Late September

This was an assignment for my Creative Writing Class. Although it was taken from a poem called “Late September”– I just realized there probably would not be a blizzard, even in Gloucester in September.

We were told to write something based on the opening sentence:

The mail truck goes down the coast carrying a single
letter.

..so that’s what I did. Then I realized it was named Late September. I already submitted it. Maybe I should have renamed it Late January. Oh well, at least I wrote SOMETHING today.

The mail truck goesdown the coast carrying a single letter. Although it’s snowing heavily, and there are already 5 inches on the
ground, the driver of the mail truck, Frank Conroy, is determined to get
through.

The letter is addressed to Mrs. Betsy Peterson. Betsy lives in an old house on the shoreline in Gloucester. She’s been all alone out there since her husband passed away last spring.  She will be happy to receive personal mail, instead of bills, Frank thinks to himself. The mail truck slides back and forth along the bumpy road. “I really need new tires on this thing,” Frank mumbles under his breath.

At last, the mail truck arrivesat Betsy’s driveway. Normally, Frank would put the letter into the mailbox. With this snowstorm, he knows it might be days before the driveway is shoveled out and it’s safe to get to the mailbox.

The mail truck stops in the driveway. Frank takes the letter to the door, and rings the doorbell. He hears the shuffle of a pair of slippers, as Betsy finally comes into view. She opens the door, smiling brightly. Frank hands her the letter. “Oh,” Betsy begins. “It’s from my sister. I haven’t heard from her in….years.”

Frank turns to walk away. “Oh, please wait,” Betsy calls out to him. “I don’t know if it’s good or bad news.” Frank waits patiently as Betsy opens the envelope.

Betsy skims the letter.  “Oh dear,” Betsy says. “My sister Mary’s husband has passed away.”  Then her eyes open wider as she continues reading. “She apologizes for all the things that she did to me,” Betsy blurts out. “She wants me to call her.”  Betsy looks up at Frank. “What do you think I should do?”

Frank looks deep into Betsy’s blue eyes. “Well, I always say, there’s nothing like family.”

“Yes, you’re right,” Betsy replies.

Frank’s eyes widen with surprise, as Betsy shreds the letter and throws it into the air. It mixes with the falling snow and lands on the ground.

“Well,” Betsy tells him, “there’s nothing like family.”

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