Thursday, April 15, 2010

#fridayflash - The Letter

Words had always come easy to her.

The ability to express her feelings on paper or otherwise flowed like a waterfall. And she always felt refreshed afterwards.

But a bad marriage lodged a big rock in place and the words no longer flowed. Her creativity became stifled. Her ability to speak her mind or write her feelings, even the private thoughts that were so important to her, trickled to stop.

Speaking her mind, saying how and what she felt was no longer acceptable. It became a source of ridicule and criticisms. Because she was no longer allowed to feel anything other than worthless and ugly. She was useless.

A negligent wife.

A bad mother.

A sponge.

A pig.



She fought desperately to hold her head above the pain and keep a tight hold of who she once was but his constant criticisms and abuse held her down so firmly she thought she'd drown. She grew weaker. And like a person lost on the waves of the ocean, no life preserver, no land in site, she succumbed to the fatigue and let herself go under.

Her eyes fell to the words scrawled on the paper. “To my babies”

3 words.

It was all she could scribble in her now increasing fatigue. A fog was closing in. She searched in her daze for more words. They were there on the edge of her consciousness before she consumed the cocktail she had mixed, so she figured she was ready.

Now they were gone. It would seem there were now no words to make them understand why she had chosen this path. She just didn’t want them to feel they were responsible in any way.

She looked down at those words again. “To my babies” She noticed splotches of water had caused the ink to run. She reached up and felt her cheek.


She couldn’t remember the last time she had cried. Yet now they were streaming down her face and blurring the words on the paper that rested on her lap. A hard ache developed in her chest. Her throat closed on a choking lump. A light breeze kissed the dampness on her cheek and made it tingle. She was feeling something after an eternity of nothing. Then the realization hit her. Nothing she could write, no matter how clear or well said could make them accept that they no longer had a mother. Nothing would take away their pain any sooner.

On legs that she could barely control she got up and made her way through the hallway. The thick air grabbed at her, slowing her down. But now she was determined and battled it to her destination.

She picked up the phone.


  1. Congratulations on your first #fridayflash! Really enjoyed your story. I hope you find flash every bit as addicting as the rest of us.
    Welcome aboard!

  2. Oh this is searing, heartbreaking, and celebratory all at once.

    Choked up at the "to my babies" line.

    I am sure that help will get to her in time!

    Welcome to #fridayflash! This is a wonderful debut.

  3. Welcome to #fridayflash! That was a really great debut. Great development of both the plot and character in so few words. Impressive.

  4. The first half is so profoundly sad without reaching for profound rhetoric. That makes it a lot more relatable. The closing "fog" is a feeling I've definitely had when I struggled to work in a funk (not to trivialize her problems as a mere funk).

    Welcome to #fridayflash, and thanks for writing this.

  5. profoundly sad indeed, but with a sense of hope at the end. I hope she makes it.

    Welcome to #fridayflash!

  6. The second abused woman story this week. Is it an after-effect of tax season?

    Well written. The reader immediately feels empathy with your character. Glad she found hope through thoughts of her children.

  7. Wow, what a sad but moving piece. I hope she was not too late with the phone. Well done.

    Welcome to #fridayflash.

  8. Thanks everyone. I feel encouraged by all your kind remarks to try again next week. I hope I don't disappoint you.

  9. This is lovely and heartbreaking. I know she'll make it.

    Beautiful debut.

  10. It felt like she was drowning, carried away by the undertow. Beautiful that her inability to find the words to her children finally pulled her out - but just barely!

    The secondary theme - the uneasy relationship between words and silence - is one I find very compelling.

  11. Beautiful and sad, but I like that it has a hopeful ending. Welcome to Friday Flash.

  12. Sometimes strength comes when you least expect it. Sad but hopeful, indeed. Welcome to Friday Flash!