a letter


It was an icy January afternoon. The wind whipped Jane’s cheeks as she stood gazing out over the ocean, the letter clutched in her hand. The location was breathtaking. The winter sky brooded darkly over a landscape dotted with the frosty silhouettes of trees. It felt fitting: beautiful but desolate.

She glanced down at the letter. As the late afternoon light hit its surface it glowed with an almost ethereal light. It was just a single letter; her son’s initial, carved out of stone. A simple thing, yet so much emotion had gone into its creation.

It was the same every year – she poured all her lost love and dreams for him into a unique piece. It was always his initial but rendered each time in different materials. They were beautiful and her husband always marvelled at them on completion. Once, a few years ago, he had questioned her ritual of throwing them into the sea.

“They’re always so perfect.” He’d said, running his fingers over the mosaic letter she had toiled over that year, “And so different… maybe we could keep them? We could display them somewhere to remind us of him.”

“I don’t need reminding.” She’d snapped, rather unfairly, “I could never forget. And I don’t want them sitting on a shelf somewhere. They’re not for us, they’re for him.”

This was true. She knew it didn’t make logical sense – he was gone forever, after all – but casting them out into the ocean on this day every year always felt like reaching out to him. Sending him a message. She chose a different location every year too, and over the past fifteen years stretches of coast from the Northern Isles of Scotland to the beaches of Cornwall had all received her little memorials.

She took a step closer to the cliff edge and looked down over the foaming waves below. Unbidden, an image of his face appeared in her mind. She smiled sadly, drew her arm back and sent the letter soaring into the sky.

“Happy Birthday Patrick” she whispered as the sea accepted her offering, “We’ll always love you.”

Written in response to #ThePrompt over at Mum turned Mom. This week it was ‘a letter’. I didn’t mean it to be so sad, it just kind of happened. That’s the thing with writing – I never know where it’s going to take me. It is supposed to be as much about love as it is about loss though.



Nikki Young Writes

16 thoughts on “a letter

  1. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    ‘…she poured all her lost love and dreams for him into a unique piece.’ It is terribly sad, but it is also full of love. That powerful love of a mother for her child, which you have captured beautifully. Love that your letter is an initial x Thanks so much for linking to #ThePrompt x

  2. Louise

    Beautiful and heart-breaking. I agree with Sara – it really does capture that powerful love of a mother for her child and despite it’s sadness, the love is what shines through in this piece of writing x

  3. Nicola Young

    wow, where did that come from. Talk about writing from the heart. It is strange where your thoughts can lead you sometimes isn’t it. Lovely piece with lots of raw emotion. Thanks for sharing on #FridayFiction

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Nikki. I do like to write from the heart and get swept along with the emotion. I’d read a very sad blog the night before I wrote this – think it really affected me. Thanks for hosting xx

  4. Emily Organ

    Very moving and I like the way she remembers her son here. I also like the fact that the letter didn’t turn out to be the letter I was expecting. Beautifully written.

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thank you Emily. When I saw the prompt ‘a letter’ I just imagined all these 3d artistic creations for some reason. I like the idea of art containing emotion. xx

    1. Maddy Post author

      It means a massive amount to me that you like this Leigh. I know you lost Hugo and am so sorry that you know how my character must feel. Thanks so much for commenting. xxx


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