Saturday, 28 July 2012

A Handwritten Letter

This Week's Write On Edge prompt called for 'A stand-alone scene, fiction or memoir, in 500 words or less, involving a hand-written letter'.  I sifted memories for a while and eventually came up with some fiction, based on a contemporary means that some people use to terminate relationships.  Please follow the link and see how others handled the prompt.


“See this,” my twelve-year-old grand-daughter came into the spare room as I put the finishing touches on making the bed and flicked a duster for the last time over the already shining mahogany bookcase. She held out her mobile telephone, pushing one of the buttons so that the screen glowed. “Luv u always,” I read. “But better we b just frends. Sry. 2 much in my life rite now xx”.

“I don't know whether to laugh or cry,” she said, slumping onto the bed and sending ripples of wrinkles radiating over the counterpane's once-taut surface. “To think that I spent two weeks building a relationship with a guy who's so lame he breaks up with me by text! 'Too much in his life': he means World of Warcraft and his skateboard, of course.” She looked down at the counterpane. “Oh... Sorry.”

I made some sympathetic noises and surreptitiously patted at the chintz. I could believe the text break-up. Dwayne had, the few times I'd spotted him with the waistband of his trousers well below his the elastic of his boxer shorts, his cap on sideways, and his gaze sliding from mine whenever I offered an affable “Good afternoon, young man”, seemed posessed of a singular lack of courage.

I thought back sixty years to the time when my decision to ditch Jim in favour of pony club had resulted in my penning, in the immaculate copperplate that we were learning at grammar school: “Dearest, please come to tea on Saturday afternoon at four o'clock. Mummy has promised a chocolate cake as well as jelly after crumpets, so that should make you feel a little better after the really dreadful news that I plan to give you.” I had placed it in a lavender coloured envelope, added a spritz of scent, and posted it from the pillar box on the corner.

Jim had dutifully turned up and taken my termination of our shared break-time sandwiches and Saturday walks in the park without a wobble in his upper lip. He had scoffed his crumpets, cake, and jelly, and said manfully “Well, I'll have more time for cricket practice and my model sailboat now.” Then smiling at my mother, he had said “Brilliant cake, Mrs Evans! Good-bye!”

“To think,” I had turned to my mother indignantly. “That I spent six weeks building a relationship with someone more concerned with models and cricket! I don't know whether to laugh or cry...” She had patted my shoulder gently and made sympathetic noises. “But thank-you for the cake,” I said. “The rat had something right: it was delicious.”

“I have an idea,” I said to Sarah as she stood up and tried to smooth the wrinkled chintz. “Would you like us to make a chocolate cake?”

“Oh, Gran!” she said. “That would be just the thing!”


  1. The cross-generation experience makes me smile.

    1. Thanks, Kathleen. I hope you and your family are doing well -- how you manage to find time to write (and so beautifully!) with a schedule such as yours, I'll never know!

  2. Oh so charming! Of course, I was a slow grower I think. At twelve, I thought boys were fun to hang around, but the actually relationship stuff didn't occur to me until a few years later.

    There is so much to this to love, from beginning to end. A Very Well Done, I think, and you've earned it! And chocolate cake? That would be just the thing...

    1. Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to make a nice comment. Twelve does seem young, doesn't it... but so many girls have 'boyfriends' -- fortunately most not in the 'grown up' sense yet -- these days at that age!

  3. I love this! The connections you drew between them were just the right touch - not too overly sappy but very clear and relatable. Wonderful job!