Mysterious Message (a “Project: Chain Reaction” story)

Part of the ‘Project: Chain Reaction’ Series

For the first instalment of this story please check out: You’ve Got Mail


Mysterious Message


No address, no title, not even a stamp.  Simply beautiful cursive loops forming the letters of my name and a mystery that peaks my curiosity.  It’s a simple envelope, nothing fancy; cheap and functional, like any common envelope you’d find in a post office.  The self stick flap is stuck as in haste I open, jaggedly tearing the top seam.  A mild OCD irritation, but no matter, it’s not like anyone reuses envelopes.  One gently folded piece of paper rested inside, not the same cheap material like the envelope, it screamed class.  It was obvious from the feel alone this wasn’t a normal letter, as if I needed any more evidence.  Unfolding the page it was handwritten, the same cursive flourish from the envelope filled the page.  The letters flowed across the page, the delicate strokes of the pen bled ink into the page.  These words had purpose, not merely scratched out in biro, this letter was important.


Resting against the rusted mailbox I read the letter, once, twice then thrice.  The words on the page didn’t make any sense.  Sure I understood them but I couldn’t believe the words.  I literally just gave up a career, my money is gone and the only reason I’m not on the street is the kindness of my mother.  Well maybe more obligation than kindness, but that’s not the point.  At this very moment in time I have nothing and am struggling trying to figure out what I do next.  This is not the time to be teased by letter.  I’m at a personal low point, now is not the right time to receive a letter like this.  I don’t know if there ever would ever be a good time, but it’s certainly not now.    I should have just read the bill; it would have made more sense.  Depressing, financially soul crushing sense, but at least I would understand it.


You know when it’s gorgeous outside like today, when the sun is out and the world is alive with positive energy and you’re feeling a bit down.  It feels like the world is taunting you.  It’s like everything in nature is converging to torment you for not joining the world in good spirits.  That’s what this letter is like.  Someone is laughing at my expense, trying to get a rise out of me.  Strolling back to the house it just annoys me, I want to throw it away, but instead I follow my same mail carrying routine.  Tossed onto the breakfast bar in the kitchen, the envelopes glide across it with speed till they crash into the empty fruit bowl.  That reminds me, I need to go shopping as well today.  Not for me of course, a chore for mommy dearest.  Along with the vacuuming and all the dirty dishes from last night’s dinner and this morning’s breakfast, she’s left money for me to go get groceries while she’s at work.  Always looking after me but never one to let me rest on my laurels, she’ll make me work, even if it’s housework.  I’m used to it though, reminds me of being a teenager, it’s only ever been us so it’s not the first time I’ve player housekeeper while she’s out at work.  Still the lethargic unemployed bum wants to be couch-ward bound, while the good and dutiful wants to son wants to power through the household chores.  Staring over at the dirty dishes, I grab the cash left on the counter and head out to the store, the lesser of two evils.


A trip to the supermarket is just the kind of distraction you need when you’re unemployed.  Get out the house and remember that there’s a real world to get back into.  Sadly it’s a fleeting distraction.  Arriving back home, weighted down by bags upon bags of groceries like a glorified pack mule, everything is as I left it and the lethargy kicks back in.  Dishes, dusting, vacuuming and that damn letter staring up at me as I fill the fruit bowl.  My confusion and annoyance has passed, replaced with anger, but I’m compelled to keep reading it.  Grabbing the letter I read it once more…


This letter is long overdue.  I apologise that it has taken this long to write.  You won’t recognise my handwriting, but I assure you that I know you very well.  It’s true that we have never met and though this has been a great sadness and is a burden to my life, it is my hope that you will come to understand my decision.  I have been watching over and protecting you for your entire life and am marvelled at the man you have become. 

Choosing to give up on a fruitless career finally showed me that you were ready for the next stage of your life to begin.  You have far more importance that you can imagine; you know this to be true.  It is time to realise your worth, your potential and your true self.

I have been waiting for this day for a long time, as I must imagine have you.  I must now ask a difficult question.  Abandon your preconceptions, clear your mind of all ill will and meet with me.  There is a bar at the harbour, ‘The Lighthouse’, be there this coming Saturday at 7p.m. and I promise you answers and adventure.


Your Father


How dare he!  What answers could justify not being around my entire life!  The rage, the curiosity, it’s making me dizzy, making me feel sick.  I hate him, I hate this letter, I hate how I feel.  I want to burn it, let flame turn it to ash and be blown away in the breeze like he vanished on my life.  I want to tear it up into little pieces like he tore up my heart.  I want never to have received this letter.


I hate myself for this, but I still want to meet him…



The next chapter in the Project: Chain Reaction series will be courtesy of Eric.  Come back next Wednesday for more to this tale.



Project: Chain Reaction is a collaborative story telling concept by a small group of WordPress bloggers, brought together with the intention of writing a photography inspired story.  Each participant will write a passage inspired by a photograph left at the end of the previous writers chapter.  Each piece of the story will not exceed a 1000 word character limit, hoping to capture the 1000 words that a photograph is said to contain.  We have no idea where the story is headed and plan to challenge each others creativity to make the full story a riveting tale.


The participants of Project: Chain Reaction are;


J:  Among other things, J

Cameron:  Cameron D Hamilton

Eric:  Wisps of Smoke

Cara:  If Pandas Could Speak




26 thoughts on “Mysterious Message (a “Project: Chain Reaction” story)

  1. OH IF YOU COULD SEE ME!!!! I’m freaking out!! I can’t believe how you set this up..and passing it to Eric..given our recent focus on DC comics.. I see this going in a, vigilante direction. We shall see!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ahahaha!!!! I’m so very glad your pleased. I’ve left it very open I like this was more character study, examining the emotional state of our main protagonist. I took the musketeer angle and let my ideas guide the idea that the character is part of something bigger than he knows. I didn’t want to go specifics just seed the story.
      I noticed as well we’ve yet to reveal the characters gender. That’ll be interesting as the story develops

      Very much looking forward to the next part. A vigilante angle would be very fun!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Cara and I thought maybe it’s a guy. I feel like it’s a guy. But I left it open like you did. Maybe it’s a dual sexual alien! Ha, no. It could be either, maybe Eric will choose for us. I love the development you did and I’m loving every second of this!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I wrote as male but never overtly referenced. I think it’ll come down to how the story progresses. If I had went with my original idea the character would have been female and I would have written about 5000 words and it would have closed all creativity for the story progression. I had so many ideas but I think this one I published is the best not only for the collaboration but it looks more closely at the emotions and sets up a stronger character overall
          I’m really enjoying it too! I can’t wait for my next turn!!

          Liked by 2 people

    1. I wasn’t even aiming for superhero I was working from the image seeding the idea of being part of a family line of musketeers that the character I’d a legacy of some sort.
      With this I wanted to lay more to the state of mind of the character, motivations and personality. It’s so very open ended. The only aspect set is the meeting with their father at a harbourside bar. You basically have a location and a new character to write for. Everything else is full of potential. That’s the best part of the collaboration, seed the story but leave room for the next persons creativity.
      You’re going to have so much fun with this!!!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. No spoilers!!!! 😄

          Take it all in today and play with ideas over the week. My plan changed entirely from my initial thoughts. I didn’t finish till the evening before and I’m very happy with the result.
          My word count was 992 out of 1000, let’s see if you can beat that. Ahahaha 😋

          Have fun!!

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: New post for Project: Chain Reaction! | Among other things, J

    1. Me too!! That’s what I love about this I set it up and then I have three more chapters of other people’s interpretations of ideas I’ve put out.
      I’m really glad you liked the direction, it’s a very basic piece of character and emotion but leaves the door open for so many great ideas. Eric is going to have so much fun with this!
      This’ll be a great week for you all thr anticipation of what your going to get to work with!


    1. Thank you, there’s so much to pull from in this you can go straight semiotics or look to the edges and pull out all the details. I’ve built that crossroads theme into this chapter as a subtle nod to the concept of the collaboration and that the next person has so many directions to take and the more upfront character decisions.
      Glad you like the image, Eric told me the image he has for you right now is a shirtless man straddling a panda 😂😋🐼


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