Monday, August 12, 2013

the letters

I wrote this short story for a challenge. The rules are simple. The story will be completed in 3 parts and each part must be less than a hundred words. A key word is provided for each part of the story, and it must be present in it. When the first part is submitted, the keyword for the next part will be provided. When all the three parts are submitted, a winner will be picked.

The keywords were as follows : post office, discover, letter.

In case you are wondering, no, I did not win anything.:)



photo by mcandea


the letters



I passed this quaint little post office on my way to and from work each day. It was a sturdy brick and steel building, nestled in a quiet neighbourhood. But what interested me was not the post office itself, but a pretty lady who was always around the place when I returned home in the evenings. Dark-haired, slim, so dainty that a rush of wind could blow her away, she sat on the steps of the post office, under the porch lights, reading some letters. As the days passed, she intrigued me more and more.


Finally, one evening, after much debate, I decided to speak to the lady, but she was not there when I arrived. And the following nights too. So on an off-day, I was at the post office sending parcels when I asked Sato-san, the postmaster, about the lady. With a quizzical stare, he told me her husband was away in the war, the Islands. She would be here at the post office, waiting for his war-zone letters . And then very strangely, he warned me to keep away from her . What I have discovered so far only deepens the mystery.


Now I know more about love and the human heart in these few weeks than in my entire life. You see, her husband never made it back from Iwo Jima. Day after day, she read that government letter, until her heart broke. They found her dead one day, on that post office porch, her tears still wet on those fair cheeks. And all this happened before I moved into this neighbourhood. I should be afraid, very afraid, but now I am not afraid anymore. As I stepped out of the porch, the fireflies scattered into the scented night.





Aug 2012
********




And a haiga to go with the story...




photo by arien, image from morguefile
haiga by dsnake1







"Though lovers be lost, love shall not; And death shall have no dominion.”

― Dylan Thomas




Shared on Poetry Pantry #162 at Poets United.



© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ), 2013

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Ravenblack said...

How beautiful. A little eerie but mostly sad. It wasn't immediately apparent to me she was ghost, so I think you told and paced the story very well in this piece. :)

13 August, 2013 14:44  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thanks, Liz!

actually the story developed itself as it goes along. :)
this was an online contest, built around the keywords given for each part. originally i was thinking of a story about mixed-up parcels and such.
then the Japanese animated anti-war film Grave of the Fireflies inspired the 2nd and 3rd parts. i think the 3rd installment really gives a 'wham" to the story. :)

surprised that i watched Japanese animated films? my daughter recommended them to me (most have English subs). the story lines and graphics are all top notch.

13 August, 2013 20:28  
Blogger R.K. Garon said...

:-)

13 August, 2013 21:27  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

okay, ZQ, i know this is a short story.. :)

13 August, 2013 23:06  
Blogger Ravenblack said...

Oh I know about Anime, though I'm not into them. A lot of them have cool storylines, and are a real work of art :) Many of my gaming friends who are men follow them.

14 August, 2013 05:59  
Blogger Brian Miller said...

dang...you spun a tight tale...that last part was rough...what you learned of love in her dying..but how to go on after the death of your love...hard to even imagine...well done...did not see her death coming...

14 August, 2013 07:44  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I love both your story and your haiga.

14 August, 2013 08:52  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Liz,

that's interesting. :)
it's not surprising as quite a number of video games, especially japanese, are based on anime stories. Final Fantasy series, for example.


Brian,

thank you!
i wanted to add a twist to the story, even macabre as it is. :)


Rosemary,

thanks! the haiga took only a short while to conceptualise. i was inspired. :)

14 August, 2013 22:36  
Blogger ninotaziz said...

Powerful. And you are right about Japanese movies...

20 August, 2013 19:00  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thanks, ninotaziz.

i think they put in a lot of effort in crafting a film. their horror shows make you jump out of your seats, their weepies empties your tissue box. :)

21 August, 2013 00:06  

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