June 6, 2014

Vagabond Verbiage (W101)

Late, late in the day here, but I vowed to get this one done before midnight.

June 6, 2014 — You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

Um, okay? I guess. This should be interesting. Here goes …

It started with an X — a most curious letter to begin with, so full of mystery. Blocky, black, sans serif, trimmed neatly out of some magazine, its edges askew, just lying there in my path. And nearby, a U, this one also blocky but red instead. And then a T, this one sporting fancy serifs, face down near a puddle. XUT?

I noticed more of them now, these lone letters fluttering in the gentle breeze. Here was a lowercase A, there an uppercase S, and over there a TH trimmed together. Soon I had gathered a P, an M, two Us, and a C. Another M, a half-torn K, and three Es in a pile. F, N, A, S, E, C, E, D, K, A, L, H, O, E, I, Q, and more — vagabond verbiage clipped free from their utility, now cupped against my shirt. 

Who would do such a thing? Was someone trying to write the wrong kind of letter? The one that demands a trade, the one that threatens retribution if the police get involved? These letters could be the difference between a person’s life or death. But then how had they ended up here? 

I dropped to my knees on the sidewalk and began to spread the letters out in front of me. Maybe there was a message here. Maybe I could decipher it. Maybe I could save a life! So I started looking for a signal in their scattered noise. 











And like a prophesy, that was the moment when a delivery truck whizzed by and kicked up a wind that scattered the letters back across the landscape. I watched them go, suddenly indifferent to the possibilities infused in those clipped characters. I regained my feet and carried on with my day.


Well, they DID ask for “a random letter,” right? Sorry, folks, this one has nothing to do with being trans or being me or really anything that this blog is about. But sometimes it’s fun to just write something, you know? Even if the result is less than impressive.




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