A/N: Originally, this was supposed to be a one-shot, but I couldn't stay away. It was your reviews, actually, that made me decide to turn this into a multi-chapter story. The idea of a regular correspondence between Charles and Virginia was just too adorable to pass up. So really, it's all your fault.
Disclaimer: Charles is not mine. So quit rubbing it in already.
Dear Doctor Winchester
by Bad Octopus
Thank you for your letter, as well as your gift of the seashell. What a very unusual find. I don't believe I have ever seen a periwinkle with such unique striations. It is currently sitting on my desk as I write this.
I hope you will find this letter a little easier to read than my previous one. I'm afraid I have become so accustomed to writing in cursive script that I have all but forgotton how to print. However, as I am sure your teacher has enough to do without taking time from her busy schedule to attempt to decipher my illegible scrawl, I shall do my best to write my words more clearly for you.
Rest assured, Virginia, that I do not regard you as "just another dumb fourth grader". On the contrary, you strike me as a singularly bright, perceptive young girl, and your goal of becoming a teacher is a highly admirable one. Please do not be discouraged by my tendency to use difficult words. I would not continue to do so if I did not believe in your capacity for learning them.
In answer to your first question, I am indeed acquainted with Dr. Benjamin Pierce. If your description of his father is any indication, the apple most decidedly does not fall far from the tree. However, he is undeniably a skilled surgeon, and he has a talent for establishing an easy rapport with his patients. A talent which, I fear, I do not possess in the slightest.
If you are at all interested in history, I feel certain you would have a wonderful time in Boston. To name just a few highlights, there is the Old North Church, as you mentioned, as well as the Bunker Hill Monument and the Museum of Fine Arts. And of course, a visit to Boston would not be complete without a leisurely stroll through its superb botanical gardens, which, incidentally, are located on Charles Street, and are famous for their swans.
Speaking of swans, I am delighted to learn that you enjoyed Swan Lake. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is one of my very favorite composers; the extensive variety and emotional range of his music never fail to astound me. I would ask, however, as a personal favor, that you postpone purchasing any of his recordings for the time being. Save your allowance for more books.
Like yourself, I am a voracious reader. By the time I was your age, I had read everything by Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I was particularly enamored with Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" stories. My own sister Honoria used to say that if I had had my own way, I would have become a detective instead of a doctor. I'm not sure she was not correct on that score.
It is admittedly rather difficult to remain positive in an environment such as the one in which I currently find myself. It is such a drastic change from everything comfortable and familiar to me, and the great distance certainly doesn't make it any easier to bear. Suffice it to say that I wholeheartedly share your desire for this war to end, and swiftly. But I thank you for your genuine concern for my welfare, Virginia. Your compassion is truly touching.
And I am very glad for your continued correspondence. Feel free to write to me, whenever you like.
I wish you all the best in your scholastic studies.
Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester III
P.S. Thank you for relaying Dr. Pierce's anecdote. That was indeed a joke.
A/N: I have no excuse for writing this. Except maybe that I can always use more practice writing in Charles's voice. He talks so purty.
Reviews are, as always, appreciated greatly.