Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Flash: The Letter


Once upon a time, I started writing a novel about a Valkyrie. I didn't get much further than three chapters in before realizing I had to do a lot of research for the novel and temporarily shelved it. I love Norse mythology and Valkyries, so I've been thinking about them again. Thus, this letter features a more YA version of Valkyries, and I plan to write the book for NaNoWriMo 2014.

The Letter

I sank upon the bed and turned the unopened letter in my hands. Mom’s curly scrawl had addressed it to me. It was before she packed up her bags and left Dad and me. I hadn’t wanted to open it, vowed to toss it. Perhaps I should burn the paper, her words. She didn’t care enough to tell me in person, so why should I let her explain now.

Dad didn’t know about the letter. I didn’t have the guts to tell him. It would just hurt him, and Mom had already done enough damaged.

I sighed and slammed the letter upon the bedspread. My fingers tangled in my blond hair, yanking the strands. I leapt up. Two steps had me at my waste can. I snatched the bin and tossed the letter into it. Slam dunk. I dropped the can again with a metallic thud. Halfway out of my room, I spun around and grabbed the letter.

I had to know what she said and hated myself for it.

Opening the letter, I spread out the single page. My hand shook as I held it closer. A faint whiff of her perfume made my heart clench. Maybe she would come back. I swallowed a lump in my throat and began to read.


No “dear” or “dearest.”

Your father and you must hate me, but please, let me explain.

Yes, we do, but go on.

I didn’t want to leave.

Then why did you?

But I had to. There are many things you don’t know about me and our heritage, but I was summoned back home ... far, far away. I wish I could tell you more, but the less you know the better. I don’t know when or if I can return. The Allfather needs me.

Allfather? WTF?

Astrid, I fear you and your father may be in danger. Please take care. You are stronger than you know. I wish I could tell you more. So much more, but it’ll put you at risk. Just know I love you. Please remember that.


The last words blurred before my eyes. I didn’t want to cry over her again. I breathed in snot and crumbled the letter up. I still had no answers. Why did Mom think we were in danger? Who was the Allfather? Why did she think I was strong?

I felt weak, beaten. I still didn’t know where she was or if she would be back. I would’ve been better off not reading this dumb letter.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I liked her indecision at first. Good piece. And you plan to write it during NaNo 2014? That's almost two years away. Whoa...

Al Diaz said...

This is very cool and appealing. So until 2014, uh? That's a long time.

Larry Kollar said...

This sounds like it could be a fun read! I wonder if Astrid will get the call as well. Oh, I wonder a lot if stuff, but I guess I can wait for it. :-)

Susan Fields said...

Ooh...that was good - tell me more!

Rachna Chhabria said...

This sounds promising, full of intrigue and suspense. What heritage, where is home, all kinds of questions are popping into my mind.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

In the first Conan movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger, his lady friend becomes a valkyrie at the end. I always thought that was cool. If you do a valkyrie story, you should include a barbarian :)

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

Nice work. Should be a fun piece to write. Best:)

Christine Rains said...

Excellent piece. I can't wait until next year for this story! :)

M Pax said...

I loved all the angst around reading the letter or not. Very well done.

DMS said...

This was a very intriguing excerpt. I loved her indecision about reading the letter. I am worried for her safety though and think she IS in danger!

Best of luck writing this one! Can't wait to read more. :)

sjp said...

Love it, the fight against her emotions, I do hope it continues well