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Monday, June 26

The Letter

"The Letter"
Short Fiction - Literary
by Kelli Pliner

She wondered if he had gotten it yet. It seemed so long since it was sent. Sophie kneeled on the couch and gazed out into the rainy day. These were the days that her mother called “frumpy.” Sophie wasn’t sure it was a real word or not. She would have to ask Miss Staley tomorrow. She was sure that Miss Staley would know; she knows everything.

Sophie pushed her nose onto the glass more, watching for the mail truck. Maybe Miss Staley will know how long it takes mail to get there. Hundreds of questions filled Sophie’s head. Where did the mail go when it left her mail box? Did her own mailman take it to her Daddy? If so, could she go with him? Was there a special place at the post office for letters that little girls wrote to their Daddies when they were far away?

Sophie sighed.

Sophie knew that her Daddy had been sent far away for work, but three weeks was such a long time, it might as well be forever!

It had been seven whole days since she ever-so-carefully made the gift and sent it to Daddy. It had been Mommy’s idea. When Sophie’s Daddy said he had to go away, she thought her little world had ended. In whose lap would she curl up in to watch M*A*S*H at night? Who would come to her tea parties? Who would tuck her in at night in the special scruffy way Daddy did? Daddy had never gone one single day without his good night kiss, who would give it to him so far away?

That is when Mommy had the idea.

“It’s something that I did for my Daddy when he had to go away to the war. We can do it for your Daddy while he is gone to summer camp with the other soldiers.”

Mommy reached into the drawer and pulled out an envelope and turned back to Sophie.

“I missed my Daddy more than anything else, but there is one thing we can do to help your Daddy to smile and a way for him to get his good night kisses.”

Sophie’s eyes grew large and glistened with what Miss Staley called “happy tears” as she watched her Mommy open the envelope.

“We can fill this envelope with as many goodnight kisses as we can, and then we will send them to Daddy.”

A quizzical look crossed Sophie’s face.

“How will Daddy know what it inside the envelope? He might open it up and drop them all out by accident!”

Mommy took a marker from the counter and wrote some letters on the envelope.

“What do they say Mommy?”

“It says, ‘Handle with Care. Package contains Goodnight Kisses.’”

Sophie spent the next five minutes blowing as many kisses into the envelope as she could. When done, Sophie quickly licked the envelope closed so nothing would fall out. Mommy helped her to write Daddy’s war address on it and placed a stamp in the corner.

“Go, put it in the mailbox and turn the flag up so the mailman knows a letter is in there.”

The three days following that, Sophie would go down and sit next to the mailbox, waiting for the mailman to come and bring her a letter from her Daddy.

On the fourth day, Mommy told her she needed to find something else to do.

“It will make the time go faster if you are playing.”

Sophie didn’t believe her. So, instead of waiting at the curb, Sophie now waited at the window. Then a strange brown truck entered their driveway. Puzzled, Sophie called for her mother. Sophie watched as Mommy went out to talk to the brown truck man. He gave her a big envelope. Sophie watched curiously as Mommy came back into the house and handed her the envelope.

Sophie couldn’t read yet, but she knew what some words were. She could read, Buddy (their dog), Sophie, Mommy and…Daddy! The big envelope was from Daddy!

Sophie carefully opened the envelope (she didn’t want anything to accidentally fall out) and pulled out hundreds of paper kisses.

Note: This story is a combination of my past memories, and the present events of a little student of mine whose father is deployed in Iraq. It is dedicated to them as she gave me the idea to write it as a story in the first place.

9 reactions:

Kelly Parra said...

Lovely, Kelli! Really warms the heart. Thanks so much for sharing with FM! =D



Anonymous said...

All I can come up with is, "AWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!"


bornfool said...

Thanks for sharing. It gave me the warm fuzzies, too.

stay_c said...

Very Sweet!

And I stayed up late to read it :)

sandra seamans said...

A sweet and lovely story. Like butterfly kisses.

Prahagirl said...

Lydia & Kimmy ~ Thanks ladies! Glad you stopped in to read it!

Bornfool ~ You're welcome and thanks for the nice words.

Stay_c ~ Aww, I am so honored you sacrificed sleep to read my little story. :)

Sandra ~ Thank you so much...butterfly kisses--yea, I guess it is like that! :)

Thanks everyone!

Jeff said...

Very touching story. Thank you for sharing. :)

Prahagirl said...

Thanks Jeff! :)