The Hate Note

Writing Prompt: The Hate Note

You arrive at home to find an envelope addressed to you on the ground outside your front door. Inside, you find a letter proclaiming the writer’s deep and undying hatred for you. The note is not signed.

Post your response in the comments in 500 words or fewer.


You might also like:

52 thoughts on “The Hate Note

  1. MattH

    After an intense discussion I had with my students about the various interpretations of William Carlos Williams’ poem – This Is Just to Say – I arrived home exuberant that my one student was finally participating in class discussions since it was twenty percent of his final grade and I had reminded him repeatedly that the semester was nearing the end. Up to this point, his exams were anything but stellar.

    Screwing up my courage while walking down the driveway, I reached into my mailbox ready to face the onslaught of utility bills, child support payments, and attorney fees. I was rifling though the mail when I arrived at my front door. I glanced down and spotted an envelope. At first, I thought I unknowingly dropped it. The envelope had no stamp. Scrawled on the front was written – To Professor Pomposity – with no return address. On the back of the envelope was a muddy shoe print.

    I slit the envelope open with my thumb, feeling a tinge of anxiety. By the style of handwriting, I surmised the writer was a female, but I could be wrong. She wrote she had fantasied the shoe print would have been on the back of my neck, that for being a poetry professor I lacked compassion for people’s feelings, that I should have flunked the art of humility. She continued her vitriol of how she had to drop out of college, how she had self-harmed herself, how sleep deprevation led to psychotic experiences – all of which she layed at my door.

    Should I call the police? Was she watching me now? I furtively glanced around, fumbled for my keys, unlocked the door and hurried inside. I threw the remaining letters on the kitchen table amid the unwashed breakfast dishes. I opened the refrigerator door and grabbed a bowl of plums. I bit into it. Very delicious. While still holding her letter, I sat down. I pulled out a piece of paper from my brief case. I uncapped my fountain pen and began to write, just to say – forgive me.

  2. Jennifer Park

    89. The Capture

    [Timeline skip; followed by “90. The End” under “Considering Absurdism”. You can see a listing of the Darth Barbara saga chapters—all of which are posted under WD prompts—by clicking on my name above.

    Please tell me what to do when the saga is complete! Votes so far:

    Novelize: Kerry Charlton, Beebles, ReathaThomasOakley, 1/2 brookesmith

    Leave it be:

    Screenplay: 1/2 brookesmith

    Comics (“Follow my heart”): William, hillsworth

    ]

    Barbara woke up with General Arima’s arms draped over her. The General’s sweet, wrinkled, sleeping face brought up a feeling that Barbara wanted to cherish but could not. There were a lot more on her mind, but Barbara could only slowly come to terms with what they were.

    “You feel that?” asked the General. She seemed to yawn without opening her mouth, and fell back asleep.

    Barbara looked out the glass walls at the landscape. This desolate planet was just a way-station, but it felt like an exile. Earth was in danger, and there was nothing to be done about it. Earth was fully aware that it was about to be demolished, and the very means it could have used to protect itself… its military might…

    The Death Star. How many moons and planets had Earthlings demolished to build it? The mass of how many stars had Earthlings appropriated to fuel its numerous jumps across the galaxy, and its instantaneous incinerations of entire planets? Since discovering the principles of cascading quantized bubbles—a chain reaction of chain reactions, so to speak—Earthlings had gained the power of interstellar travel and interstellar trade and interstellar warfare.

    The power of empire.

    Now, the technology belonged to others, vying to be the next empire.

    Of course, Barbara had a favorite…

    Barbara found her right eye squinting awkwardly. Out of habit, she tried shaking her head. In the old days, that would have shut down the implant. But, the implant had long been dormant; it was a device for minions, not…

    This time, the squint was painful. It was trying to turn on. Barbara groaned.

    In response, the General flopped over to the other side, and wrapped herself more tightly under the covers.

    That allowed Barbara to drag herself out of bed. Now her right eye was completely shut, and she could barely see out her left. There was a growing pain in the temple. The implant was probably defective at this time.

    “Gravity…” the General observed.

    Barbara walked toward the glass wall, as if that would explain anything, but she could hardly see. She found herself curling against the wall, writhing, if not quite in pain, then in agony. She finally decided to clutch her head in her hands.

    That did it. Sudden clarity in her vision. Pain, gone. Mind, clear.

    A blinking light in the distance.

    No, on her intraocular viewer, which had not been used for decades.

    A blinking light.

    Then a message.

    “SubjectiveDonkeySingularOfPossessiveLocativeYouSpecificSingular PredicativeForProcessiveObjectWeCollectivePresentBeThirdSingular.”

    Barbara scoffed. Damn Kryzlamei. They had found her, and hacked into her obsolete implant to send her a message. The Kryzlamei were perfectly capable of good Earthling; it’s just that they had hacked in through an old vulnerability in the translation protocols.

    “Gravity is all wrong, Barbara,” the General insisted.

    “Don’t worry about it, sweets,” explained Barbara, regarding the giant apparatus dominating the sky. “They are towing the planet.”

    “Oh… OK.”

    “Don’t you want to escape?”

    “…”

    “…”

    “I’m too tired.”

    Me, too, thought Barbara.

  3. Kerry Charlton

    OH LADY LUCK

    Bob Williams hadn’t seen day light in his life since he broke up with Lady. Once they were lovers who had both turned away from their families. Even in modern times, their friends were in shock, when the affair became common knowledge. Two divorces were filed, child support was started as well as the sale of both homes. Turn away’s or rather “I don’t know you’ were common from people who had grown up with both of them.

    An affair that started with one innocent dance and a stolen kiss in the dark, turned into a passion that neither one was prepared for. Their love was so intense it hurt their families and friends who had no concept how white hot their love for each other had grown. Bob and Lady should have known that a passion so intense is impossible to keep.

    Their affair became a cruel indifference, then boredom which turned into disgust not only for each other but also to themselves. From disgust, came anger and finally hate with a capital ‘H’. Hate as most understand, is similar to a fatal disease or perhaps a crippling, destructive tornado.

    In Bob’s case it turned into letters, received from her, so vile it scorched the paper it was written on. In Lady’s personality, unknown to Bob, was a touch of evil she had been taught to use and to destroy. And by destroy I am referring to it literally. Death is final and life as we know it disappears. But in this care, Lady has suffered equally with Bob’s feelings.

    ‘Why?’ Bob thought, ‘Wasn’t it an innocent love they shared?’ Of course not, Lady was evil and from the underworld and destined to sit on the right side of Lucifer. To escape, Bob thought would be impossible. But a plan slowly formed in his mind. He would eliminate Lady and all her luck she carried. Not death in reality but rather a slow dislike and disgust about her life as she led it.

    ‘That might work’. Bod figured one day as he drove his Lincoln down a busy freeway. In an instant a sixteen wheeler pulled up beside Bob’s car, blew two tires simultaneously, and rolled over and hit Bob’s car. In an instant, too quick to measure, the truck and Bob’s car burst into flames. By some miracle Bob was pulled out of his car, the pain so intense, he passed out. Bob’s car looked like a smashed potato from the wreck and the public wondered how he got out.
    Weeks went by in the burn unit of the Air Force Hospital, months of therapy, skin graphs and pain followed wherever he went. Four months later, he went home to an empty house and was on a walker to boot.

    ‘No’, he silently screamed,’ I can’t take anymore abuse and pain’, The next morning his doorbell rang, he knew who it was and calmly opened the door. He knew, he knew alright who it was and as he saw her with tears flowing down her cheeks, he whispered,

    “Lady, my love never stopped regardless of what you did and I will die with your name on my lips.”

    He held her close as she continued to weep.

  4. hillsworth

    *** Chapter 5 in ‘my quest for a novel’ ***

    GET THE HECK OUT OF OUR TOWN

    “What time will you be opening the doors tonight, John?” Tom Godfrey asked while he unpacked the crate of bottles full of Arsenic, used for embalming purposes.

    John hefted one of the bottles, inspected the fluid, and gingerly placed it back in the crate, wiping his hands on his trousers. “I ‘spose I’ll be there by six. The meeting don’t start til seven, but seeings how I’m the new… how did Stan put it? Top Dog? I reckon there’ll be a few folks that want to see if I can handle the job.”

    “You’ve made quite the impression on our little town of Heck in a short time. A lot of people are pleased that you accepted both, the position of sheriff and also the president of town council.”

    “Well, I’m sure there’s some that aint pleased. I’ve heard some whispers and I’ve seen people cross the street just so they don’t have to pass by me.” He smiled to himself.

    Tom pulled the last bottle out of the crate and placed it on the shelf with the others. “You can’t please them all…” The bell above the front door jingled and Tom stuck his head out of the embalming room to see who had just entered. “Must be time to go John, the Lady awaits. We’ll see you tonight and thanks for helping today. Give the missus my regards. ”

    John tipped his hat and left with his wife, who had spent most of her day visiting and getting to know more of the ladies while John rode with Tom to Castle Dome Landing to pick up some mortuary supplies.

    While at the Landing, John had found a small chocolatier tucked between two manufactories and bought a lovely chocolate heart for the Lady. On the wagon ride home from town, he reached under a fold of his serape and produced the morsel, much to Lady’s delight. “Happy Valentines Day, my dear.”

    “Oh John. You always were the romantic.” She popped it into her mouth and closed her eyes in pure bliss. The taste still lingered as he pulled the wagon to the hitching post just to the left of their house. “Oh look John. Someone may have left you a Valentines Day card.” She pointed to an envelope laying in the dirt on the front stoop.

    After loosely tying the reins to the crosspost, John bent down and scooped up the white envelope. “Let’s just just see who my admirer is.” He opened the flap and shook out a single piece of paper. His smile slid from his face and was replaced with confusion.

    “Who’s it from, John?”

    “Don’t know. It’s not signed. And it aint no Valentine either. My guess is I’ll find out at the meeting who wrote it.”

    “Well, what’s it say?”

    “I think someone wants to change the name of the town. I don’t think they like the name Heck anymore.” John grinned, sheepishly.

    “Why would you say that? What’s it say, John?” She pleaded with her eyes.

    Finally he turned the paper around so she could read it. In bold letters it said ‘Get the Heck out of our town’.

  5. therealdmc

    I glanced up when I heard the knock at the door. Visitors are rare; usually, it’s only an Amazon delivery or the occasional home security system salesman. I admit I’m a bit of a homebody. Something about this knock threw me, though. It seemed urgent, I think. It wanted my attention. No, it demanded my attention. Fine. I pushed myself up from the old recliner and set my laptop on the coffee table. I shuffled to the door.

    Nobody there. Weird. It had seemed like someone really wanted to talk to me. Looking around, I saw a plain, light blue envelope on the dingy welcome mat. It was oddly addressed for a letter, but it was unquestionably meant for me. I opened it.

    OMG STFU U SUCK I HATE U AND UR WORTHLESS AND GO DIE IN A FIRE IF I EVER FIND OUT WHERE U LIVE I’LL—

    There’s more, but I’ll keep this family-friendly. Mainly the rest of the message was a list of unsanitary things I could do and who and what I could do them with. The note wasn’t signed with a name, but with a picture of an egg and some gibberish that I didn’t recognize as a name given that it had numbers in it.

    I sighed. This was going too far.

    Since when does Twitter send hate tweets to your door?

  6. Charlie Bear

    Takeaway

    In the sleepy town of Racoon Ridge, nestled somewhere between Moose Jaw and Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, lives 120,000 residents. Used to the harsh cold winters and dry summer months, a type of resilience lives among them that over the course of its 100 years existence, its people have formed a tight knit camaraderie. Jobs in this sleepy bedroom community are hard to comeby, with stores that have been there for decades closing up annually, to be sometimes replaced by big box retail stores.

    You wouldn’t call Racoon Ridge a multicultural community by any means, but despite its lack of diversity, there is one Chinese takeaway that managed to open and stay in business. The allure of Sweet and Sour Pork and the spice of General Tao Chicken kept residents coming back even though the family who owned the takeaway, strangely named “Front Door”, kept to themselves and didn’t seem to speak English.

    This, in fact, was not true since the teenage son of the family did speak English, having gone to high school there for a few years. He spent his afternoons and weekends behind the counter waiting for customers to come in and busied himself with different tasks his parents gave him, but mostly, he was on his phone wishing he was elsewhere. Though far from his ideal, the constant sizzling sound of the wok, the rhythm of the chopping board, and the fragrance of garlic made this place home.

    The customers varied. Most of them were nice, some curious, others were rude and awkward. The teenage son thought it normal. They had their usuals who came every Friday night to order the same things.

    “Did you hear The Western Maple is closing by the end of the month? Can’t stay in business,” One of their usuals said. He was almost to the door when, seemingly as an afterthought, added, “Lucky for you, huh?”

    The Western Maple – one of the most popular restaurants with a 5 star rating and raving reviews on Google – embodied the essence of Racoon Ridge. Unassuming and quaint, people celebrated their milestones there – birthdays, anniversaries, graduations. It, like the people, withstood the test of time and nature; however, with the rise of other competition, it was headed for bankruptcy.

    “That’s bad news,” His father said, “What about our Google reviews? Did we get any new ones?”

    He always translated for his father when they received generic ones. But the most recent one was different.

    Anonymous wrote:
    Food would taste better if made by LOCALS. GO BACK HOME!

    “What does it say?”

    He read it again, dumbfounded by the hatred.

    “No-nothing. It says – it says we’re good.”

  7. Eric Miller

    Sometimes your days start good and end badly. Sometimes it’s the opposite. At least on those days, something happens. Today is just boring. Nothing good or bad happening. I stopped at the pub on the way home to have a beer, but no one I knew was there. And no one new worth getting to know. Susanna, who is always up for a good flirt, is usually tending bar on Tuesday nights. But the freckle-faced idiot who was covering her shift said she had a cold and stayed home. Boring.

    So now I’m sitting in my driveway.

    I should check my phone.

    No messages from anyone. Boring.

    My house looks gigantic through the front windshield. Two stories and a basement. Filled with crap that neither my ungrateful kids nor my useless wife really cares about. Going inside is the last thing I want to do. A tasteless meal followed by watching some idiotic kids’ movie. Then trying to make small talk with Mary till she goes to bed. Yawn. Maybe I can sneak upstairs to my study for “work” and get some online exploration in.

    That sounds like a good plan. Suffer a little, then some fun.

    Out of the car I go and up the sidewalk.

    There is a letter under the mat. Probably the exterminator’s bill. In this day and age, I have no idea why he doesn’t email it.

    Hmmm… Not a bill. It is a handwritten note:

    You Miserable Asshole:

    I woke up last night and found my wife crying in the bathroom. She broke down and told me. You have been screwing her for six months. My Wife! Do you have any morals! And she tells me you are married!!!! With Kids!!! Did you think about them? About me? About her???

    I never thought I could hate someone as much as I hate you.

    For months I have been wondering what I did wrong. Why has she been ignoring me? Why does she push me away? It’s because you seduced her and pulled her into your sick, twisted fantasy world. And now she is ruined. Miserable, unhappy. And we are done as a couple.

    You ruined her life and my life. You messed up piece of shit.

    Fuck you!

    I need to read this again!

    It got better, even if he is not a great writer, he certainly has passion. I wonder if the stains at the bottom are his tears? Could be. Awesome.

    It’s not signed so I’m really not sure which wife he is referring to. Doesn’t really matter.

    Finally, this day is certainly looking up. I’m feeling better already. Let’s see what mischief I can create inside.

    “Hi Kids! Daddy is home!”

  8. Eric Miller

    Sometimes your days start good and end badly. Sometimes it’s the opposite. At least on those days, something happens. Today is one just boring. Nothing good or bad happening. I stopped at the pub on the way home to have a beer, but no one I knew was there. And no one new worth getting to know. Susanna, who is always up for a good flirt, is usually tending bar on Tuesday nights. But the freckle-faced idiot who was covering her shift said she had a cold and stayed home. Boring.

    So now I’m sitting in my driveway.

    I should check my phone.

    No messages from anyone. Boring.

    My house looks gigantic through the front window. Two stories and a basement. Filled with crap that neither my ungrateful kids or my useless wife really care about. Going inside is the last thing I want to do. A tasteless meal followed by watching some idiotic kids’ movie. Then trying to make small talk with Mary till she goes to bed. Yawn. Maybe I can sneak upstairs to my study for “work” and get some online exploration in.

    That sounds like a good plan. Suffer a little, then some fun.

    Out of the car I go and up the sidewalk.

    There is a letter under the mat. Probably the exterminator’s bill. In this day and age, I have no idea why he doesn’t email it.

    Hmmm… Not a bill. It is a handwritten note:

    You Miserable Asshole:

    I woke up last night and found my wife crying in the bathroom. She broke down and told me. You have been screwing her for six months. My Wife! Do you have any morals! And she tells me you are married!!!! With Kids!!! Did you think about them? About me? About her???

    I never thought I could hate someone as much as I hate you.

    For months I have been wondering what I did wrong. Why has she been ignoring me? Why does she push me away? It’s because you seduced her and pulled her into you sick, twisted fantasy world. And now she is ruined. Miserable, unhappy. And we are done as a couple.
    You ruined her life and my life. You messed up piece of shit.

    Fuck you!

    I need to read this again. It got better. Even if he is not a great writer, he certainly has passion. I wonder if the stains at the bottom are his tears? Could be. Awesome.

    It’s not signed so I’m really not sure which wife he is referring to. Doesn’t really matter.

    Finally, this day is certainly looking up. I’m feeling better already. Let’s see what mischief I can create inside.

    “Hi Kids! Daddy is home!”

  9. UnclePizza

    It was dusk when the woman approached her hut. Still, it was light enough that she could sense that someone else had recently been there. Despite their efforts to erase their tracks she saw subtle things that were out of harmony. An overturned pebble that was darker than the others around it, yucca seeds spilled from their pod on a windless day. Signs.

    The woman approached slowly and saw the stone laid carefully in the center of her doorway. It was flat, about the size of her palm, and she knew immediately what she would see as she stepped closer. Someone had used a thorn to prick their finger and placed four large drops of blood neatly in a square near the center of the stone. They had then dragged the thorn through the center of each drop, leaving four long lines radiating nearly to the edge. The message was unmistakable, for in the tribe in which she had been raised such a stone was left as a proclamation of deep hatred to be carried on the four winds for all time. It was a sacred hate.

    This was not the first time the woman had received such a message. Years ago, when she was a very young woman, she had received a similar stone. It was laid at her feet by the son of the tribal chief after the people in her pueblo came to understand that she had rebuffed him. He felt that he had been humiliated, and he wanted nothing more than to destroy her. Fearful of how he might truly hurt her, she stood silent with her truth – that he had attempted to violate her but that she had overpowered him and escaped. The young man loudly accused of her being a witch and convinced his father to banish her from the pueblo. As she left, the young man whispered to her a promise – that he would one day find her and come at night to finish what he had started.

    Over the years the woman had made a life in the desert, learning the ways of the animals, the plants, the skies, and the earth itself. She felt safe, but never forgot the young man’s threat. In time, she had earned the trust of a pack of coyotes, and she had learned to let them know her will without using words.

    She thought of how the coyotes would work as a pack to take down their prey, and of how they protected their own pack – their tribe. Although there were years when she feared the day that she would be found, today she was no longer scared.

    As the sun set, La Bruja cast her thoughts toward the mesa where the coyotes were awakening. Come, she called, but come silently and with patience, for you will have a feast tonight. She smiled as she thought, just to herself this time, how by morning she would be truly free.

      1. UnclePizza

        Thanks. In the months before I vanished from this site for a couple of years I strung together about 13,000 words by writing short pieces in response to the weekly prompts. If you click on my name that will take you to my blog site, then click on Of Sins and Ash if you want the whole thing. The short piece above was inspired by one of the main characters in Of Sins and Ash.

  10. writeroftheking

    Janet trotted up her front walk, the weight of her backpack slamming against her shoulders. School had been so stressful that day, but it was over now. Done. Kaput. Already a grin was creeping across her face at the thought of seeing her big, happy-go-lucky Labrador, who she knew had been waiting just behind the front door all day.
    When she reached the porch, she didn’t notice the package until she almost tripped over it, but as intent as she was not to trip for the third time that day, she managed to hold herself upright via some complicated gymnastics. It was a perfect cube of a box, about a foot in width, that was obstructing her path. Like icing on the cake, a small brown envelope rested on top, with neat, precise letters spelling out JANET.
    Her breath caught in her throat, and not just because she was still holding the precarious and twisted position of her recent anti-trip maneuvers. No one ever sent her anything. She was just a high school student. NO. ONE. EVER. SENT. HER. ANYTHING.
    Crouching down, she gave a little squeal of delight before tearing open the envelope. The letter inside couldn’t open fast enough for her, but when it did, she gleefully began reading:
    “Dear Janet:
    You snot-nosed brat. I can’t believe just how freakishly gross you are. An utter disgrace to humankind. You’d fit in better with a herd of pigs than at Bighorn High School. I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate you, you despicable rat!!!!!!!”
    Janet blinked. Then blinked again.
    “What on earth?” she said out loud, not caring if her neighbor was outside. She scanned both sides of the paper for a signature, and, upon finding none, looked resentfully towards the box. She knew it would probably be worse than the letter, but she needed to find out who had sent this so she could pummel them.
    She picked away the tape and gingerly lifted the flaps, bracing herself for the hurt that was soon to come. Inside, there was another, smaller box. Upon opening that one, another box was revealed. Annoyed, she kept opening the nestled boxes, peeling away tape and sometimes tearing cardboard, until she was left with a ridiculously tiny package that took up all of one cubic inch. Placing it in her palm, she examined it before attempting to open it. All it contained, once the miniscule flaps were parted, was a slip of folded paper wedged inside. It took her longest fingernail to pry it out, and the same fingernail to unfold it. She gasped at the two words that were revealed:
    “Signed, Devin.”
    Devin! Her school crush! HE had sent the hate letter?
    Her tears didn’t even bother to pool before rushing down her cheeks. Janet keeled over into a ball, where she let her raw emotions flow. She didn’t even see the silhouette of her little brother in the window, where he gleefully watched the result of his handiwork.

  11. BrookeEllen

    ‘Nothing’s been right since Jerry left.’ Carol tucked the letter back into the envelope.
    “Suzie, show yourself!”
    From the air popped a fairy. She was angry. She steamed at the nostrils. Her body was ridged.
    “Quit making overdramatic threats at me.”
    “I’m not”
    “..You’re going to kill me” Deadpan.
    “Girl, if you push me any further..–probably not” Body slumped, she began to cry.
    “You have no compassion for how much it sucks here.”
    ‘You have no compassion for how much you suck to be around’ Carol would have said it, but she was too exhausted for the aftermath.
    Carol quickly fumbled the keys into the lock and got the fairy inside.
    “God, you make life difficult. I don’t live for you Suzie”
    “You should. I’m the only pretty thing you got. ”
    Suzie had been an unfortunate consequence of the portal. Jerry got into Fairyland, Carol got Suzie. Carol had tied Suzie to the property with a spell, not sure what would be needed to get Jerry back. She wished she could let her wander off. After years of isolation with Jerry, this talkative pixy was irritating.
    ‘Why couldn’t I have gotten a fairy scientist?’
    Carol went to the sink, filled it with water and performed the communication spell.
    “Jerry?”
    Nothing.
    Hiding from her mind she went immediately to the libray, did a little spell to keep Suzie out, and began to read. Not long after she was asleep. In her dream, she saw Jerry.
    “It’s time. Bring me home. Kill the fairy, use her blood to make a portal, and bring me home.”
    Well, so long Jerry.

  12. ShamelessHack

    I hate you.
    This is a long time coming, but now I had to get it down in writing.
    I hate you.
    I trusted you, and trusted you big time.
    But that didn’t matter, did it?
    I would get a running start, but as often as you assured me it would be a success, it turned out to be an inevitable lie and a humiliating failure.
    I hate you.
    How can I ever trust you again? What assurance do I have that you won’t trample on my dignity as you have before, and so many times?
    And at its heart, your unending betrayals were only about the ball. The stupid football.
    How could you have been so heartless?
    So cruel?
    I hate you.

    ***

    “Who was at the door, Linus?”
    “No one. Just a letter Lucy. It’s for you.”

  13. rlk67

    Mrs. Picksly thumbed open the envelope she found on the wooden porch and pulled out the note.

    “I really don’t like you. Actually, I really hate you. Really. Thinking of you is a declaration of war. Looking at you is so offensive I want to scream. If I touched you, I would have to wash in a bathtub full of TIDE for 27 days.”

    Oh, my! Mrs. Picksly put her hand to her mouth. Such hateful words.

    “I want to feed you to my pet hamster, but he’s already so fat. I hope a STOP sign falls on you when you walk your dog. Maybe it will rain so hard and you will be washed down the sewer.”

    She couldn’t read anymore. Who could write these things to a seventy-four year old lady who had no enemies. Mrs. Picksly shivered. Then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw someone move behind the tree in her front yard. Was that a boy? He was about eight years old.

    “Excuse me!” she shouted. “YOU! COME HERE NOW!”

    The boy had a look of exaggerated shame. “Yes, ma’am?”

    “Did you write this letter?”

    The boy sighed. “No, ma’am, I just delivered it. I was walking along and stopped by someone who asked me to deliver it.”

    Mrs. Picksly stared. “Who was it? Tell me, boy!”

    “I can’t.”

    “You must!”

    “Sorry.”

    “How about for a cookie.”

    “Two?”

    “Deal.” Mrs. Picksly got the cookies and handed them to the boy.

    “Thanks. It was your neighbor. Bye!” He ran away.

    Really? Mrs. Hergon? OOhhh…she was gonna get it.
    *******

    Phillip ate his cookies and smiled. That made sixteen cookies in all. Not bad for a days work. He pulled out his next envelope and walked up the porch steps.

  14. Pete

    -*So this prompt only loosely follows the prompt and is more based off the song Pablo Picasso by Citizen Cope

    Linwood Wilmer was known affectionately as “Toothache” to those who frequently crossed the Jamesway Bridge. He could usually be found near the billboard, a palm to his jaw, wincing as he hobbled, searching for aluminum cans or whatever else anyone may have pitched from their window. Sometimes he’d fix up a scarf, tying it up nice with a bow on top of his head like in the cartoons. To most people, old Toothache was something to point out, to wave at in passing, worth maybe a few miles’ banter before taking the on ramp to the interstate.

    Toothache enjoyed living alone, although, to be fair he didn’t consider it that. He had the lady watching over him. With her gentle blue eyes and the slight curve to her nose, her skin radiated the days’ sun while her giant, gleaming smile caught the moonlight on clear nights. The lady whispered into his thoughts, promising him a safe night’s sleep—a few hours reprieve from the teeth that troubled him so.

    He liked the overpass, the thump-thumping along until the first pulse of pain found his jawbone, the start of another excruciating day of torture. It was no different on that first day of spring, as Toothache rubbed his eyes, his palm finding his jaw. The taste of rot in his mouth. It was then he looked to the lady. What he saw made him scream.

    No. No. No.

    He spat puss as he clambered to his feet, his untied boots flapping at the soles. Tears filled his eyes, as he took it in. She was mutilated, covered in blood. It covered one eye, dripping and running from her shiny blonde hair to her lovely unblemished skin, past her ear to her dimples. But the teeth, her gleaming white teeth had been destroyed.

    Some sort of message. The letters rearranged themselves to shapes, squares and triangles, blurring into the hatred. While Toothache had never learned to read, he had a sense for these types of things. And he knew this was done out of hatred. Hatred towards him.

    She cried out for his help.

    Toothache scrambled to pick up his staff. He climbed up to her, to defend her honor. He scrubbed her cheeks, cars honking and yelling as they sped past him. Tears filled his eyes. His hands, already rough and calloused, bled and blistered from his labors.

    He collapsed on the side of the road, her face now filled with white patches. He dragged himself back to his hole, where she spoke to him that night. She asked if he still loved her. Toothache wept more, stoking the fire as the cars thumped along.

    Toothache woke to the sound of machinery. Of men gathering, a scaffold being built at the lady’s pedestal. Toothache turned, again reaching for his staff as he pulled himself out to defend his lady’s honor.

    The men turned, eyes widening as Toothache jabbed the staff at them, a warning shot for them to clear off.

    “Take it easy, man.”

    Toothache was not about to take it easy. The lady screamed out, calling for him to help. The men, having ripped out the sky from behind her head were we’re now peeling at her skull.

    He let out a wail, then charged.

    ***

    The police arrived to find Toothache in front of the billboard, waving a stick and daring anyone to come near. The men were huddled in the crew cab, windows up, watching with smirks. After a quick game of Rock, Scissors, Paper, the losing officer sighed and started to get out of the cruiser. “What do you think’s gotten into him?”

    The driver gave his partner a smile. “A toothache, man. It’ll drive you crazy.”

  15. freelancewriter0972

    Carrie arrived home exhausted after a long day at the history museum. She ran the museum’s social media pages and was responsible for responding to inquiries about their upcoming events and exhibits. She was thankful that her husband Timothy had taken the children away for a few days to visit their grandmother.

    She was looking forward to taking a long shower then crashing in front of the t.v. with a bowl of soup and enjoying a Golden Girls marathon. Also on her agenda: baking a batch of her famous brownies for the new neighbor. A man about her age had moved onto the street two weeks ago. He kept his head down and stayed to himself. Carrie wanted to take some brownies and welcome him to the neighborhood.

    As she reached for her key to open the front door, she noticed an envelope on the ground. Her name was written neatly on the front, and there was no return address or other indication who it was from.

    After hanging her jacket up and setting her purse down, Carrie opened the envelope.

    “I’m sure you don’t remember me,” the note began. “But I’ve hated you since our senior year at Edington High School. I wanted to ask you to the prom. But like everyone in our class, you treated me as an outcast. I went out of my way to be nice, and you ignored me because I was the new kid and didn’t dress like everyone else. The sad thing is, you’re still ignoring me. I saw you at the museum two days ago. I tried to speak, and just as you did in high school, you walked right past me. You’ll be forced to deal with me sooner or later.”

    Carrie’s heart felt as if it would jump out of her chest. Was she being stalked? The author of the note left it unsigned. But they made it clear they saw her just days ago. At her workplace.

    Her mind was racing. Should she call her husband and tell him? His first inclination would be to come home immediately. The museum had the best security staff, and she never felt uneasy at work, but she thought she should share the note with her supervisor tomorrow.

    Tim called her that evening while his mother played Uno with the children. “How was your day?” “It was fine,” she said unconvincingly. “Carrie, are you sure everything is OK?” “Of course. Everything is fine.”

    After she and Tim hung up, Carrie put the note in her purse. She went to the living room to close the blinds, and as she did, she noticed the new neighbor on his porch, staring at her house.

  16. Turtles 2.0

    THE HATE NOTE

    “How could you leave me? Why did you leave us? Did I do something wrong? Was I not enough? Doesn’t matter. I hate you. I HATE YOU. I don’t need you anymore. I don’t even want you anymore… Me and mom will be just fine without you. We don’t need you anymore.”

    Klem flipped the paper over, not finding anything on the back. The rain began to fall, leaving random wet splotches over the penned words. The blue ink bled into the paper like stained tears. The handwriting was ugly, some of the letters awkwardly small and large. But the memory of writing it was harsh and vivid. When his mother called him to come over because of an emergency, he didn’t expect it to be about his old letter. The letter he thought he lost. Not that he was devastated of its absence. He never did have an address to send it to anyways.

    Rubbing his thumb along the torn edges, Klem briefly lingered over the last word before crumbling the paper and stuffing it deep into his coat pocket. The sound of a child’s laughter and his wife’s muffled voice cut through his mind’s static, bringing him back to reality. The porch light flickered on and off, casting long shadows down his face. He blinked back the rain water from his eyes, placing a hand on the doorknob and exhaled. If only his Dad could see the man that he became. The man that his Dad never was.

    Then would he have been proud?

    1. William

      Loved it! I’m mean, really sad but, I loved it!

      I especially liked the beginning. Just reading the little kid’s letter made me feel so many things at once and set the perfect tone for the rest of the story. Nicely done!

  17. brookesmith

    The Hate Note:

    (a continuation of the red snow prompt)

    “What are you writing? And where did you get that paper?” I asked Ben as we trudged through the snow covered forests of Fairyland.

    Ben harrumphed, “If you were organized, Kayla, you would always have a pen and a piece of paper in your backpack.”

    I rolled my eyes for what felt like the twentieth time today, “Just focus on the mission.”

    He threw his hands in the air, stopping, as I trudged on in the snow, “What mission?” He sneered, mocking me, “The one you made up? The one to kill the freaking king of fairies?” On the word “freaking” he covered his mouth in shame before continuing.

    “Yes. It’s gonna work, we’re the dynamic duo, remember?” I nudged him, and he reluctantly began walking again, “Best friends?”

    “I guess,” He mumbled, “Best friends.”

    I reached out to snatch the pen and paper from his grip, but before I could an earthquake like force threw us to the ground. I careened into a snowbank, Ben falling a few inches from me.

    “Nooo!” He complained, “My hate note!”

    “That’s what you’re worried about?” A new voice said, appalled.

    I whipped my head to see who–or what–had joined us. I heard Ben groan in dismay when he saw, and I would have to if I was as much as a coward as him.

    A huge, hulkering fae stood before us, hands on her hips and a snarl on her face. She had huge, sharp teeth and horns on the top of her head, her wings spanning what looked like the whole world.

    I said a word that Ben would most certainly chastise me for later.

    “You want to kill Oberon?” The fairy said, cocking her head a little towards the unfazed Ben.

    “Um, yeah.” I said, and Ben smacked his forehead.

    “I’ll help. I have magic, as you probably know, I am a fairy.”

    “Okay.” I agreed.

    I looked to see if Ben was okay with this and he nodded warily, then held up a sopping wet piece of paper, with ink dripping down into the snow.
    I could still make out the words, loud and clear.

    I. HATE. YOU.

  18. William

    “You will die tonight! 7:00PM!”

    My hands trembled as I turned the note over, hastily scrawled in cursive on a three-by-five index card in blood red ink. But that was all there was.

    I looked at the clock on the mantel. It was five-thirty.

    With frantic pace my mind flew through a list of possible suspects. It wasn’t a long list. My girlfriend and I had moved to town less than a month ago, relocated as part of my promotion.

    Maybe that was it? Larry was upset, passed up a third time for a promotion he was clearly qualified for. Maybe Larry was out for revenge?

    Or perhaps it was Jillian from HR? I hadn’t meant to embarrass her. The lady just wouldn’t take “NO” for an answer! What if the humiliation she suffered was just too great? What had she screamed that night? “I’ll kill you, Ted Wilmot! I’m going to rip off your face and feed it to my cat!” At the time, I’d dismissed it as merely an angry outburst. What if it wasn’t?

    Or even worse, what if the killer was not a recent associate? What if it was someone from my past? We all have skeletons in our closets. What if mine were coming back to haunt me?

    Names wormed through my head; a laundry-list of ex-lovers, college acquaintances, and former coworkers. Each name felt more menacing than the last.

    A loud clang beside me sent my glass tumbling to the floor where it shattered into a million pieces. The clock rang out six low, brassy tones.

    My clothes were soaked, as was the leather recliner, though from my spilt drink or my profuse sweating, I couldn’t say. My jaws ached, and I realized I’d been unconsciously gritting my teeth.

    Enough was enough. I picked up my phone and dialed the police. The woman I spoke with promised to send someone right away.

    “Lock all the doors and windows,” she warned. “Don’t answer the door until Officer Chenault identifies himself. Do you understand?”

    I nodded to the phone like an idiot. She didn’t need to tell me again! I grabbed a metal poker from the fireplace and retreated to the bathroom. The vicious countdown reached 6:35PM.

    I held my breath. Not until I heard the car pull into the driveway did I relax my grip on the fireplace poker. A car door opened, and footsteps approached the front porch.

    I froze.

    There was no knock at the door. There was no confirmation from Officer Chenault. Someone was trying to break in!

    I heard them picking the lock. I listened in horror as my eighty dollar Schlage popped opened in seconds!

    Footsteps slid across the living room floor. I hid behind the toilet. My eyes closed. Sweat, or perhaps a tear, dripped down my cheek.

    “Are you ready for tonight?” my girlfriend called. “Comedy Jam starts at 7:00 honey. We don’t want to be late! This ventriloquist is hilarious Ted! You are going to die!”

    1. Jennifer Park

      As the end of the story approached, I was like, “Wait, there is only one sentence left to… Oh! What? Aaaah! [Loud guffaw.]”

      I mean, yes, I was increasingly aware that it was going to be a one-liner conclusion, but I didn’t think it would be that dramatic a turn-around. Didn’t see it at all. Nicely done!

      Totally killed.

    2. Pete

      Yeah, this was great work. Great lines and I felt the tension ratcheting up as I made my way down. And I gotta say, I didn’t think things were going to turn out so well for Ted!

COMMENT

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.