What letter would you write? #WriteBravely

Write Tribe Day FoxToday is the fifth day of the Write Tribe Festival of Words. Yesterday’s prompt was write about a day in your (or someone else’s) life,” and today’s is ‘write a letter to someone.’

I’m going again with fiction today– this was a piece written in the form of a letter addressed to a father, a piece of flash published in the Outrider review, a magazine based out of the US.

It was written during a workshop led by author Suchen Christine Lim, many years ago, in a crowded library room filled with us, her eager fans. The prompt, of course, was to write a letter, but the letter that emerged on paper was a fictional one, which I think will one day become part of a novel. Here it is:

Write a letter to someone

 

Do you read or write Flash Fiction? Ever written a piece based on prompts? Written in a workshop in a crowded room? What do you have to say about ‘I’ll be your father?’ What letter would you write, if asked to do so?


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This monthly event has brought smiles on the faces of a lot of participants and their audiences, and somewhat restored their faith in humanity. Here’s a sampler. Click here to know more. Sign up here and add your bit of cheer to the world on the next installment of August 25th!

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I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

34 comments

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  1. hilarymb

    Hi Damyanti – a power piece … my mother said to me she could never again be a mother to me – I’d done the full circle for her … so sad, at that time of life … cheers Hilary

  2. Leigh W. Smith

    Very powerful and evocative letter from father to son, Damyanti. Usually I think of a person becoming a parent and then wanting to not be like their parent rather than becoming their parent’s parent. In any case, I like this one and hope you use it in a book or story.
    I love flash fiction, both reading and writing. Some of them are staggeringly good, and I hope to write one myself someday. I’ve had ‘workshops’ in college-level creative writing classes (and got together with a fellow writer to produce our university’s magazine) and I attended a writer’s group a few times, but other than that, I haven’t workshopped per se.
    The letter I write would probably be based on my interest, mood, and what I’m wanting to express at that particular moment. The other day I wrote what could be considered an open letter to humanity. Sometimes, writing is for oneself alone!

  3. grumps666

    Once again, I can relate to this piece on a personal level having had a stepfather take the place of my real father who died when I was only 7 years old. My Polish stepfather had fought in the Second World War and settled in England because he could never return to his native homeland for fear of imprisonment–or worse. Thus he didn’t see any of his own family ever again. His cultural upbringing and wartime experiences made him a hard man with a vicious temper. I feared and hated him in equal measure–especially when he was cruel to my mother and I lacked the physical size and strength to intervene. But it’s fair to say there were periods when he showed tenderness and love in those post-war years when the world was trying to recuperate from the atrocities and hardships of war. As time passed, more and more Polish ex-soldiers came and settled in the area and my stepfather’s circle of friends expanded and grew into a community with shared backgrounds and experiences. His increased social life caused a degree of mellowness at home, though his drinking and fist-fighting still occurred during the weekend card-playing sessions with his friends.
    Years passed, I grew up, and left home to join the military.
    Fast forward to many years later when I’d matured into a strong man, and had the capability to take revenge on my stepfather. However, as in your fictional story, time had taken its toll and my stepfather had physically declined after suffering a heart attack. Anger and revenge were not part of my character, nor my intention. Love had dissipated any negative traits in me because I’d found so much happiness in my own life. And this wizened old man, whatever his faults and shortcomings, had played a major part in making me the proud and considerate man I am today–and I love him.
    **

  4. Apeksha Rao

    Such a powerful letter! In the end, forgiveness is what brings you peace, and ends the vicious cycle of resentment and hatred. I’m a fan of your words, D. 👍

  5. Shalzmojo

    Ii couldnt read this letter as its spread too widely and doesnt fit on my desktop screen. Its cutting on the sides. Also the font is very small in the letter. The share button keep popping over it, covering up the words.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Sorry about that—what browser are you using? Maybe if you click on the picture, it will show you a full screen image?

  6. Rajlakshmi

    I don’t think I have words that could justify your work. I am moved and blown away by the sheer brilliance of your letter. And it feels amazing to read such a stunningly written piece. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks, Rajlakshmi. It was a piece written at a workshop, a son’s letter to his father. As a writer, I’m very pleased that it touched you.

  7. Kala Ravi

    Totally blown by this eloquent piece of writing Damyanti. I would say it was almost poetic. The child becomes the father. Deep and moving.

  8. Sulekha

    Like they say, forgiveness is the noblest revenge. The son was a bigger man than the father and he chose to do the right thing for both of them. An absolutely lovely creative writing piece.

  9. Shilpa Garg

    What a powerful letter!! Forgiveness is liberating, it not only enables the one who has wronged you to be free from the past, but it liberates you too from the past and helps you live in the present.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      This story does approach the hard grounds of forgiveness, and ironically, the way lies through compassion. Thanks for your comment, Menaka.

  10. Zainab

    This is a nice one Damyanti! Mine was to some sort of a drink, & looks like a nothing now!

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Zainab, please don’t be hard on yourself–you have to believe in your work. Will visit you in the evening 🙂

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks Jacqueline. I cheated a bit in using my fiction for the prompt. I doubt my own letter to anyone would be half as articulate. Emotions always get in the way.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks, Holly. I try to bring in compassion in my fiction, and though it is much harder in life, I make an effort to bring it in there, too. Vengeance only brings bitterness to everyone.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks Mitch, this story was an attempt to portray forgiveness of the most difficult sort, that of an abused child to his parent.