An Unfulfilled Promise

You or your character find a forgotten letter or card from someone important in your life–whether good or bad.  What does it say?  How does it affect you or your character?  What is done with it?


Hawkeye: “No, you submit, do you hear? You be strong, you survive… You stay alive, no matter what occurs! I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you.“ Last Of The Mohicans

If you had seen his face you wouldn’t have known that the ghosts of his past had woken from their slumber and begun to rattle their chains.

They were supposed to be nothing more than words on a page, just a simple movie quote that Johnny had once shared with her many years before. They weren’t supposed to tear the scab off of a wound that had never healed. They weren’t supposed to stop him in his tracks and make him remember things best let forgotten, but they did.

They did because they were more than just words. It was a promise to someone who had long since left his life and a symbol of what he was willing to do for her.  It shouldn’t have hurt to read them, but it did. It did for a thousand different reasons not the least of which was the memory of how something beautiful had been broken. It did because he had meant it.

These were not words that he took lightly. He remembered the day that he had written the letter that contained those words and the thousand that came after them. She had read it twice and called him in tears demanding to know what it meant. He remembered it all and how she begged him not to give up because they still loved each other and he hadn’t.

That letter wasn’t supposed to be taken that way. He wasn’t trying to push her away. All he had wanted to do was be her hero but circumstances had come between them and he felt like she needed to take care of the things that only she could. It broke his heart to write it but it was also supposed to be comforting to her. It was supposed to be reassuring- something that she could hold onto when things got tough.

Neither one of them could have predicted just how tough it would become. They never believed that they could be ripped apart and forced to live separate lives. Yet that was what had happened and the world had not come to a screeching halt. The sun hadn’t exploded nor had the earth begun to spin backwards.


Sometimes he wondered if the universe really did send messages and or signs to people. He had been searching his files for business purposes and it had just popped up as part of the search results. Since so much time had passed he hadn’t thought twice about opening it. It was supposed to be fun. His intention was to glance at it and resume working but good intentions often go astray.

So he found himself remembering what was and wondering about what could have been. In the silent of the night he had sent her his blessing and asked the heavens to carry her in the arms of the angel.  It wasn’t easy to walk away but he had cloaked himself in hope and faith that the future would be better.

And now years later he discovered to his chagrin that some flames are never completely extinguished. The real question was whether to try and quench the flames or follow the path that his heart was constructing for him.

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  1. TheJackB July 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    @Leon Leon, that is not a problem. I am sure that there is plenty of content here that would make your eyes roll and your fingers wilt. Funny that you mention John Wayne, my son and I were just talking about a few of his movies.

    Spent more than a few hours watching movies like True Grit and Rooster Cogburn with my dad. Westerns were our thing for a while, Shane, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly come to mind.

  2. TheJackB July 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    @Faryna Yeah, it obviously struck me too.

  3. Leon July 2, 2011 at 10:03 am

    G’Day Jack,

    I wish you’d write dull and boring stuff that i didn’t reckon was worthy of my comment. But as you can’t or wont, I thought that you’d be interested to know that even here in the outer fastnesses of Far Western California, my mother insisted that I read “The Last of the Mohicans” when I was about twelve. This was before i discovered the air adventures of Biggles.

    I even had to learn how to pronounce “Mohican” properly. But it did bring a new dimension to Joh Wayne movies.



  4. Faryna July 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Powerful words that Hawkeye speaks. I remember how when I heard them first, their courage struck and tested me. Yes, tested me. “No matter what occurs…” are words that take love beyond our possession, property, and body.

  5. TheJackB July 1, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    @girlygrizzly You too. Watch out for angry bears and moose. See, I can’t say that with a straight face to most people, but I figure in your case it might actually be accurate.

  6. TheJackB July 1, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    @ace1028 Thanks. This one didn’t flow the way that I wanted it to so I was a bit uncertain how it would read. Glad to hear that it came through more or less.

  7. ace1028 July 1, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    That last paragraph is fantastic. Seriously great. I loved this line: “And now years later he discovered to his chagrin that some flames are never completely extinguished.” Whew. I can feel those flames. I had to read this twice as there was so much in so few words. So much feeling, pain, anguish, hope and question. And more.

  8. girlygrizzly July 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    @TheJackB It is beautifully heart wrenching. Be safe and have a fabulous holiday!

  9. TheJackB July 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    @girlygrizzly Hi Amber,

    I write a lot of fiction and this is one of the pieces that I produced. It is based upon the prompt at the top, Hope you have a great 4th.

  10. girlygrizzly July 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm


    What did I stumble into here? It is beautiful. It is familiar, the way those feelings we recognize in others -as we do our own, can only be familiar.

    Looking back is ok, as long as it help strengthen your resolve and purpose… but to revisit those times, our own past, to be pulled into the “what if” of second guessing, I can’t, at the moment, think of what good it can bring you.

    Hmm. It is very stirring.


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