Posted: July 12, 2011 in Sunday Picture Press, WEEKLY PROMPT
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In responce to Scribbla’s invitation to write a reply to his “DEAR JOHN” letter, and INDIGO SPIDER’S  Sunday photo with a twist: here is my story in tandem of Scribbla’s.

Thanks for the push Scribbla, you furnished a wonderful jump start for my imagination.  Hope you like it.

Dear Gilliam,

I pray this note will reach you.  Your Bessy arrived but she was poor in spirit.  Her heart burst as she flew into the pen on my rooftop.  I’ve no idea how she escaped the pull of the dark void that has arrived in your little hamlet, but the effort cost her dearly.

Gilliam, this void you describe is not new.  I have heard of it’s occurrence many times.  As a conjuror of time, I’ve traveled through many eons and lived several lifetimes.  What you describe is not an un-natural state of affairs.   If my own bird arrives safely at your rooftop pens with this revelation, I will be greatly surprised.   Man, beast, fowl, and fauna can not keep the fires of their spirits lit inside the life sucking blackness that is coming.  As you have observed, the fowl and the beast have succumbed, disappeared from the landscape of the land.  You spoke of cleansing or bleaching the darkness from your sight?  What you are experiencing is a cleansing in it’s own right.  It’s as though something from beyond our lives has decided a mistake has been made and everything as we know it is being cleared away by the darkness:  the light will return once all but the strongest of heart and desire have been swallowed and destroyed by the inky decay of nothing-ness.  The strong will survive, but not with their memories.  All will be wiped clean, the survivors will be nothing more than near empty vessels of genetic material.  The survivors will learn to build fires, to cure meats, how to chip arrowheads from stone: they will barely be standing upright.  It is a cleansing of the weak of mind and spirit.  Only the best genetic material will survive.

The empty shell of the woman (Kerry?) on the bed is what you should expect to happen to all those you know, all those living.  You’ve observed the result of the darkness once its entered and overtaken the spirit. Taking with it all the human vestments and knowledge.  If your mind and spirit are strong enough, you will fight the ensuing madness that will prevail within you.  You will fight it and win, in a manner of speaking.  Because my dear Gilliam, little is stronger than the desire to pass on the genes of a fighter.  Nothing is stronger than the yearning to live and be the Ark of the people.  There is no way to avoid the darkness sweet Gilliam, but there is no room for despair either.  To win this battle: to be a parent of the New World, you must prepare yourself.   You will find your mind in conflict. Don’t fight this variance , but rather direct its fight for survival.  Don’t allow despair to turn the darkness against your very will.  It is the WILL that will save your genes.

The emptiness of will is what has consumed Kerry.  It’s taken her soul, her self-awareness, and her life.  She breathes the air but derives no pleasure from it.  What she exhales only expands the void around her.  Infecting all who  breathe the same breaths as she.  The void consumes the vegetation which explains why the fields are dark and the hedgerows barren.  The animals have fed upon the vegetation and are bleak and infertile inside, until they too become one with the void.  The fields have blackened and in turn have befouled the  intestine of the rabbit and the cow who feed upon them.  It cannot be stopped or slowed.  Prepare yourself Dear Gilliam: be strong of heart and faith.  Be one of the few whose bodies escape the deepening black abyss.  Pass on your exceptional genes of survival, strength of character and superior mind to the new breed of humans advancing themselves to the next world.  Pray you are the strength that pushes the future of human survival: work hard so it is your offspring that will be the object of  praise from the universe and your offspring will inspire the elements to end the cleansing of the species this earth has endured since before time.

Be strong Gilliam, and I will see you in the next world.


  1. […] Dear John: [twisted Sunday Photo, Answer to Scibbler's Letter] ( […]

  2. […] John by Scribbla with responses by Catch Some Wide Eye, Verbose She Is, Verbose She Writes, Short Stories, Coeval Cornucopia, and Pages From My […]

  3. What a great piece of tandem writing! It worked extremely well with Scribbla’s piece, the theme continued and the tone and character was very well balanced and echoed the same sentiments in the first letter. It changed direction nicely and the explanation was well laid out and read nice and smooth. Really top stuff!

  4. […] to the “Dear John” letter: chesshirecat’s extremely imaginative and intriguing reply ladynimue’s creepy and surprising version sparrowsong’s reply was oh so startling! and […]

  5. ladynimue says:

    This is fantastic !! Exactly the reply i sought to read !!!
    loved this ! 🙂

  6. otakufool says:

    this is AWESOME! much better than my response 😛 I’ve subscribed 😀

    • chesshirecat says:

      Thank you! I tried to find yours. Did you not post it? Often times we are our own worst critics. I’d like to think the story you write is of a direction I’ve never thought of, and perhaps quite an amazing idea that needs to be shared. Thanks for coming over to see my work. It gives me great pleasure to share with you.

      • otakufool says:

        Oh sorry about that. I have two blogs and only one link 😛 Here’s where I posted it:
        Well, one thing’s for sure I didn’t think of this! I guess it’s the power of creativity. I tend to think I’m not critical enough of my own work 😛 I should thank you! This was great…and somehow made me smile…which I guess is a little weird lol

  7. johnnathanielfernando says:

    interesting! how do you guys write so well?

    • chesshirecat says:

      I wish I understood the process, John. I don’t. All I know is that when I’m presented with an idea, I can then sit down and let my fingers pound away until the story is done. Once it’s banged out, I then go back and reread what I’ve written. At that point I decide where the story can be told better, and I brain storm until I’m fairly satisfied with the specifics. Then I go back and hunt for the grammatical and the punctuation BS that would slow a reader down and distract them from enjoying the story. Then I will set it away for a few hours, wash some dishes, walk the dog, make dinner, take a nap, and forget about the story long enough for it to be “FRESH” to my eyes and my mind. Editing is such a mind numbing process. I often see stuff just the way I think I wrote it, but 24 hours later I discover I really messed up a sentence with mud and punctuation. Strange.

  8. Indigo Spider says:

    You always write great stories and this was a really fitting response to Scribbla’s story. I am, or should say ‘was’, considering a response but you nailed it so well I don’t think I can do better!

  9. scribbla says:

    Aaaahhhhhhhhhahahahahaha… (that’s me screaming with joy!)
    Fabulously conceived. Wow – I never saw that direction, but absolutely love it. I am particularly taken by the idea that breathing itself spreads the darkness. Brilliant.

    Thanks for taking up the challenge with me and writing this response. Awesomeness!

    • chesshirecat says:

      I’ve done some editing. It needed a bit more clarity. A smoother read. It’s a work in progress. I can edit and rewrite for days… but for now, I’m quite satisfied. Thank you Scribbla for the positive feedback.

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