Crossed Letters

Posted: April 25, 2018 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , , ,

Photo by Jan Wayne Fields

July 1862
Dearest Sarah,
I write this with great apprehension but feel compelled to do so before you and the children depart Missouri.
This is an inhospitable land full of poisonous snakes, swollen rivers, and murderous Indians.
Please remain home until I send for you.
Forever yours,
Matthew

June 1862
My Dearest Matthew,
I am sending sorrowful news. Little Annie died of snake bite yesterday.
Last week Tommy and June succumbed to the cholera,
and your favorite horses were lost crossing the Green River.

I wish I had stayed put.
With a heavy heart,
Your Sarah

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Comments
  1. Dear Lish,

    The letter form seems to work for both of us this week. Alas, your story is so tragic…and well written.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pennygadd51 says:

    What an ill-fated exchange of letters. How sad that Sarah’s eagerness to rejoin Matthew led to such tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gahlearner says:

    Oh no, that’s so sad (and darkly humorous with all the warnings being just a bit too late). I love the format. Great writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. neilmacdon says:

    I loved the crossing letters. Well done

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alice Audrey says:

    In those days it could take months for a letter to arrive. So tragically it crossed in the mail.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. granonine says:

    Sadly, life was very hard back then in more places than the far West. Tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lynn Love says:

    There must be so many true stories just like this, lost to history because so many didn’t write. Tragic but well written Lish

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Iain Kelly says:

    The fates conspiring or terrible timing, whichever way you look at it a tragic turn of events.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dale says:

    What a great, though tragic, take, Alicia.
    I could so imagine this very thing happening, once upon a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Awwe, the bad old days of mail taking weeks and months to reach from one place to another. So tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. plaridel says:

    what unfortunate events! now i’m wondering if she’d be able to come back alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ceayr says:

    This is superbly constructed, Alicia, and quite heart-rending.
    I hope the other side of the postcards were a bit cheerier!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much. The postcards I have that my grandfather sent my grandmother (they lived on the prairie in CO during the Dust Bowl) had nothing on the other side. Kind of sad, really. But his missives were wonderful, and always written in pencil.

      Like

  13. draliman says:

    Oh dear, already too late even as he penned his letter. Tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Norma says:

    What a tragic turn of events.
    Loved the letter format of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Fluid Phrase says:

    What a tragedy! Seriously, we have it easy nowadays…. Great story in a refreshing format.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sarah Ann says:

    Difficult to ‘like’ this as it contains so much pain and loss. The curse of the crossed-letter. Why didn’t Matthew write earlier? Honestly, it’s the first thing he should have done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think he was “on the road.” 😉 Thanks for reading and liking. Sometimes it is hard to hit that like button when a story has tragedy in it. As always, I appreciate your stopping by.

      Like

  17. Such a sad story – and I’m willing to bet that this sort of thing actually happened.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You do this format well, Lish.

    We had a collection of my grandfather’s letters written around 1912, mailed from California to his mother in Mayfield, Arkansas. The language was interesting and you could tell he was terribly homesick.

    May your couple have better days ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. jillyfunnell says:

    A reminder of the conditions that many people suffered back in those times. The letter format really works well. It brings those involved to life.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Laurie Bell says:

    Oh tears!!
    Sad story

    Liked by 1 person

  21. yarnspinnerr says:

    The warning was a little late. A sad but very well crafted take.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Jelli says:

    The cruelty of snail mail… those letters that come ‘after’ the tragedy… have received many over the years…. never good.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. lisarey1990 says:

    Stunning and sad. Well-structured story.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. James McEwan says:

    Ah , those pioneers of the wild west, they had so much courage and yet so much loss. A sad but very real tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Tragic. If only the first letter had found it’s intended recipient in time. Great writing

    Liked by 1 person

  26. A powerful and sad story. A reminder of true-life stories of the pioneers who struck out, pushing westward, looking for a new life.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. He should have sent his letter first class, or is it pigeon post, maybe even a telegraph! I am being deliberately flippant, Lish, to hide my hurt – caused by your tragic letters. Lovely writing (as always).

    Like

  28. Thanks, Kelvin, for stopping by to read and leave a reply. I did catch the sarcasm, and it actually made me smile. Good to see your face in that tiny box. Lish

    Like

  29. subroto says:

    I like the letter format. Slightly dark this week, with touch of black humour here. Looks like he did not get her letter on time.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Letters can be so filled with sorrow, especially when they arrive after the fact.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. magarisa says:

    Tragic, but darkly humorous. Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Nan Falkner says:

    Wow, if it wasn’t for bad luck, he’d have no luck at all! Very cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Mike says:

    An interesting format, and a tragic family

    Liked by 1 person

  34. A long time before the instant messaging of today!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Loved the letter format. Hopefully, they are both still fertile as they tended to be back in the old days 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  36. shivamt25 says:

    Such a tragic story! Now that modern medicine is so advance we have that some of these problems faced before are mere small conditions solved within days.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. What a pity she didn’t get his letter first. So sad and beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. I really like your story – so well crafted using the crossed letters. Think that works really well, as post would have been slow wouldn’t it, in those days. Evokes the conditions they are in so clearly.

    Liked by 1 person

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