"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

Monday, April 13, 2015

Be Brief: Writing 101, Day 5

Today’s Prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path.You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.
Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

That morning I walked out to the backyard to check on the ripening strawberries and I found a large floral tote bag slouching amongst the sunflowers.  Curious, I approached the bag and peered inside.  It was almost full with papers spilling onto the dirt and grass.  I glanced to the alley on my right, then to the street on my left.  I saw no one, but anyone could have deposited the bag in my open, fenceless backyard and taken off.  I hoisted the bag onto my shoulder and brought it inside.

On the dining room floor, I started unpacking the bag.  Most of the papers turned out to be photographs, although there were some letters and even bills.  As I emptied the bag, I found jewelry, trinkets.  Why would someone leave all this in my backyard?

My mind raced.  Was someone trying to leave an old life behind by burying the bag and its memories in my backyard?  Or was the bag dumped in my backyard by thieves?  What if someone had been kidnapped, and her memories had been flung into my yard from the getaway car?

The bills and the letters were addressed to the same person, so I immediately stated a search.  The phone book yielded no results.  A quick search of the news and papers proved no kidnapping had occurred.  I called the police.  They had no news but took note of my finding.  I began to calm down.

Nothing in the bag was really valuable.  The bills were old.  The jewelry and the trinkets were worthless.  The photos could all depict bad memories, the kind a person might like to forget when moving to a new city.  The innocence of it all overtook me.

I packed everything back into the bag and put it in my hall closet.  I continued to search for the owner of the bag for many years without any luck.  I like to think that she is far away, living a happier life, unencumbered by her past.

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