By Katrina Relf

An Excerpt from Vincent’s Journal

A dark shadow has lain over our world, a shadow that has enveloped each one of us – a tragedy that has touched all our lives.

I brought Dimitri to the Tunnels – a lost soul alone in our city. A stranger in a distant land. How could I not help him? We took him to our hearts. The children loved him. They were enraptured by his stories of far-off lands. For Ellie, he became the embodiment of romance, a dream of love she had never known. Why did that dream have to end so tragically – for Ellie, for Dimitri?

He had travelled halfway around the world for a dream. To find his love – Anna – but that dream was never to be. Anna had grown tired of waiting. Perhaps her dreams were less idyllic than Dimitri’s. But he was never to know – fate granted him one blessing.

As Ellie lay sleeping – her life slowly ebbing away – Catherine sang to her. The most beautiful sound I have ever heard. I pray that song brought comfort to Ellie – the truth of how deeply we loved her.

During those dark days lives were lost - but so many more were saved. Father performed miracles – as always. Perhaps the greatest miracle was the comfort he brought to Eric. Eric – a little boy lost – alone and afraid without Ellie – the only family he had ever known. Father became that family – as did we all. Letters were written to Ellie. Words of love that floated to the darkest depths of the sky above, enfolding her forever in our hearts. Perhaps the heavens will be kind and forever let Ellie and Dimitri sleep in each other’s arms.

Tonight, on your balcony, Catherine, you marvelled at Dimitri’s determination to find his love, even though, deep within his soul, he undoubtedly already knew the truth. But, Catherine, the words that I spoke then will forever be true – “One either moves towards love or away from it. There is no other direction”.

Now, as I sit alone in my chamber, reflecting on the sadness and pain of the past weeks, I am grateful beyond measure that we have survived this terrible thing, albeit at so great a loss to our world. But, constantly, one thought lies uneasily within my heart. What would have been the outcome if such a deadly virus such as this had escaped the Tunnels into the world above? How many lives would it have claimed? And how many families – just as our family Below – would be mourning their loved ones?