The Thursday Writers

She opened the lid, peered inside.

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The Thursday writers meet weekly in a public library. We collect twenty minute prompts, mostly one sentence long, draw a prompt at random, then write furiously and read our work to the group. Sharing writing information such as workshops, books, and readings we've been to have kept us current on what's happening in our neighbourhood. Our focus as writers has grown and now this new venture with the Island Woman Magazine is very exciting. We plan on a once monthly submission, rotating writers throughout the year. We are having lots of writing fun!

“Where did you find this, Lydia?” I asked.

 download (4)“It was in the garden. I was digging a hole for the new lilac bush, over by the kitchen      fence, when I hit something hard with the shovel. I thought it was a rock and tried to pry it out but then when I cleared some more dirt off it, I saw it was a box.”

“Well, it’s been there an awful long time then, because we’ve lived here for twelve years now.”

Lydia cleaned the box some more and saw there was tiny padlock still in place.

“I don’t want to damage anything, how can I get that off?” She looked at the three of us standing in a row, staring at the mystery box.

“How about a paperclip or a hairpin and see if we can jiggle the lock open?” Robert mumbled.

After ten minutes of careful manipulation, we knew none of us would make good safe crackers, so we hit it with a hammer and it broke with a snap.Carol jumped with surprise and then carefully lifted the padlock off the hasp.

“Open it Lydia. You found it so you should open it.” I said in great anticipation.

She bent and gently lifted the lid which was very dirty and made you wonder what scary things might be inside.

She grabbed her garden glove, shucked her fingers in and picked out a plastic bag by one corner. It was fat with papers of some kind.

“Let’s put it on the picnic table,” Robert said already moving in that direction.

Lydia open the bag and placed  the contents on the table. They looked to be a pile of letters but were green with mould and damp. She lifted one from the pile and read the address:  – To: Bea Macintosh, 17 Conifer Way, Nanaimo.

“That’s our Auntie. She used to live here. Who’s it from?”

Very slowly, Lydia took the letter from the envelope and opened the first page.

“My Darling Bea,” it began.

“Oh my.  Auntie Bea had a romantic interest all this time and we didn’t know.” Carol had a look of astonishment on her face that quickly changed to a wide grin.

“Who wrote it?” Robert asked.

Lydia placed each sheet on the picnic table until she came to the last page.

“Yours forever, Peter.”

There was a short silence and then Carol said, “These have to go to Auntie Bea in the home.They’re private and we are not going to read them.”

And so Auntie Bea’s romantic secret, remained a secret, and we took the box to her that evening

Her eyes shone with tears as she thanked us, but never said another word about the letters.

(c) Christine Beryl, 2017.
“Hidden Love” was written in twenty minutes from the prompt  “She opened the lid and peered inside.”


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  1. Now write the sequel. Bea had another life ala The Bridges of Madison County. Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood movie. Cheers. Judith. such a good beginning.

  2. I enjoyed this Chris. I was expecting something awlful, got me right to the end. Barb

  3. Too bad we will never know the letter’s content. Way to build suspense, Chris! Good story.

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