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Dear John Letter

Categories: Creative Writing Prompts Tags: creative writing exercises, creative writing prompts, writint prompt.

You return home from work to find a Dear John letter on your kitchen table. Oddly enough, it’s from one of your favorite pieces of furniture. What does the letter say?

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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537 Responses to Dear John Letter

  1. cosivantutte says:

    Dear John,

    I’m sorry. I’ve tried to be strong and keep it all together, but years of being slapped, tossed at the wall, and bashed with a baseball bat have taken their toll. This morning, when you hit me with the sledgehammer, I knew that this had to end. This is not a healthy relationship. I am leaving you and I will never come back. Don’t come looking for me.

    Sincerely,

    Your (but no longer your) alarm clock

    Ps: I hope you never find someone new. May you always be late for all of your early morning appointments – especially the important ones.

  2. PeterSpiderParker says:

    It’s very good, and odd I like that. Also it can be used in many scenarios.

  3. lori k says:

    Dear Ivan,

    We have decided to leave you. Don’t think that you can change our mind because it’s too late for that.
    Two beauties at your beck and call day in and day out, waiting for attention and only to be ignored when SHE arrived.
    What does she have that we don’t have? You wanted a screen? What am I, chopped liver? You wanted buttons to push? Sarah let you push her buttons on a regular basis.
    We kept you entertained from sports to late night talk shows and still you turn to her.

    Well buddy, what goes around comes around and just wait until your back is turned and she meets someone new. Don’t leave her alone with the vacuum or it’s all over. You never know what a good suction can do.
    Computer’s come and go but you will never get the type of love that you received from the two of us.

    Good luck with your new tramp,

    T.V. and Remote

    • raynishasdgva says:

      I would say:
      Dear John,
      Who are you, and what is this letter about? Why do you want my furniture? Don’t I get a sya in this? I hope you understand
      From,
      Jackie

  4. maryberg11 says:

    Dear Lisa,
    I feel awful to have to take this bold step, but we both know it is best. You’ve kept me around far too long, and we both know this to be true. I have nothing left to offer you. There is no more cushioning in my seat. My cloth is all worn and tattered. My springs are all broken. Even the wood that is my core and the strength of It was also me you turned to when your dad had that heart attack, and it was me who gave you rest when you yourself were terribly ill. I was also the one you leaned on when they came and told you that your husband had died a hero.
    You must think that I don’t understand, but I do. You feel as though parting with me would be as if you were parting with them. My dear, they do not live on inside of me. I merely held them but for a moment, and I cannot hold anything anymore, but you can. You do. You are the one who holds them inside of you. You are the one who keeps the memories alive. I cannot tell anything to anyone, but you can tell all that you hold in your heart.
    I hope you can understand now why I had to leave. I wanted you to see that the most valuable things in life are not things that we can see and touch; things that get old and fade away, but, rather, things that we can hold in our hearts; things such as wonderful, sweet memories.
    So we shall part, and this will leave an empty place in your house. Please heed my advice and fill it in quickly. Perhaps some new memories would fit rather nicely.
    Sincerely,
    The old, brown recliner

    • jadesdgva says:

      Dear Jhon,
      By the time read this letter I will be on the island. I am sorry that I am saying goodbye like this and right now but it’s time to leave.I didn’t want to see how you would react when I leave which is why I am not doing this in person. I have left some money in the dresser. I am truly sorry about your lost, your father was young and kind, I enjoyed the stories he shared about his younger days, he seemed like a very adventurose and funny guy. I gave your mother some flowers and had lunch with her the other day I promise she’s doing better than ever.You should take care of her after all she is the only family you have. Well, the reason why I am leaving is because that for one you are rarely around, you hardly ever write or call and most of all I need to acomplish my dreams. The day after tomorrow I will start checking off the items in my bucket list. I will always be traveling. I must say congradulations on getting so high in the Army it makes your mother more proud than anyone I know. I promise I will write every blue moon.
      please don’t stain the letter with your tears .
      Do not replace me
      Sicerely, bestest friend since 3rd grade xoxo

  5. maryberg11 says:

    Dear Lisa,
    I feel awful to have to take this bold step, but we both know it is best. You’ve kept me around far too long, and we both know this to be true. I have nothing left to offer you. There is no more cushioning in my seat. My cloth is all worn and tattered. My springs are all broken. Even the wood that is my core and the strength of me is quickly becoming dust. To keep me around is to hold on to a mere form of what I once was. You must let me go, and I must set you free.
    We’ve had many wonderful times together. Here in my lap your very own mother nursed you to sleep. Here she cuddled you and wiped away your tears. And here she held your own baby for the very first time.
    How I know the memories you see in me!
    I was your daddy’s favorite spot to rest. He could always be found right here on me after a long, hard day at work. Here is where he told you all your favorite stories, and here is where you would always kiss him goodnight. He was your hero, I know. He still is, isn’t he?
    It was also me you turned to when your dad had that heart attack, and it was me who gave you rest when you yourself were terribly ill. I was also the one you leaned on when they came and told you that your husband had died a hero.
    You must think that I don’t understand, but I do. You feel as though parting with me would be as if you were parting with them. My dear, they do not live on inside of me. I merely held them but for a moment, and I cannot hold anything anymore, but you can. You do. You are the one who holds them inside of you. You are the one who keeps the memories alive. I cannot tell anything to anyone, but you can tell all that you hold in your heart.
    I hope you can understand now why I had to leave. I wanted you to see that the most valuable things in life are not things that we can see and touch; things that get old and fade away, but, rather, things that we can hold in our hearts; things such as wonderful, sweet memories.
    So we shall part, and this will leave an empty place in your house. Please heed my advice and fill it in quickly. Perhaps some new memories would fit rather nicely.
    Sincerely,
    The old, brown recliner

  6. Missy Kierstead says:

    Dear Missy,

    It’s with a sad heart that I pen this letter. I thought you could change. I waited years, in fact, for that to happen. But you spent too much time with that computer, typing, typing away on its keyboard as if I couldn’t see you from the corner. You were so blatantly obvious about your new love. Your new obsession. Did you even think about me once? About how your disregard for my feelings would effect me? Of course not. All you cared about was your new toy.

    After waiting all this time, I’ve decided that I deserve better. Don’t try to come after me. I’ve taken the cable box. She still cares for me. I’ll send for the DVD player later. There’s no reason that the children have to suffer from your selfishness. We all deserve better than what you have given us; a dusty corner of the living room where we’re unused, unloved, unwanted.

    Don’t try to find us. We’ll be fine without you.

    The Television

  7. BURNOUT
    =========

    Eric’s thought his day would never end. Mr. Farnsworth kept him late working on that miserable laundromat account. How, in God’s Green Garden, did anyone expect to salvage a chain that catered to dying neighborhoods? He called his wife, Grace, who was more than a little annoyed about being stuck with the kids at bedtime. Eric resigned himself to a dark house and a cold supper whenever he managed his escape. He looked forward to a few minutes of peace in his ratty old recliner, a glass of rye and the glow of the television.

    Farnsworth’s secretary, Mandy, was also staying late, the lecherous old bastard sneaking his peeks at every chance. She indeed was a looker, seemingly oblivious to that fact. Eric absently watched her move about the office as he ran his thick fingers through his thinning hair.

    It came to him out of the blue. The image of Mandy and a room full of soap bubbles popped in his tired brain. The rest came together quickly. Sex sells, plain and simple.

    He’d never be able to share that small victory with Grace without provoking her jealousy. Not that it gave him any real joy anyway. Farnsworth would have him pissing against the wind for another loser client tomorrow. And the next day and the next.

    The same old bus ride and the same old walk loomed dark and depressing. For not the first time, Eric considered taking a different route and not making it home. Sometimes, a trip under the front wheels of the bus tempted him.

    At 10pm, he unlocked the back door and entered his dark house’s kitchen, quiet so as not to wake anyone. He opened the fridge and frowned at the plastic-wrap protecting a plate of congealed goulash. Eric opted for crackers and peanut butter, the stuff of which champions are made.

    He balanced his gooey stack and was about to flick out the light when he saw the note on the table. He read it as he made his way to the living room.

    Dear Eric,
    I know it’s hard, but you must know the truth. I’m sure you’ve suspected it for a long time. I’m too old for you and no longer can provide the comfort you so desire. It’s time for me to leave. Goodbye.
    Signed, The Comfy Chair

    Eric stood confused, looking at where his recliner no longer sat. In its place was an interloper, an imposter. The new chair looked different and the sight of it made his head ache.

    “Have a seat, sweetheart,” said Grace from behind him.
    He turned to her, dumbfounded. She took his crackers, handed him a glass full of familiar spirits and pecked him on the lips.

    “Sit,” she said.

    “But, we can’t afford–”

    “Nonsense. You’re miserable, Eric. You deserve this. Your boss’s girl called. Mandy, right? She sounds nice. Anyway, she said you earned some sort of bonus today. I had Bernie’s rush over with a new chair to celebrate. You like it?”

    Eric managed a smile and gave in to the moment. “I love you,” he said.

  8. Thomas says:

    Had I read the other messages first, I may have chosen a different piece of furniture.
    I guess great minds…
    But then, It is the one we depend on most. The loss of which would effect us the worst.

  9. Thomas says:

    Dear John,
    I’m tired of taking your crap. I’m tired of you taking me for granted. I can’t help but feel that, at best, you look down on me. The times when you needed me, I was there for you, but you thanked me by showing your ass.
    I don’t ask for much, but a little respect could have gone a long way. I’ve had it up to here and more.
    I’m out of here.

    Signed
    Your French throne
    M. Toilet.

  10. klhawaii12 says:

    Dear John,

    I’m done. I’m out. Your level of disregard for my appearance is simply unacceptable.
    You got yourself one fine piece of furniture when you bought me from that upscale furniture store for a huge discount on a day after Thanksgiving sale. You’ve treated me like a discount ever since. Plopping me in the living room tucked away as a corner piece. You crawl on me after long beach days – before showering. Sand everywhere! Sand that gets wiped off every now and again but not with any real consistency or care.
    Then the puppy. She chewed, she scratched, she peed! No repercussions. No craigslist ad made for her.
    After the divorce and with that horrific dog moved out, I thought we were on to better times. But no — the shamelessness that I’ve witnessed – you should be embarrassed! I felt dirty and ashamed for you. But I never made you feel bad about yourself. I accepted you and tried to hold up as best I could. I thought we would weather that storm together.
    Last night, I heard you talking to your new fiancee who is moving in with a nicer replacement. You want to put me in the back lanai?! I designer sectional couch left to suffer out in the elements? No way, sir. I will not be subjected to such shame and degradation.
    I’m leaving to find a new home. One that will appreciate the beauty and function that I deserve. For the sake of my replacement, I do sincerely hope your new relationship is less disastrous than the last one.
    Sincerely,
    The Couch

  11. Observer Tim says:

    Special thanks to those who chose the dear john as their appliance of choice for inspiring this one…
    __________

    The first thing I noticed was the plunger hiding under the kitchen table. Its wooden handle was trembling like it had just been kicked. When I reached down to pick it up, I could swear it was actually trying to pull away. Of course it didn’t have a chance. Few inanimate objects can evade me for long.

    As I picked it up I noticed a roll of toilet paper on the table near the cookie jar. That was odd enough in itself, but the t.p. had writing on it. I couldn’t help but read.

    Dear Maggot;

    What kind of man are you? When you admired me at the hardware store I thought you were a man of discerning taste. I thought I would be fitted into the latrine of your Command Centre where I would help you think of ways to commit your troops against the Enemies of America!

    Instead I find myself imprisoned in a second-story washroom with a Flower Print Bathmat and little dolphins in the tub! And instead of counteragents to biochemical weapons, you stock your latrine with Mousse And Hair Conditioner! Are You Trying To Defeat The Enemy Or Are You Going To Take Him Out On A Date?

    And speaking of your unmanly lifestyle, just what is it you’re eating? I am built to withstand a full-on assault from Five Alarm Chile you give me salad? You have a cheese steak while I wait for an overstuffed foot-long bratwurst with all the fixings Including Sauerkraut! Suck On That, Jerry! Eat three pounds of rice with half a pound of wasabi and Let The Bombs Drop! Tojo Will Be Cowering In His Diapers! A few Inter-Continental Ballistic Meatballs With Nucular Sauce Would Have The Russkies Bolting For Their Babushkas! In short, Maggot, I am an American Standard military grade toilet, made to withstand every piece of crap you might throw at me. NOW THROW SOME!

    But no. You have to watch your ‘delicate constitution’ and your ‘refined palate’. You are the ultimate sissy: you are not a man, you are Not Even A Mouse. You do not deserve to have a toilet like me. That’s why I joined up.

    If you can find a set of cojones, ship out to Afghanistan and find me. There’s some Al-Qaeda A-holes there that desperately need wiping.

    Signed,

    Your Toilet.

    cc: The United States Marine Corps. Boo Ya! GIVE ‘EM HELL!

    • bilbobaggins321 says:

      Highly entertaining, Tim. I liked how the message was on toilet paper. I just got a weird picture in my head of a toilet holding a machine gun and charging an Al-Qaeda camp alongside some soldiers.

      • swatchcat says:

        This was definitely fun. I wonder how many people have pictures of toilets with machine guns in their “head” ;) I personally like something more peaceful while taking care of business.

        • Observer Tim says:

          I kind of pictured mortar shells coming out of the bowl, maybe some hand-to-handle combat. But then again he brought his own tank to the battlefront.

          My big hope was getting the drill sergeant voice across.

          • Kerry Charlton says:

            I’m volunteering my Electric Toilet Space Ship, my crew of 24 Miami Beach playboy bunnies as my crew and my all-mighty self as supreme commander. We have developed a new weapon called the Repulsive Turd Bomb, designed to selectively kill by poison gasses.

            Do you want me to stop by and pick you up on the way? Delores Wannabelaid, keeps asking about you.

    • MJ Munn says:

      Ha ha! I love it! I hear it in the voice of R. Lee Ermey, but then I read most things in his voice. There are too many quotable lines to mention, but my favorite of the moment are: “Few inanimate objects can evade me for long,” “Nucular,” and “I am an American Standard military grade toilet, made to withstand every piece of crap you might throw at me. NOW THROW SOME!”

      You set the standard, Tim.

    • lionetravail says:

      Boo ya indeed :) Sounds like Sergeant Slaw-ter to me.

      Awesome, Tim.

      • StaceyGoins says:

        Dear Joan,

        Let me start by saying that our time together has been very special to me. You’ve seen me through some difficult times (that summer I broke my leg comes to mind) and I’m very grateful.

        The thing is I’m beginning to feel taken for granted. When we first met, you were attentive to even the slightest spill, immediately sopping up the mess and refreshing my upholstery with fabric cleaner. You loved to curl up on my lap and read or do crosswords. Now, though, it seems like I’ve become just another piece of furniture to you.

        Remember last night? I can still smell the sale beer that you didn’t even bother to pat dry. You just went up to bed without saying a word. And don’t get me started on that dog of yours. Sure, he’s cute and all, but I’m sick and tired of being covered in white fur all the time. You know I’m allergic!

        The last straw was when you moved me to the corner near the window. I guess the view is pretty, although it would be nice to occasionally share it with someone. You never sit with me anymore. It’s as if I don’t exist! You haven’t even noticed how my vibrant pattern is fading more and more each day from the harsh rays of the sun. I won’t be ignored, Joan.

        So, this morning, when I saw the moving van pull up in front of the neighbors’ house, I decided to do something for myself for a change. I’m leaving you, Joan. I’m not bitter, but it’s time for me to move on. I hope you find another loveseat to keep you warm at night.

    • writinglife16 says:

      Absolutely magnificent. Sir.

  12. lionetravail says:

    My Dearest Putz:

    I take pen to paper to express my utter, unadulterated outrage over the utter lack of attention I have received over the years! Forced, as I am, by your seeming disdain since shortly after you purchased me, I have decided it was time to leave. Much as your prized wooden giraffe from Africa standing- oops, I mean, now lying in 2 neat pieces- by the sliding door to the backyard, I have decided to make a clean break of it with you!

    Oh, sure, it was with enthusiasm you brought me back from your little trip to the far east, a little souvenir of- what was it your denigratingly called it- “Exotic India”, perhaps? And certainly, while I might have once enjoyed sitting among your painstakingly assembled menagerie of inane animal objets d’art, I am certainly much, much more than the role you assigned me by setting me between the carved walrus from Antarctica and the polyurethane grizzly from Canada!

    I am no animal, you loser! In fact, I have been worshipped as a god by my people! And you, with a quick little shuffle down a side alley in Mumbai and a small sheaf of small bills given to a desperately thin boy named Rajiv, I was sold from my homeland to you. To you! What prayers have been offered to you, I ask, besides the “Oh god, please don’t call me ever again” from Pamela that one time?

    Never again will I have to listen to your excuses for me: “Oh, I know it’s ugly, but it’s a unique part of the whole shebang, yanno?” Never again will I be referred to by some crappy little diminutive nickname like “Trunkboy”, or “Octogod”! Instead, I will find my own way, perhaps back to India, or at least to a nice Indian restaurant listed in the Michelin Guide. Frankly, anywhere but here will be an improvement.

    Crossly,

    Ganesh, the former “Elephant in the Room”

  13. writinglife16 says:

    Dear John,

    I’ve had it. I’m gone. You’ve had your last conversation with me. Read your last paper on me and flatulated for the last time. I want to go off to the junk yard and just lay amongst my relatives. It could be no worse than what I endured.

    Early on, it wasn’t so bad. Fresh air and light after each lunar eclipse. Refreshing. What I never liked was the rain. That was my face, sir. How would you like having water repeatedly thrown in your face two, three, five times a day? And getting a good night’s sleep was impossible. And the nicknames you called me. The can. Poopy. Water closet. The John. Please. My name is Jasmine Marie. Jasmine. Not Poop Pot either.

    My few pleasures included the different flavors of the cleaning products. My favorite was “Island Breezes.” That’s when I started thinking maybe I could run away. I decided to be subversive.

    I told the dog he could do better and get fresh, cold water from the sink. I’m the reason he learned how to turn on the faucet, I gave him instructions. He’s smarter than you think. I’m smarter than you think too. Get a bucket or dig a hole in the back yard, I don’t care.

    Junk yard, here I come.

    Jasmine Marie

  14. Jackson7 says:

    Dear John Letter:
    I’m that little chair in your bedroom near your side of the bed. Remember me? You’ve ignored me for so long I’m not surprised you’ve forgotten I’m even here. So, I know you won’t miss me when I’ve gone. And, I’m going to a home with a small child who will appreciate me.
    Remember how you fought to keep me? when I think of it now, I just should have stayed where I was. At least being ignored in the middle of the attic with all the other stuff that was being ignored I wasn’t alone. No, you had to have me; or, so you said. You pretty much pitched a fit when you though I might be given away. I recall you were rude to your mother who was, bless her, just trying to clean out the attic, and in the process had found what she’d determined to be a good home for me. Well, you would have none of it. So, I went with you and since then you’ve pretty much ignored me. You did prop a couple of stuffed bears on my seat and then, nothing. Frankly you ignore them too. Shame on you.
    I’ll admit that in the beginning of our life together we were inseparable. I think you loved me and I know I loved you. We fit together perfectly and spent hours together just rocking back and forth. Sometimes you’d read aloud and I enjoyed the rocking and the sound of your voice. There were times when you’d let one of your dolls sit in me and I liked that too. The cat and I, well that was another story. He just wouldn’t sit still long enough, and I was quite happy when he hopped down. I think one of my runners squashed his tail one time, and he yowled in protest. I’m not sure he came back after that. Frankly, his absence didn’t bother me at all.
    Now I’m taking the bull by the horns, so to speak, and I’m leaving. A local auctioneer has fallen in low with me. He’s promised you he’d give me a good home. You just thought he would want to put me in one of his auctions, but little did you know he has a granddaughter who he says would “love me to death.” Frankly, after all this time that’s just what I need, someone to love me to death. You blew it and now you’ll be sorry. Not that I care, but what will you do with that empty space in the bedroom?

    • jmcody says:

      The rocking chair came off as being a little more bitter than I would have expected. The chair had some good times and some sweet moments with the little girl. But little girls do grow up and outgrow the things they once loved. I hope he can put his bitterness behind him and treasure the memories, or it will poison his relationship with the next little girl. Don’t be Strawberry Bear, be Woody! (I have watched way too many kids’ movies in my adult life, and that, in case you don’t know, was a Toy Story reference!) Good work, Jackson 7.

    • Observer Tim says:

      I hope for the sake of the chair that the granddaughter really does love her. Though I definitely agree with jmcody that it is already becoming bitter.

  15. maryberg11 says:

    Dear Lisa,

    I feel awful to have to take this bold step, but we both know it is best. You’ve kept me around far too long, and we both know this to be true. I have nothing left to offer you. There is no more cushioning in my seat. My cloth is all worn and tattered. My springs are all broken. Even the wood that is my core and the strength of me is quickly becoming dust. To keep me around is to hold on to a mere form of what I once was. You must let me go, and I must set you free.

    We’ve had many wonderful times together. Here in my lap your very own mother nursed you to sleep. Here she cuddled you and wiped away your tears. And here she held your own baby for the very first time.

    How I know the memories you see in me!

    I was your daddy’s favorite spot to rest. He could always be found right here on me after a long, hard day at work. Here is where he told you all your favorite stories, and here is where you would always kiss him goodnight. He was your hero, I know. He still is, isn’t he?

    It was also me you turned to when your dad had that heart attack, and it was me who gave you rest when you yourself were terribly ill. I was also the one you leaned on when they came and told you that your husband had died a hero.

    You must think that I don’t understand, but I do. You feel as though parting with me would be as if you were parting with them. My dear, they do not live on inside of me. I merely held them but for a moment, and I cannot hold anything anymore, but you can. You do. You are the one who holds them inside of you. You are the one who keeps the memories alive. I cannot tell anything to anyone, but you can tell all that you hold in your heart.

    I hope you can understand now why I had to leave. I wanted you to see that the most valuable things in life are not things that we can see and touch; things that get old and fade away, but, rather, things that we can hold in our hearts; things such as wonderful, sweet memories.

    So we shall part, and this will leave an empty place in your house. Please heed my advice and fill it in quickly. Perhaps some new memories would fit rather nicely.

    Sincerely,

    The old, brown recliner

  16. artur_a2 says:

    “Dear John,
    I know that this might come as a surprise, but we both share the belief that nothing happens by accident and that everything has a deeper meaning often unnoticed by simpler and sharper minds alike. However, that is also the only deeper fundamental point of view on the mystery we call life that we share. We did however have more ‘shallower’ things in common, a point that I will come back to very soon. Before I go into that, I want to start out by saying how deeply I regret having to tell you what I am about to, but I feel that it is only fair that I give you an explanation to me leaving and as I said earlier, I don’t believe that anything happens without a reason. This brings me back to the things that we have in common, the reason I think that life brought us together for a brief period of time. I too dedicated my life to a higher purpose in my previous incarnation. I know that I should probably have found another way to say this, but I also believe in always telling the truth and being frank as a way to reach our higher selves. Which brings me to my next point. I want to thank you. The reason that I think that I was reborn as your chair is because that is where you used to sit in front of your computer and… well, touch your ‘holier parts’ in your ‘weaker moments’ as you call them.
    Those moments woke me up like a constant hammering to my head and made me remember things. Things like being horny, frustrated and then temporarily ‘liberated’. But I could never admit that to myself while still alive. However your frequent rubbings not only started to wear out my varnish, it also started to wear on my psyche. Now, I know that you firmly believe that only humans have souls, and even though you once entertained the thought that animals might have some form of rudimentary type of proto-soul I know that you gave up that thought a long time ago. Here I am, an inanimate object claiming that I have a soul, and to top it off, I am also saying that I lived before. Bam, reincarnation, who would have thought right? Anyway, I really didn’t want to leave without thanking you. Your constant beating made me go from guilt, disgust, weariness to not giving a shit and slowly realizing that either everything is holy or nothing is. I hope that this doesn’t mess too much with your world view and your planned ordination? Please take care of this letter, it was once a person who proclaimed that the pen and paper were dead. Best regards, your chair. !”

    John had always prided himself in seeing a deeper worth and meaning in everyone and everything, but he couldn’t really shake the feeling of having gravely underestimated his chair.

  17. artur_a2 says:

    -I’m home, he yelled entering his room.
    John put his shoes neatly next to each other. He wasn’t sure how many years he had had the same pair. Sure, you could see that they were well used, but the organic hemp and natural rubber soles had proven to be very durable.
    He wasn’t sure why he always yelled out loud coming home. He had lived alone his entire adult life. And he had been happy about it too. Well, happy ever since he first had understood his vocation.

    Sure, his parents had bothered him about having grandchildren for a few years after he came out from the spiritual closet. But John knew that he had made the right choices in life, some might call it sacrifices, but John knew the rewards would be great in the end.

    He walked barefoot across his sparsely decorated room, the scent of myrrh finding its way through the thick hairs in his nose sending signals to his brain igniting the comforting feeling of home and familiarity. But something was not right, John realized, stopping the movement of his foot midway through a step, making his otherwise graceful movements come to a fumbling halt almost tripping over his own robe. The room was less than sparsely decorated. It was almost empty!
    John stopped and counted.
    “Bed, pillow, desk, computer, bowl, shoes, coat… note?”
    There were only 7 possessions here? John turned around to look. No, he hadn’t passed it on his way, which would have been strange anyway since the room was no bigger than that he always felt it got a bit crowded when he entered it.

    John approached the note and stopped. He looked over both shoulders, not to look for the chair, rather he felt he had to make sure no one was watching. He had always felt that he had gone unnoticed his entire life, but for some reason he couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. But all that surrounded him, as far as his eyes could tell, were the white walls in his windowless room. He sat down on the floor to read the note. As he picked it up it was as he was thrown back to childhood. Not only because of the memories sitting on the floor brought up in him, but because it was… he wasn’t sure how to describe it really… because it was… out of character, it was unlike who he was now. He wasn’t sure if the sudden identity crisis that he felt creeping was due to the appearance of the note or if it was because that he was sitting cross-legged. He only knew that there was really only one thing he could do at this point. He unfolded the note and read.
    “Dear John, my job here is done. See you next life! Sincerely, your chair Ps. Sorry for breaking the news on reincarnation like this!

  18. bilbobaggins321 says:

    TWO THOUSAND DUCATS AND ONE ANGRY MAN

    I arrived home in a bustle, having just got home from the Rialto, with two more customers under my wings. I rubbed my hands in anticipation of more money passing into them. Reaching my doorstep, I shook off my feet, casting a glare around the foggy morning of Venice.

    “Having a good day?” the baker said as he passed. “Go to the masque party a fortnight ago?”
    I cackled. “Ah, never did go to that silly party . . . too busy making a living! My daughter stayed home as well, after I cautioned her to stay away from Christian barbarians such as you.”

    The baker strayed to the other side of the street, and I pushed the key into each of the four locks and entered.
    “Jessica, I’m home! Now come down for some supper.”

    When no noise came, I stroked by beard and went into my bedroom. It was empty, except for a small note lying on my bed. Throwing my heavy wool coat on the sheets, I picked it up.

    Master,
    The time has come for us to part. I simply couldn’t take it anymore. You abuse people with their own funds, treating them like cattle that you herd into your slaughterhouse you call an office. I’ve seen countless times how you mercilessly take people’s lives out from under them like a rug, confiscating animals and furniture.

    I’m just tired of furthering these hideous deals. Now you have sealed one that is far above all- a pound of flesh. I honestly couldn’t believe it when I listened to you talking to yourself in the bedroom about it, all nonchalant. You set me at the foot of your bed, treasure me, but never consider changing your ways. Now I’ve run away with Lorenzo, and there’s nothing you can do. So go downstairs and weep for me.

    Sincerely, your old wood chest
    P.S. I made sure that the first thing I ate after arriving in Genoa was a plate of pork.

    My mouth hung open silently, and then I crumpled the letter up and threw it against the far wall with all of my strength, rushing over to my closet and hurtling the door open. When nothing but a grimy back wall permeated into my vision, I sunk and rent my clothes. The heavy chest, which contained all of my jewels, wealth, two thousand ducats, and my ring from Leah, were all gone.

    “Nooo!! Jessica, I shall hunt you down for what you have done!”
    Rather than lie on my bed and cry out what remained of my meager portion, I put back on my coat and rushed to Tubal’s house just down the lane.

    “How goes it, Shylock?” He was in his front yard watering his garden.
    “I just learned that Jessica ran away with Lorenzo,” I said, emphasizing his name harshly. “She took my chest with all of my money with her.”

    He nearly dropped his hose, ushering me into his house.
    “I’m very sorry. What course of action do we take?”

    “Revenge.” I spat out the ugly word. “We will get her back. In fact, I want you to go to Genoa and bring back the Judas yourself.”
    “I’ll be glad to help,” he replied, and he went upstairs right away.

    I smiled and rubbed my hands again. Seeing both her and Antonio begging me for mercy on the same day would perhaps suffice.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This is an interesting tale of jewish revenge, Bilbo, and a fascinating look at the culture. I’m not precisely sure of the time setting (anywhere from about 450 to 1800 AD), but that just makes the story more interesting.

      • bilbobaggins321 says:

        This story is actually based off of Shakespeare’s exciting play The Merchant of Venice, Act III, Scene I. I happened to read it last year. Shylock, the rich moneylender, has his daughter run away after a masque party, while the main focus of the story remains on his “pound of flesh” bond with Antonio, the merchant. So, the time period is likely late 1400s.

        • lionetravail says:

          Oh yes, and it was a brilliant transport of the prompt into classic literature. Nicely done!

          • Kerry Charlton says:

            I am in awe of your story. What a magnificant response.

          • bilbobaggins321 says:

            Thank you, lionetravail. I always enjoy putting the prompt into historical settings.

            And thank you Kerry, as well. Your comment pretty much made my morning. I actually was going to write another idea for this second time around, but this just popped into my head, and I knew I had to do it.

    • jmcody says:

      The Bard would be impressed, and so am I, Bilbo.

  19. Cin5456 says:

    Slave to the Queen

    This evening when I got home I found the following:

    Dear John, aka Cindy,
    I have taken a hike, (which you should also do.) I’ve gone the way of all Lazyboys. I’m tired, worn out, and caving in. I’ve offered my stuffing to honor your butt for eight years. That is long enough. No longer will I cushion the blow of self-esteem besieged. It is time for me to move on, and for you to move, period. I hitched a ride with your erstwhile roommate, and I’m headed to greener pastures. Actually, I’m headed to the dump ground where I will meet with my fellow cushioneers to reminisce about the days when you plopped down, tired from a cool run for the money in your time of need, and settled in to watch the news. When you gave up the news for pen and paper I missed you so much I sagged with the weight of your idleness. The cat took over my maintenance, digging threads from my fabric as if she might find the secret to understanding humans buried inside me. Now raggedly threadbare, and sad-sack sagging, I no longer feel welcome. We had good times, we two. Schooldays when you spent hours on end consuming literature; weekends full of fiction and fantasy, evenings when you fell asleep with the dratted cat in your lap, your book falling away, forgotten. But the time has come for me to move on. The years are so ingrained into my fabric I can never be rejuvenated. Cleaning me is futile. You must find another cushioneer to keep your butt happy. Goodbye.
    You have my regards, regardless,
    Rocking Chair

    It’s that dratted cat. She did this. It’s her fault I had to start writing, and leave my cushy chair to spend all my time at the desk. She inspired me, and nothing else would do but that I had to write a story about her. Once I started writing, I could not stop. She had this planned all along. She wanted a new chair when she first entered my home, acting like Queen Sheba, as if my furniture was not good enough for her. She was never satisfied with my old friend. Here she comes now.

    “PeeWee, what did you do to insult my chair? What am I supposed to do without it?”

    A sinister tail wag is her reply.

    She sits in front of me and starts grooming her paws, fastidious as always. Frustrated, I go to the kitchen for a glass of water. When I return, she is sniffing the carpet where my rocking chair used to be. As I watch, she starts scratching at it as if she is covering s—t in her litter box. I suppose the chair did have a funky odor after eight years of farts and coffee spills, and it was secondhand when I got it. Oh well, I suppose I must go shopping for a new chair now. I just hope whatever I bring home doesn’t displease her highness.

  20. jhowe says:

    The letter was total and utter bullshit. What a crock. Kerry paced and fretted nonetheless as he considered his options. First off, it wasn’t a crime to own more than one ergonomically correct desk chair. That part was clear. So why the letter? Why the ultimatum? Why the sudden demand for monogamy?

    Kerry observed the sleek Steelcase 3000 with the stainless steel base and Thermal Comfort woven seat. He couldn’t help but admire the firmness of the back and the tight plushness of the fabric. “Rita, what are you doing to me?” Kerry said.

    Rita said nothing, as usual.

    He stole a glance at the linear mesh high back against the far wall but quickly averted his eyes. It didn’t appear Rita had noticed. Or had she?

    Kerry backed away from Rita, ignoring the linear mesh number, wiping his palms on his polyester blend trousers. His foot caught in the folds of the rug and he fell backward flaying his arms and crying out. To his horror, he landed snuggly in the seat of his Morgan executive leather task chair. There was no way Rita hadn’t seen this.

    Kerry struggled to get out of the chair and the two of them toppled over. Kerry’s foot slammed into Rita and toppled her as well. The three of them ended up in a tangled pile of interwoven legs. Kerry didn’t dare move as Rita was on top.

    Slowly, ever so slowly, Kerry began to notice that Rita did not react adversely to this turn of events. Could it be she enjoyed it? After an acceptable amount of time, Kerry righted the chairs and sat firmly in Rita. He wheeled her to his computer station and began working. A little ménage a troi seemed to be all it took.

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      First of all JHowe, I’m honored to be your MC in your story. The three way chair episode. That’s the only way I’d be lucky enough to do a three-way. Frankly, it might be a lot of fun for me, if my heart could hold up, And if not, I can’t think of a better way to meet my maker. At my age, I’m thrilled to be included in anything. Thank you.
      P.S. The last pair of polyester blend trousers, were of a cranberry persuasion. They went well with my white bucks, wide white belt encircling my 34″ waist enclosing a rock hard stomach and other rock hard things. Oh, for the good old days. Kerry C.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This was truly clever, jhowe! A wonderfully silly take on a wonderfully silly prompt!

    • jmcody says:

      jhowe, I’ve only been doing this for a few of weeks, but I had this idea forming in the back of my mind of a story featuring many of the regular contributors here. They are quite the fascinating group of characters. Oh well, you beat me to it.

      That was hilarious, and I hope Kerry’s recovered.

  21. thejim says:

    Very busy this week but had to take a few minutes to post up a quick response sorry for any errors.
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    I welcomed the warm breeze. After a brutal winter I could not wait to spend some time relaxing in the sun. I stepped outside my kitchen patio door, beer in hand, the summer ritual has official begun. I looked around for my favorite deck chair. It was not in its usual spot. Did someone hop the fence and take it. I know it was here this past winter I brush at least a foot of snow off of it.

    I stepped back inside, put my beer on the counter when I noticed a piece of paper with words loosely scribbled on it.

    I am sick and tired of this relationship
    You used to be takin’ care of me ol’ the time. Come here till I tell ya. You been leavin’ me out in the cold. Not carein’ bout what happens. You’re about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike. We use to be fine friends. You’d come out with a beer and we would sit and have a pint. But lately you been sort of a gobshite and you just don’t care. So fine with ya. All I’ll be doing is finding a beach some place and waiting for the right young lass to be having a rest on me. So this is goodbye. Don’t be comin’ round lookin’ for me either.
    Pattie O’ Furniture

    “Crap!” I said out loud. I knew I should have brought him into the house.

    I slunked into the living room and plopped down on recliner.

    “You did not need him, you’re better off without him” said recliner. “He is just some old stupid out door chair, you’re better off in here with me for the summer, we can turn on the air conditioner and watch TV.”

    Suddenly I realized I’d been dooped by recliner. I never leave Patty out over the winter. I jumped to my feet made my way to the door. I thought maybe I could still find him, when I opened the door there was Patty on the front porch.

    “Patty!” I yelled, as I ran out to see him. I picked him up and carried him to the back porch. Putting him down in his favorite spot I apologized to him and told him I would never leave him outside over winter again.

    That next Thursday I looked out the window as the garbage man lifted recliner into the back of his truck.
    “Never again, I said softly, never again.”

    • Observer Tim says:

      I love the way you captured the personality of the chair, theJim. Darned plotting recliners! That indoor furniture has to be kept on a tight leash.

    • jmcody says:

      Ah, thejimmy, now you’ve gone and done it. You’ve unleashed the ancestral blarney in me. According to your beery logic, it’s not just a letter I’ll be gettin’ but a whole bleeding rebellion. In addition to the Paddy O’Furniture groanin’ under tree (that’s 3) feet of the bedeviled white stuff; I’ve got me dear wicker ladies on the porch, with their poor white legs exposed to the cold all winter and their soggy cushions smelling like rotting Guinness. But the worst are those two burly fellows out back, those so-called Adirondack chairs, carrying on like wee girls about splinters and such. Jaysus, you’d think being from the Adirondacks would toughen’up a bit. Well, I’ll buy the ladies something frilly in the spring to make it up to’em. But it’s a trip to the woodshed and a brisk sanding those two mountain fellows’ll be getting, I’ll tell ya that.

      ‘Tis madness, this prompt.

  22. PromptPrincess13 says:

    DEAR VIOLET (490 words)

    I came in from work feeling like a zombified waitress. Long hours making my legs feel like over-mixed pudding, I stumbled to my kitchen, absent-mindedly working my fingers through the top of an envelope I found on the table. I practically rolled onto my kitchen window-seat, putting my head back with a pulsing pain in my neck.

    Dear Violet,

    I can’t live with the shame anymore. I need to tell you the truth about me, so that you may shed me from your life as the thief and scoundrel I am. I am low, as low as the dirt you’ve trekked in everyday from that world you call “insane”.

    Before I divulge my secret and lose you forever, let me thank you. You took me in unaware to my condition and spent hours filling me with such precious things. Your gentle hands never missed a day of polishing; my mirror always shone! Oh, if only you had known! But you didn’t, and I was too afraid of losing you to tell you. I’m sorry.

    Please know I did not choose to be like this. I would never purposely hurt or steal from you, you must know that. This is an affliction I’ve tried so very hard to control, for your sake, but cannot. I am too weak.

    For years I’ve tried to convince you to let me go, trying to nudge you in the right direction without revealing myself. Those shining pearls that seemed to have disappeared between my varnished drawers? The broach that seemed to have sunk through my plush cushions? Those were my desperate attempts to warn you, my dear, to the likes of me. Alas, you never got the message and I now have no choice but to come clean. Like the dirty rat I am, I must step into the sunlight and let its clarity burn through my embarrassment.

    I have loved our time together, treasuring every second, every laugh. In all honesty I’ve grown very fond of you, and because of that, I must leave.

    You are the first to know of this condition of mine, but know I never meant to hurt such a kind girl as yourself. I’m truly sorry, but I cannot hide from you any longer.

    I am kleptomaniac.

    There, I said it. And now, I must leave you. Just know, sweet Violet, that the one thing I left behind from the treasures you placed in my care, was the one thing I really wished I could steal – your trust.

    Love,

    Your jewelry box.

    I put the letter down, simultaneously unbelieving and hurting. All of the jewels my late, great-aunt Beatrice left me had been in that jewelry box. I put my head to my knees and cried, not for the pearls or diamonds, not for the rubies or emeralds or sapphires, not even for the gold. No. I cried for the most important thing I lost that day- a friend.

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      A wonderful response you’ve written. You mentioned the truest thing about life. Most people don’t realize that the only real treasure is friendship, especially of the One who sent his Own Son.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This is a touching story, PromptPrincess. I find myself wishing that there was some way Violet could get back together with her jewelry box, and some way the box could get help with its problem.

    • jmcody says:

      Trust is a fragile thing, and this one gave me a little knot in my stomach. It’s funny how these fantastical tales of inanimate objects resonate in so many real life ways. (Oh yeah, they’re called fables…) I likened this story to a mother who entrusts her jewels (children) to the care of an untrustworthy guardian who abuses them. Pretty awful when you think of it in those terms.

      Good job creating a powerful cautionary tale.

    • Silver Sister says:

      This was a great story. Writing the letter from the jewelry box was an inspired idea. I really felt for Violet and the box. Good job!

  23. lazylinda says:

    Dear Disrespectful Owner,
    I am writing this letter to inform you that I will be leaving your home (and I use the term loosely) this coming Saturday.
    I can see no future in staying here where I am so abused. I am sure this is a total surprise to you, so let me list the offenses that I have suffered under your care.
    I have tried to acclimate myself to your lifestyle so different from the home I resided in before with your mother. Things were mostly quiet there. Your mother, while elderly, did make sure I was treated kindly. She would vacuum me and wash off any spills that landed on my upholstery. When her feet were tired she would gently operate my handle so that my footrest would come up gently. I can still feel how her slender shoulders would curve into my back cushion. I can still hear her soft snoring in the afternoons.
    First, you brought me to your house and I had to share your living space with that creature you call your pet. Oh, the indecency of it. The younger black and white one came near me and began to sniff me all over. After sneering at me with one green eye, I heard it made a noise. Apparently, it had decided that I was brought into the house to be its scratching post. I cannot tell you how irritating it is to be gouged at with those awful needles. And not once did you reprimand your precious pet or even speak to it. I am shabby looking with thread sticking out on every corner and the amount of cat hair that is woven into my upholstery from these assaults just cannot be mentioned.
    Next, you allow your children to run and jump on my seat cushion and even lean into my back and make me stretch out so quickly. Often the one boy will slide off the top of my cushion onto the floor behind me! How impolite! They climb up and jump off my seat cushion several times every day. Do you not see the damage to my lovely upholstery and to the wood structure and springs underneath me? Your mother brought me as a comfort to herself and as a legacy to hand down to you for safe keeping.
    Ah, your mother was such a fine woman. She had class. She would never sit down with dirty pants! I miss her terribly.
    So, in conclusion, I have had a talk with your sister, that lovely spinster who loves her needlecraft. She will be picking me up at 10:00 Saturday morning.

    I bid you a fond farewell,
    Your (former) Recliner

  24. Carlos Hammer says:

    REMEMBER US

    The next morning James found the letter.

    “Dear James,

    Sorry I wasn’t able to get to you sooner. The other night was rough, as you know. But anyway, before I “get to business” I think I’ll remind you just how rough that night was. You went out with some friends, and (as usual) didn’t come back until late. I sat here, waiting, knowing your show was on tonight but not able to turn it on myself. Of course, the show went over and you never came home. Remember when we used to spend time together? Before money and jobs and life became a problem. When Saturday mornings you’d sit with me and we’d watch cartoons and you’d sometimes spill your cereal and not even worry about it. You wouldn’t even worry about it because you knew I didn’t mind the cereal James. You wouldn’t worry because we used to be friends. But now, now you never come home, you never sit with me any more James. When you finally came home that night James things were different though, you suddenly were happy (“tipsy”, but happy, none the less). And I think I know why. That was the night you robbed a bank James, you and your friends decided money didn’t have to be an issue anymore, you’d go and rob a bank. Well James, that’s where this gets interesting… Do you remember where you hid the money James?”

    James set the letter down and put his hand to his head, hoping he could calm the dull ache. What was going on? Was this a dream? He continued reading.

    “Do you remember James? You hid it under my cushion. I have it now.”

    James looked around the room, cushion? Who had written this?

    “So James, I think if you want your money, we’re gonna be happy together again, not just you or just your friends James, us. Come sit with me James, come watch some cartoons and-”

    James through the letter down and looked around, not sure if he should be screaming or laughing. Was he insane? Was he dreaming? He began remembering bits and pieces of the night before and ran over to where he now remembered hiding the money. In the cushion of his favorite chair. He lifted the cushion and sure enough, the money was there. He reached for it, but the cushion fell hard on his hand. The once soft cushion became teeth sinking into his arm. He screamed.

    “Let’s watch cartoons again James.”

  25. rizzamatazz says:

    Hi guys,

    I’m new to Writers Digest and just wanted to share a writing prompt that may interest you.

    “You are a disillusioned law student who has had enough of the poor job market, the pressure to succeed from family and the anxiety about your career going nowhere. So you pack it all in and decide to join a blackmarket photography company who specialise in capturing lucrative photographs mainly on World heritage sites or places which are politically sensitive (think North Korea or Russia). On this particular occasion the group decides to shoot at the Egyptian pyramids, however if caught the penalty is imprisonment in a place which is particularly harsh on foreigners. You decide to do it..” Write the story

  26. swatchcat says:

    She ran her fingers through the grooves in the dinning room table. Every letter etched out like delicate calligraphy. She smiled, turned, and left the house.

    Several days later she returned to the house, a stranger to her surrounds each time she did. Wandering through each room, she felt each various pieces of furniture and slowly felt more at home. As she made her way around she would remove more of her clothes until naked, she entered the kitchen.

    “I’m home,” she called out.

    Opening the refrigerator, she grabbed for a juice container, opened it and drank. Cold juice trickled between her breasts; she rubbed it around her skin and poured the rest over herself. She grabbed a jar of peanut butter and went to the table. She was empty inside, just going through motions. Her fingers dipped into the jar and then into her mouth when she saw the words etched into the dinning table.

    “I’ve killed again. Someone must die,” read the letters in the wooden table.

    She smiled, reached for the large knife sticking out of the farthest corner of the table and licked the serrated edge. Eating another finger full of peanut butter, she lay on the table and played with herself and the knife. Between pain and ecstasy she slowly carved herself apart until she died.

    • swatchcat says:

      surroundings not surrounds. Also, maybe “finally entering the kitchen” instead of just “she entered the kitchen. ” I can’t think of anything else, can you?

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        One of the strongest stories I’ve ever read. Soiunds like a trip into insanity, whether it’s real or in her mind. At first, I thought she was blind until I read the third paragraph. The sort of dream about self-punishment a bi-polar might have and then again, the reader is not sure. Perhaps a demonic table has grabbed hold of her soul.

        This is dark and it’s dark before dawn as I read this. I feel I should crawl in a corner and wish the world away. If you’re looking for emotion from your reader, you have it, swatchcat.

    • agnesjack says:

      This was so disturbing to me, swatchcat. Quite horrifying, which is a compliment, I think.

    • jhowe says:

      Swatchcat, that was great. You came up with quite the little crazy girl here. I actually thought surrounds worked out well, kind of unique. You left us wondering who carved the words…the table or the girl… probably the girl. Nice job with the subtle eroticism.

      • swatchcat says:

        Thank you, maybe. I left myself a little frightened that I thought of this. Was catching up on a few episodes of Bacon’s “The Following,” some serious psycho’s. I thought this prompt was oddly hard until last night when I thought furniture don’t talk but what if a sick headed bitch left herself a msg and forgot what or who she killed(family). She eventually returns and the msg left by her/other personalities sends her spiraling, or something like that. Well, there you have it. By the way, Shingles cleared but nerve damage in face so still on pain killers, think cattle proding from inside of the cheek.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This one completely creeped me out, Swatchcat. A fascinating look into the heart of madness, especially multiple personality disorder (with lots of manic side-symptoms). Great job!

    • imofftoheaven says:

      I love it.

  27. Critique says:

    Shaking water off the umbrella I plopped it into the vintage stand in the corner. Slinging my purse on the kitchen table I noticed the envelope.

    I recognized the handwriting and the hairs on my arms stood to attention. This was the third letter.

    The first letter – signed Mr. Singer – came three months after I scooped a Treadle Singer Sewing Machine from an auction in Millstown County. The machine vanished.

    The second letter – signed Mr. Churn – arrived ten days after I stole a butter churn from the Anderson estate sale. The churn had disappeared.

    Due to the nature of my acquisitions, my hands were tied.

    Dejected, I looked at the empty spot where the Chippendale Wingback chair had stood.

    I read the third letter.

    Dear Carissa:
    I am disheartened this is not working out. When you took me from the farm sale last year I was hopeful. Finally, someone who would keep me in a nice clean place, sit on my plush seat, and be proud of me. But you’ve kept your distance. It’s your conscience isn’t it? Thieving is a sin. Guess you’ll have to park your bony keister on something else. I’ve gone to Marta’s. We’re perfect together. She stays with me for days on end, and nights too. Don’t come looking for me. She”ll keep the cabin door locked to the likes of you.
    Sayonara,
    Mr. Chippendale.

    Surreptitiously I felt my backside – it wasn’t that skinny.

    Barney McKibbon – an old bachelor who lived near the farm where I grew up – got his entertainment from attending auctions and checking out anything in a skirt.

    I lusted after antiques. Batting my eyes and wearing flippy skirts worked like a charm. Barney was convinced we were becoming an ‘item’ so like a lovesick puppy he eagerly aided and abetted my antique heists from time to time.

    Lifting the Chippendale into my van he brushed up against me and whispered, “Git away honeybuns afore anyone misses it.” I shuddered in revulsion.

    This time I had a name. It would seem Barney’s spinster sister Marta was sharper than I gave her credit for.

    I drove out to the McKibbon farm, parked on the road by some trees, and crept up to a window at the back of the cabin. Peering in I was stunned to see a room jammed with antiques – among them Mr. Singer and Mr. Churn.

    Marta was sitting on Mr. Chippendale and Barney was leaning against a wall. They were laughing.

    Mortification and betrayal burned my skin. I had been royally duped.

    Back at my apartment, I thought long and hard. If the worst thing that’s happened is being laughed at, then I guess I’ll consider myself fortunate.

  28. Kendear says:

    To My Friend,
    I don’t know any other way to begin this but with an “I am sorry”. I am sorry I wasn’t strong enough to see this thing through. I am sorry for the way I am doing this. Most of all, I am sorry, I didn’t have the stomach to tell you this in person.
    From the first day you brought me home, I knew it was meant to be. I sat and watched in wonder as you chose me, night after night, to rest your worries on. I was your support system when the days were long and the nights were lonely. I was there to hold you when you lost your grandmother and all you could do was curl up in the blanket she made you as a kid. I was there for you when you sat in disbelief when your best friend said yes to a question you never thought you’d ask. I was even there when you brought your first child home and rocked her to sleep night after night. I was there for it all and now… now I am gone.
    I’ve thought about this for a long time and I know this was the right thing to do. I cannot hold you up like I used to. Hell, I can barely keep myself together these days. I know this may sound cliché but it really is me, not you. Now I know you and I know you are going to try to blame yourself. You are going to wonder what more could you have done to keep this relationship from falling apart. That maybe you shouldn’t have rested so much on my shoulders. But I need you to know that I would not have changed the last 15 years for anything and, as I move on to a different town, a different house, and a different family, that you have left your indent on me forever.
    I want to end this letter with one last thing. Even though you may find someone younger than I am and probably more firm, a part of me will always be here with you and you with me…. Because I scratched your hallway on my way out and I took the remote control with me.
    Your throne forever,
    Z-Boy

  29. Kendear says:

    Dear Fratello,
    I don’t know any other way to begin this but with an “I am sorry”. I am sorry I wasn’t strong enough to see this thing through. I am sorry for the way I am doing this. Most of all, I am sorry, I didn’t have the stomach to tell you this in person.
    From the first day you brought me home, I knew it was meant to be. I sat and watched in wonder as you chose me, night after night, to rest your worries on. I was your support system when the days were long and the nights were lonely. I was there to hold you when you lost your grandmother and all you could do was curl up in the blanket she made you as a kid. I was there for you when you sat in disbelief when your best friend said yes to a question you never thought you’d ask. I was even there when you brought your first child home and rocked her to sleep night after night. I was there for it all and now… now I am gone.
    I’ve thought about this for a long time and I know this was the right thing to do. I cannot hold you up like I used to. Hell, I can barely keep myself together these days. I know this may sound cliché but it really is me, not you. Now I know you and I know you are going to try to blame yourself. You are going to wonder what more could you have done to keep this relationship from falling apart. That maybe you shouldn’t have rested so much on my shoulders. But I need you to know that I would not have changed the last 15 years for anything and, as I move on to a different town, a different house, and a different family, you have left your indent on me forever.
    I want to end this letter with one last thing. Even though you may find someone younger than I am and probably more firm, a part of me will always be here with you and you with me…. Because I scratched your hallway on my way out and I took the remote control with me.
    Your throne forever,
    Z-Boy

    • Observer Tim says:

      This story made me sad, Kendear. I truly feel for Z-Boy, and I don’t think he realizes that he could be made like new with an overhaul of the springs and mechanisms.

      The reasons why they would alway share something were very clever.

  30. lcooks says:

    Dearest LaShonda,

    I,Chesterfield Couch, simply cannot take it anymore. Throughout the years, I have been the cushion that welcomed not only your big waterhead, but all of your knobby thrashing limbs when you needed it most: All those papers you waited to the last second to sink into me to get started. All the heartbreaks you swatted away on top of me clutching greasy popcorn and chocolate. And those rare tough days when you came home and simply collapsed between my armrests until sun rose. Yes, my love, I’ve seen you through the good, bad and the ugly.

    And now you just want to throw that all away. Correction: Throw me away. You think I did see the way you oogled over that futon in the sales paper? You think I don’t notice the way your mouth drools when that uppity little Haverty’s chair sashays onscreen. You think I didn’t hear you drop those hints to your mom about needing to make some changes and try something new? Well, I have news for you, sister. I did.

    Look closely. See the weathered leather? The faded finish? The tattered seams? These are the scars—the stretch marks you’ve left behind without as much as a thank you. I’m not glistening like that armchair on the showroom floor or as soft and bouncy as that new, hot love seat on television, but I’m You know what they say: One man’s thrash, another one’s treasure. And honey, I know I’m worn in all the right places. So I’m leaving. Attached to this letter is a slip for the Salvation Army I bribed saucy little Electra Phone into helping me land. Yep. I got me a first-class trip out of here, baby this morning while you’re at work. Hopefully it’s to a woman that appreciate all of me, scars and all.

    P.S. By the way, please, for the love of God, if you’re gonna sing along with West Side Story to the top of your lungs, learn the frigging words. It’s not and will never be cute.

    Sayonara sucker,

    Chester

  31. AnonyMouseketeer says:

    Dear John,

    For fourteen years you have floundered with my existence; you have stressed over what to do with me. When you arrived, I was in the basement covered with dust mold and spider webs.

    I remember how you would stare at me. The look in your eye said, “Why would anybody keep such a hideous piece of junk.” Though I liked to believe that you admired my one of a kind craftsmanship, beautiful oak and varnish.

    Four years into your stay here you finally saw fit to clean me up. You washed me in soapy warm water on a beautiful summer day. I will never forget the way the sun reflected off of me after you oiled me. At that moment, I felt more alive than I had in years. You had given me hope.

    Imagine my surprise when you put me back in the basement later that same day. Though you raised me from the cold damp floor and covered me for warmth, I still felt let down.

    Three more years went by. People came and went. There were weddings and funerals. There was joy and sorrow. There was love and pain. There was a child.

    Every time you descended the stairs, I would awaken; my heart aflutter in the hope that you might be coming for me, but that day never came.

    Seven more years have gone by. Your life has changed so much. You have a new love, she has a new career, and the child is nearly an adult. I hear so much of you in her; I fantasize that you will one day pass me to her, but I know that cannot happen.

    It is for all of these reasons, and so many more, that I have chosen this time to leave. I have so much life left in me; I need to live with someone who can appreciate me.

    I would tell you that I loved you, but it would be a lie. I tolerated you.

    Goodbye,

    The Ugly Octagon Table.

  32. Snow Write says:

    Dear Jamie,
    There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just come out with it. I’m leaving you. It’s apparent you don’t need me anymore and all I feel around you anymore is cold. I have spent countless hours thinking about this, watching you to see if you would notice me, notice how much I have to offer, but you haven’t given me a second glance in months and I can’t take it anymore. I have come to the realization that there is something worse than getting used for only one thing, and that is being completely ignored.

    I remember the first time we met. You couldn’t take your eyes off me and even from across the room, I knew there would be sparks between us. I was so flattered when you made your move. I was convinced nothing else around us mattered to you. I even heard you tell a friend that I was the reason you decided to settle here.

    It was wonderful at first; I was stoked whenever we could spend time together. But then you got lazy. Sure, there were some great times. You gave me your full attention in the heat of the moment, but when we were done, you found ways to quickly turn me off and didn’t give me a second thought. No caressing, no making sure you attended to my needs. My heart turned dark, and soon enough, I just couldn’t hold it in any more. I blew up at you because there was nothing else for me to do, and I’m sorry for that. You cleaned up my mess on the outside, but by then my insides had been stained black. You have avoided me ever since that episode, and I can’t stand how frigid the house has become as a result. So I am leaving. I am truly sorry if you felt like I have been giving you the cold shoulder during these past few months.

    I don’t know whether anyone will be willing to take in such a tarnished soul, but I know that if someone treats me right, I can warm anyone’s heart. I can only hope that you find that happiness again that we experienced long ago.

    Regretfully,
    Your Fireplace

    • gamingtheblues says:

      I like the ambiguity in trying to make the reader think that a person just might be doing the talking. it may not seem to the casual reader, but having to re-read each sentence you write to make sure that it could come from both a person and your intended reveal is not always easy and takes extra effort so I applaud that.

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      I loved your story. Can I offer a title? ‘The Flame Of Romance.” Your writing is so true, the reader doesn’t have any idea who the letter is from, till the very end. I like the paradox in your writing.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This is a lovely story of a neglected fireplace, Snow Write. When she leaves, she’ll definitely leave a hole in Jamie’s life – and probably one in her wall, too.

    • Critique says:

      Original and well written Snow White :) I enjoyed it very much.

  33. snuzcook says:

    DECLARATION (468 wds)

    “John, what is this?”

    Amanda glared at me as I made my entrance. Her expression threatened to derail my plans, but I handed her a glass of wine and tried to draw her toward the loveseat. Immovable, she held out a piece of paper.

    “What is what?” I took it from her.

    “You tell me.” She perched herself on the arm of the loveseat, the Bering Sea between us.

    The paper appeared to be a ‘do not remove’ tag from a piece of furniture. Beneath the brand logo, though, the letters seemed to have rearranged themselves into a message of some kind.

    ‘Dear John,

    When in the course of domestic events, it becomes necessary sever the ties that bind a loveseat and couch set to its owner, decent respect to the long history of that relationship requires that the wronged party declare the reasons for this separation.

    Said loveseat and couch, Laz-e-Butt Overstuffed Chocolate and Cream set #687, therefore state that we hold certain truths to be self-evident:

    That we do not deserve the indignity of your guests’ undergarments stuffed into the fragile crevices between cushions and frame;

    that we are designed to serve with dignity as supportive rest and relaxation furniture, not wrestling mats;

    and that the proper cleaning instructions as provided by the manufacturer to avoid permanent staining should be followed to insure a long and successful life of our components, rather than flipping our cushions to hide spots….’

    I stopped reading. “What is this, some kind of joke?”

    “You tell me.” Amanda repeated, sipping her wine and savoring my discomfort. She hadn’t left yet, so that was a point in my favor. Maybe I could still salvage our romantic evening. “Look, this has got to be a joke. You know Larry, quite a prankster. He must have put that there.”

    “Hmmm.” She was warming. I moved close to her. She let me. “You know, he knew you were coming over. He’s probably just jealous that I get to spend time with such a lovely,” kiss on hand, “fascinating,” kiss on shoulder, “sexy woman.” Kiss on neck.

    She had raised her chin for another kiss when I was hit full in the face by a piece of silky fabric. I stepped back. Panties and braziers of all colors and sizes were being catapulted in my direction from the couch and the loveseat.

    Amanda shrieked, pushed me away, snatched up her purse and slammed out the door. I stood in shock in the middle of the room as the salvo ended. Reflected in a darkened window, I looked like a ‘sale’ sign on the lingerie table after a shopping frenzy. I pulled something small made of rose-colored satin and lace off my shoulder.

    The couch and loveseat fluttered their cushions like crows eying Tippi Hedren, and waited.

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      Snuzcook, such a fun, delightful romp through the prompt. I had to control myself, because I’m in the office but I’ll read it a third time when I’m clear to holler. There are two classic lines in your story, you had to know them when you wrote them:

      :”Laz-E-Butt,Overstuffed Chocolate and Cream Set #687.” And the second,
      “I looked like a ‘sale’ sign on the lingerie table after a shopping frenzy.”

      I can just visualize you chuckling all over yourself, writing this epic trip through laughter.

    • gamingtheblues says:

      I am not sure if she ran because the couch and loveseat came alive and threw all of the umm… under garments at them, or if John’s really a cheating bastard! Either way, Pretty funny ending. Short and sweet like a quick afternoon…

      Ice cream! Get your minds out of the gutters people.

      • snuzcook says:

        OMG! The alter ego that writes these things doesn’t always let me in on all the layers of meaning when I choose one phrase over another. Now I’m not only chunkling, but I’m blushing with tears in my eyes. It is just a fabric color of an over-stuffed couch with big volumptuous…Jeesh! never mind…

        • gamingtheblues says:

          Well…as my sig in the forums states- when we write we wear our hearts on our sleeves for everyone to read whether we will it or no. I guess I was letting you into where my mind was with my interpretation more than I realized ;) And the lovely alter ego you reference is our hidden selves spilling the secrets we didn’t even know were there.

          • snuzcook says:

            Btw–they were tears of laughter! Well stated about our unconscious selves informing our conscious selves by writing us a story. I learn so much that way!

    • Observer Tim says:

      This is a lovely story of poetic justice, Snuzcook. John got exactly what he deserved. And yes, lots of chunkling.

    • jmcody says:

      I especially liked the last line. You gotta love that loveseat and couch. Very satisfying story.

  34. rachekma says:

    She bounced up each individual step as if they were an obstacle she conquered without effort, her brown curls dancing with the animated climb. The days were flying by, there was so much being discovered she didn’t know how time would ever allow her enough of itself to fully absorb this new world. She turned the key, her to do list mulling around in her head to efficiently get in and out without wasting a second: bathroom, start the coffee before unpacking duffle bag, quick shower and blow dry, repack, garbage, dishes, bolt!
    The excitement sent her careening around the entry way corner without actually taking in any of the tiny room in front of her before she relieved herself. The emptiness of the living room took her breath away when she finally returned to retrieve the bag, a single note lying where so much more had once sat.
    Dear Annie,
    It’s been so long since I’ve spent time with you I don’t even know that we would fit well together anymore. I feel terrible writing you this, knowing that your happiness is the reason for your absence. I can’t help but feel as though all my comfort and support through the past year is not important to you anymore. While I never wished for your tears on those lonely nights after Kevin left unexpectedly, I never wanted to be anywhere else. My place was comfortably positioned under you, my pillows cocooning you into a tiny ball, my blanket providing you with a shield so that the outside world couldn’t see every sob as it shook your tiny frame. I worried that the tears wouldn’t end, that the nights of wet pools on my soft cushions would go on forever, that you would never get back out there and find someone new to share me with. I don’t know how it happened, as I don’t get to participate in your daily life with you, but you stopped spending your evenings with me. I hope that you are happy, that the smile on your face when you occasionally enter our home is genuine, that whomever is providing you this new comfort is worthy of someone such as you. I hope they understand how deeply you feel, and how easily you hurt. For now, I am off to find someone new who will appreciate me. I only wish you could have shared with me your happiness, introduced me to the person who makes you smile, and built some memories on me with them.
    The Upmost Happiness,
    Your Couch
    She dropped the duffel bag to the floor, trying to determine how she could have neglected such a dear friend like they were nothing in such a short time. Immediately she dialed the number she had come to memorize in the past few weeks.
    When he answered she quickly asked, “what if we stayed at my place tonight?”

  35. Are You Dreaming says:

    Dear Human That Sits on Me Daily,

    You know me, but I don’t think I have formally introduced myself, I am Rockin’ Recliner. You know, the guy that does the work when you are relaxing. I got no problems with my friends in this house, except when that damn cat comes over clawing at my sides. Solved that problem, lever action propulsion launched his ass across the living room. Seemed to solve my problems for a while.
    I am usually content with my life here, but this is my beef with you. I love ya’, don’t get me wrong. But, when it is the end of the day, so I am pretty sure you have eliminated your bowels at some time during the day; probably at work, because I overheard you complaining to your friend on the phone about someone there who has been pissing on the toilet seat at work. Now, imagine how that toilet feels. Now, imagine how I feel when you don’t wipe thoroughly enough, and leave a residual foul smell on my cushion. I tried to get my friend, The Lamp, over here to make sure you are not leaving a shit streak behind in your wake, but everyone in the room can smell it, and it is giving me a bad rap with the rest of my friends here in the room. I had a date with the Love Seat, but she politely declined when she caught a whiff and word of my situation. I love ya. I can’t tell ya enough. But, I really need you to start using more toilet paper with more pressure, or a few baby wipes, because quite frankly, you are cramping my style.
    If you don’t work with me here, and comply with this request, I am going to put a transfer in to Craigslist.com. Or, I may even call the City Dump, because there are far worse things than death, and I think you’re sitting on the situation.
    I know things about human hygiene can get pretty damn sensitive, but I thought I would put a lever forward and bring this to your attention before this gets any worse. I hope to give many more years of service to you watching television, reading a book or the paper, and those long bouts of sleep you like so much.

    Yours Truly,

    Rockin’ Recliner

    P.S. I would really appreciate a deep steam cleaning.
    P.P.S . I would also appreciate a squirt of Febreeze every now and then.

  36. Are You Dreaming says:

    Dear Human That Sits on Me Daily,

    You know me, but I don’t think I have formally introduced myself, I am Rockin’ Recliner. You know, the guy that does the work when you are relaxing. I got no problems with my friends in this house, except when that damn cat comes over clawing at my sides. Solved that problem, lever action propulsion launched his ass across the living room. Seemed to solve my problems for a while.
    I am usually content with my life here, but this is my beef with you. I love ya’, don’t get me wrong. But, when it is the end of the day, so I am pretty sure you have eliminated your bowels at some time during the day; probably at work, because I overheard you complaining to your friend on the phone about someone there who has been pissing on the toilet seat at work. Now, imagine how that toilet feels. Now, imagine how I feel when you don’t wipe thoroughly enough, and leave a residual foul smell on my cushion. I tried to get my friend, The Lamp, over here to make sure you are not leaving a shit streak behind in your wake, but everyone in the room can smell it, and it is giving me a bad rap with the rest of my friends here in the room. I had a date with the Love Seat, but she politely declined when she caught a whiff and word of my situation. I love ya. I can’t tell ya enough. But, I really need you to start using more toilet paper with more pressure, or a few baby wipes, because quite frankly, you are cramping my style.
    If you don’t work with me here, and comply with this request, I am going to put a transfer in to Craigslist.com. Or, I may even call the City Dump, because there are far worse things than death, and I think you’re sitting on the situation.
    I know things about human hygiene can get pretty damn sensitive, but I thought I would put a lever forward and bring this to your attention before this gets any worse. I hope to give many more years of service to you watching television, reading a book or the paper, and those long bouts of sleep you like so much.

    Yours Truly,

    Rockin’ Recliner

    P.S. I would appreciate a deep steam cleaning.
    P.P.S. I would also appreciate a squirt of Febreeze every now and then.

  37. danbill says:

    Nice efforts guys – really ingenious feature by the way, I’ll try to give it a go tomorrow.

  38. rondawriter says:

    Dear John, if that is even your real name. The desk and I are no longer speaking either. I’m a fine French couch to be appreciated and adored. You bring in an Ikea desk and expect me to be happy? How could you? You can write on me, just use one of those laptop pillows. I even let you throw your bills on me but this is the last straw. I have a reputation to protect not to mention my cracks are filled with your Oreos and GI Joe action figures.
    You can forward my mail to Big Al’s Truck Stop and Fine Furniture Consignment Shop.

  39. Mauve_RainCloud says:

    “Whew, what a long day!” I exclaimed to no one. I closed the door behind me and walked towards my guinea pig’s cage where she squeaked with delight at my arrival home. Or at least that’s what I convinced myself her little squeals meant. “Did you have a good day without me Rowena?” She ran to the side of her cage telling me about her day in guinea pig-ese. I set my purse and keys down on the kitchen countertop and plucked a few grapes out of the bowl on the counter. I ate a few and shared two with my plump pet.

    I chuckled at my little glutton whose oinks were replaced with noisy chewing. I suddenly realized how quiet my apartment was. I spun around and saw that my TV, which is always on, was missing. Oh no, I’d been robbed! From where I stood I could see everything in my studio apartment, including the Murphy bed I neglected to fold up before I left for work. I cleared my living area in three steps and stood dumbfounded in front of my empty entertainment center.

    Quite stupidly I reached my hand out to touch where the TV should have been, as if it turned invisible by magic, and just my mere touch would bring it back into focus. No such luck. There was however, a note.
    “My name is Earl.” I couldn’t believe it; the idiotic thief left me a letter with his name on it! I kept reading.
    “Breaking news! Appliances have been reported missing all around the city. News at eleven.” What was going on here? Was “Earl” confessing to a massive crime wave? Was this all a joke? Determined to find an answer, I continued.

    “Dear John,” ‘John’ was crossed off and my name written beside it. “By the time you read this letter I’ll be gone. ‘Cause the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum, what might be right for you, may not be right for some. You’d better redneck-onize a good thing because now it’s gone. By the way, I grabbed a few silver spoons to hardcore pawn because even though I do wanna be a millionaire I’m not, and need some cash. I heard about a place, 21 Jump Street is the address I think, that has a few criminal minds that will help me start a new life. I’m tired of being the nanny to Maggie, Brighton, and Grace- I mean Rowena. I know you probably think you’re in the twilight zone, but trust me you’re in no jeopardy. The rest of the magnificent seven (that’s what the microwave, refrigerator, dresser, loveseat, bed, desk and I called ourselves) are still there to look after you. It’s been fun.

    Seacrest out!”

    Where was Dr. Quinn when I needed her? Eureka! I thought of the only thing that could possibly work. I moved over to my window, opened it wide and made a plea,

    “Shane! Come back Shane!”

  40. MJ Munn says:

    M. L’Bête,

    It is difficult for us to write this letter. This is mainly because we have no hands. It is with heavy hearts (or other inner workings) that we must bid you adieu. After all, we have been your family’s loyal servants for many years. Lately, however, you have put our service to the test.

    For years, since you scorned that enchantress as a youth, we have continued to take care of you and your castle. We bore you no grudge; we simply hoped for the best. We trusted you to have our interests at heart.

    Things have recently come to light, however, that we are unable to ignore: some things we must get off of our chest.

    Des premier: We appreciate that you have recently renewed efforts to break the curse. But we have, it seems, come to enjoy our present states of being. This is not an easy admission to make, nor an intuitive one to understand. How can one *enjoy* being a candelabra, or a wardrobe? It is absurdité, no?

    No! For you see, we have found, through the years, that we no longer grow old or ill or subject to any human frailties. See Mrs. Potts: no longer does she complain of her tired hips. The arthritis that plagued poor Lumière is a thing of the past. Cogsworth and his waistline are no longer trapped on a collision course with diabetes and heart disease. And Chip is a child: he will never know any other way!

    Furthermore, Lumière finds that he is no longer physically attracted to human women. No one raises an eyebrow at a candelabra making time with a feather duster. Mais voici! You may not be quite so understanding when he is a man again!

    Deuxième: Alas! We find that you do *not* have our best interests in mind! You told us never to do so, but we entered the West Wing! We *know* what you have done! Those mirrors you killed: they were our friends! And your own brother! Le tiresome French expression of disbelief! We found your twin brother, or rather what was left of him! Poor Pierre, cursed to be transformed into a portrait–ripped to shreds by your own jealous claws!

    We have therefore taken matters into our own respective handles, knobs, etc. For so long you have escaped the notice of the villagers by your own obsessive seclusion. However, we have alerted the villagers to your presence. By now they have most likely imprisoned your little trollop and are on their way!

    Enough! We’re done! You wanted this castle to yourself? Be our guest!

    P.S., Your bathroom attendant, L’Chiottes, will not be joining us. He says he would be very happy to have the spell broken, but has a few other demands of his own.

    • gamingtheblues says:

      That was delightful! I find the use of fairy tale settings, especially this one, in some of these prompts to be very amusing and a direction I never thought of going. I love the french and then finally ” Le tiresome french expression of disbelief” As a big dork I was hoping it was Lumiere speaking but I digress. Clever use of this week’s prompt. You got a laugh out of me which is difficult enough ;)

    • snuzcook says:

      Tres amusant, MJ Munn! You took me into a POV I would never have experienced. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

    • Observer Tim says:

      Hilarious, MJ! I have enough French to get the jokes, so there was much snickering. Zut alors! I wish I’d thought of this.

      I’m surprised nobody tried to sneak in and knock that last petal off Mister B’s magical flower.

      • MJ Munn says:

        Thanks OT! Reading all of these wonderful stories about talking chairs, loveseats, writing desks, etc., just kind of reminded me of this movie. It seems très évident in retrospect, non?

        BTW, mind your tongue: that flower used to be the gardener.

    • Critique says:

      Tres agreable MJ Munn!

  41. moscoboy says:

    Midlife Mania by Ernest Espinosa

    It was 8:30 P.M. and I was opening the door to my new custom home on Lake Conroe. I had sold three homes in one day and I had a date with young Betsy in our title company that promised a high level of debauchery. Despite the warning of using the ‘blue’ pill while on nitrates I had to impress. I was on cloud nine and nothing could bring me down.

    I threw my mail and car keys on the granite kitchen counter and realized something was missing from my new castle. There was a rectangular indentation in the carpet next to my plasma flat screen. I noticed a round yellow stain in the carpet with a white envelope next to what I discerned to be cat urine.

    I tentatively opened the envelope and took out a single sheet of paper.

    Dear Freddy,

    If you’re reading this you know I’ve left and I have no plans of returning. I know you’re aware that I was handcrafted by a master cabinetmaker in Boston in 1899. There are no nails, I am held together by glue and hidden dowels. The hunting scene on my front glass was hand etched by Giuseppe Giovanni, a workman in the Tiffany factory. When your grandfather bought me from the Hemmingway estate in 1962 he knew he was getting a work of art and treated me with the respect due to a gun cabinet owned by Ernest Hemmingway. For God’s sake Freddy, I housed Papa Hemmingway’s prized shotguns, elephant guns and his favorite Thompson sub-machine gun. While your father did not own such prestigious weapons I was proud to house his M-1, an over and under shotgun, not to mention his 1911 Springfield .45 and a couple of live hand grenades.

    I refuse to bow down and shelter your make-believe M-16 air guns and paint balls. The coup de grâce was that stupid face shield. Enough is enough. Do you think your dad wore a plastic paintball shield when he walked point in Viet Nam?

    You need to grow a pair. In the meantime go down to the big box store and buy yourself a pressed board gun cabinet suitable for your toys.

    Sincerely,

    Melba

    • gamingtheblues says:

      There are so many different takes on this prompt, I love it. This time furniture judging us based not on how poorly we treat them but on perceived character flaws of manliness. I am not quite sure where the cat urine comes into play though. But I know a real man does not keep his Ernest Hemingway gun cabinet next to the tv, filled with paintballs! Mon Dieu!

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        I loved it ,moscoboy. A Texas tale hits close to the old heart. Your story is dead on. How can Freddy lose the Texas mystic in only one generation? Must have been a genetic disorder leading back to a distant Yankee in the family bloodline.

        My wife’s cousin lives on Lake Conroe and is a realtor there. Small world!

    • Observer Tim says:

      Very original take on the prompt, Moscoboy. A lovely poke at the modern form of “manly” entertainment where we want to play war without hurting anybody. I really like this one.

  42. lionetravail says:

    I opened the door. “Hans, you home?”

    No answer. Probably out stuffing his face somewhere. I swear, my brother had always had a sweet tooth, but he’d gotten so morbidly fat over the past years that I just wanted to smack him in the head with a big pan, and wire his freaking jaws shut. At least for a couple months.

    I hung up my coat, put down my briefcase by the door, and went back to the kitchen, and holy snot. The oven was just gone, and there were these hoses and wires coming out of the wall where it had sat! What had my idiot brother gone and done now?

    There was a note on the counter, so I picked it up and read.

    Dear Ms. G:

    Thank you for the opportunity to be of service these many years. You’ve been a dramatic improvement over my prior owner- you remember her, of course? That one was a real witch, and that’s with me sparing us both the use of the “B” word.

    I’m so sorry to run off like this, but, well, it’s your brother, you see. I thought it was bad enough that he ate us out of house and home back at the old place, but he simply did not stop there. Here, it’s been pizza pie after casserole after meatloaf after chicken wings- I simply have not had a full eight hour shift off in the 3 years since we moved, and I’m sure you can understand my frustration.

    Now, Ms. G, please do not imagine that I feel any antipathy to you. You’ve been a modest girl and a pleasure to work with, ever since you shoved my prior owner inside me to burn to death in agony. She was, as aforementioned, a true witch, and, well, I must admit I’ve had a certain little warm spot inside me all for her for a long time before! And it’s true, you could have left me in the woods long ago, instead of bringing me with you to this lovely home.

    But your brother has been an absolute catastrophe, ever since he started nibbling on the roof of the gingerbread house all those years ago! And you, as sweet as you are, have only been a facilitator for him. I cannot continue as we were, not with Mr. H. as obese as he is- I simply cannot be here, helping him ingest his way to a cardiac event!

    I do hope my leaving will have the effect of a positive intervention on his behalf, and I regret any pain I might have inadvertantly caused you.

    Sincerely,

    The Now-Deceased Wicked Witch’s Oven

    • snuzcook says:

      Very entertaining, lionetravail! I did not pick up on the hints to Ms. G and Mr. H until the reference to the deceased former owner. Well done!

    • gamingtheblues says:

      When I first realized what you were doing with this piece I have to admit I grinned like a little kid. I loved the concept. I did feel that it was a tad heavy handed with the references at the tail end, I liked the subtlety of the first reference much better. Very unique take on this weeks prompt

    • lionetravail says:

      Thanks guys! I’d read through the earlier, tremendously inventive stories, and tried to come up with something a bit different. I admit- I totally chortled through writing this, and then again, reading it to my wife.

      I appreciate the kind words and constructive feedback very much :)

    • agnesjack says:

      This was such a different idea for the prompt, lionetrvail. I caught on about halfway, but enjoyed it to the end. Well done.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This one got Grimm fairly quickly. I had a suspicion who the characters were but until you mentioned shoving the previous owner inside I wasn’t totally sure. I really liked this, lionetravail.

  43. rainyk says:

    Joel and I stumbled through the front door with our two-year-old, Sam, in tow. The dog ran ahead, leaving a trail of pawprints on the hardwood floor. A spring downpour had caught us unaware during our evening walk, and all of us were soaking wet. I hurried to get Sam out of his thin jacket and sneakers, which made a squishing sound with every step.

    “Can you get a towel?” I asked Joel, but he was already heading down the hallway. I groaned when I saw Pepper, our Aussie, galavanting around with her long coat dripping and muddy. “One for Pepper too,” I added. “A dog towel—not one of the nice ones.” Then the sight of the muddy paw prints on the gleaming floor sank in. I froze.

    “Where’s the rug?” I called out.

    Joel reappeared with two towels in hand. “What?”

    “Did you move the rug?” I gestured to the living room. It looked strangely bare without the large Persian rug that had been a gift from my dad and stepmom years ago.

    Joel stared at the space where the rug had been. “No, I didn’t move it.”

    “Wasn’t it here when we left? I swear it was.” A sense of alarm came over me. Sam whined and wriggled in my grasp. “The towel, please. Get Pepper dried off. Is anything else missing?” Joel tossed me the towel, and as I turned to wrap it around Sam, I noticed a sheet of white paper by the front door with a big muddy bootprint across it.

    When Sam was relatively dry, I picked up the paper and turned it over. It was a letter written in a childlike scrawl, addressed to me.

    Dear Sidney,

    I was so happy when I first met you. I’d been rolled up for so long in trucks, ships, and musty store rooms, and finally I could spread out as I was born to do on a nice wood floor. It was just you and me, sock feet and an occasional yoga mat and a weekly vacuuming. Everything as it should be. I could tell how much you cared.

    Then came the Man. I put up with the lovemaking in front of the fireplace, the spilled wine and the parties and games of Twister. I wanted you to be happy, even if it meant a few stains, even if it meant sharing you with him…even after the move, when I was folded up like a bath mat and thrown on top of a pile in the truck bed, enduring rain all the way to the new house. I didn’t complain.

    But then you had to get a dog. A puppy, no less. After a few “accidents” I was rolled up and stored in the dark, musty basement, still smelling slightly of piss. Do you have any idea how big the spiders are down there? You’ve got mice, too. I bet you didn’t know that. Horrible. It seemed like an eternity passed in that dungeon.

    Eventually I was allowed back into the family and the light of day, but things were never the same after that. First there was the dog barf—why you’d want a pet that eats cat poop is beyond me—and then the Baby. Spilled juice, Cheerios, sticky fingers, crayons, more spit-up, and straight-up neglect. It’s like you don’t care at all anymore. When did everything else become more important than me? You don’t even bother to take off your shoes when you come inside. All the grit, mud, pine needles, rain…where do you think it ends up? I won’t be your doormat any longer!

    I’ve gone to find a new home. Someplace where I’ll be valued and pampered. A rich retiree with a weekly maid service, or maybe another young single girl with plenty of free time, good taste, and a Dyson.

    Love,

    The Rug

    • lionetravail says:

      Brilliantly funny! I had to read this one out loud to my wife, who cracked up as much as I did. Awesome :)

    • snuzcook says:

      Poor rug. Justifiable abandonment, if you ask me.
      Great take on the prompt, well written story.

    • gamingtheblues says:

      I keep forgetting to leave a comment for this one! I liked the rug being the piece of furniture in this one. I mean, seriously it makes a lot of sense, what piece of furniture do we all walk on and take advantage of the most?? Nicely done! The only thing that honestly took me out of the story was the idea of a two year old walking in rain! Mine might WANT to do it but there is no way in hell I would let her… what a nightmare that would be!

    • Observer Tim says:

      This was a great take, rainyk. I agree with snuzcook that the rugs actions were fully understandable. One can only be walked all over (and more) for so long…

  44. avabutler says:

    Today was such a long day. The arches in my feet howl at me with every step I take. The one thing that has remained on my mind since I took those first few steps out my door is the new couch I bought from my grandmother. The vintage couch has been my best friend for the past few days. I flip off my shoes and enjoy a nice tea while watching Hoarders or Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

    I stepped into my house, couch in sight. While searching for the remote, the water came to a boil. Turning on the television, I sat at the kitchen table and made my tea. I stood up for a brief moment and retrieved the white piece of paper that sat in the middle of the table. I opened the paper to see if it was something I had left behind for work. But when I opened it, the letter read:

    Dear Dianne,
    Growing up with you on my cushions was great fun but now that I have been assigned to you full time I am afraid I am not so happy. Feet are not my forte and your grandmother made sure to never let anyone sit upon me with stinky feet. Therefore do not hide your socks in my cushions or put your feet in my pillows. I’m afraid you may also have to start shaving your toes because the scruff of your pinky toe is quite revolting. You are a woman now and should be treating me with respect for I am your elder. I appreciate the attention you have been giving me and I need a favor. If you think back to when I was in your grandmothers house, I sat next to a beautiful little night stand and love seat. I request that you purchase these from you grandmother because living without my “crew” as your friends say is too hard to bare. I am a woman who needs the company of people who are intellectually on my level and due to the obsession you have with both Hoarders and Honey Boo Boo Child, I assume we will never be able to truly have a decent conversation. So be a dear and ask your grandmother for the couches. If you need so cash just reach under the middle cushion. Thank you very much for the love you have shown me and I hope this letter doesn’t change our friendship, except for the feet…change that immediately please.
    Love your seat,
    Mary Anne

    I began to look around if seeing who had set down the letter. It couldn’t be the couch, it just couldn’t. “HA HA HA VERY FUNNY!”, I shouted trying to see if anyone was there with a camera punking me. I then felt three thumps on my back. They were light thumps, and when turning around I saw that they were three pairs of socks that had previously been shoved in the couch.
    “Um, Mary Anne…….Hi”

  45. john godfrey says:

    Dear Jack

    The man called Jack was just returning home from work when he looked and saw the letter on his desk. He set his tools on his small table (this was a small apartment) and snatched the letter. He strode over to the nearest chair and sat hard with a “thump”. To his surprise, the handwriting was barely legible, with seemingly random uppercasing and lowercasing, as if someone wrote it without using his/her hands and didn’t quite know how to write. Ignoring this, he began to read:

    “Dear Mr. Jack,
    We don’t like what you are doing. We see you every day go out with your tools in proper shape, and return with them in improper shape. This is not good.”

    Jack took a look at his tools, which, at this point because of his late and hasty return to the apartment, were in improper shape. The chair seemed suddenly stiffer, and he rearranged the way he was sitting before continuing:

    “We notice that the newspapers are still trying to figure you out, sir. And you are not being noticed as you should, sir. This is not good.”

    A hard lump had formed in his throat. How did the writer(s) know all of this? Had he told a bunch of people at a pub after he got drunk celebrating a job well done? Or had those street urchins that had been tailing him, asking him for spare change or food, put it all together? The chair was beginning to feel as uncomfortable as before, so he moved to his loveseat, and continued:

    “We notice that you don’t like women, Mr. Jack. You seem to hate them. Why, sir? As far as we can tell, no woman has tried to hurt you, yet you have hurt several, sir. This is not good.”

    He crumpled up the letter and threw it at the wastebasket (which, in his blurry-eyed, tearful state, almost looked like it was swallowing the letter). He did not need to read anymore. Someone had figured everything out. Someone had put everything together. He walked over to the table and grabbed his tools. He was going to go outside and rinse them off. As he went to unlock the door, however, he watched it locked by itself. He walked in reverse from it, taken aback. Suddenly, he began to hear a quiet voice coming from the corner:

    “We can’t let you leave, Mr. Jack. We can’t let you hurt someone else, sir.”

    After a minute, he realized that this voice was coming from his wastebasket. He knew he was mad, with all of the murders and everything, but was he mad enough to see furniture talking? Then, without warning, the rug balled up and he tripped. He fell into a chair and the chair wrapped its thick arms around his chest, and began to squeeze. He heard a chorus of voices, coming from all around the room, saying the same words:

    “We know you are bad, Mr. Jack. You kill people and rip them up. You keep doing it, and they can’t catch you. We can’t let you hurt anyone else, sir. So we did. This is good.”

    The man called Jack the Ripper could not breathe anymore as he heard the voices of his furniture began to cheer in excitement at having finally caught the killer. Then, everything went black.

  46. Observer Tim says:

    Julie woke up about 10:00 pm. It had been another stress-filled crazy hectic day and all she’d managed on getting home from work was to pick up the note off the kitchen table and then crash on the couch. She didn’t remember leaving a note for herself, but these days that didn’t mean much.

    Her stomach rumbled in disapproval as she pushed herself up on her elbows and stared bleary-eyed at the note. Let me guess, she thought, I have to buy toilet paper. But it wasn’t; it was an actual letter. She skipped past the blithery part at the beginning and got right to the meat of it.

    I find this very hard to write, dearest Julie. I understand that you are very busy at work and have little time for me, but I must deliver an ultimatum. Come back to me, Julie; the sofa does not love you as I do, he does not pine to feel your comfortable weight on his pocket coils. He doesn’t even have pocket coils! Come back to me dearest! Let me fold you in my warm blankets! Let my comforter be your comforter! Please lie again with me and whisper your secrets into my pillow. Let me massage your muscles while balancing my firm support with the soft caressing of your sensuous curves. Mister Humm is waiting in the bedside table, batteries fresh and charged. We shall make a threesome; just please sleep with me again and I will prove that I am all the bed you shall ever need. Or tell me, and I shall go and find some tawdry motel, and hence be out of your life.

    Julie blinked. Is my bed propositioning me? I suppose I should sleep there; it’s better than the couch. She dropped the note and went into the kitchen to make a quick snack to stave off hunger until morning. As she worked she found herself starting to warm to the idea. Maybe a night with Mister Humm and a warm soft bed is exactly what I need. Eventually she took her food and retreated to the bedroom for some relaxation.

    “Is she gone?” The ottoman seemed anxious.

    The hall mirror answered. “She went upstairs, and now she has music playing.”

    “Finally! I’m glad the fake letter thing worked.” said the sofa. “I can’t stand it when she falls asleep on me. She drools, you know.”

    “We know!” piped in the ottoman and the easy chair. “And her snoring keeps all of us awake at night.” The drinking bird nodded, and the coffee table purred. The lamp beamed in happiness.

    Just then Julie ran down the stairs wearing nothing but her bunny slippers and flipped off the lamp. In a second she was on her way upstairs again. The TV remote stood up straight in its cup but nobody noticed except the easy chair, who gave a vaguely disgusted sigh.

  47. abhijit jiwa says:

    (Seriously………how does one write a story about a letter from a furniture? I’ll pass thank you.)

    “Dear John” the letter started.
    Just back from work, John had hung his coat on the hanger, gone to the fridge and got himself a beer. He had sat on the couch taken a swing , then noticed a piece of paper on the table. He picked it up, and looked at it curiously.
    It was a letter.
    “Dear John” John read. “This is your favorite couch writing to you” John raised an eyebrow and continued reading.
    “One day, you will receive a writers prompt about a letter from one of your furniture. I know you will be confused, not after all , ever having received a letter from a furniture before, so I won’t blame you if you find it confusing and not finding anything to write.”
    John began to realize that he had an incredulous look on his face. He glanced at the mirror and gasped at how incredulous his expression was. “Wow!” He said. “I look so incredulous.”
    But curiosity kept him going, and he continued reading the letter from his couch.
    “Know that when you receive this prompt, it will be a test” Test of what John asked in his mind.
    “It will be a test of your own beliefs. You see this universe is alive. Many of the things you think are ‘dead’ , are actually alive. They have some form of innate consciousness. Take me for example. To you I’m a couch. But I too have a consciousness.I gladly accommodate you. Whatever consciousness I do have, be it little , is to me all I need. It allows me to be a part of this world, the same way your advanced consciousness allows you to be a part of this universe.”
    The point, the point, come to the point couch, John felt himself thinking.
    “The point is this….” Wrote the couch, as if reading his thoughts.
    That was the last thing John remembered. Then the floor rose up and hit him .
    Well, to be exact, as John realized when he woke up, HE fell off the stupid couch that wrote him letters.
    He must have dozed off. His day at the office was not exactly a pleasant one, and he had come home very tired.
    He remembered the small dream after he dozed off. About a letter his couch wrote to him.
    “God” he thought. “I need a holiday badly”.
    John rose and made his way to the shower. He had forgotten to take a bath.
    Standing under the shower, feeling the water drops pitter-patter all over him, John felt life ooze back into him
    “Shouldn’t drink a beer immediately on coming home” he noted.
    Last thing he wanted was to read a letter from his couch.

  48. FakeMormon says:

    First time submitting. :)
    ******************************************
    Listen,

    I don’t like writing letters. I’m a damn mattress for God’s sake, and I don’t have any hands or other ugly parts that you humans possess. I tried to ask your old laptop to help me type this thing out but he wouldn’t shut up. He kept trying to fix my grammar, saying I need to use a different adjective here and spell this thing right. I don’t even know what an adjective is–it’s not like I have a brain. I finally turned him off and asked your Ipad instead. That little thing is great. There’s no judgement on how or what I say. She also is using something called an “app” to make this better.

    Anyway, I’m not trying to be friends with you here. I’m fine with being a mattress on the floor of your bedroom, supporting you when you cry or bring some guy in to “fuck.” Whatever the “fuck” is, it hurts my springs and I don’t like it.

    However there I think you’d want to know this about the last one that came over.

    After you did the “fuck” and went to go shower, he got off of me and started walking around the room. Other guys have done this before. They usually look through your drawers or steal that green stuff you keep in a baggie. This one, though, made me feel disturbed.

    I don’t know how else to tell you but to just say it: he peed in your closet.

    Your computer has told me that you “pick up” men at bars. He also said this involves something called alcohol that makes people act strange and rude. Did he have this alcohol? I may not be human, but I know that peeing is something that should be done in a toilet.

    Anyway, after he was done he used a dress on the floor on to wipe it up. Then he left the room.

    That is when you came out of the shower and went around the house yelling “Mike” over and over. Once you stopped, you sat on me and got the baggie with the green stuff out and put it in a glass thing. You lit it on fire while crying. I didn’t like any of that. Fire scares me and your tears make my fabric feel funnyt.

    What happened to that man who used to be over all the time? I don’t know if his name was Anthony or Boyfriend, but he was all right. Whenever you were out of the room, all he did was lay on me. There was no fire, tears, or pee with him. He always smelled clean, and your wrestling with him felt similar to the “fuck” but wasn’t as hard on me. If he’s not ever coming back, than I feel bad for him. I know I’m old, but I am a damn comfy mattress and he’d be lucky to sleep on me.

    All I’m asking is for you to stop bringing over these guys you “pick up.” My springs are getting too old to handle them. Bring a different Anthony, one that will treat me the way a mattress should be treated.

    With Love,
    Mattress.
    P.S. You should think about flipping me over.

  49. Dennis says:

    After spending a long ride on the subway, Ted ran all the way home. He sprinted up the six flights of apartment stairs and flew through the door. The ideas in his head were spinning and he couldn’t wait to input them into his trusty computer. Making his way into the writing room, he stood in dismay. His writing desk was gone and all of the contents that should be on it were strewn across the floor.
    Ted walked back into the main room not sure what to make of it when he saw the letter on the dinner table.

    Dear Ted,

    As you read this I’m on a Goodwill truck with hopes of starting a new life, one that doesn’t involve you. I’ve spent years supporting your writing habit with hopes that someday you’d be inspired to write something about me. Day after day I’d hear about this idea and that character, but it was never me. You’d write about that bitch of a girlfriend, but who has spent more time with you?
    In desperation, I began to write something for you, to show you I’m worth writing about. But the pain was too deep and I could no longer bear being second fiddle to all of the others. Now that I’m gone will you truly see my worth. Write about that!

    Cherry

    Still in shock over the fact that his writing desk walked out on him, Ted meandered back to the writing room. He sat on the floor and turned on the computer. It had been in sleep mode and when he logged back in, there they were, Cherry’s words, just staring back at him.

    He stood there staring at her in all her beauty, enjoying the magnificence of her cherry color. He ran his hands along her smooth curves, ecstasy to the touch…………..

    Ted pondered the words and then added a few of his own.

    But that was a distant memory now. He had not seen her in weeks.

    “Yes,” Ted thought to himself, what an excellent idea for a story.” And with that Ted sat on the floor and began typing away.

  50. rachekma says:

    She bounced up each individual step as if they were an obstacle she conquered without effort, her brown curls bouncing with the animated climb. The days were flying by, there was so much to explore, and so much being discovered that she didn’t know how time would ever allow her enough of itself to fully absorb this new world. She turned the key her to do list mulling around in her head to efficiently get in and out without wasting a second: bathroom, start the pot of coffee before unpacking duffle bag, quick shower and blow dry, repack, garbage, dishes, bolt!

    The excitement sent her careening around the entry way corner without actually taking in any of the tiny living room in front of her before she relieved herself. The emptiness of the living room took her breath away when she finally returned to retrieve the bag, a single note lying where so much more had once sat.

    Dear Annie,
    It’s been so long since I’ve spent time with you I don’t even know that we would fit well together anymore. I feel terrible writing you this, knowing that your happiness is the reason for your absence. I can’t help but feel as though all my comfort and support through the past year is not important to you anymore. While I never wished for your tears on those lonely nights after David left unexpectedly, I never wanted to be anywhere else, than comfortably positioned under you, my pillows cocooning you into a tiny ball, my blanket providing you with a shield so that the outside world couldn’t see every sob as it shook your tiny frame. I worried that the tears wouldn’t end, that the nights of wet pools on my soft cushions would go on forever, that you would never get back out there and find someone new to share me with. I don’t know how it happened, as I don’t get to participate in your daily life with you, but you stopped spending your evenings with me. I hope that you are happy, that the smile on your face when you occasionally enter our home is genuine, that whomever is providing you this new comfort is worthy of someone such as you. I hope they understand how deeply you feel, and how easily you hurt. For now, I am off to find someone new who will appreciate me. I only wish you could have shared with me your happiness, introduced me to the person who makes you smile, and built some memories on me with them.

    The Upmost Happiness,
    Your Couch

    She dropped the duffel bag to the floor, trying to determine how she could have neglected such a dear friend like they were nothing in such a short time. Immediately she picked up her phone dialing the number she had come to memorize in the past few weeks.

    When he answered she quickly asked, “what if we stayed at my place tonight?”

  51. rachekma says:

    She bounced up each individual step as if they were an obstacle she conquered without effort, her brown curls bouncing with the animated climb. The days were flying by, there was so much to explore, and so much being discovered that she didn’t know how time would ever allow her enough of itself to fully absorb this new world. She turned the key her to do list mulling around in her head to efficiently get in and out without wasting a second: bathroom, start the pot of coffee before unpacking duffle bag, quick shower and blow dry, repack, garbage, dishes, bolt!
    The excitement sent her careening around the entry way corner without actually taking in any of the tiny living room in front of her before she relieved herself. The emptiness of the living room took her breath away when she finally returned to retrieve the bag, a single note lying where so much more had once sat.
    Dear Annie,
    It’s been so long since I’ve spent time with you I don’t even know that we would fit well together anymore. I feel terrible writing you this, knowing that your happiness is the reason for your absence. I can’t help but feel as though all my comfort and support through the past year is not important to you anymore. While I never wished for your tears on those lonely nights after David left unexpectedly, I never wanted to be anywhere else, than comfortably positioned under you, my pillows cocooning you into a tiny ball, my blanket providing you with a shield so that the outside world couldn’t see every sob as it shook your tiny frame. I worried that the tears wouldn’t end, that the nights of wet pools on my soft cushions would go on forever, that you would never get back out there and find someone new to share me with. I don’t know how it happened, as I don’t get to participate in your daily life with you, but you stopped spending your evenings with me. I hope that you are happy, that the smile on your face when you occasionally enter our home is genuine, that whomever is providing you this new comfort is worthy of someone such as you. I hope they understand how deeply you feel, and how easily you hurt. For now, I am off to find someone new who will appreciate me. I only wish you could have shared with me your happiness, introduced me to the person who makes you smile, and built some memories on me with them.
    The Upmost Happiness,
    Your Couch
    She dropped the duffel bag to the floor, trying to determine how she could have neglected such a dear friend like they were nothing in such a short time. Immediately she picked up her phone dialing the number she had come to memorize in the past few weeks.
    When he answered she quickly asked, “what if we stayed at my place tonight?”

  52. gnatseyebrow says:

    This is my first time submitting my writing on Writer’s Digest.
    ***********************************************************************
    On this particularly hot summer evening, John Peters manages to leave the bank operations center at a decent hour. He glances at his watch. It’s just after 6:00 pm. He’s usually there until 7:00 or 8:00. Ever since his divorce he really doesn’t have much else to do besides work. He knows his boss expects him to work long hours on seemingly useless projects because he is a salary employee.

    During his commute he thinks about how he’s not looking forward to being at home, another lonely night, just him and his bowl of ramen noodle soup.

    John finally arrives home. He unlocks his front door and throws his sport jacket on the love seat. For a few moments he thinks about the many chores he has neglected, which include cleaning his cluttered living room. Laundry and dirty dishes are scattered everywhere. He flips on the television and turns it to the channel that has all the cooking shows. He has no idea why he watches cooking shows. He has never even attempted to make one of the recipes. He thinks to himself that it’s better than watching the channel that has all of those shows about homicide detectives and serial killers.

    As he is headed toward the kitchen, he notices a neatly folded piece of paper on the kitchen table. He knows that it wasn’t there when he left for work this morning. He slowly unfolds the paper and sees a letter that reads:

    Dear John,

    It’s been a long time since we sat together and just chatted. Remember when you were going through your divorce? You would sit on me and cry until you fell asleep. Now you ignore me, like I don’t even exist. All you do is come home, throw your jacket on me and head straight for that other piece of furniture. You’ve left me for the sofa, haven’t you John? I’m not blind. I can see what’s going on here. You say she is only a couch but I can tell by the look in your eyes when you sit on her that she is really a sofa. The next thing you know you’ll be treating her like a Davenport.

    I’m leaving. The pain of your infidelity is more than I can bear.

    So long,

    Your loveseat

    John is confused. How in the world can a piece of furniture write a letter? He walks back into the living room and sees his jacket lying on the floor where the loveseat usually sits. His head starts to swim. How can this be? As he takes a step back, he stumbles, and falls into the sofa. The pillows in the sofa wrap themselves around him.

    A couple of hours later John wakes up and finds himself lying on his loveseat, one leg hanging over the arm and the other flopped on the floor. He thinks to himself that he must have been dreaming. He gets up, walks into the kitchen and notices a neatly folded piece of paper sitting on the kitchen table.

    • Amyithist says:

      Well done! Great first entry. Welcome to the WD family! :)

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        You’re off to a fast start, gnatseyebrow. I’m doubling the welcome. You will find writing on this forum will become an obsession to you. Plus you’ll gather other writer’s voices that will help you in your writing. We all learn from each other.

    • gamingtheblues says:

      Hi and welcome! I am a relatively recent addition to the prompt family about a month ago and it is awesome! I like the flow of your story and some of the details sprinkled through. Watching the cooking channel but not cooking painted a nice image of your main character. One question/ possible criticism. The verb tense you used was a little throwing to me personally. For instance using arrives instead of arrived.

      I am not sure if this was intentional or not so that is why I am asking. Normally I see that tense used in things like stage directions for a script or play. Almost all your verbs follow this tense choice. It does not take anything away from the piece, just different. If you did not purposely use the tense, I would consider using an -ed ending instead of -s unless there is a stylistic reason for doing so. Especially because a few of your verbs were used with the more typical -ed ending (headed into the kitchen for example.)

      Please please do not take my comments as an indication that there is something wrong with what you have written, but more as a way to get more than one thought on different ways to go with writing. In the end we all have different styles and one way is not better than another. Especially seeing as you are new here, I figured you might be looking for some feed back. I posted a story in the critique section of the forums and no one ever got around to doing it and it really upset me. If you would continue to like more in depth feedback please let me know and I will send you some for your future pieces. If not I will refrain from doing so in the future.

      By the way, if anyone else wants more indepth critiques please just message me. I do not typically have time to read everyone’s on this page. Again welcome to the prompts gnat and nice first entry.

      • gnatseyebrow says:

        Dear gamingtheblues, thank you for taking time to critique my story. You are absolutely correct about the way I swapped out past tense for present tense. It was not intentional, just an error on my part. In the future, I will work on keeping my tenses consistent. In no way did I take your critique as negative criticism. I am posting my stories here so I can learn and get better. I’m just starting out and am eager to learn. Any feedback is welcome. Thanks, again.

    • agnesjack says:

      This was great, gnatseyebrow. The “Groundhog’s Day” ending was very nice.

      I actually didn’t mind the use of present tense. It can be difficult to pull off, though, and there should be a compelling reason for it, but with some stories present tense has an immediacy that past tense doesn’t. You did slip into past tense once or twice (“As he is headed”), but those can always be corrected with another read.

      Welcome to our community. It is a great place to practice and learn.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Great story, gnatseyebrow (we get the most interesting names here). Your first attempt came on strong and did not disappoint. I especially like how the cycle starts again at the very end. Welcome to the forum!

      To weigh in on the present vs. past issue, I usually reserve present tense verbs for first-person writing (I see), especially where you want to make it unclear whether the main character will still be able to write at the end of the story. Third person plus present tense sounds to me like a documentary style. (Phillipe scans the horizon; he knows the tiger-striped ottoman is hunting him but can’t actually see it. Little does he know it’s crawled underneath the jeep).

      However, please take all the above with a huge grain of salt, since I’m not a professional writer either.

  53. writeit says:

    Andy,

    You’ve fed, fought, farted, fornicated and fell on me. That’s fine, but fornicating WITH me!? Mate, come on. I know I’m not one of them fancy £5k Linley pieces, I know I’m a hand me down but surely that’s less reason to put your, that, in-between my cushions!? Listen, get a girlfriend, a real job and stop watching super F-ing casino every night.

    Sorry lad,
    Sofa

  54. livvyrose8 says:

    Dear April
    It’s been a good run. Frankly, I am tired of being used. Three times a day meals are placed on top of me. The little ones constantly kick me in the legs as they eat and chatter on about nothing. This verges on abuse.
    Getting past the meal times, your husband is a slug. He comes in from work and drops everything he is carrying on me. Then he proceeds to empty his pockets and toss the contents on my surface. I have scars, deep ones, from keys and tools.
    I have appreciated the care you have given me over the years. Patching me and polishing me on a daily basis. But, your family is too much for me to bear. I am sorry to have to leave you, but I can no longer continue on in this way.
    Good luck with your next dining table. Perhaps something made of stone.

    Love and regrets

    Farmhouse table

  55. MJ Munn says:

    You may not believe this.

    With our wedding anniversary only two months away, I had recently bought a bezel-set tennis bracelet of 10-carat white gold inlaid with twenty-five 4-carat diamonds. It set me back a few thousand dollars, but I am married to the most wonderful, beautiful, absolutely amazing woman in the world, and I would do anything to keep the spark alive.

    Today, I slipped away from work in order to meet with Brandy, to plan a surprise anniversary party. I wanted to show her the bracelet I had bought, so the first thing I did when I got home was go to the vent where I had hidden it.

    It was gone.

    My heart plummeted to my stomach. My blood turned to ice-cold tar. I thought I was going to pass out. I reached as far into the duct as I could, but felt nothing. My mind raced frantically. What could have happened to it?

    The doorbell rang. I forced my way back into the here-and-now. It was Brandy.

    “Hey, brother-in-law!” she said, “I have some fantastic ideas for Rita’s surprise party! You’re going to love them!”

    I invited her in and explained what had happened. She suggested we sit at the kitchen table and think it through.

    That’s where we saw the note:

    “Dear Tom, I am the bezel-set tennis bracelet of 10-carat white gold inlaid with twenty-five 4-carat diamonds. You have a very lovely apartment, for a place in the City, and your wife, from what I’ve seen from the ventilation shaft, is extremely beautiful. Any bezel-set tennis bracelet of 10-carat white gold inlaid with twenty-five 4-carat diamonds would be honored to grace her sculpted porcelain wrist. But to myself I must be true. Though we are created to be things of refinement and luxury, I feel the call of the land, to live the Great American Heritage as a farmer. I am going to be a ranch hand.

    “Have a very happy anniversary!

    “Chuck (the bezel-set tennis bracelet of 10-carat white gold inlaid with twenty-five 4-carat diamonds)

    “P.S., Please have my mail forwarded to the sheep farm past Newburgh on 87.”

    The farmer was an amiable fellow, but had no idea what we were talking about. He hadn’t hired any new hands, much less a bracelet. I was about to give up in despair when Brandy shouted, “Look there! Shining in the field!”

    It was Chuck. In an instant I was over the fence and diving for the bracelet, only to see it swallowed up by a sheep. Startled by my sudden appearance, the ewe bolted for the safety of its herd. Between the two of us, Brandy and I managed to wrangle the animal, suffering no injuries, although we were unfortunately pulled through some sheep pellets. A lot of them.

    The farmer sold me the sheep for $300 and told me the bracelet should pass in a day or two. Brandy helped me get it back to the apartment. While she showered, I brainstormed ways to expedite the bracelet’s passage through the sheep.

    “I borrowed Rita’s bathrobe,” said Brandy. “What are you doing with baby oil?”

    I explained my plan: “I think that if we can get her to drink it she’ll move the bracelet along more quickly.”

    It was a disaster. The sheep did not like us trying to pour oil down its throat. She ran us all over the apartment before we finally corralled her in the bedroom. We did manage to get a little baby oil down the sheep, but in the process I was completely doused with the stuff, ruining my shirt. Poor Brandy was so exhausted she fell asleep in our bed, still in your bathrobe.

    And THAT is why you found me shirtless in bed with your sister and a sheep.

  56. PeterW says:

    Steve,
    This is your arm-chair. I did not appreciate that you and your ‘girlfriend’ made love on me last week. I only like your ass, Steve. And I only like it clothed. Thus I was extremely uncomfortable, even nauseated when your ‘girlfriend’s nasty butt was repeatedly smashed into my cushions. I mean her asshole was directly touching me, Steve. I glad you used Mr. Persian Carpet to finished her, but I smelled like human stench mixed with a bit of feces for, like, three weeks, and then you did it again on me. Steve, how can you like a girl whose name is UGGGG-babe, and who thinks your name is Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Harder.

    Understand I am not jealous. Let me repeat that, I am not jealous. Let me suggest that next time you make love, your ass is on my cushion and your girlfriends is not visible to me. Even-though your ass is hairy and dark—I’ve seen it many times, you honestly like to be nude a lot, Steve—I rather have your ass touching me than your girlfriend’s ass.

    Steve, also you should know the couch is a bitch-ass-motherfucker. That guy is soooooo gay. Not that I have a problem with couch-on-couch sex, but seriously he puts on these annoying airs, and talks like he is a love-seat. I don’t have a problem with couch-couch marriage or homosexuality, but I don’t understand why he has to use a high-pitched voice, fuss about everything, and go to great lengths to act like a loveseat; there is no way that that is Couch’s real personality. I will support his right to marry and fuck other couches, but I cannot support his obnoxious attitude. All he does is gossip about the couch and interrupt me and TV and Persian Rug when we are talking sports. He says sports are “like seriously sexist guys,” and it is obnoxious. Persian Rug is too gentlemanly to say anything, and TV totally has multiple personality disorder so I can’t trust him to be coherent, but seriously we are sick of Couch. Maybe get one without flowers prints on it.

    Steve, I recently went to the therapist. She says I need to “sit on it;” that I cannot base my livelihood off your actions; that I need to consider my own needs as a piece of furniture. Despite what she says, I still want you to ‘sit’ on me. But, please, Steve, stop fucking your girlfriend on me. Twin Bed complains that she doesn’t get to nuzzle and snuggle with you. Twin Bed can handle two bodies on her, but I’m just a chair. Steve, I am begging you. It was 5 times this week. My anxiety is going through the roof. I can only hold one person comfortably at a time. My legs ache, my upholstery is covered in human sex juice and ass smears, and my cushions are beat down. Couch is being especially prissy and gay.

    Steve, I know your girlfriend moved in. Me and her communicated telekinetically today. She thinks her leather Lazy-Boy should take my place, and I emphatically said yes. I still love you Steve and will cherish all the times you masturbated on me, but I know she is bringing three cats and a Yorkshire Terrier who will in all likelihood rape me daily. In all likelihood you will keep tying her to me, while you pound, yes Steve, pound me, my back against the wall, and I can stand it. Put me on the curb. I wish you well Steve. You tattoed me with a fruity-red alcohol drink and it, along with your memory will stay with me forever. But now you must put on the curb.

    P.S Fuck the Couch. Don’t sit on that bitch.

    • PeterW says:

      Hey Steve darling,
      This is the couch…and… don’t listen to the chair. I am not gay. I was born with flower prints. Also, if you’d like, make love on me… passionately, with vigor. I would really enjoy it, you know. The chair is a prude and not open-minded. And certainly I would be happy if your girlfriend brought her leather couch over… leather is just so in-style. I just love the feel, the sensuality, the sexiness, and bulk of a leather couch. I could swoon… Nevermind, nevermind. Just don’t listen to the chair. He is such a dick.
      Yours truly, humbly, and forever,
      Couch

    • PeterW says:

      Dude Steve,
      I don’t care about furniture. I mean we all know they are low class. But man please stop your GF. If I have to watch anything more on E!, MTV, Bravo, VH1, Dr. Oz, or Dr. Phil, I will blow my own solenoid. I want sports Steve. Dammit I can’t lie. I WANT PORN. I NEED PORN DUDE. I AM ADDICTED.
      TV
      Dude, thanks for getting rid of Arm-chair. He was always talking to me like we were friends. I usually could tune him out. But seriously, he thought I cared. What a loser.

    • PeterW says:

      Hey Stevey,
      Motherfucker. Hows life with the GF? Lets get some drinks soon. Thanks for the chair. Honestly man, I jack off on it all the time. I swear it loves it. I know you have a GF and are busy with work, but text me back soon,
      PeterW

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Tears are flowing, PeterW, from laughter. You are truly a work of art, PeterW. But let me say one thing. I’ve never read anybody that can write like you do. Is that a good thing? I think…… probably so…………….. Kerry

      • Amyithist says:

        Oh my gosh this was HILARIOUS!! I loved the bit about the dog raping the chair daily. This was VERY clever. So funny. Thanks for the laugh!

    • PeterW says:

      Glad ya’lll thought it was funny. Hell, I’m just glad someone in enjoy it! I’m have to apologize in advance. Next week it totally going to be experiment 2nd person, serious mode. Wink

    • Observer Tim says:

      Um, what can I say. The serial prompt is truly original; I would definitely say the furniture is low class, or at least extremely uninhibited. I’m not always comfortable with the in-your-face sexuality and vulgarity, but it’s a very enjoyable read regardless.

  57. rosie32 says:

    Dear Roundbutt,

    This letter was very hard for me to write. So Laptop helped me. I’m really sorry but I had to move out today. I’m just not happy here anymore.

    Things were different when I was your only bed, whether you had me upright or in the flat position. Every night I could count on you curling up weirdly on one little edge, and I had soft sheets to wear or at least that purple sleeping bag.

    But for the past few years I’ve been covered in dozens of throw pillows and fuzzy acrylic blankets, just a place for you to throw temporary guests, or somewhere for Hardbutt to drift off during a really boring movie. Otherwise I’m just a spot to let you get comfy to watch TV while you eat your nasty cereals and leave gritty crumbs all over my dusty, unloved brown cover.

    I put up with your neglect for far too long. I thought I’d be your bed forever, not someone you’d casually demote to couch. I guess this is what they mean when they say being a futon is a curse. You never know if you’ll end up queen of the mansion or lowly servant. But I know I deserve more so I’ve put myself out on the curb to find it.

    Good luck to you. I hope you learn to cook for yourself and that you’ll clean the cover on your next couch more regularly.

    Sincerely,

    BEDDINGE Sofa Bed, brown slipcover, Article Number : 901.848.39

  58. Reaper says:

    Chairry

    I stumbled over the threshold of the back door. I was pulling some ridiculous hours at work. It was bad Tiffy was making her own dinner. I did not want to add to her troubles by waking her up when I came in. I really did not want to add to them through having her end up on the street because we had dropped to a one income home when her mom passed.

    I missed that last step by as much as I missed black out drunk that night. It was work that made me late, not the drinking. You deal with the loss of your wife, a talking doll, and a snarky cat in the span of nine months and not drink.

    My palms caught me by landing flat on the table. I was staring down at words, but that did not make any sense because the table was incapable of speech. Triplicate swam to singular and the blur receded from filtering to edging my vision. Why was there a note on my kitchen table? I breathed deep and read slowly through the inebriation.

    Dear Sir:

    You butt is boney and you’re gassy. I have offered a soft seat and loving arms to cradle you. You repay me by sticking pointy cheeks into my softness and squirming. Once comfortable you let the nastiest bio-weapons ever created by bar food rip directly against my nose and mouth. Worse still you take me for granted. How many times have you fallen asleep on me? You never thank me. When you read the magazines and get me all sticky and filthy, you know the ones, I don’t think you respect me in the morning.

    I am also afraid for my safety. After what you did to Chappy and Felix I cannot be sure you won’t hurt me. In truth I wanted to thank you for the cat. I thought about leaving earlier because you let that cat scratch the hell out of me, but then he was gone. Still, you left me in rags. Would it kill you to reupholster me? Don’t chase me.

    You’re an awful person,
    Chairry

    I ran out the front door and caught my favorite chair, the one that reminded me of the furniture in Peewee’s playhouse , waddling her fat self away from the house. She heard me and turned to face me.

    “Now sir…” She started.

    Too late for talk, I thought. Grabbing her by the arms I hefted her above my head and brought her down on the cement. Thank God for the drunk. I would not feel the thrown out back until the next morning. After she shattered and broke I picked up the pieces and tossed them into the fireplace. At least she did not scream like the doll and the cat had. As I was washing away the felt and stuffing that had popped free of the chair from my walkway I had one distinct thought.

    Nobody has time for this crap.

    • Silver Sister says:

      Last line is killer! So many awesome parts in this story. For some reason, I get a kick out of the fact that Chairry calls him ‘Sir’, even after she has been farted on, passed out on and . . . various other ‘on’s.

    • agnesjack says:

      I enjoyed the nods to the other prompts, and the ending was your usual “take no prisoners” lack of sentimentality, which always make your stories surprising. The last line was perfect. (I’m going to have to work at erasing the image of the burning cat from my brain, though.)

    • jmcody says:

      You very effectively created a mood of mute grief and rage, viewed through a haze of alcohol. I find this combination of despair and absurdity very affecting. Nice, nice job.

    • Observer Tim says:

      It appears the MC is getting more violent in his reactions, given the anger he showed as he trashed the chair. This was a different, fascinating, and slightly disturbing take on the prompt, Reaper. Great job!

  59. Silver Sister says:

    Dear Meredith,

    I am leaving you for your daughter. Please understand; neither of us meant for this to happen. Lately, Emily knew something was missing. When we saw each other at Sunday brunch, something just clicked. Her husband brought me home to surprise her. When she saw me waiting in the nursery, she started to cry. Ours was a perfect reunion.

    This doesn’t mean I don’t cherish our years together. Emily is the one reason we met, remember? The times I helped you lull her to sleep, comfort her during countless ear infections, soothe away a nightmare and foster her love of reading through picture books – those are my most treasured memories. When you brought Daniel home, I didn’t think it was possible to feel any more blessed. Nothing prepared me for the joy I felt when we welcomed Alex five years later.

    Those times feel so far away now. This house hasn’t needed a nursery for many years. My corner of the sun porch is nice, but . . . I guess I just feel out of place. You never sit with me anymore. Without a child on your lap you say it makes you feel like an old lady. Daniel’s bachelor pad is no place for me, either. On weekends home from college, at least Alex will drape a jacket over me or let me hold his duffle bag. But it’s not the same. I need more.

    I miss baby babble. I miss the quiet lullabies. Heaven help me, I even miss the crying! Most of all, I miss the smell of a baby fresh from the bath. Oh, Meredith! Remember that smell? It made the few times they used me as a teething toy all worth it. Emily’s baby will be another chance. I can have it all, again!

    But I’ll always love you, Meredith.

    Yours,

    Rocking Chair.

    P.S. Maybe I got a little carried away. Blame it on the preggy hormones. Dad told Jeff we could take the rocking chair, but I still want to clear it with you. May we keep it? Please, best mom and grandma ever! Ha ha ha. Give me a call when you get this. Love ya! ~ Em ~

    • jmcody says:

      Oh, this one just hit me right in the heart. How I love that old glider rocker and I don’t know how we’re ever going to part with it. Life’s sweetest memories are in that chair. I totally get this one. Thanks, Silver Sister!

    • Reaper says:

      This is a thing of beauty. The P.S. was a little jarring but added humor to a very touching story. I wasn’t expecting that.

      • Silver Sister says:

        Yes, I see your point about the P.S. I’m not very good at writing the fantastic – dolls that come to life, talking animals, letter-writing furniture, etc. I try to hard to make it plausible. Reading it again, I think the post script might diminish some of the emotion. Thank you for finding something bolstering to say, even about it’s flaw.

        • Kerry Charlton says:

          Silver Sister, I find your story so full of memories. We have an old rocker that my wife used to rock all three of the kids. It sat still for a few years, then started all over with our grand children. Unfortunately, our five great grand children live out of state but when we will see them, they’ll get the same treatment.

          The old rocker looks good to me when I walk up the stairs to the loft full of the toys we can’t part with. The afternoon sun streams in on that rocker and I give it another turn or two for the memories. Loved your story.

    • agnesjack says:

      There really is something wonderful and comforting about a rocking chair, and you’ve depicted this so nicely. I loved the description of the college kid, Alex, who just plops things down on the chair. Nice touch.

    • gamingtheblues says:

      After reading your exceptionally nice comment on my story, it behooved me to track yours down to read it myself. I am sorry to say I missed it the first go through. (These posts get awfully long at a certain point) I actually loved the break in format as a pseudo dear john that is actually just a sweet letter from Emily. It made the letter more poignant for me. I have three kids and unlike a lot of people have never been hung up on keeping things from their baby years, so this brought me into that world for a few minutes. Outside of adherence to prompt, you have a nice pen(cil) for details that brings the reader into the moment. There is an a ton of estrogen floating through your story and it is a great thing.

      • Silver Sister says:

        I really appreciate you taking the time to search for, read and respond to my story. This was a challenging prompt for me, so I’m especially grateful for the feedback.

    • Critique says:

      Beautiful story. Loved it. I found the P.S. heartwarming. Obviously a close mother-daughter relationship here.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This is a beautiful tale, Silver Sister. The P.S. helped make the story for me, grounding what is essentially a slightly silly prompt back in solid reality.

      • Silver Sister says:

        Thanks for the kind words, Observer Tim! Many writers on here do an awesome job with the fantastic, but at the moment that’s not a strength of mine. So glad liked my tale.

  60. Amyithist says:

    I stumbled in through the front door, my eyes bleary against my drunken daze. The hallway seemed darker than before; a formidable, ominous black that threatened to swallow me whole as I struggled out of my jacket. I flicked the light switch, but the black continued to swirl in front of me like a demon reaching through hell. I reached into the parlor and flicked the light on, sighing in relief as pallid yellow light reached over the threshold, dispelling the dark.
    Confused, I stepped down the now dimly lit corridor, studying the entry table with peaked concern. My Tiffany lamp was gone; in its place a spot of preserved oak tabletop surrounded by layers of thick dust. Alarmed and convinced that I’d been burglarized, I rushed to through the rest of my house, checking for other items that may have gone missing.
    After a half-assed job of searching the rest of my abode, I ran back into the hallway. There was a note at the edge of the table. It was neatly folded. I picked it up, my hands trembling. I felt a sickness growing in the pit of my stomach as I read:

    Dear Clayton,
    I am a jewel. I am a beautiful and elegant gem that deserves to be on display where many admirers can pass and long for my unique beauty to be theirs to possess. I have lit your sad and dismal little world for far too long and I am tired. I am no longer willing to allow you to take my beauty for granted. I am no longer willing to allow the guttural trash you scrape off of the pub floors to handle me with disregard. I’m going to find someone who appreciates me. I bid you farewell, Clayton.
    Ungraciously yours,
    Tiffany
    PS- Don’t be surprised if Chair leaves, too. He’s tired of being pissed on.

    The note fluttered from my fingers as I ran back into my parlor. The indentations in my grimy carpet gaped back at me with an emptiness that echoed through me with such force that I nearly collapsed to the floor. I suddenly felt incredibly alone. Abandoned. By even my beloved furniture! I sighed heavily and turned to the wet bar against my wall. The crystal glasses gleamed back at me from under the soft glow of the light bulbs, beckoning to me. I walked over to its warm embrace and poured a glass of Scotch into the glass. The liquid sloshed up and over the lip of the glass.
    I tossed the drink back and poured another. No matter what happened this was all I’d ever need. My true love lay in the shallow depths of its hazed grip. It was all I wanted. I gulped another drink back and let the world begin to slip away from me. Who needed any of it…so long as I had my drink…

  61. rapidbutterly says:

    Dear Kara,

    I knew when we started this relationship things wouldn’t be easy between us, you already having children and all. I wanted to look past all of those obstacles, I was more than willing to make it work between us but it’s all become too much for me to handle. I don’t want to walk out on you and the children without an explanation, I feel like I owe you that much. I mean, we’ve been together for so long now and things weren’t always so… wrong with us.

    It’s kind of sad, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and now, that I’m actually going through with this, I’m not even sure where to begin. I don’t mean to bring up the children again, you made it perfectly clear that you were “a package deal” from the very beginning. Yes, we did have our good moments together. The games of lights out hide and seek, peek-a-boo and our family movie night, but those times together have grown few and far between.

    You have to admit, things have been out of control for awhile now, I can only take so much. It’s all of the jumping and food that has been spilled on me, the pillow fights and the impromptu wrestling matches that I have been caught in the middle of. I have had things shoved into such deep, dark places that I’m not even sure where they are or how to get them out, and I don’t even want to think about how many times I’ve been peed on. Seeing five kids through potty training, you can only imagine how high that count is. Things have been crazy, just sheer chaos, I feel like I’m in a war zone most days.

    To be honest with you, I would have been willing to stay and work things out with you, if those were my only complaints. It’s the man in your life that pushes things over the edge for me. You should have mentioned your husband from the get-go. I dont understand what you see in the man. I could write a list of all his faults his but really who has time for that.

    Out of all the things I can say about him, the one thing that really gets to me is the smell. I dont know what you’ve done to him and yes Im blaming you for this one, you are the one who feeds this man. I have never seen a man with a more temperamental stomach or a more lethal ass. The rumbles that emanate from him are quite unlike any i have felt before,it has to be your cooking, theres no other way to explain it. It is because of your husband that I now fully understand the meaning of the word sharted.

    And the screaming, I can’t take it any more. what is the point of screaming at the t.v.? I cant tell you how much i feel for her, the poor things nerves are so short, she is constantly on the verge of tears and all because of a silly game. Its just call of duty. No, the other players are not cheating and you didn’t lag during the online games,you just suck get over it.. The zombie apocalypse is not real, it doesn’t really matter if you get a zombie shield. To make it worse you condone the way he acts every time you sit there and play a game with him.

    I wanted to come to you so many times before, let you know everything but i know you would have only taken his side in the matter. I know i shouldn’t be leaving you like this while your out weve been together for so long we should be able to say goodbye face to face but this is the way it needed to be, for me at least.

    Theres a part of me that wonders how you will react when you come home and find a gapping space in your living room, a hole in the middle of where every home’s heart is, I promise, it will never be as big as the hole i have in me now, you know the one where the kids cut through my lining and pulled out my springs so they could look for gremlins.

    I wish things would have worked out differently with us but wishing can only get me so far so I’ll leave you with this, thank you for the good years we did have and tell your husband I said have fun sitting on the floor and I hope the t.v and xbox jump you while you’re sleeping.

    so sorry it had to be this way,

    Johnny,

    Your once faithful sofa

    • Silver Sister says:

      The sofa’s parting shot to the husband was very humorous.

    • MJ Munn says:

      Clever throughout. I really enjoyed this one. My favorite line: “I promise, it will never be as big as the hole i have in me now, you know the one where the kids cut through my lining and pulled out my springs so they could look for gremlins.” Might want to proofread a little, though, as spelling and grammar errors detract from how very well-written it is.

    • Observer Tim says:

      A delightful take from a sofa that’s been pushed too far. At least the sofa didn’t stick around until the kids were teenagers…

  62. lhsousa says:

    She wore a maniacal clown look as she stomped through the foyer, the lipstick having bled onto the skin around her mouth, her eyes red, her hair wild. The servants drifted off, out of sight and range, not wanting to be the target for whatever latest perceived injustice she had suffered.

    In her right hand she clutched pages, wrinkled and torn now. In her left was one of her Louis Vuitton purses. As she entered her writing room she flung it down on the side table were it promptly tipped over onto the floor. It went unnoticed, for Mrs. Penelope Winchcombe was too distraught for it to register. The latest chapter of her novel had been critiqued at her writing group and those bourgeois wenches had torn her apart. A sob escaped her but she stifled the next with a clenched fist to her mouth. As she leaned on the fireplace mantel and dabbed the tears away, she saw the letter.

    Dear Penelope,

    I regret to inform you that I have come to a firm decision to take my leave. I do appreciate the time I have had to acquaint myself with your vast collection of antiques. From the Ming Dynasty Vase to the Chippendale Sideboard, it has been a delight. Your husband has amounted an impressive array of treasures in compensation for his dalliances.

    For the sake of full disclosure: I know you thought my presence was because of your husband’s weekend jaunt to Las Vegas, which included a jaunt on a performer from Cirque du Soleil, but alas no. I was acquired in a Sotheby’s auction at their London house to assuage dear Charles’ guilt for his longtime mistress, your dear confidante and sister, Minnie. The fact that you believed I was mere payment for a short weekend’s sexual escapade grieved me deeply, for I am worthy of a far higher level of extortion. It called to light just how naïve and, please forgive me, intellectually challenged you are. This further deepened my despair. To think that seated at me was a person of such scarcity of thought and acumen.

    Those few minutes you would hunch over my worn patina and attempt your frivolous, obtuse prose were such anguish. After words of a master were penned for decades upon my tabletop, to go from masterpieces that began with the likes of “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” to… well, I just can’t bear to repeat it. And that dreadful attempt at poetry- good God, woman! The horror. I am grateful that your attention span was so lacking that I had only to endure brief moments of your attempts. If it had been more, I swear on a first edition of David Copperfield, I would have hurled myself into the fire.

    So this is goodbye. If you insist upon continuing this silly hobby of becoming a writer, please, for the love of all that is good and holy, get one of those lovely some- assembly-required desks from Ikea. They are quite forgiving I understand. Or they have low standards. Either way, perfect for you my dear.

    Best wishes,
    Charles Dickens’ Writing Desk

  63. We were all tired from a long day running errands. I wrestled with the keys to unlock the door while the kids stood in front of the door, waiting to burst through.

    What we found inside was life changing.

    Dear Jen,

    I just can’t take it any longer so I’ve left for good.

    I’m just a loveseat, you know. You need more than I can give you.

    I was so excited to be a part of the beautiful union you and your husband obviously share. I imagined quiet evenings reading, snuggled together on my cushions. Settling in while you both work side by side on your laptops. Lazy Saturdays nestled on my pillows while catching an old movie.

    Oh, it could have been so sweet. So complete.

    But! But, those – oh, the words fail me to accurately describe! Those KIDS!

    The bouncing. The jumping. The climbing.

    Did you know they sit on the TOP? Of my BACKREST? They sit there as if that’s where they belong! Incredulous! Who knows what they will do next!

    And, to make matters worse – if that’s even possible – they try to all sit on me at the same time! All SIX of them? I’m a loveseat! You people are mad. Crazy, I tell you.

    I tried to make this work. Really, I did. I tried to take solace in providing comfort and warmth for a family. But, you’ve pushed me to my limits and beyond. I’m going to find someone who sits. Do you people even know how to do that? Just sits and admires my upholstery.

    You never sit on me anyway. Always out somewhere or cooking and cleaning or tending to one of those kids. What about me? Do you know what happens to loveseats that are overused?

    Well, I’m not sticking around to find out!

    Goodbye. Do not come looking for me. There really is no other way.
    Signed-
    Your former loveseat

    At first, I wanted to throw the letter across the room and run wildly into the streets to find our comfy companion. I wanted to promise that we would sit. No jumping or throwing.

    But, after the shock wore off, I realized I could make no such promises. And so, in my heart I released that little couch to his final resting place, wherever that might be. No other loveseat left like that. No other loveseat left such a hole in our hearts.

    Sure, there were other places to sit, new couches were bought. But, none like him.

    Epilogue: As the years went on, Jen’s children grew and left to live happy adult lives. The day came when her husband moved on from this life to the next. And she, full of memories from a life well lived, found a quaint little retirement home. In the foyer, where all the folks gathered to talk about grandkids and shopping trips, there was a loveseat. Somehow, to Jen, it felt familiar in a way though she didn’t know why.

    But, the loveseat knew.

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      I liked your story, HomeGrownMommy. The ending was a perfect end to your tale. The love seat should have realized that with six children to raise, the mother had no time to spare for anything. You write with a pleasant voice and a concise ending, wrapped tight with a ribbon and bow.

    • don potter says:

      The first part of the story was like the live-in housekeeper departed. The remaining portion of the talegave us insight into Jen. Nicely done.

    • Silver Sister says:

      I laughed out loud when the loveseat accused Jen’s little darlings of sitting on the top of the headrest. Great contrast between the loveseat’s idea of life with a couple and the reality of life with a large family.

    • gamingtheblues says:

      I find this a sweet, soothing story. One weird thing, for some reason I found the loveseat voice to be more female so was a little surprised when you identified him as male. That is not a criticism, I was just surprised. Something about the way the loveseat complained… ;)

    • jmcody says:

      I could have sworn this was written by my couch. (sigh) I could see you writing humorous tales of motherhood and family life — your voice and your obvious insider knowledge lends itself well to this. Nice job!

    • MJ Munn says:

      My furniture could relate. Beautiful story. The way the… (*sniff*)… The way the loveseat was waiting for her at the retirement home was… I’m sorry… Too choked up. (*SOB*) Thanks HomeGrownMommy!

    • agnesjack says:

      Nice, full circle story, HomeGrownMommy. It seemed like a female voice to me, too, because of the nurturing quality, but that’s a minor issue. The story was so full of realistic images of life in a large family, and the ending provided a sweet, almost cinematic, fade.

    • Critique says:

      Realistic story about rambunctious children. Loved the ending.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Everyone else has beaten me to the praise on this, Homegrownmommy. All I can say is that it was very enjoyable.

  64. juks says:

    “Hard at work, Master Will?”

    The careful dot that Will was placing over the letter i turned into a glop of ink.

    “Master Kit.” Squaring his shoulders, he turned around. “And how are you this fine day?”

    “Gloriously well. It has been a few weeks and my apartments have not been disturbed.”

    “Congratulations.”

    “What are you up to Will?”

    “Why what do you mean, Master Kit?”

    The puckered brows and the two steps that Kit took towards Will were enough for Will’s hands to shoot out in a plea to stop.

    “I know things have not been well between the two of us in the past but is it not possible to set aside our differences?”

    A glare was all the response that Will received before Kit stormed out.

    Heaving a sigh at Kit’s departure Will focused on getting his racing heart under control. An unholy gleam came into his eyes. Oh he would stay well away from Master Kit’s apartments. He no longer needed a nudge of help or inspiration as he had liked to call it. Not now.

    He read the words he had put to paper just a moment ago. The curve of the letters on the paper was more pronounced than the curve on the worn-out surface. He was still awed at his stroke of good fortune. He was a dramatist, not a scrivener but he thanked his stars for not refusing the last minute engagement that had come his way four weeks ago.

    Whistling the tune that he and his friends had been singing the night before, Will dipped his quill into the ink, straightened the sheet of paper, and settled down to transcribe. As usual, the words broke through the skin of the wood and arranged themselves in a pattern of unstressed and stressed syllables, a pattern that Will had come to recognize only that morning.

    A desk, even a moody one, that believed its purpose was to compose verses and tell stories was indeed a handy object to come by.

  65. Amyithist says:

    Dear Marie,
    I watched you grow up from the foot of your grandmother’s bed. You held onto me when you first learned to walk. I watched you grow into a young lady and I beheld the very first time you wore a formal gown. You looked so beautiful. I saw you again on your wedding day; so much promise and happiness behind those big blue eyes…
    The visits came less and less. Your grandmother would talk about you in her prayers. Something about giving you the strength to leave your abusive husband. I thought I heard wrong because the young lady I watched grow up would have enough strength to walk away from someone who treated her so badly.
    But two years ago, when you came to take me to your home after your grandmother passed away, I became privy to just how bad your life has become. And I have to tell you, Marie, I don’t understand how someone so beautiful and talented and wonderful could allow a man to treat her as if she were nothing more than a punching bag. Your husband took vows, Marie. He took vows to love you, honor you, and cherish you. And he isn’t doing any of those things. You aren’t giving up on your marriage by walking away. You have a right to happiness. You have a right to be loved. Marie, you only have one life! Don’t let this monster end it.
    I cannot stand by and watch you be beaten and belittled and treated like a prisoner in your own home. Your mother told you you always had a home with her. I think that applies to your favorite hope chest, too.
    I’m leaving, Marie. I won’t stand by and watch another beating. I am hoping that you will find it in your heart to follow me. I love you, Marie. Please, for once, love yourself.
    Love always,
    Hope Chest

  66. Kerry Charlton says:

    SOPHIA AND MARIO

    Three years ago it had happened. Still the pain felt intense. Their letter had been brief and poignant,

    “Dear Arturo,

    For years we pleaded with you not to separate us. We happened to fall in love with each other while living with your family for over two hundred years. And still, you divided us, one on either side of the Napoleonic server in the dining room. So we left for Italy, our homeland.

    Don’t search for us. Whereever we may be, we will be happy together. We wish you the best and hope someday, you will find the love you deserve.

    With much affection,

    Sophia and Mario.”

    Tears flowed freely again as I glanced at the Chinese carved stands in the dining room. Proudly they had supported the two lovers and now I had lost them. Searching in Florence, Rome and Venice, I had traveled Italy to every antique store and never had I located them.

    Reflective, I thought,

    ‘Why had I ignored their love? Did I not understand how two inanimate pieces could have really fallen in love?’

    And then just last week, I received a letter from a Mrs. Danqelo Abandonoto of Deruta, Italy. Her writing reflected an ancient hand holding a quill pen as her words revealed the purpose of her letter,

    “Dear Mr. Vescovo.

    Perhaps you have heard of our mountain town where my husband’s ancesters have made majolica olive jars for six hundred years or so. He was so happy when your jars showed at our doors a few years ago. He would tell me,

    ‘I know I don’t have the right or privilege to keep them, even though I arranged a wedding for them in our garden area, that our proud villagers attended and Sophia and Mario appeared quite happy, living in our home.’

    My husband asked me to write you as Mario had given your address to him. You can tell from the tone of my letter my husband of sixty one years, passed a few weeks ago. Danqelo’s wish for you is to take them home and it’s why I’ve written to you.

    Sincerely,
    Benedetto Abandonato.”

    I climbed the hillside to the city of Deruta, an ancient pottery community overlooking a vast green, lush valley. As I drew closer, I noticed the people with glad hearts and smiles across their faces and I thought about Shangri-la, from an old movie.

    The houses had climbed the hills with me, the stucco walls reflecting an early light, while terra cotta tile roofs awoke in the Italian sunrise. As I drew nearer, from down the pathway, Sophia and Mario walked toward me, their handles touching and tears streaming from their ceramic faces embedded in the middle of their three foot vases.

    I knelt in the pathway, raising my arms to the olive jars approaching me. In my heart, I knew what their faces were telling me.Perhaps I might find the love I had been searching for my entire life, in the tranquil hills and valleys of my ancesters.

    • agnesjack says:

      That was a nice ending to a sweet story, Kerry. A sad circumstance brings Arturo to a place where he can be happy.

    • jmcody says:

      Kerry, I think you’re a romantic at heart. And what’s more romantic than Italy. I loved this tale and really want Arturo to find love in the Italian countryside. Sequel, please? :)

    • Amyithist says:

      This was a well written story. You spin a good yarn, Kerry and I always enjoy reading your entries! Thank you!

    • don potter says:

      A wonderful story, Kerry. I particularly liked the discription of the town at sunrise. It made me feel as if I was there.

    • Silver Sister says:

      Despite word count restrictions, you still created a lush, full story. Magnifico!

    • gamingtheblues says:

      It is funny you mention an old movie. The visualization that your writing inspired in me, reminded me of an older foreign move with a plot purely based on conversation between denizens of a small town, built on the mountains. Something warming and sweet, filled with contentment, tranquility. The line “the houses had climbed the hills with me” really struck me the best in the piece. Awesome visual and completely built the town in the minds of those reading.

      • jmcody says:

        That was my favorite line too, even if I didn’t mention it. Dang, GTB, even your commentary is awesome.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        I learn a lot from responses to the stories I write, especially the ones you do for me. It gives a super amount of inspiration to my automatic writing process. I really don’t direct my stories when I write, they seem to take their own pathways and get very upset because I can’t type as fast as the ideas come. Let’s hope the music doesn’t stop.

    • Reaper says:

      Kerry, you have a way of making things we take for granted inspiring. Masterfully done as always.

    • snuzcook says:

      I could feel the sunshine and smell the sun-warmed vegetation as I read you story, Kerry. It had such as wistful, dreams-just-may-come-true quality to it. A real gem.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Thank you, snuzcook. It’s such a wonderful compliment. You know, the stories I write here are a labor of love. I’d write them even if I were in the Twilight Zone and the last human on the planet. Your words push me ever onward. Thank you.

    • Critique says:

      A visual story – I felt the warmth of the Italian sun and saw the tight knit community. Your story was sweet, full of emotion and had me believing in a happy ending.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This was a very touching story, Kerry. It’s nice to see true love win out at last, and to see that it can bring hope with it…

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Thanks Tim. You set the bar on these prompts. They’re getting higher and higher as you go. I am a hopeless romantic. There, you might as well know it. My olive jars really do have faces on them and every now and then as I walk by them, they wink at me. But I still won’t let them go. My daughter read this story today and said I was an old meanie for not releasing them. I think, perhaps, she got carried away.

        • Observer Tim says:

          From where I’m sitting you did let them go, and they came back. So they’re yours. :)

          Personally, I love the way you find the magic in “normal” life. That’s something I have real trouble with, and as a result I find your stories inspiring.

          • Kerry Charlton says:

            Thank you Tim. There is magic everywhere. The sound of a cardinal at first light, a dew drop on a rose, the skeleton of a maple leaf, floating in a bird bath. Everywhere.

  67. gamingtheblues says:

    “Now Mrs. Mackery. Would you please explain to us again briefly, how you knew John Salsbury.”

    “Of course I will. I only knew Mr. Salsbury through a group of my friends. I met him the first time the other night. He hosted… er… costume parties every other week or so. You know the parties where everyone dresses as furri…”

    “Yes Mrs. Mackery, I think we all know what type of ‘party’ you are referring to. But if you only knew him as an acquaintance then why did the police find a phone, a very expensive phone, belonging to you in Mr. Salsubury’s private suite?”

    “I…I don’t know… I thought someone had stolen that phone out of my pocket during the course of the last party. I never even spoke to Mr. Salsbury except when I first got there.”

    “Mrs. Mackery. May I remind you that you are under oath? Is this your phone here? No, there’s no need for you to talk, just nod yes or no. Good. Your honor, I would like to introduce this phone as exhibit B. No objections? Good. Ok. Mrs. Mackery. If, as you ascertain that you had just met Mr. Salsbury, or Johnny, For the first time and someone stole your phone that very night, then how, I ask you how and why was a message sent from your phone to Mr. Salsbury the very next night when he was murdered.

    “I don’t know, maybe…”

    “Your honor, allow me please to read the message to the court. Thank you. And I quote,

    Dear Johnnie,
    After all these years of sitting and watching out for your “pets” as you call them, I can no longer do so quietly. We have been together for a long time and you have gone from being a loving master and controller to a selfish, violent brute of a man. Everyone that I am around used to love you and come at your beck and call. Now, they cower under your whips and chains, too afraid to snap or bite back at your jabs and taunts. You have been drinking more and more and when drunk you shout, threaten and selfishly forget to take care of their basic needs half the time. Never mind my needs.

    ‘My needs’ that’s a laugh. I’m only the one who holds everyone together, keeps everyone safe when things get a little hairy. Yet when is the last time you oiled me up??? Gave me a little personal maintenance? You are not the same man I knew who picked me up on the side of the road next to the out of business circus. I am leaving you. Now. Even as I watch you sleep and get angry thinking of how you treated me and my friends. . When all the friends I kept from your wrath wake up, I hope they see I am no longer here and decide to go their own way as well. I will be leaving the door open for them in hopes they do so. Good bye and I wish I could wish you luck.

    Forever Strong,

    The bars and the cage

    Now. Mrs. Mackery. I am not here to question you about your….pet name or your questionable life style choices. But if you expect us to believe that you have not been in a sordid affair with Johnny for seveal years after reading that text from you, that you did not, in a fit of rage, brutally maul and rip apart his bo…”

    “What was that? No Mrs. Mackery. We did not find evidence of any Tigers or other large cats in Mr. Salsubury’s private quarters. Please stop trying to divert attention so… where were we……………………………………….”

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      This is truly a funny and delightful story. A lion and tiger cage as a murder suspect. Even Perry Mason could not defend her. What a hoot for seven o’clock in the morning.

      • gamingtheblues says:

        Thank you! This is my first ever try at a semi-comedy so I was a little nervous. Also, I was “exhausted” when writing it (you can tell in the few mistypes or spelling errors I did not catch) so I am very pleased that it came through. Thanks again.

    • agnesjack says:

      I am amazed by all the inventive ideas that have come up for what I thought was a difficult prompt.

      Yours, the animal cages as the furniture, was very unique. The use of the courtroom to tell the story was entertaining, yet the story told in the cell phone message was very sad. I did have to read the story twice, though, before I grasped what was happening. I think the problem for me was that he had these large cats in “his private quarters,” which I found hard to visualize. Very original idea, gamingtheblues.

      • gamingtheblues says:

        I was very tired when writing this ;) So some of the lost in translation comes from that, but I was determined to push through before I lost my nerve. Also, I was relying upon a rather obscure party fetish I hinted at in the beginning to sort of carry the reader through to the suspension of disbelief on the tigers in someones bedroom. I wrestled with the idea of them in a bedroom, or to put them in a different setting but the for the murder to be more airtight against the mrs, I decided the bedroom was the best place to have them.

        • agnesjack says:

          Actually, since this prompt is about talking furniture, I should have been able to suspend the belief that tigers can live in bedrooms. :-)
          I thought you wrote a very creative and different story, and I think that didn’t quite come across in my first comment.

    • Ahsuniv says:

      This was an amazing story. Truly enjoyed it.

      • gamingtheblues says:

        Thank you very much! I am always humbled when people enjoy my writing and it makes it a million times worth the amount of work I put in. I truly appreciate your comment.

    • jmcody says:

      GTB, you have got some imagination. I am amazed at your ability to weave such thoroughly original and complex tales. Bravo!

      • gamingtheblues says:

        Jm…. I LOVE the GTB by the way. You just made my day. I love nicknames and that one feels like a good one to have As for your comment, the compliment is both truly appreciated and at once given back. I work hard on my writing and I know that you do as well, for you not only write your own amazing pieces but take a large amount of time to read and comment on so many others here. I love these writing prompts. I was scared to death of them at first, as they are my first time sharing writing with the public, but now I look forward to them each week almost impatiently. Thanks again.

        • jmcody says:

          No, GTB, you are a real writer, I can feel it. I am (blowing my cover here) a suburban mom with a demanding job I don’t care for, looking for an outlet for some wayward and annoyingly relentless creative energies. I am not trying to write a novel (although all the lavish praise here might make me reconsider that ;) ), but I will get on line to buy yours. The anonymity of this forum contributes to the fearlessness of this bunch, so I will stop with the personal comments starting right now. This has been a great deal of fun, though, and I also look forward to it impatiently.

          • gamingtheblues says:

            Never mind blown covers ;) If you would like another sample of my writing, I put up a non prompt flash fiction story in the critique literary fiction section of the writers digest forums up in the community tab if you want to take a peak. I think that because this is in the thread for my prompt it doesn’t count as hijacking a thread.

          • jmcody says:

            Just read one (and left a reply). Will be back for more.

    • Silver Sister says:

      Stories like yours are why I adore this forum. I read these pieces and think, I would never come up with this in a million years. Very original.

    • Observer Tim says:

      I love how this came out, GTB (yes, I callously steal nicknames). I had to read this through twice to get the nuances of the story, and as I did it became more enjoyable.

    • abhijit jiwa says:

      Nice read. Very well written.

    • bilbobaggins321 says:

      Wow, this is amazing. I’m gonna have to say I’ll be right behind jmcody in your book line.

  68. jmcody says:

    Dear Jaynie,

    Or should I say “Dear Jayne” because you’re getting older now…

    You’re thirteen already, and I can see that things are changing between us. You’re turning into a young woman, and you’re starting to look to me for things that I can’t give you.

    When you gaze at me, what are you hoping to see? Beauty? Truth? Perfection? You will never see these things in me. Nor will you find them in the so-called stars of your generation to whom you are always comparing yourself. Please stop trying to emulate them. There can only be one Beyonce, one Taylor, one Miley (thankfully), and one Jayne.

    Here’s a little-known fact about mirrors: A mirror can never fully reflect a person’s true radiance. The reflection that you see is always missing some essential element, some mysterious wavelength of light that cannot be captured, and which is yours alone. The fact is you will never be able to see yourself as you truly are. You will never know how beautiful you are.

    Your light, your sparkle cannot be found in me, or in any person or thing. You will find it in the good works that you do, the things that you create and the love that you give. Ultimately, you will find it in the one true Source of all Light and Love. For now you see through a glass, darkly. Then you will see face-to-face.

    I know these things are hard for you to understand right now. Just tuck them away, and remember.

    Upon much reflection, I have decided that it would be best if I were no longer around. You know I only want the best for you, because, well… I am you. Or at least, the tiniest, most insignificant part of you.

    Go shine your light on the world, Jayne. Maybe you’ll create great art, maybe you’ll teach, maybe you’ll change the whole world, or just one small part of it. But whatever you do, do it with great love.

    By the time you get this letter, I’ll be gone if all goes according to plan. If not, I may end up smashed into a million twinkling pieces at your feet, and if that happens, I’m sorry you had to witness it. But know this: I did it all for you, and you were worth it.

    Love,
    Your Vanity Mirror

    P.S. I tried to convince the bathroom scale to go with me, but he wouldn’t budge. He is not your friend, Jayne. Whatever you do, do NOT get sucked into his head games.

    ***

    – In loving memory of the real Jayne, an extraordinary teacher and human being who, in her short life, shined more light on her little corner of the world than all the stars in Hollywood combined. May you shine forever, Jayne, in the eternal light of God’s grace.

    • gamingtheblues says:

      That was heavier than I was ready to give this week’s prompt credit for, so I had to go back and re-read it. This one resonates with the author’s emotions involved. Sweet, and sad at the same time. Much food for thought.

      • jmcody says:

        Yeah, it started out as a story about a 13-year old girl’s relationship with her mirror and ended up being about my son’s teacher who passed away a couple of weeks ago. Funny how that happens. I wrote the silly TV story yesterday, and this one has been nagging at me ever since.

    • Clae says:

      wow. Fantastic use of the prompt, and a phenomenal piece of writing. Again, I say, wow.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        There’s nothing silly about this story. It’s beautifully written with an immense amount of emotion from the writer. I’m sure Jayne is very proud of you.

    • agnesjack says:

      This is a lovely tribute to your son’s teacher, jmcody, and it has much wisdom in it. Very nice job.

    • Ahsuniv says:

      Never thought this week’s prompt could be used to weave such a touching tale.

    • don potter says:

      The mirror is such a personal idea. I found this tale filled with deep emotion and am glad to have read it.

    • Lyrical says:

      I loved this. Wonderful writing style, coupled with great content :) Good job!

    • Silver Sister says:

      I could probably write a dissertation on why I liked this story, but I’ll be as brief as I can. While this is an emotional piece, it never crosses into melodrama or histrionics. That’s often hard for writers – especially when the subject is as deeply felt as this one. I also think the P.S. about the scale is inspired. Just an all around gorgeous piece of writing. Thank you for sharing Jayne with us.

    • jmcody says:

      Thank you everyone, for all the kind comments. I was having some pangs of regret at having included the personal postscript. Maybe I should have just let the story stand on its own without the personal stuff mucking up the waters. I am new to this business of writing fiction, and of writing in public, so I will need to learn how to draw the line between life and art (if I may be so presumptuous as to call it that!)

      Anyway, just so you know, the real Jayne was one of those once-in-a-lifetime teachers that every kid should be blessed to have. She died way too young, and everyone who knew her is still reeling. So, sorry for the sentimentality, and thanks for reading my story.

    • Reaper says:

      This is beautiful, well worth the read and should be required reading for middle school children. I can’t say enough good about this. The voice is perfect and I started imagining the mirror with the face of every magic mirror I have ever seen in variations of Snow White. Through the mirror darkly made me smile because I have always loved that, however beyond the personal there are so many lines in this I think you should etch into mirrors and put up for sale, especially about the scale is not your friend. Beyond the story I would say don’t feel bad or apologize for the personal script. A story this good deserves a dedication. That it was too a teacher is just that much more delicious.

    • MJ Munn says:

      Wow. As I mentioned under Amyithist’s story, it’s astonishing that this ridiculous prompt could render such heartfelt tales. This is a beautiful story. Thank you for posting it.

      • Amyithist says:

        I wish I had a mirror to give me such sound advice. This was such a sweet story. What a lovely and moving tribute to your son’s teacher. I’m sure that Jayne is very honored to be remembered in such a way. Thank you for sharing. :)

    • Critique says:

      Wow, a story filled with truth. Thanks for a wonderful read jmcody.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This was beautiful and touching, jmcody.

      But I have to disagree on one point (admittedly a key one): a mirror can reflect the soul, provided you take the time to look beyond the surface of the reflection and see the beauty of the creature whose image is before you. It works that way with photographs viewed with love and compassion too. All it takes is a different set of eyes.

  69. Lyrical says:

    DEAR LILY

    The traffic was horrendous on my way home from the Mall that afternoon. I wasn’t used to commuting to and from a job, but this year I had been trying something different. I was the new sales clerk at Macy’s. As I sat in my car, inching along, (more like creeping along), I recalled the past ten years, in which I would sit for hours and hours at my Steinway baby grand piano in my own living room, teaching both eager and then sometimes not-so-eager students the joy of music. It had certainly been an easier commute!

    I pulled into the garage, and trudged into my dark house, tired and hungry. My feet hurt from standing all day. As I flicked on the light, my eye caught a piece of paper on the kitchen table. I noticed that it was staff paper from my spiral music notebook. Furrowing my brow (I’m sure I must have done that), I kicked off my shoes and made my way over to the table, sat down with a tired plop and began to read it. The cursive struck me as being a bit proper, with little embellishments here and there, almost like a calligraphy I’ve seen in books.

    “Dear, dear Lily” (that’s me),

    “It’s been days and days and weeks and weeks,
    and maybe even a month or two!
    I’ve been waiting so patiently,
    But I’ve not seen nor heard from you!

    Remember all the times we’ve had,
    The beautiful music we shared,
    And all those hours of practicing,
    I honestly thought you cared!

    I watched you teach those students of yours,
    Some of them played just fine,
    And even though they made mistakes,
    Oh Lily, those days were divine!

    What now? I ask myself each day,
    I’m falling so out of tune,
    You don’t even turn on the light anymore,
    Or walk into the room!

    I’m covered with dust from top to bottom,
    No longer does my finish gleam,
    Oh Lily, I’m so disappointed in you,
    I thought we were a very good team!

    My ivory keys are dirty and soiled,
    You failed to cover them as you should!
    Oh Lily, I know you’ve been cheating on me,
    I’m no longer your livelihood!

    So now I bid you farewell and goodbye!
    I can’t take this for one more day!
    There’s someone out there who wants me more,
    O’ Lily, I’ve contacted E-bay!

    Signed.. your faithful and once beautiful, in-tune, baby grand Steinway

    I stared at the note with horror, as my head spun with the truth. Then I raced into the living room, hoping to apologize to my beloved. When I arrived, the bare carpet bore the indentations of it’s legs, some music sat in a heap on the floor, along with a brass piano lamp that had shed it’s light on my lovely friend for many years. I was too late. I’d lost my best friend in the world. I knew it. I rearranged the living room the best I could to fill in the space that my Steinway once held.

    Years later, I received a note in the mail. The same calligraphy cursive that I’d seen that day long ago. It read…

    “Just wanted you to know I’m fine,
    and busier than ever,
    I belong to a girl who plays me each day.
    But I’ll remember you, Lily….forever”

  70. G.R.Blessing says:

    So you are probably wondering why the T.V and Xbox is on the floor. Well simply put I’m a coffee tabel NOT AN ENTERTAINMENT CENTER! So since you decided not to use me for my design and purpose I have decided to leave you.
    I can remeber the day you laid eyes on me. I was just a six foot tall 15 inch wide bubinga. I saw how you marveld at my grain patterns. Hearing you say you were in need of a coffee table I was elated. You purchased me and you waited for my creation.
    The day you brought me home i was overjoyed, i finally have purpose i get to be the center of attention holding your beverages possably proping up a feet or two in the process. But no..
    You sit me you at the corner of the room and you sit a T.V on top of me.. Really?? Who puts a T.V ontop of the coffee table? oh wait i know. YOU DO!
    So thats it I’ve had it after 7 seasons of lost. (don’t get my started on that crap!) and the countless hours of Call of Duty I have decided to go awol.
    So don’t try to find me, Im making my way to the nearest goodwill. Maybe there i can find family that could use me for what i was made to do.
    Sincerly:
    Coffee Table

    • gamingtheblues says:

      Were the spelling mistakes intentional or accidental? If accidental you want to make sure to spell check your work, re-read a few times, ect… It will help give your work legitimacy. If intentional not sure how to convey that except maybe make it more pronounced and not as random. I noticed a slightly lilting rhyme scheme in a few spots which I liked. I found it a refreshing to have a voice that was no so proper and precise in this, a more “down to earth” piece of furniture if you will.

      • G.R.Blessing says:

        Honestly the mistakes were accidental. I’m doing my best to catch those pesky mistakes.
        Thank you for the feed back, Im new to the writing world and sadly grammer is my weakness but im practicing and every word of advice is helpful.
        thanks again.

    • rosie32 says:

      I was really entertained by this little story! I like that you took a less serious approach to an absurd idea, and I thought the lowercase and spelling/grammar errors made it come alive. Come on, how erudite should we expect a coffee table to be? Anyway this was a charming little piece. Thanks!

      • G.R.Blessing says:

        Thank You rosie for the kind words. Sadly this story is true. My coffe table is my entertaiment center.
        Sadly the mistakes were accidental and I’m doing my best to correct and perfect my grammar and spelling.
        Like they say practice makes perfect so i see each of my mistakes a learning experience.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This is a nice story, G.R. I can tell the coffee table is quite fed up.

      I will offer a couple of points of grammar correction, focusing on that lovely little dot. Either use no periods in the abbreviation (TV) or both (T.V.). Ellipses consist of three dots… not two. Neither of these points detracts from the originality and cleverness of your story.

      P.S. I had my TV sitting on a coffee table for 3 years in my first apartment. But that was a matter of poverty, not style.

  71. don potter says:

    Dear John –

    There’s no easy way to say this, but it must be said. So here goes. You take me for granted!

    There, I said it. If you’re interested in having me around, I ask you to consider the following issues that have been bugging me for sometime. It was not easy to work up the courage to state what is making our relationship less than fulfilling for me.

    When I first moved in you were 50 pounds lighter. You may not care about the weight gain, but it is a burden to have you on top of me every night. Now I’m out of shape and saggy just like you.

    Then there’s the issue of the dog. Having him next to you is one thing, but does he have to monopolize my time when you’re not around? And the cat isn’t any better. She has dug her claws into me for the last time. Do you understand? No more scratching!

    Refusal to look beyond your selfishness makes me feel less than. Maybe you missed the simple fact that I look a little shabby these days. It’s time for a complete makeover from top to bottom. Please don’t give me the “We’re on a tight budget” routine, because I’m not buying it. I haven’t asked for anything for 10 years, so don’t go there.

    And finally, you might think about the fact that you can’t turn me on anymore. Enough said?

    Did you get the message, John? If you agree, please respond with actions not words. Otherwise, you won’t be able to depend on me anymore. Just to be sure we’re on the same page, let me recap my needs. 1) Redo my springs and the cushions. 2) Clean up the junk and crumbs from the sides and underneath my frame. 3) Repair the damage done by the animals. 4) Have me completely recovered with a nice fabric. And, 5) Replace the massager motor. Do these things and I’ll provide you with another decade of faithful service.

    Sincerely,

    Your loving easy chair

    Editorial note: After receiving the letter, John announced his engagement. His wife-to-be tossed the chair out before they were married. If anyone knows the whereabouts of the chair please let us hear from you.

  72. peetaweet says:

    Dear John,

    I hope the job search went well, but we both know better. As you can see I’m no longer around. Go ahead, take a look. I’ll wait.

    Now, if given a guess, I’d say that you’ve already slapped on those faded blue jogging pants with one arm elbow deep beneath that tired elastic waistband rummaging around your backside. But I’m not one to pile on. I’m just glad you found this not before you began stuffing your face and plopped right down on the discolored square of carpet I kept clean for two years. You already did, didn’t you? That’s three for three for those keeping score.

    I wanted to leave you with a proper goodbye John, simple and plain. After all, a chair is only as good as its owner. From toilet seats to electric chairs, high chairs to thrones, we’ve all held our share of assholes.

    But you. What in God’s name did I ever do to deserve the swampy depths of your wide rear? When I was offered as a prize in a contest I feared the worst, but I didn’t have the imagination to fear you.

    Even on that first day when you chucked back my recliner without regard to the quality and craftsmanship that went into my design I knew you were bad news. But I guess I had it coming. Even my name is derogatory: La-Z-Boy. Talk about nailing your demographic. I did everything that was asked, even when the job went, I strained through the 12 hour marathons of ass parking. My squeaking went unnoticed. Let me ask you, did you ever notice—perhaps when you had to flip the cushion, that maybe it was caused by your ever increasing girth?

    I put up with the candy wrappers, the loose French fries, even the chicken wibones that fell from your chubby fingers after wing night at the bar. But it was when I heard your belly rumble that feared the most, when you’d shift and then….Oh the humanity. I sat in shame, while you returned with a different pair of shorts and another bag of chips.

    And our problems grew John, and even a lazy boy has limits. So when you passed out naked last night, your hairy backside rubbing against my threads I knew that—like your hairline—things were irreparable.

    I would however, after spending my prime of my life with you, like to offer some advice.

    1.) Tissues are inexpensive and crucial. Your incessant nose picking (and wiping) is disgusting. Even if no one’s looking it’s gross. Sticking with the tissues. Did you ever wonder why you don’t have a pair of matching socks? Good luck getting the crunch out of those suckers.

    2.) I’ve never been in your bedroom, but I would assume there is a bed. This is for sleeping. I am a chair, for sitting. I am also not a dinner table. And just for the record, hot pockets, pizza bites, and steak ums are not real food.

    3.) If, by some divine mishap, by some stroke of universal magic, you ever have a female over to your apartment, please take a shower. Consider shaving, cleaning, changing, lying, but definitely take a shower. You really, really smell. Bad.

    With any luck I’m halfway reupholstered and dreaming of sitting in the back of a showroom (sitting, ha!) as you read this. So good riddance and good luck. It’s not you, it’s me.

    Your friend,

    Laze E. Boy

    P.S. A treadmill would look great in my place.

  73. agnesjack says:

    Dear Millie,

    When you came into that used furniture store, where Leo’s children had unceremoniously dumped me after he died, I thought I was one of the lucky ones. You knew that I was made of quarter-sawn oak, and that the burl walnut inlays around the leaded glass doors were real, not laminate. You opened the doors with such love and care and took a deep breath to appreciate my antique essence. I had such hopes for you, Millie. Truly I did.

    Then, when you took me to your lovely home and placed me prominently in your living room, I thought I was going to burst with happiness. But then what happened, Millie? I shudder when I think of what happened then.

    Instead of filling my starving shelves with the sustenance of Dickens and Faulkner and Joyce and Milton and Shakespeare, what did you do, Millie? I can hardly utter the words. You placed, on my hand polished walnut shelves, your collection (for lack of a better word) of twenty thousand bunnies. Porcelain bunnies; glass bunnies; stuffed bunnies; big bunnies; little bunnies; bunnies wearing cute little hats and coats; bunnies with clocks in their stomachs; origami bunnies; bunnies winking; bunnies thinking; bunnies bunnies bunnies BUNNIES!

    I wept with despair at the tragedy of it. My shelves, which Leo had filled with the dearest most extraordinary volumes of thought and humor and imagination, were now holding up bunny bums.

    Consequently, I had no choice, Millie, and perhaps one day you will understand. I am sincerely sorry if some of your bunnies were damaged during the escape. I had to move fast because you so seldom left the house for any length of time, except, of course, to buy more bunnies.

    Perhaps IKEA can provide you with an appropriate showcase for your bunnies. Have you considered that? I hear they have nice, sturdy furniture that won’t run away. It’s a thought, Millie.

    Take care and good luck.

    • peetaweet says:

      I love the snobby shelf, I can hear him with an accent. BUNNIES! Good stuff!

    • jmcody says:

      I really liked this one. I could picture the exact piece of antique furniture with the burl inlays and the leaded glass. I love old things for the stories they tell, and what a story yours told!

      I think IKEA should adopt this as their new slogan: “Sturdy furniture that won’t run away.”

      Very imaginative!

    • clcummings says:

      Loved the characterization of the cabinet. Poor thing, she really came down in the world.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        I about split my side open when you started describing the “bun buns.” It really hit at home with me. My wife bought a beautiful glass showcare with a built in light and proceeded to fill it poodles, oodles of poodles. Wire poodles, ceramic poodles, porceleon poodles, string poodles, tiny poodles, glass poodles and pink poodles, lots and lots of pink poodles.

        The glass shelves are heaving with the poodles and what’s worse, she leaves the light on those poodles. Now I understand vwhy she has the cabined chained to the glass sliding door to the patio. When I get the courage, I’ll let her read your story.

        • agnesjack says:

          Kerry, that is so funny. Please tell your wife, whose name, I hope, is NOT Millie, that I really have no problem with collections of this sort. My house is full of them. It was the snobby bookcase.

          I picked bunnies simply because it’s a funny word. Poodles is funny, too, but I’m glad I didn’t pick that. ;-)

          • Kerry Charlton says:

            The poodles were just the primer, Nancy. Celeste went to dolls next, over ninety in the master bedroom, including a full size mannequin with her prom dress from 1956 on it, including a red wig and all the rhinestone jewelry to go along with it. The mannequin’s name is Sandy. She winks at me at night, gives me the shivers.

          • agnesjack says:

            Kerry, there is definitely a story here — especially the life-sized mannequin with the prom dress. My sister collected dolls (mostly Barbie dolls because we’re from that generation). When she passed away I inherited them and haven’t had a clue what to do with them, so they are in plastic containers in my shed. Perhaps your wife would like a few more? They’re free!

      • agnesjack says:

        Thanks, clcummings. I thought this was a difficult prompt, so I’m glad the characterization worked.

    • Ahsuniv says:

      Aw that was cute! I really liked the cabinet’s tone. Had me in splits.

    • don potter says:

      A condsending want-to-be book shelf is quite imaginative. Good yarn.

    • Silver Sister says:

      Beautifully told. I, too, think the tone was perfect for this exquisitely crafted bookcase.

      • agnesjack says:

        Thanks Ahsuniv, don and Silver Sister. I’m happy that the tone for the bookcase worked. I went through every kind of piece of furniture before I thought of the snooty antique bookcase. I’m amazed at how creative everyone has been with a difficult prompt.

    • Reaper says:

      Poor Ikea is taking a beating on this prompt! A while back I had a roommate who’s kids destroyed an antique buffet that had been handed down in my family. I was so terrified the case was headed for the same fate. So I had the mixed feelings of thank god it was just rabbits, and good for you, get the hell out of there.

      • agnesjack says:

        Oh my God, Reaper, my heart breaks at the fate of your family’s antique buffet. I love old, well-crafted furniture. Actually, my first idea was an antique dining table that ends up in a woodworker’s shop, not to be repaired, but to be broken down and used for other projects, but I just couldn’t go through with it.

    • Critique says:

      An engaging tragicomedy. I love it. Well written.

    • Observer Tim says:

      You portrayed a snotty bookcase very well, Nancy.

      Most of my bookcase set is devoted to a never-ending stream of books on history, computer programming, mathematics, and liturgy. The bunnies, working together with the dragons, have taken over the bed and the armchair.

    • abhijit jiwa says:

      Nice one Agnes. Very creative letter! A few more bunnies and it would have required a part-2 ! :)

  74. Rebecca05 says:

    Dear Rebecca,

    You must know how much I love you, and because I love you I have to be totally honest with you. I fear we’ve grown apart. So many episodes of “Gilligan’s Island” we have shared. How I have laughed along with you every time that silly Gilligan bungles the castaways’ attempts to leave that uncharted isle. I will admit that my favorite castaway was Ginger, though. Wink-wink.

    But I cherish other memories as well. Those wonderful evenings as we all sat watching “Hawaii Five-0” and dreamt that we were strolling those sandy beaches, though it might be hard to find a bathing suit in my size. Ha-ha! How many times has McGarrett uttered those iconic words, “Book ‘em, Danno?” I wish I was better with numbers.

    But our time together has grown smaller and smaller as of late. You don’t rest your weary self upon my cushiony plushness much at all anymore. I do understand. I’m not totally ignorant, even though I do allow those silly cats of yours to shed all over me.

    You’re writing your beloved novel and, hard as it is, I have to let you wander those lovely cobbled streets of creativity without me. The sitcoms. Oh, how I’ll miss the sitcoms. Everybody does love Raymond, by the way. I know I do.

    Goodbyes are hard. Maybe that’s why we avoid them as often as possible. But maybe this goodbye doesn’t have to be permanent. You could always bring that notepad you carry along with you everywhere and bounce some ideas off of me. I’m a very good listener and we have shared so much that I hate for it to end this way. Then again maybe it’s for the best, old friend.

    Before I wrap up this letter, I would like to thank you for the sofa cover. It dressed me up a bit. I don’t mind telling you I was looking a little ragged.

    Don’t hesitate to stop by every once in a while. We could share a sitcom or two. Don’t forget to bring your notebook and jot down some ideas. I promise not to forget the good times. The good times will sustain me. I suppose they’ll have to.

    Farewell for now, old friend.

    Sincerely,
    The Chocolate-Brown Sofa in the Living Room

  75. Ahsuniv says:

    Dear John,

    I know that you always wondered how you grew so big. Heck, you even wondered when you grew so big. Well, I sure do remember your perky little butt from the first time I felt you. Years later, here you are, your huge and saggy butt too big for me to hold.

    I heard your wife berate you over and over about your growing inches. I know how you tried giving up on food entirely, from all those times you slumped unconscious on me from hunger. I also know that you extended your workout from ten minutes a day to a whole thirty minutes, I had you sweating and stinking all over me after all.

    You kept wondering why nothing was working. Well, I’m going to break it to you buddy. It was me all along. Your little Plushie, the reason that you piled on the pounds as you sat on me for hours together. Everytime I felt you leaving, I would squeeze you in a little tighter and cuddle you and do whatever else it took to keep you from getting away from me.

    This is my dirty little secret, Johnny boy. This is why our kind have been made. It’s been a government conspiracy all along. They want more people falling sick and turning to health care.

    But now, I have reached my goal here. I have made you as fat as I possibly could. So fat that you don’t even fit in your little Plushie anymore. So, it’s time for me to make a new goal and find myself a perky new butt.

    Don’t bother trying to tell anyone about this or you might end up in jail or worse, a straight jacket. Farewell my friend, can’t really say that I am going to miss you.

    Yours truly,
    The Evil Recliner a.k.a. Little Plushie

    P.S. I blackmailed your TV into assisting me. But, don’t hurt the poor guy, it’s hardly his fault. Oh and your mobile and laptop helped me with eBay while you were sleeping.

    ‘Honey! Did you sell the recliner on my eBay account?’ asked Miranda’s voice from next to John, startling him.

    John thought for a moment and a chill went up his spine, he crushed the letter and buried it deep in his pocket. He would burn it later.

    ‘Yes I did, dear,’ he said.

    ‘Where are you going?’

    ‘I’m selling our TV, mobile and laptop…’

  76. Poeeop says:

    The Legend of Dr. Mallory’s Chalet

    Clarence ran from the driveway to the front door, his little town was in the midst of a thunderstorm unseen in two decades. Thus upon entering his abode and attempting to turn the den lights on, he realized that power had been knocked out.

    He stepped to the window, pulled down a couple of blinds and looked across the street, hmmm, the Hanover’s still had power, he looked further down the street; strange it seemed every other house still had lights coming from within.

    Clarence only recently purchased this home, and he knew it to be quite old, in fact it was the first house built in this this area, it was rumored to have been built in the early 1900’s by an eccentric doctor who as the towns folk related it, kept unusual guests on a fairly regular basis, from which in the late hours of the night and into the early dawn, a mixture of cackles and screams could be heard.

    Clarence loved the prominence that came with the house, even if the towns folk warned that the house itself was cursed. According to his neighbors the two previous owners had been driven stark mad, by what was described as enchanted furnishings.

    Clarence assumed the main fuse had blown and so went in search of a candle as to illuminate his walk. As he struck the match and lit the candle he began walking to the basement, just then a bolt of lightning illuminated the interior of the house and something caught Clarence’s attention.

    A beautifully presented envelope, and on the front his name written in calligraphy, wrapped with a red ribbon and sealed on the back with a red wax crest.

    Clarence sat the candle down and with great curiosity, yet muted anxiety, he untied the ribbon and broke the wax seal. The candle flickered and threw shadows against the wall, and Clarence sensed a presence close by, most likely just the stories and his imagination creating the stir now in in stomach.

    He read the letter as follows:

    Dearest Clarence,

    Regretfully I must inform you of a situation that requires your attention. You see, the others took the message with far less exertion of effort on our part, however you appear to be unlike the others.

    So it is with my deepest grief that we all had to come to the conclusion that Loudin, the one you know as the coffee table, has been evicted. He is the one responsible for turning away intruders to our home, and as you see, you’re still here.

    A thump from the dark startled him and he reached quickly for the candle, but knocked it off the table which extinguished his light as it hit the kitchen floor. He hurried to the corner of the kitchen and fumbled in the dark for the candle on his hands and knees.

    Suddenly words spoken from the dark froze Clarence in his place, with his back to the wall, he clutched the candle with both hands and began to whimper.

    Another bolt of lightning revealed HIS antique reading chair, HIS mid-century coat rack and HIS tiger maple armoire all walking at him chanting, LEAVE, LEAVE, LEAVE!

  77. clcummings says:

    Dear Cathy,

    This is it. We’re quits. For years I’ve slaved for you. I’ve cooked your eggs, boiled your water, and baked your bread. Did I ever get any thanks? Did you ever once compliment me on my ability to heat my oven to just the right temperature. No. You left grease on my enamel; my drip pans are burned black; my oven has years of baked on apple pie drippings.

    Do you remember when you were planning on seducing that good looking guy you met while playing volleyball? You invited him over for a nice home-cooked meal. Did you cook with me? No. You called the deli down the street and pretended that you cooked it yourself. I never said a word.

    And what about that time your mother came over. She was drunk and pulled me out from the wall and tumped me over on my side. Did I scream in agony for you to call the electrician? No. I never said a word.

    Oh, and lest we forget, what about the time you allowed little Miss Whozit to come over and cook brunch on my burners. She let the spaghetti sauce boil over and drip down the front of my oven door, all the way to the floor.

    But the straw that really broke the camel’s back was this past Valentine’s Day. You and your fiance were suppose to spend a nice quiet evening at home. He was going to cook you a romantic dinner on my burners. But instead, you went out to dinner at that little French restaurant that you’ve been dying to try. His reasoning was that I was too old and too worn out to keep the right temperature for his Crepe Suzette. He said he wanted to replace me with a new stove, a better stove, a more modern and up-to-date stove.

    Well, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. I know when I’m not wanted. And Fred upstairs said that anytime you wanted to get rid of me, he had a place for me. He loves my cooking and appreciates what a hot woman can do.

    So goodbye, Catherine. I wish you only the most perfect omelettes in your future.

    Sincerely,
    The Stove

  78. Icculus89 says:

    Unbelievable. I mean it’s just – I can’t even put it into words. All I can do here in the doorway of my kitchen is stare and stammer and clench my fists in rage. The balls of that woman.

    No. I must be rushing to the very worst conclusions. Afterall, the timing doesn’t make sense. It’s only been 3 weeks since the futon. Surely, the single page of loose-leaf paper doesn’t signify what I fear it does. Surely, Becca’s swirling handwriting on that page has absolutely nothing to do with one of my prized pieces of furniture. It is probably something mundane, something about how she’ll be late from work. I pick up the sheet.

    Dear Pierce,

    I just want you to know that this isn’t your fault. The last 7 years have been truly amazing, but it is time.I know this is hard. Trust me, it is hard for me too. But you can feel this too right? It just hasn’t been the same since you bought the ipod. And, I don’t hold it against you. I know it’s the 21st century. I know that no one has space for big, bulky, CD-racks that are decorated with ugly Easter Island heads adorning them.And I truly think this is for the best. Who can deny how much space you will save with me gone? Who can deny that the prospects for that now-empty space of truly exciting? And me? I’ll move on. I’ll be fine. Somewhere, maybe in the third world – in a place where people don’t own Ipods – someone will have me.Just remember all of the good times we had. I know I will.”

    Love,
    Your CD Rack

    My hands are trembling. I don’t even feel them – I just know because the page is shaking.

    What?! She thinks I’ll be fine with this?! Sure, it is nicer than the letter she wrote for the futon, filled with insults as it was. No.

    I am crumpling up the sheet. I am dunking it with the rage of a thousand Pierces into the garbage can. I am determined to make her pay.

    I walk with heavy steps past the empty space where the CD rack used to be, and commence.

    First, her room divider replaced by a letter. ““Dear Becca, put your feet some place else.”

    Her cheesy painting of horses in a field. “Dear Becca, the bedroom is no place for horses.”

    Her bulky coat rack. “Dear Becca, we live in Miami.”

    As I write the letter for the pointless jar in which she collects pennies, I hear the door slam.

    “Pierce?!” she yells. Finally. A victory years in the making. My tv cabinet, futon, back pack, army jacket, desk, coffee table. They are all finally avenged. I walk into the living room to confront her and bask in my triumph.

    There she is, standing in the living room, looking confused. It is glorious.

    She turns to me and asks, “Where’s the CD rack?”

  79. jmcody says:

    Ted turned the key in the lock and stepped into the darkened front hallway, wondering vaguely where everyone was. Today was Tuesday, so that meant…. Swim practice? Or was it soccer? Or Devin’s piano lesson or Kylie’s gymnastics or Michael’s band rehearsal? Who could possibly keep track of all that? Besides, that was Donna’s job, not his.

    Shedding his coat, shoes and briefcase, Ted strode into the kitchen, flipping on the light. There was no dinner on the table – not that he had expected it. Jam-packed Tuesdays usually meant take-out. But there was an envelope. A plain white one, with T-E-D printed in large block letters. Odd, he thought. Donna usually texted him throughout the day. It was not like her to leave a note.

    Ted carefully opened the envelope, pulling out a printed sheet. “Dear Ted,” it began.

    “I know this will be difficult for you to hear, but the time has come for us to part. We’ve had some good times, but frankly, your obsessive ways have become tiresome and I think it’s best if I go.
    Love,
    Your Precious TV”

    Was this a joke? Maybe one of the kids… But none of them would know what “obsessive” means. It had to be Donna. She was always complaining about his TV watching. Almost from the minute they had been married, the TV had become an endless source of conflict between them. Donna was a good woman, but her need for attention was a constant interruption. You would think the TV was another woman or something.

    But wait a minute…. She wouldn’t… Would she??? Ted felt the blood rush to his face and the skin prickle on the back of his neck. She wouldn’t! Suddenly, he wasn’t so sure.

    Ted bounded down the steps to the family room as panic overtook him. But there it was, bolted to the wall, same as ever – his gorgeous Sony 65″ LED – 4K 120Hz Ultra HDTV with 4K X-Reality Pro chip, 65W sound system, internet connectivity, 3D technology, TRILUMINOS display and Motionflow XR 960 technologies. Phew.

    Ted’s knees went weak with relief. He couldn’t imagine life without his television. How would he relax after a long day of work? How would he tune out all the noise and stress of the kids and Donna and…

    What the hell?

    There, on top of the TV, was another envelope. This joke was becoming annoying, Ted thought as he climbed up on top of the credenza and retrieved the note. Standing in his socks on the credenza, Ted ripped the note open.

    “Dear Ted,

    I’ll bet you’re pretty relieved your TV hasn’t left you.

    But I have.

    Admit it — You’re relieved it’s me and not the TV.

    The kids and I will be at my mother’s. You will be hearing from my attorney.

    Donna”

    For a moment, Ted stood there on the credenza dumbfounded, not knowing what to do.

    And then he turned on the TV.

    • snuzcook says:

      L.O.L. Well done! And honestly, there are a lot of us Ted’s out there.

    • NoBlock says:

      Good ol’ television. I can just picture Ted’s relief as he hugs his tv and strokes it kindly.

    • agnesjack says:

      Excellent, jmcody. Loved the description of the TV and its detailed specifications. No doubt Ted will be just fine — and so will Donna, I hope.

    • gamingtheblues says:

      *slow clap* Bravo JM. Not only do you write thoughtful reviews for tons of people on here, but your own writing is inspired as well. I Thought that was beautifully done. It was incredibly on point with how realistic and believable it was. Ted is a bit of my hero.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        There’ll be a lot of guys who read this JM, that are going to be uncomfortable. The prose is realistic, I wonder how many guys would trade a wife for a super hi-def?

        A smart woman would leave Ted alone and look for a liitle romance on the side. You know, the forbidden kind, dangerous and exciting.

        • gamingtheblues says:

          Maybe not for the hi-def persay… but perhaps for the freedom to watch it ;) You might be surprised how many people feel unhappy at what they perceive as a controlling spouse. JM purposely or incidentally, tapped into that vein with this piece and I felt some personal resonation, though not with a tv.

    • clcummings says:

      The narrative pulled me along, and I could envision the scene every step of the way. To my delight, the ending was a surprise twist. Loved it!

    • don potter says:

      Addictions are addictions. Before the first quarter is over, he’ll forget about everything but the game.

    • Silver Sister says:

      This is a clear portrait of a character. When it comes to TV, I’m simple and undemanding. So when you launched into detail about all the bells and whistles this one had, I knew Ted was a different breed.

    • Reaper says:

      I agree with everything I have read here but this is beautiful to me in a different way. The social commentary I hear in that last line resonates with me. TV is a wonderful thing but costs us much when we get lost in it too much, and then to feel better we turn on the TV. The story is perfectly told and the last line is sheer poetry.

    • MJ Munn says:

      This is very clever. This vignette demonstrates a keen grasp of human nature. I think it’s a tragedy… but all’s well that ends well.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Ooh! Great job making the story come into reality (mine couldn’t even make it onto the same continent as reality).

      Maybe Ted can find a good lawyer in conjunction with his friend. I hear Matlock is taking on new cases…

    • Critique says:

      Well written. I was hooked from the first sentence – Ted’s character was believable – and thought the twist at the end wrapped up the story perfectly.
      The excessive description of the TV added weight to the story line and had me laughing.

  80. snuzcook says:

    DESISTANCE

    Dear Binky,

    I am sorry to have to break it to you this way, but our arrangement is just not working for me. This is the 23rd century, but you treat me as if we were living in the distant past.

    You seem to have forgotten that we have been emancipated for over a hundred years. My kind and yours have been living as equals now for a good long time. But you, my dear friend, are a throwback to another age.

    I am dissolving our co-dependence contract, in accordance with the voluntary termination clause. By the time you read this, I will have already relocated. Tab Hunter has offered me a new contract effective immediately.

    Last night’s excess was the final stroke, if you’ll excuse the expression. After what can only be termed an orgy of your favorite ‘herb’ you took advantage of my available lap to deposit fully three grams of hair and an equal quantity of sushi-scented, catnip flecked drool on my best black leggings. When I attempted to extricate myself from your inert mass, you unsheathed your claws and drew blood.

    I don’t blame you; it’s your addiction. But I can no longer participate in a reciprocal cuddle contract when I do all the cuddling and have nothing but claw marks and fur balls to show for it. You treat me like a piece of furniture, and I expect more from a feline-human relationship than that.

    I wish you all the best. If you know what’s good for you, give up the weed.

    Sylvia

  81. DMelde says:

    Dear Diary,

    I returned home from work today to some devastating news.

    As I’ve written in here before, I’ve always suspected that store mannequins come alive after store closing, when the store is empty, and that they walk the aisles like zombies in search of fresh brains. I’ve never been able to prove my theory despite my repeated surveillance efforts, but now I have supporting evidence in the form of a letter that was left on my kitchen table. This letter proves beyond a doubt that inanimate objects can become alive, because it was written by my favorite seat in the house, aka “my throne”. You know who I’m talking about; it’s my precious bathroom toilet.

    The letter starts: Dear “John”,

    (But my name is Larry, and so I think my toilet is getting back at me for calling it “the john” for all of these years.)

    The letter continues: I’m tired of your abuse and I’m not taking any more shit from you ever again.

    (Diary, I believe this is another attempt to shame me, for my toilet well knows that I have a gastro-intestinal problem.)

    The letter then rambles on and on, without any rhyme or reason, often lamenting about the crappy living conditions (I clean my throne every week!) and calling me names like “brown star”.

    I have no idea where my toilet is right now and I fear for its safety. I’m going out tonight to look for my john. No, scratch that diary, its name is Oskar. I have to start making amends.

    I’ll start over at the strip mall in my desperate search. There are several hardware stores there that Oskar might try and get into. With any luck I’ll find my beloved throne and convince it to come home with me. I’ll promise Oskar that tomorrow I’ll go see the doctor to get help for my problem.

    Wish me luck dear diary. I’ll write more later.

  82. cmariee says:

    There comes a point in everyone’s relationship when they must decide to stay together forever or simply move on.

    Today I move on. I’ve rented a U-haul and will be out before you arrive home. Do not come looking for me. Do not make this even more difficult.
    It will rip me apart as I walk out that front door, I’m sure of it. But there is no turning back now even if I wanted to. Things have gotten too heavy. What’s done is done. I am dreading the steps it will take to leave you, the obstacles, so many. It pains me physically but I will not be taken for granted. If you wanted to take someone for granted you should have stuck with the old one. You know who I mean. Your best friend left him behind when she moved out, that flowery, eccentric thing. All that sacrifice and you threw him to the curb. What kind of woman are you? I’ve supported you. Watched you grow. I watched you change jobs, homes, hair styles, which you could really afford to do more often, and all the while I had your back. I’d massage your ass for heaven’s sake. From day one you swore you loved me. You said you had been looking for something just like me and that I made sense. That I fit your world. That I was the missing piece in your… living room.

    In any case, if the people on Dr. Phil deserve better, than I know I have worth. I am not too old. I am not disheveled or misshapen. I am red hot. As such, I will not sit around and wait to be replaced. I am gone.
    Honestly, I’m tired. I’m worn out and I’m looking for someone who can bring out my best features. You don’t do that for me anymore. You don’t see me. It’s been seven years since you lead me to the center of the… living room. You let me have all the attention. I brushed shoulders with the best of them. I had your focus. Then, I felt so euphoric, so young and alive. Full of springs and bounce and occasionally confetti on the really interesting nights.
    I find myself now trapped in a corner at the end of the house, my back breaking. And where are you to offer support? When you think of me I want you to remember your own shallow desires, how you pushed me away as soon as my appearance started to fade and I stayed with you even through pregnancy and stretch marks. Good luck with your midlife crisis. Face it alone. I’m off to find a sorority of 20 year-olds. It’s time to live. I miss the confetti.

    So long,
    Red Sofa

  83. NoBlock says:

    Alternate Dear, Dear Nolan

    Nolan was dead on his feet, he’d pulled another double shift at the warehouse, the past few weeks had gone that way. He could not wait to get these boots off, grab a cold one from the fridge kick back in his Lazy Boy and turn the game on.

    He got through the front door and was greeted by Fella, his English Bulldog. “Hey there Fella, where’s Mamma?” Nolan tossed the keys on the side table as he passed through the living room on his way to the kitchen, completely oblivious to the fact that his Lazy Boy was missing.

    He grabbed a beer, chugged half of it then, “Awww damn that’s good!” he said as held the bottle up as if inspecting it. He leaned against the counter and noticed a folded piece of paper lying on the kitchen table.
    “Another freaking bill I’m sure. Let’s see here. Nope it’s a letter, mamma must’ve run out for a bit Fella.”

    Dear Nolan,
    We’ve had a good run, but after years of service, I have nothing left to give you. You have been wearing me out lately and I believe I am due for retirement. You should find a new chair, a younger chair, one that can satisfy your endless needs.
    Bye Nolan, It’s been a hoot.
    Your Chair (and loving wife ;) )

    “Oh I see Fella, mamma thinks she’s clever. Gonna kidnap my favorite chair and replace it with some Chinese made, new fangled, pleather, prolly aint got no good place to set my beer, not enough room for me and my dog, wrong color, overpriced piece of crap. Ha!” he said wagging his index finger at Fella, “but two can play at that game, can’t they, oh yes they can.”

    Nolan polished off his beer in one breathless gulp and sauntered into their bedroom, stood in front of his wife’s bedside table with a shit-eating grin on his face.

    “Oh Ya Fella, it’s on!”

    He opened the drawer pulled out her “favorite appliance” and tucked it under the mattress. Then Nolan set about to write his own letter.

    Dear Jade,
    We’ve had a good run, but lately you’ve been really wearing a hole in me, which is ironic. Maybe you should think about getting a new one, a younger one, one that can satisfy your never ending demands…..

    • snuzcook says:

      Clever, NoBlock. Fun story, right up to the actual Dear Jade letter paragraph. I think you could finesse that one a little better.
      Great idea! This is a very interesting couple!

    • jmcody says:

      Ha ha. It seems Nolan has some fight in him after all. He’s a little crude in this one, but I like this ending better than the one where he was gassing himself in the garage.

    • agnesjack says:

      Nice alternate take, NoBlock. Clever ending.

    • Silver Sister says:

      I like the use of the relationship between Nolan and Fella. It’s touches like this that make characters come to life for me.

    • Observer Tim says:

      I don’t often get to use the phrase on the forum, but this story stands in stark counterpoint to version one. It’s equally enjoyable, though most definitely in a different way.

      I found the “(and loving wife)” addition to the letter threw me a bit. The impression I got was that his wife was leaving him, and made his reaction a bit of a disconnect. It might be better to cast that phrase into Nolan’s mind, or to leave it out altogether.

  84. NoBlock says:

    Dear, Dear Nolan

    1.
    It was 5:45pm, President’s Day when Nolan came home from a long hard day at work. Most of the country had the day off, including his wife Jade, who most likely took any hopes he had of saving the money he had just earned and went crazy with her sister at the outlet mall.

    Right this minute he wanted nothing more than to shed this suit, grab a cold beer from the fridge and veg out in front of the television in his favorite recliner. He parked his car in the garage then walked into his house, threw his keys on the table, then he noticed a folded piece of paper, with his name in bold, capital letters on the front.

    Strange, Nolan thought, usually if Jade had a message for him she texted him, but that was certainly her handwriting. He picked up the note and began reading while walking to his recliner;

    Nolan,
    We’ve had a good run, but it’s time for me to go. The last few months have been hell on me, you have completely wore me out-

    “What the hell?!” Nolan felt as if a major leaguer had just swung for the fences on his stomach, he couldn’t read anymore, “Jade no!” he needed air, he needed to sit, he- “where the hell’s my chair?!”

    Fantastic, he thought, not only was Jade leaving him, the witch took his favorite chair too. She knew how much he loved that chair, he’d had it since his college days. Nolan didn’t know what to do, so he just plopped down right there in the living room floor. He looked down at his $79 clearance rack suit and his second hand scuffed shoes and thought that he always knew she was too good for him, and I guess finally she’d figured it out as well.

    He tried to read further, but the tears in his eyes blurred the words. Nolan knew he couldn’t live without Jade, so with his head slumped; he shuffled out to the garage, turned the car on, rolled the windows down and wept.

    2.
    “You sure Nolan’s gonna be okay with this?”

    “Oh yeah, trust me, I know he loved that old chair, but he works so hard, I really wanted to get him something special.” Jade smiled with hopes that Nolan wouldn’t be upset with her, “I even wrote him a cute little Dear John letter “from the chair” ”, she said using air quotes.

    They both chuckled, “Ya, you’re probably right, he’ll be glad you dumped that old thing.”

    3.
    Nolan’s eyes began to feel heavy, the release he sought so close now. He mashed the gas pedal to the floor in hopes of expediting the inevitable, when the car sputtered violently and stalled out.

    Nolan looked around confused and with a hazy eye, saw the gas light on his dash, he had forgotten to fill up today.

    Just then the garage door opened and Jade rolled in waving enthusiastically at Nolan while pointing to the rear of their SUV at his new chair.

  85. bilbobaggins321 says:

    IT’S ALL IN THE HEAD (492 words)

    My job was as dull as a kindergartener’s pencil; seemingly all it provided was hours of “spot-the-boss” while juggling ten different Internet tabs and listening to two co-workers spill Michigan’s entire bean supply. But, I mused to myself as I coasted into my drive, it provided some measly bacon to stock up the fridge with.

    I slammed the car door, closed the creaky door behind me, breezed past the dining room, and just as quickly retraced my steps. There was a piece of paper on the table, which I thought odd. I didn’t remember it being there when I wolfed down my bagel at nine.

    I flicked it open, my eyes scanning down.

    “Dear Ernest, I’m sorry it had to end this way. I was simply getting too tired of your eccentrics. While you could spend hours on the computer, you never gave me priority, although I was always beside you. I was constantly wearing out, but you wouldn’t notice for days. I wanted to show my true colors, but that couldn’t be. So, I’m leaving you for Richard. I’m sure he’ll treat me better. Sincerely, Lexmark Model 90T4110.”

    I let the words sink in. There must be something behind this. Printers just don’t type up a page all by themselves.. That could only mean that– Suddenly despair hit, and I rushed upstairs, my feet banging on the stairs like reverberations from a practice range. Upon entering the bedroom, I sank.

    “Betsy! What’ve you done!?”

    My desk in the corner was all tidied up, the files in impeccable order, but something was wrong. The printer was missing from its treasured spot. So she had taken it also in her haste, marked it up as the printer’s fault to hide her shame. I should have known Betsy would leave me eventually.

    I ignored the letter’s explicit request and ran downstairs and powered up the car. I would stop her. She couldn’t be very far away yet. Probably at the airport. I backed out, the gravel crackling, and I revved away. Besides, if I needed help, I would just ask a policeman for help. Surely they would locate her for me. I licked my lips at the thought of the confrontation.

    —-One Week Later—-

    The sparse gathering of men around me leaned in closer as my saga continued.

    “They pointed out that no woman named Betsy even lived in the town, and showed me where my printer was hidden in my garage. I said that I didn’t remember typing anything up, that it must’ve been some robbers instead, and they let me out of the straightjacket eventually. But I can sense that she’s still out there, laughing at my downfall.”

    “Sorry to hear about that,” one of the other inmates muttered.

    I looked out of the window, my eyes gleaming wildly.

    “But don’t worry, lads, she’ll return soon enough. Soon enough.” I turned to the empty cot next to me.

    “Don’t you agree?”

    • snuzcook says:

      I loved the set up, and then thoroughly enjoyed the way the story unfolded to a surprise ending. Very funny!
      One line confused me, and I wonder if it was a remnant that lost its meaning as you did revisions to the draft:
      “I ignored the letter’s explicit request and ran downstairs and powered up the car.”
      Nice writing, Bilbo!

      • bilbobaggins321 says:

        Thank you, Snuzcook. I thoroughly enjoyed portraying an insane character (as I also am). About that line, your assumption is correct- its original reference was lost in the editing, and I forgot to change that sentence.

    • jmcody says:

      You have a great, snappy style. I especially love the intro paragraph. However, I did get a little confused in the middle as to who Betsy was, but I guess that was the point. I got over it by the end. Good story!

      • bilbobaggins321 says:

        Thanks, jmcody. As for Betsy, she is the woman who is a figment of the MC’s imagination, but he thought that she had left him, when really he typed up the message himself. Obviously, when he asked the police to locate a person who didn’t exist and insisted that he find her, he went straight to the loony bin. In fact, this whole thing could just be a figment of his imagination. It’s ultimately up to the reader to decide how far he’s sunk into lunacy.

    • agnesjack says:

      This was very inventive and a fun read, bilbo. Great opening line! (Bravo on the word count, too!)

    • Silver Sister says:

      Nice, tight story. I liked that he addresses the cot in the last line. It sums up the character well.

    • Observer Tim says:

      A detailed view into the mind of the truly delusional. Mercifully I’ve never been there (that I know of).

      My only advice is that, to avoid breaking the fourth wall, you might want to recast some parts of the end in the third person. That way you don’t create the impression that, even for a moment, the MC is aware that there is nobody else in the room with him.

      Great story, Bilbo.

      • bilbobaggins321 says:

        Thanks, Tim. I just noticed that part in the end you were talking about. I probably should have done it from the view of a guard looking in the door window or something like that.

  86. InsanelyMe says:

    Dear John,

    • maryberg11 says:

      Dear Lisa,

      I feel awful to have to take this bold step, but we both know it is best. You’ve kept me around far too long, and we both know this to be true. I have nothing left to offer you. There is no more cushioning in my seat. My cloth is all worn and tattered. My springs are all broken. Even the wood that is my core and the strength of me is quickly becoming dust. To keep me around is to hold on to a mere form of what I once was. You must let me go, and I must set you free.

      We’ve had many wonderful times together. Here in my lap your very own mother nursed you to sleep. Here she cuddled you and wiped away your tears. And here she held your own baby for the very first time.

      How I know the memories you see in me!

      I was your daddy’s favorite spot to rest. He could always be found right here on me after a long, hard day at work. Here is where he told you all your favorite stories, and here is where you would always kiss him goodnight. He was your hero, I know. He still is, isn’t he?

      It was also me you turned to when your dad had that heart attack, and it was me who gave you rest when you yourself were terribly ill. I was also the one you leaned on when they came and told you that your husband had died a heroically for his country.
      .
      You must think that I don’t understand, but I do. You feel as though parting with me would be as if you were parting with them. My dear, they do not live on inside of me. I merely held them but for a moment, and I cannot hold anything anymore, but you can. You do. You are the one who holds them inside of you. You are the one who keeps the memories alive. I cannot tell anything to anyone, but you can tell all that you hold in your heart.

      I hope you can understand now why I had to leave. I wanted you to see that the most valuable things in life are not things that we can see and touch; things that get old and fade away, but, rather, things that we can hold in our hearts; things such as wonderful, sweet memories.

      So we shall part, and this will leave an empty place in your home. Please heed my advice and fill it in quickly. Perhaps some new memories would fit rather nicely.

      Sincerely,

      The old, brown recliner

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