Sunday, August 10, 2014

Julie's Letter...A Short Story

flowers and chainlink fence


It's Time For Another Writing Challenge!

And, as always, if you'd like to try to whip up a little story yourself, here are the rules:

1) Use both the above photos in your story.
2) Keep your word count 500 or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday night to link up your story.
4) Use the Blue Link to add your story at: Leanne's, Debb's or Tena's websites.
5) Have fun, don't stress, and let those creative juices flow!

And now, here's this week's attempt!

Julie's Letter

It wasn't until I turned twenty-five that I allowed myself to return home breaking my own vow of never coming back, no matter what the reason. But it was that letter that proved stronger than my promise as I wrapped around my soul, bound it and dragged it kicking and screaming to the source of all my pain.

The physical scars had long since healed--the emotional ones never will. I hated my mother for calling and telling me she found that letter. With all the crap in my life the last thing I wanted was a long-lost message from my dad. After all, the man never gave me or my mom anything other than his contempt, and a mean slap to the face.

"Mom," I said exhausted when she first called with the news of the discovery. "I don't give a crap what's in that letter. Just open it and read it yourself."

"Julie--it's got your name on it. It's yours and if you don't want it, I'll just throw it away."

I should have told her to do it, just toss it in the trash, or burn it.

But I didn't. After a moment I said no--instantly regretting the words as I said them. I told her I'd come home on Friday and as the week progressed the thought of driving the 200 miles to the home where I grew up made me physically sick. After all the man was a monster, and even a letter from a monster is something that was written for someone to read.

So after work I loaded up my Toyota and hit Interstate 25 for the trip home. With each gentle curve of the concrete ribbon I cursed my dad, cursed him for leaving, cursed him for staying as long as he did, and cursed him for dying before I could really tell that despicable waste of humanity how I really felt about him. I thought about turning around the heading back to Denver so many times.

The letter forced me to continue, to continue past the offramp, continue through the small town and to the exact location where the police found my father's body next to the fence surrounding the fertilizer plant where he worked, and to finally continue until I rolled up to the home where my mom and I literally fought for our lives. I killed the engine just as my mother opened the weather-worn screen door and stepped out on to her porch.

"Hey, Julie," she said. "How was the drive?"

I wanted to scream at her, unleash all my frustrations on the poor woman who looked so old. Instead, I just said, "good," as I gathered my bags from the trunk.

"Glad to hear it. I just made coffee. Come on in and have some. The letter can wait."

"That'd be perfect," I said and for the first time in a long time, I meant it.

Word Count: 491


  1. Wow. I can feel the heat of anger permeating through my screen on this one, Scott. Interesting how the intensity of the anger didn't quite outweigh the draw of the letter, huh? I wonder what words would come from the heart of a monster.

    Another story well done, my friend.

    1. Thanks Leanne! It's interesting. I didn't really plan for it to be so angry, but after I wrote the first line, I couldn't go anywhere else. Yeah, I think what's in the letter would be interesting to read, too. As always, thanks for the kind words!

  2. Another well written story - I wonder whether the letter is asking forgiveness. I haven't been able to join in this week as I've been suffering from a chest infection which seems to have addled my brain as well.

    1. I hope you feel better soon! As far as the letter, I don't know. I'd like to think so, but I wonder if the girl would even forgive him if it did. Interesting things to ponder...

  3. Lots of emotion came through here, well done in such a limited word count. Of course, now the question remains, what was in the letter ...