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Dear John

Sylvia Spruck Wrigley obsessively writes letters to her mother, her teenage offspring, her accountant, as well as to unknown beings in outer space. Only her mother admits to reading them. Born in Heidelberg, she spent her childhood in California and now splits her time between South Wales and Andalucia, two coastal regions with almost nothing in common. You can find out more about her at intrigue.co.uk.

Find other works in the Postmark Andromeda sequence and other unrelated stories by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley at dailysciencefiction.com.

John Smith
c/o NASA Ceres Project
Washington DC 20546-0001
Dear John,
I'm sorry to tell you this while you are so far away (you must be at the outer reaches of our solar system by now) but I feel it is not fair to leave you wondering or worse, assuming that everything is fine and we always promised to be honest with each other (although you never did explain why I found Lisa Walter's panties in your glove compartment after your going-away party) and so I wanted to tell you myself before you heard from someone else that I am seeing someone (his name is Melvin and I met him in the accounts department at work, if you are interested) and although you never asked me to wait for you I think we both assumed that I would but that was before I knew how hard it was going to be here on my own trying to work out how to get basics like food and drink because since the quarantine (which you probably don't know about but we got hit by a plague and that was after a freak tornado, after you left) it's been so hard to get food or drink and I've never been any good with a shotgun (your Uncle Jack came around in the first days in the pick-up truck, which I thought was really sweet of him, and he took all your weapons so I wouldn't hurt myself) so once the pantry was empty and the muffins at Starbucks were all gone, I didn't have any way of getting any food and Melvin (I can hear you sniggering at his name but honestly, he's perfectly nice and you'd like him if you got to know him) fought through the zombie hordes (no, I know they aren't really zombies but the rioters are so angry and mindless, that's what we call them) and when he got cut off I offered him the spare room and well he's been here ever since and one thing led to another and... well, I guess you won't want to hear the details but living through the apocalypse wasn't something that I could have expected and with you off in space doing god-knows-what while we struggle just to make it through the day (well, I don't now that Melvin is here because he has set up squirrel traps and planted some vegetables in the tub but I was living off of Kraft macaroni and cheese, I'm not even kidding) and honestly, John, I don't know if you are coming back to Earth one day or if they will let you past the police lines around the town even if you do make it back, so I guess it is easier to move on and admit that it isn't working out, although I guess I'd like to hear from you again if you can land the shuttle despite the nuclear damage at Edwards, so at least I'd know you aren't dead but if you don't want to, well, I guess I can't blame you but just remember that there were some good times too, before you went away, and I will always remain:
yours, if maybe not so faithfully,
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Author Comments

This was written as a part of a challenge to write a story in a single sentence. I immediately imagined a breathless woman telling her story all a-jumble where the main question was: what would be important enough to her for her to need to tell it all at once. Thus Kylie was born.

- Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
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