Day thirteen in my daily writing prompt exercise. This one filled me inexplicably with rage. I looked up famous letters, read some wonderful letters from history, thought of every historical biography or 19th century novel I’ve read and mourned that we don’t write letters like people used to. It’s a lost art. And I’m just as responsible for that loss as anyone.

13. The Letter: Write a poem or story using words from a famous letter or inspired by a letter someone sent you.


Oooh! A letter! I love a letter! Never mind that it’s arrived by email. It’s a letter!

Dear, huh? It must be someone I know! JANE KENNEDY. Hmm, this must be serious. You can only mean business if you address me by my whole name, in all caps no less.

Your bill is now ready to view!

Ah. So it’s a bill. I ought to have suspected as much. But why the exclamation point?

An exclamation point indicates excitement! It means joy! It means delight and exhilaration! Why finish that of all sentences with an exclamation point? Could there be more to this letter than I had first thought?

Oh! Be still my beating heart! I shall read on!

Your bill for the amount of $54.75 is due on 04/08/2020.

What?! What roller coaster ride is this?!

You follow an exclamation point with this?! What cruelty! What heartlessness! Why would you raise my hopes with an exclamation point only to dash them down again with such functional, cold and distinctly pecuniary language?

To login to your account, go [this website] or copy and paste the URL into your browser.

Okay now you’re just INSULTING me. Copy and paste the URL into your browser—ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

What kind of idiot doesn’t know how to click on a link?! Why would you assume I am a digital incompetent? You’ve written me an email, for God’s sake! I’ve signed up for automatic online billing! I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING, DAMNIT!


Customer Relations

“Sincerely,” huh? Sincerely? Sincerely.

Well. I’ll give you sincere, buddy! I’ll show you sincerity, pal! You want sincere? Well, you got it.

Okay fine I’ll just log in and make sure my payment details are up to date.