Writing 101, Day Five: Be Brief


The Letter

As tears marched down his cheeks, a man thought to himself I hate the paradox of time travel. Frozen with sadness he clinched a crumbled sheet of paper that contained words that he never should have been privy to. His mind raced as he attempted to find a means to alter the future not set to stone, a way to change what has not yet happened. But as different scenarios played out across the stage of his imagination fear crept in through logic and implausibility.
How can I alter this one instance without altering every other aspect of my life, he questioned. Could I even change anything just by knowing of it beforehand? Or, is to know the fate of anyone only a cruel jest of destiny? The young man fell to his knees under the gravity of crushing epiphany, pleading aloud to a force never seen or heard from, “please spare my child! I beg of you, do not let the future be tainted by this incident!”
He did not know if his words weighed with selfish suffering were heard by a malevolent or benign being that ran the courses of cosmic events. He prayed over and over anyhow. Head in the palms of his hands, drowning in tears, he finally stood back up and held tight the edge of an empty crib that was to be filled by a growing fetus that has just been created within the belly of his beloved muse.
Slowly releasing the crib the man thought to escape the future by leaving the room of his now forming and growing first born. In eight months he would cradle his first born, which he now knew to be a boy. In time the would-be-father would teach his son many things, like how to ride a bike and horse, which berries of which trees were safe to taste, how to be a chivalrous gentleman in an awkward era of lust, and how to knot a tie. This man would watch his boy grow, knowing exactly how his child would transcend to the next realm. This father-to-be slouched against the doorframe of the work-in-progress nursery, wanting to not just leave the room behind, but the entire world and existence as well.
As he returned to his sleeping fiancé, whose snoring was heard throughout the entire house radiating from the master bedroom, the man dropped the letter that had mystically found delivery to his doorstep the day before. The crumpled sheet crashed to the bamboo-wood floor and the man could not remove its words that had burned into his mind:

Attention Mr. and Mrs. Adams-Bailey,
We regret to inform you that your son, one Orian Q. Adams-Bailey, has fallen during his tour of loyal duty to the People’s Republic Unified Nations Military. He served his nation bravely and true, and will surely be missed.
General Clodius M. Jackson


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