Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)
TITLE: Return to Sender
By Val Clark
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Beth weighs the unopened letters in her hand. Postmarked December 2006, 2005, 2004…. She drops them onto the table and picks up her pen.
Thank you for the Christmas wishes. I’m glad that you’re all well. Once again I’m unable to pass your letters onto Abigail. I have not seen my sister for over three years. Sometimes I see her best friend and she tells me she’s alright. I guess that’s some consolation; knowing that she isn’t in some shallow grave somewhere. As to why she’s virtually disowned us, I don’t know.
Trudy chews the end of her pen. She remembers the day she was told Cousin Abigail was really her sister. She was thirteen and the story had stunned her. She could hear her mother’s voice as clearly as if she were sitting across the kitchen table. Could smell her floral perfume. ‘We were in London when Abigail was born. The war had only just finished. Your dad and I had nowhere to live. Nicko and Frank were toddlers. We had.’ Her voice breaks. ‘God forgive me, Trudy, but we had no choice. And Sophie and Ned had no children….’
Dear Aunty Sophie,
I’ve enclosed a copy of the will. Nicko was the executor. As you can see she left Nicko and Frank $5,000 each. The grandkids got $500 each. The jewelry was spread between the women and girls. I didn’t get any money. When she wrote the will she told me that there would be no money for me as she had already given Danny and I $5000 towards a deposit on our house. She also said she had lent Abigail money that amounted to over $5,000 dollars and that was why she had not been included in the will.
I am sending over a gold Chinese pendant that Mum bought in Singapore. She always wore it. And a gold orchid brooch.
Sophie smoothes out the blue aerogram. It was unfair, that’s what it was and she would see that Abigail got her share.
We were distressed to hear that Margetta had passed on. I always thought, being the oldest and having diabetes that I would be the first to go. Abigail wants to know, when can she expect her portion of the estate? From Margetta’s letters we understand she was a wealthy woman, what with the cottage and cruises and such.
I’m so sorry that you’ve had such a bad year. I’ve enclosed a money order for $5,000. You can pay it back when things improve.
Margetta wipes a tear from her eye.
Oh, Abigail, this is such distressing news. We were all so looking forward to seeing you again. I’m sure that if you had declared to the Emigration Department that your partner had a criminal record they would have let him come. Now that you are separated, will you come?
Abigail looks at the pile of aborted letters on the floor around her feet and determines that she will finish the next one. She will get the words right.
It’s hard to take in, Aunty Margetta, that you are my birth mother. That Trudy is really my sister. And Nicko and Frank my brothers. I always wanted brothers. I guess now I have two mothers as well. And two sisters. I wish I’d known before you sailed away.
Margetta’s pen is poised over the paper. Surely her sister, Sophie, would have told Abigail the truth by now. How do you keep a secret like that for thirty seven years? Guilt and grief war in her as she remembers the day she gave her baby daughter away. Hope flares that she might see her child just once more before she dies.
I think that you would find it easier to emigrate if you tell the Emigration Department that you are my natural daughter.
Dear Father, I hardly know the words to pray for Abigail. I thank you that your spirit intercedes. I can’t talk to her. I can only pray for her and love her from thousands of miles away. Only you know why she has rejected us all. Only you can cure the ache in her heart and make her whole. I have hung onto her too long. I give her to you. May your Son break into her heart as you gather her into your arms.
NB. These letters are based on true events. The names have been changed to protect the identities of the people involved.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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