A stand-alone scene, fiction or memoir, in 500 words or less, involving a handwritten letter.
Link up your own story, or go on over to see what everyone else has come up with. Concrit is always welcome.
I missed the ‘stand alone’ part initially, and had to give up on the start of the first piece I was writing, connected to one of my other story pieces. And then, mysteriously, I couldn’t shake the idea of Peter Pan. In a tree. I’ve been reading the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series recently, by James A. Owen, which I suspect is a very strong factor in this sudden fixation. And, in case you were wondering, yes, you should definitely read that series. Also, I really wish I could illustrate my own stories. The man has talent. As seen below. I found the drawing through the link that you can go to by clicking the image, which appears to be James A. Owen’s live journal account. It is the artwork of James A. Owen, whose other link is above. The artwork is from the book The Red Dragon, and is of Laura Glue, one of the Lost Boys in the series. I could tell you more, but why ruin a good book?
Marco froze, a leaf-dappled shadow, bare feet gripping the rough bark, listening. Sure that he remained unnoticed, he slid out along an overhanging branch and peered down curiously.
The girl pulled an envelope out, smoothing an oft-read letter on her knee.
He struggled with the writing, sharp eyes picking it out easily, but unable to decipher the characters as they were, full of flourishes and extra loops of ink. Foppish.
The girl didn’t seem to mind it, though. She clutched the letter to her chest with a sigh of contentment.
“My knight, my love,” she whispered.
In a flash of decision and action, the boy landed facing her, with a soft thump, hands on his hips. “Boo.”
The girl clutched her letter in surprise, as she let out a small shriek. She then delivered surprisingly solid kick to his stomach, knocking him from his heroic pose.
“What’d you do that for?” he yelped, skipping back out of range.
“Me?” she cried, struggling to her feet. “You attacked me!”
“You accost a lady of the realm in the woods, and dare to talk back?” She drew herself up and bestowed upon him a withering glare.
“What’s wrong with yer face, then, Melly?”
She tried to smooth the expression from her reddening face. “Nothing. And I am Lady Amelia. What are you doing here?”
“S’ my tree. What’s in the letter?”
“It is from my beloved, Sir Erwin. He is courting me.”
“Why’d you want to marry such a girly man anyways?”
Amelia gasped at the insult. “He is not girly! He is a brave Knight, kind and good, and he is the bravest man alive.”
Marco snickered. “With his girly writin’ an always last in the lists an’ all?”
“It’s not…” Amelia hesitated. Her brave Knight dotted his ‘i’s with flowers. “He’s just trying to appeal to my delicate female sensibilities is all. Go away, Marco!”
He let out a crow of laughter. “Delicate female sensibilities, my arse!”
Amelia reached out, unthinking, and smacked him over the head with the ratty letter, which he promptly tore from her hand for her efforts. “You’ve ruined it!” she wailed.
“Never did…” he concentrated intently on the paper in his hand, sounding out the words. When understanding came he stared in shock at the blushing girl. “You’re runnin’ away with him, Melly?”
She crossed her arms. “Father won’t let us marry. Since when can you read, anyways?”
Marco glared sullenly at his grubby feet. “Since you told me we couldn’ be friends no more ‘cause I was uneducated. Erwin’s a pansy, an’ he treats his horses like dung.” He peered up at her for a moment, dark eyes flashing. “King said you can tell a lot about a man from how he treats his animals.”
Amelia flinched, remembering an incident with a puppy. Even babies ought not pee on Sir Erwin.
“Maybe… maybe you could walk me home, Marco?”
All smiles, he offered her his arm. “Don’t worry, Melly. I’ll write you a better letter.”