I'd have not believed it possible.

	It was hard enough for me to do at twenty-one...it's hard enough
to do now.  And what's more, Ariana holds me responsible.  "I left my
children in your care, and you return them to the castle and leave them
unattended and see what happens!"  Technically, I was not the one in
charge of her children, but I will not have her blaming this on Tamaryn,
either.  As I recall, I did not require constant supervision at their age,
of course, my parents could trust me not to do such stupid things then.

	I realize that Ariana and I have been on better terms, but I
refuse to be held responsible for this.  It is not my fault.

	It seems that after some "convincing" from a certain
five-year-old, most of the children thought it would be "fun" to walk the
Pattern.  The little bitch.  If Ariana wants to hold someone responsible,
she should look for a source much closer to home.  I knew that Briana was
a manipulative little girl, but I didn't realize that she was evil as
well.  Five years old and she's already a sociopath.  I wish there was
something I could do to shield my children (and grandchildren) from her
influence.  If I could, I would give them all devices such as my own, but
mine was hard enough to come by.

	I hate having to consider protecting the children from one of
their own.  What is it?  Does Brand skip a generation?

	We're also going to have to sit down and talk to the boys about
Trump much sooner than I had planned.  Laughter Trumped Crispin when
should couldn't get in touch with any of the older children.  Scared the
hell out of him too, though he looked much relieved to find out she wasn't
dead.  Not knowing about Trump, the only way he could explain it was
saying she was haunting him.  Things like this make me think that my
children are growing up too fast, then I look at what's happening to my
grandchildren.  Amber wasn't nearly so disturbing when I was a little, and
I'd hoped that my own kids would find it as I did.

	Benedict was furious when he found out what happened this
afternoon.  He had a little talk with all of the kids and their parents,
explaining in extreme detail the consequences of their little adventure. 
I have _never_ seen any child look so frightened before.

	Then, when he was done, he ordered us to beat our children.

	I never want to see my boys look at me that way again.

	In the course of all of this, Laughter and I both walked the
Pattern, trying to track the children down.  We brought something back
from the "fun" place the children asked the Pattern to go to...some sort
of crystal that seems to feed on oxygen and, in general, is having a
wonderful time in Amber.  The only thing we've found that actually
destroys it is the Pattern, and we can't exactly just throw the castle on
the Pattern in order to get rid of this infection...who knows where else
it's spread to?  I'm sure it's found its way throughout the castle, and I
know that I've taken in it to Bedlam.  Fortunately, Driscoll keeps the
Shadow on pause while he's not there.  Hopefully, we will have found a
cure for it by the time Driscoll needs to go back.  I'm not sure what
we're going to do about all of this.

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