Of Windows and Dementia
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A talking raven fluttered in through the open window.

This sentence likely needs clarification, as any reader is probably confused as to not just why this particular window was open (and not just open, but soul-wrenchingly, portaltastically open in the fashion nobody has ever described an open window being). Further clarification may be required as to why this window was the open window, and not just an open window.

Windows are very peculiar objects, you see. They can be used as entryways through which to pass small objects, or as means to pass larger objects if one assumes they are never used as windows again (this being that particular kind of window which slides or slants open, not that which is merely a panel of glass set into the wall). They can be used to transmit a certain amount of light, and in almost every colour assuming this is not a particularly racist window, or depending on the light, sexist.

They can also be used, as few people note, in the transmission of delusions. You’ll find that no person has ever gone mad will have done it without the use of windows, or the complete absence thereof.

One such delusion that windows can be responsible for the transportation of is a medium-sized, unremarkable talking raven, whose importance to the writer is such that it makes, on its passage through, a single open window into the open window for the purposes of this narrative.

Why is this raven so important? And what makes it a raven and not just a crow, or rook, or magpie, or reclining leather armchair (apart from its aforementioned ability to speak, which of course, all ravens possess)? Well, this particular raven was a raven because the wizard hallucinating it had never seen a magpie, or a rook, or a reclining leather armchair.

Its name was Bertrand, and it had been alive for most of the wizard's adult life.

While some wizards may employ these creatures as familiars, or may see them going about their business (likely doing their tax forms or travelling between their flats and office jobs, as corvids spend most of their time), this wizard especially liked ravens. Ravens were traditional, and he had never been outside his tower or even looked outside, so they were the only bird he had ever seen in the desolate, craggy part of Yoren where he had been born, raised, and spent his entire life.

Anyway, this hallucinatory raven was visiting through this window because this wizard’s real raven had died, and this wizard had lost his capacity for anything but an indirect and roundabout ability to understand things which devastated him. Perhaps it was because of some spell that misfired, or perhaps because he was 92 and had not seen another person for around 60 years.

So emotionally attached was this wizard to his raven, the only living thing in his life, and the only thing that had ever shown him any affection, that he could only even begin to approach his loss via a long rant that began with a three-paragraph long ramble about the historical significance of windows, which he had written five minutes prior.

But this wizard was mad, there was no doubt of that. He had completely lost his ability to refer to himself in the first person, and was slowly losing his grip on coherency. When did this start? Perhaps it started when he was around 30 years of age, when he completed his ascension to a full-fledged master wizard and was no longer required to make the ceremonial tea and fetch the ceremonial crumpets of his training. At this time, he was given a tower of his own, and reclined into a life of study and isolation.

Perhaps it started when he was in his childhood, and his parents gave him to the master wizards as an apprentice, as they were very poor and could barely afford to feed themselves.

In any case, here sat the wizard, writing a last note, alone.

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