Deleted, lost secret key
Fiction, resemblance to real-life characters somewhat intentional but
don’t read anything into this, as I’m making much of it up.
It’s not a short story, because there are no characters, only caricatures.
There’s a ghost of a plot, but a very pale one. There’s no conflict, no
decision, no development. All we get are vignettes of life, and it could
be anyone’s life. Why should we care about either person?
On the positive side, you have very good imagery. I was almost tempted to
pick up pencil and brush to draw the pictures. The images would have made
a very good script.
The First Letter
A crowded high school classroom during the five minutes between the
bells that mark the start and end of a lecture. From her wallet, a
sophomore takes out a crisply-folded piece of paper. She reads the
words silently as the folds reveal carefully-formed but shaky
writing. She glows, then – remembering where she is – tucks the letter
away and prepares for her next class.
A quiet grove right before the junior-senior prom. A boy storms off
angrily, bluff and bluster hiding the tears that threaten to spill
down his face. With trembling hands, a girl takes a well-creased
letter from her wallet. Her gaze lingers on every word, bringing up
ghosts of happier times. “With all my love forever,” – and then a
signature burned into her heart. The letter drops from fingers that
have suddenly lost their warmth. She leaves, the paper too painful to
even be touched.
A different place, a different time. A man who was once a boy smiles
at his girlfriend. He met her in college after a succession of other
girls. He has written many, many letters since that first day. In
another country, a woman who was once a girl fingers her thick
collection of letters, arranged chronologically. She reads it from
time to time to remember what life was like when loving was child’s
The first page of the album is empty. She touches the space and for
a moment mourns the loss of innocence.