more alone now than ever. I am glad to have escaped imprisonment for this exile to England, but I do not know the language so well. What am I to do? I suppose I will have to make a life for myself here as best I can. Yes, things will be good here. I am far away from my enemies, and I can focus on my true work. Work I could not otherwise be able to write in France without fearing backlash.

First thing is first, I must go out and stroll around town and find the few acquaintances I know that may help me perfect my English. I will succeed here and make the French government pay for their past doings to me. They haven’t heard the last of me. What are they to do? I am in another country entirely!

The sky once I stepped outside the small apartment I was staying at was dreary and gray. There was a mist in the air as I strolled down the road taking in my new surroundings. The people dressed differently here. They weren’t as glamorous as the French with their powder and colorful jackets. I stuck out indeed. The first thing I needed to do was find proper clothes. The city was busy like Paris swarmed with passersby. The streets smelt horrid of the smells that come from a dense population.

I made my way to Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke’s, estate. He was slowly becoming a dear friend and has volunteered to help me become better acclimated to English life. Once I arrived, we, along with his French wife, sat down to some tea. His wife translated everything that was said in the conversation since I didn’t know nearly enough English yet to hold down a conversation. “Once you live here long enough, you will naturally pick up on the language,” said Lord Bolingbroke. He lit his wooden pipe and took a couple of puffs. “It’s natural instinct,” he continued. “You naturally want to be able to adapt to your surroundings. You will find it quite easy.”

Indeed he was correct. I took a few lessons from him along with the help of everyday conversation with my newly acquainted friends. I found myself nearly fluent after only being there for less than a year! Yes, life was looking up for me, but I still found myself missing my home country.

Despite the way I was treated by the establishment, there was a certain longing I had for the familiar surroundings, culture, and artistic values that only your home country can ease. My heart ached just a little each day for the familiarity of the French landscape. However, this was my life for now.

I was comforted, though, by my mysterious angel whom would always appear in my dreams or whenever I prayed to her. I felt it was a beautiful woman. Someone of godlike ability to deliver such profound healing to my heart. She started to appear in my dreams when my writing slowed down and the ache for my homeland began to seep into me.

She knew I was idling, and she had come to prevent that I believe. My dream of her will never be forgotten. She approached me wearing a purple cloak made of silk. She had long dark brown hair that curled around her face beautifully. Her skin was fair, and her cheeks plump and pink. Light encompassed her entire being as she slowly walked towards me.

The surroundings were always the same. Just a clear blue sky amongst grass, and I’d be sitting in the only chair there was. Such an odd thing; only one chair an entire open field of grass. She’d reach her hand out to me and cup the side of my face as she smiled. In a playful tone, she said, “Voltaire, you have been a naughty boy.” She chuckled and said, “Do not lose sight for why you are here.”

“Why am I here,” I asked her.

She blinked and continued to look at me. Perhaps she was thinking of a response to say. “To bring forth change, my dear.”

“I don’t know what that means.” I need more than that!

She smiled and chuckled lightly again before bending down and kissing my nose. “I do love this nose of yours.”

I blushed immediately. Nobody has ever loved my nose. In fact, I was made fun of for it growing up by my friends and even my own family. But my angel loved it, so I must learn to love it too.

She bopped her finger on my nose playfully and said, “Get to writing, my love. You must write. You must.”

I nodded feeling the seriousness of her command. “Yes, I will. Forgive me for dawdling.

She smiled wide, and I nearly cried at the sight of her beauty. “Never ask for my forgiveness. You can do nothing wrong in my eyes, my Voltaire. My sweet, sweet, man.” She kissed me on the cheek, and I was startled awake by the shock of it. As I touched my cheek, I could have sworn I felt a zap in the exact spot her lips met my skin.

After that dream, I set back to work on my writing with such a ferocity that I had made up plenty for the short time I spent idling.

 

Fresno, California 2015

When Stephan pulled out that loan, he convinced me to quit my job and focus on my writing career during the rest of our time in LA. We had since moved back to our hometown because he finished school in Los Angeles. With his help, I was able to finally get my novella published at the end of 2014. I had always wanted to become a published author ever since I could pick up a pencil, and my dream had finally come true. The only problem was that I wasn’t making any money off of it. Yeah, maybe a few bucks here and there but not nearly enough to make any sort of real profit. Writing isn’t a very lucrative career.

Now that we were back home in Fresno living with Stephan’s parents, I went out on a search for jobs. Only, nobody was hiring me. Nobody even called me for a job interview. It didn’t help that I was being picky on where I wanted to work. I was so sick and tired of customer service work where I’m constantly berated and spat on by customers for little to no money that barely covered our bills. I tried teaching and hated that too. Still, I didn’t have my degree yet so I was limited on what I could do.

But timing has a weird thing about it. Just when I was about to give up all hope, my eldest sister came to me with a job opportunity to be her nanny for my two nephews. Finally, I was making somewhat stable income. It was little money, but it was family and it was something that I could actually tolerate. While babysitting, I could even find time to write. It was perfect for me.

I went to school online, so I didn’t have to worry about going to class. In my literary class, we started reading Candide by Voltaire. We first had to read his brief biography in order to better understand some of the context within the novel. I remembered reading his rendition of Oedipus in high school, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So I was expecting the same again.

As I read his biography, I found myself feeling awestruck by how amazing he was. My feelings of attractiveness subsided when the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. I felt tingles run down my spine, and I became nearly frightened by the odd feeling that I was being watched. Nobody could be there because I was home alone at the time. Fighting past my fear, I slowly turned around and was relieved to see that nobody was there. Yet I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being watched.

After staring out at my living room for a few more seconds, I became satisfied that there was indeed nobody there. I turned my attention back to my computer screen as I continued to read about this fascinating man. The feeling came back even stronger, and my hands felt like they were overcome with a foreign surge of power. I thought they’d explode. I shook them about trying to get the sensation to go away, and I stood up from my couch and started to pace around.

I was raised to believe in ghosts to a certain extent, and when I couldn’t reason the strange feelings away with logic, I began to think it could be a spirit. The thought didn’t scare me. Rather I found it annoying because I wanted to get to my work without any distractions. I put the biography away and began searching online for any possible medical causes for the strange sensations, but only superstitious related information popped up.

That’s when I noticed the tingling and paranoia of being watched went away, so I went back to reading Voltaire’s biography. Right then, the feelings all came flooding back. That couldn’t be a coincidence, mostly because I didn’t believe in coincidences. Could it be Voltaire’s spirit that was watching me? As soon as that thought crossed my mind, my heart fluttered and picked up its pace. It felt as though someone lovingly squeezed my heart, and it sent a warm rush of delight through me.

My smile couldn’t be contained. Voltaire’s spirit here? With me? No, it couldn’t be. Why would he be here? This isn’t real. This can’t be real. No, I am just making assumptions and wanting to live in my imagination. I quickly shoved that thought away and got to reading Candide trying to annoy the intense tingling.

To be continued…

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