Happy 4th of July! We’ve got a flash fiction blog hop to celebrate, so I’ve tried for a freedom theme today.
It’s a love letter. I even dipped it in tea, not that you can tell with the assholish way I’m posting this. Eh. You may need to zoom in a bit.
*441 words with a dash of artistic-license-stretchery in time period and tone (although I did read some flowery letters from the 20’s-40’s, so it all depends on the author). Anyway, I didn’t want the guy to end up with a lobotomy (in the 30’s the use of electric shock aversion therapy was just getting warmed up, but they didn’t start scooping people’s brains out until the 40’s). Also, jail was probably tougher to break out of than an old-school psychiatric facility. Maybe. I hope so for the sake of these two.
Here’s the easier-to-read version:
July 2, 1933
My Dearest R,
I hope this note finds you as well as can be. It’s my greatest fear that our final farewell left you in a state of dejection, as it has me. The slurs aimed at you were beyond any I’d imagined when first we began our friendship. I confess here and now to my fear and weakness. I failed you. I hesitated to stand by your side throughout the accusations and vile threats. I’d hoped my tendencies would remain undiscovered as yours were paraded for the masses to ridicule.
I am the worst Judas.
Oh, R, my darling, I’ve regretted my inaction every moment since. My contrition is small consolation, I’m certain, while you languish in your wretched cell and endure all manner of humiliation. Good God! The experimentation the gossips describe! As if our kind are less than animals; senseless beasts deserving of hellish punishment, and the angelic whole of mankind shouldering the burden to rehabilitate us. I know your family intends to help you, but their aid is misguided.
We are not abominations, and we do not decide whom we love. It is thrust upon us like a dagger, or soaks our skin slowly as a spring mist, but no matter, the choice is never ours. It was not mine, but I’d choose you before a tribunal now, my sweet.
Would that I’d been so brave before.
My only peace is that I remain free to aid in your escape.
Mary, my cousin and constant companion, whom you met briefly, warns that a correspondence is far from prudent at this time, but her sources within the hospital reveal the most alarming conditions therein. I’ll not sit idle another moment while your fate lies in the hands of sadists who would break spirit or spine to keep you from loving another man.
If you still do…
Whatever your present mind, I’ll see you free from torture two days hence. Stay steadfast, my love. Ease their suspicion with lies and speak what is in your heart when you are once more in my arms. If your words crush me, it is all I deserve. If they echo the song my soul sings at the memory of your face, the whisper of your name, I swear my heart will take wing and together we will fly from this place.
You’ll know my sign when the bearer of this note makes contact again.
I will come for you, and together we’ll find freedom, no matter how far we must flee. With your hand in mine, I cannot tire.
And I’ll never again leave your side.
Check out all the other flashers! Here’s the original hop call.