Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


premature fiction

Mose Brenlee’s Missive – 4

Mose Brenlee stopped writing. He took a deep drink of tepid coffee from the thick light green plastic cup that matched all of the dishes in the firehouse, ugly, old and durable to a fault. He read over what he had written, crossing out and correcting, underlining and inserting words as he went. He couldn’t be sure he was making any sense and that calmed him. He reasoned, if I’m worried that I’m insane, even pretty certain I’m crazy, then I’m not too far gone to know what’s going on. That backflip of illogic helped him see that there was little more explaining he could do that would make any sense to anyone.

He drew a star in the middle of the page under his last paragraph and started a new paragraph a little below the star. He printed the next words carefully. He did not want his handwriting to look as crazy as he knew his words would read to his family and whoever else saw this letter.

Once I finish this letter, there will be only one thing left for me to do. I guess that you all will call this my suicide note, but if I had my way, you would call it something else. Something better than my words could make it and something more fitting my actions. Call it my Ghost Letter. It’s about me making one and becoming one. All the good and evil will pass here in Brenlee and feed what comes next. What maybe you can make it. I hope something good.

I’m going to find Andy Currie and finish this. To go to prison and probably die somewhere else, so that I wouldn’t join all those ghosts I know so well in the place that I love – the place that’s me – that I couldn’t bear, so when I say finish you know that I mean myself too.

Mose wanted to write something more, but the words weren’t there. He wanted to impart some elegantly worded wisdom to his family, but could think of none. He drew another star and tilted his coffee cup to see the last swallow of dark liquid inside. He finished the coffee and set down his pen. He could feel more to say, but couldn’t say it. Maybe it would come to him later. After.

Not wisdom, but grace is what he wished to give his family. A deep grace that would draw them back to this town and help them fill Brenlee with as much life as the strange emissaries of the dead that peopled this place – his world – would allow. He did not know how to write that in a way that would reach them, so instead he wrote, “I love you all and do this for you,” and signed his name. There was room left on the page for more.

He stood and slowly circled the large firehouse kitchen table, watching the letter, back to the wall, ever watchful of the most dangerous thing in the room. Finally, he went to it, folded it and put it inside one of the envelopes. He would seal the envelope later. After. When he was truly finished.