I began a short story this late summer, and mapping out the possible directions that can unfold was fun. Granted, this could be considered a waste of time. The two main characters have since stopped staring at me from the page, sitting at the table they were placed at, and they’ve now followed me around. I’m not going to look up from typing, because I know the male lead is sitting back in his chair with his arms crossed. The female is sitting to my right with her chin in her hand, and the connecting elbow is resting on the table as she continually blows a stray hair strand up and away from her face; her free fingertips are tapping upon the table.
I would buy them a coffee, but it would appear as if there was a tea party going on at my table.
An issue with the inevitable loose end has made itself apparent. Finding a resolution for the loose end is going to be solved today. A flash of an idea dawned on me in the shower, which happens more often than not, and it’s going to play out and hopefully resolve this issue. Let’s (try) to give some back story on this one unknown character.
The plan was to write this out, but not many will read my script/cursive.
* * *
February 03, 1850
Dearest Dr. Stephen Fairbanks —
Hello, my old friend and apprentice! I hope this letter does find you in good health. Life has been quite busy up here. My wife, children, and grandchildren are doing well. It’s comforting to say that life has finally settled after the holiday rush. It’s interesting to see these generations grow, and you will see this one day yourself.
There is to be terrible news contained in this letter, and it should be best to get it out and over with instead of putting this toward the end. Since the last time we’ve written each other, fellow doctors have put me through a variety of treatments. It’s been time consuming and difficult to determine the success of these trials. I’ve been losing hair that I didn’t even know that I had! It’s best to keep good spirits. Fortunately, the word incurable has not passed through the lips of any of my colleagues. It’s a cat-and-mouse game of wait-and-see. My hope and patience still is high.
As for you, young man, about the lovely young lady you mentioned in your previous letter! My wife and I could not be any more proud as if you were our own son. I’m sure your parents are anticipating the future of your relationship as well. There is hope that we will all be able to get together soon to meet this young lady, Abigail. However, there is something that you must be informed of.
This world isn’t as large as we think. This country is about the size of a button if you so choose to look at it that way. Even the world’s largest button would have to successfully rest upon the planet and not cause obstruction. Please don’t mind my digression. A colleague of mine, Dr. Linds, he works in pharmaceuticals, may know this young lady. Yes! In fact, he could be related! Abigail would be his niece through marriage. She is quite a lovely girl, if I do say so myself.
Yet, he has disclosed some information to me that might prove useful, proving that patience is a virtue and that love is blinding. In history, if you read the books, there is folklore. Some people, their souls and minds could be plagued. It’s nothing they’ve decided upon, but what was given to them through genial lines. Reincarnation–don’t count my opinion on this as valid–is the rebirth of a soul into different bodies, and her soul might be tainted.
According to the texts, and only a few will be mentioned–to the Greeks, they are sirens; to the Irish, they are banshees; and to the Native Americans, they’re wendigo. Perhaps, I’m reading too much into this, but you’re like a son to me and you need to be kept on your toes for your best interest. This Abigail–something isn’t right with her. My wife is spooked to the point where she kisses a cross upon hearing her name. That is a bit extreme in my opinion.
Tread lightly with this one.
It’s assured that your life is not at stake, but this is to worry and prevent a broken heart According to my colleague, she’s gone through too many men: doctors, professors… I forget the rest, but they are all educated men. Duplicitous this character is indeed. She gets what she wants, and this holds true with philandering while heads are turned. All this is all for money, wealth, notoriety when one doesn’t truly deserve the recognition.
Turbulence yields arguments, which keeps disgust and hate thriving in the world. It’s the manipulators and the deceivers who stand out, who rise to the top. The unethical may not have the rug pulled beneath them until their time comes to an end. This is rather unfortunate. You don’t want anything bad to happen to them, especially in the afterlife, and so you would like to see this lesson come to them as painful as it could be.
Regardless of my rant, this is all my colleague mentioned to me through the grumblings of his wife, her aunt.
We understand the difficulty of your leaving Pennsylvania for Baltimore. This what was best, and something you needed. You’ve begun your own practice and that’s what’s most important. Your previous life here, and the havoc and heartbreak that disease can cause on a person’s soul when it takes someone that we deeply love away from us.
I’m terribly sorry to end this letter on a low note. You’re stronger now. You understand.
Please accept our best regards. Write back soon. Better yet, we hope to see you soon.
Dr. Carl and Adelaide Friedman
* * *
There we have it.
Writer’s block happens for all of us, fiction and non-fiction alike. How do you overcome it?