Friday, July 29, 2011

Dear Lynn - A Short Story

Last night I read a writing prompt to write a letter to someone you've lost. I tried writing it to my grandmother, but it was too painful. I channeled the emotion and wrote a short story. It's not polished, but I wanted to share.

Dear Lynn,

The police hesitated when they told me you died under "questionable circumstances." I know you were murdered. They held me in a small room, gave me lukewarm coffee, and asked me if you were suicidal. I told them, "No." They kept asking. I snapped on the twenty-eighth time and told them to get off their fat lazy asses and find the person that did it to you. I guess I lost it after that because Dad had to carry me out of there.

You would never commit suicide, would you Lynn? You were happy. Weren't you?

I slept in your bed last night so I could feel closer to you. So I could try to absorb your thoughts and maybe hear your secrets. I guess you took all of them with you when he killed you because there was nothing there. And I know because I listened all night.

Maybe it was the guy at the grocery store who always tried to talk to you, or maybe it was that jerk, Todd, who spread those stupid rumors about you. Please Lynn, tell me. I have to know.

You know how sometimes I'm afraid of the dark? Or how I won't go down to the basement without you? It's amazing how all of that fear evaporated when your spirit left. Amazing because when you're in this much pain it's hard to feel fear, it's hard to care if something terrible happens to me because nothing can hurt as bad as this.


I hate Mom and Dad right now. They believe the bullshit the cops told them. How could they, Lynn? How could they fall for that? You were happy. You were my best friend.

The funeral is tomorrow. I'm trying to put myself together, but what's the point? I'm just going to fall apart. How many times can someone be put together again? I have a feeling I'm going to find out.

You would have hated your funeral. Everyone whispered about how tragic your death was. In between looks of pity they whispered things like, "Why didn't she get any help?" I hid in the bathroom for over an hour before mom came and got me. She held me in a hug and said, "I understand you need time." I told her she was wrong. I don't need time. I need to find the bastard who killed you.

It's been almost two weeks and the cops haven't even been by. I still won't go to school. What's the point? Everything there reminds me of you. How can I face that? Why are you doing this to me, Lynn? I don't know how much longer I can take the burning in my chest.

The pain you left me with is like a living thing. I feel it growing inside me with each passing day. With each breath I take, it blooms. I just want it to bust out.

Almost four weeks now. I went back to school but skipped all my classes. I stayed in the bathroom and no one bothered me. I guess the school knew because Mom asked me about it when I got home. I told her she didn't care what happened to you, so why did she care what happened to me? She slapped me across the face. I didn't even feel it.

How could you? How could you do this to me? How could you leave me? Mom was right. Dad was right. Even the stupid police were right. Mom felt it was time she showed me your note. Why didn't you talk to me? I told you everything! EVERYTHING! and you held onto your pain until it killed you! Why? I won't ever know. You will never be able to heal my broken heart.

It feels like someone threw me into a pit of rattlesnakes and the venom is coursing its way through my body. The pain is unbearable, Lynn. I want it out of me! Do you know what you did to me? To Mom and Dad? No, you don't. You were being a selfish bitch and took the easy way out.

I'm so sorry, Lynn! I didn't mean it. I swear! I'm trying so hard to understand, but I can't. I don't. I feel like I failed you. I did fail you.

It rained today. The water fell from the sky like tears, only tears full of pollution. Acid rain. I guess that's what happens when you piss God off. I hope you're up there.

I can't keep writing this. I don't want to be mad at you, but I need time. You understand, don't you? You know how much I love you. Maybe one day you'll show up, maybe in a dream, or at the foot of my bed. Maybe you'll tell me why you did it. Maybe I'll understand. I don't know what was so bad that you couldn't talk to me, your sister. I failed you, Lynn. I failed you and I'm sorry.


This is an original work of fiction -Courtney Koschel


  1. I love the inner turmoil here. I know that sounds strange since this piece is so sad, but it's packed with emotion and really makes the MC come to life. Great job, Courtney.

  2. Thank you! It was a good writing exercise...sad, but helpful.

  3. I loved this! I could feel her pain and love how the different parts of the letter reflect the different stages of greif. Strong voice. Fantastic work from a writing exercise. Great job! :)

  4. Hi, I agree with Heather in that I can see the different stages you went through to wrap your head around the trauma. I can see how effective the writing prompt is in getting out emotions! I'll have to try it too.

  5. Good story--I enjoyed it! The emotional journey in it felt real. -Rae

  6. Love your blog and I'm a new GFC follower from Book blogs. Hope you'll have a moment to visit and follow my blog. I write book reviews and stories about my crazy life. I've been enjoying your posts. Hope to see you soon. Donna

  7. This is raw and passionate. Thank you for sharing something so real - amazing.

  8. Thank you all for the positive feedback =) I really appreciate it.