I still dream about it. It's worse on the nights when Diamond isn't here; when she's out helping midwife a new Took into the world, or visiting her family. It's been years but I can still see it. I still can feel the burning in my hands and mind.

I want Diamond to come back and lie beside me. The sound of her soft breathing silences the whispers of that horrible--.

Her sweet scent (she always smells of violets, even in the winter) soothes my thoughts, and holding her close I can sleep in peace, the memories of my youthful idiocies stuffed back in their boxes and put neatly away on the shelves of my mind where they belong. But Hyacinth's husband came running up just at dusk saying it was her time and Diamond gathered her basket, kissed me and went off to do whatever women's mysteries she does, telling me not to expect her back before the morning.

So I am alone this evening and probably this entire night. I can feel the dreams nudging me, impatient for me to close my eyes so they can show me every mistake I've ever made.

Why did I touch it?