Writing 101: Be Brief

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

I’m cutting through the Jardin de Luxembourg to get to work. I see what looks like a folded sheet of paper on the ground just behind a park bench. Maybe somebody just dropped it and it could be important…I glance around and see other people heading in different directions with that fast-paced, focused Parisian walk. It could belong to any of them.

I decide to look at it and see if there’s some info that might identify the owner. As I pick it up I know it’s not a simple business document, this is high quality ecruwhite stationery paper. I unfold it and see it was written to someone named Jérémie by someone named Maman. That’s not going to get me very far. It was written on September 10th, just a bit more than a week ago.

I start scanning the letter to see if it gives me any more info about Jérémie or Maman. Maman was writing to add another stamp to his stamp collection and to give him some news about her business trip to the US. Her meeting in Boston went well and she would be getting the early evening flight to New York for her 8 am meeting on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center.

Then it hit me. I have to sit down on a bench. An early 8 am meeting last week on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center on September 11 2001. This was the last letter that Jérémie had received from his Maman. I wipe the tears away, I don’t want them falling on this letter. I don’t know how but I will find a way to get this letter back to Jérémie…


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