Paper Ashes

[For the Name on Your Wrist Competition] She cries. He sighs. She smiles. He files. She writes. He lights. She dies. He lies.


1. The Wrong Address

Dear Miss Zai,

I believe you must have gotten the wrong address. A 'Kirahl' doesn't live here, nor have they ever. I am, however, moved by your plight and wish to know if I could visit you. 


Ty Somme


Adrella Zai pushed the letter under her pillow upon the arrival of her mother. After receiving it, she had read and reread each word over and over, trying to work out who 'Ty' was. 

"I'm going to go to work now. Are you sure you'll be alright on your own?"

"Mother, I'll be fine. I'm not alone, there are doctors and nurses nearby. If I need anyone, they'll be there." The tall, abnormally thin woman looked unconvinced, her worn features displaying her doubt. Despite her trepidation, she swept from the room. 


11.20 her digital clock announced. Twenty-five minutes.

11.21 her digital clock announced. Twenty-four minutes.

This could be a long twenty-f - twenty-three minutes.


Slowly, Ty Somme made his way to the reception desk. He didn't know what he was thinking, putting that in the letter. He didn't know what he was thinking, replying at all. He was reluctant to see her now. She'd expect someone different, someone older. Someone not him.

After an awkward exchange with the receptionist, he trudged toward the room, feeling as though everything that could go wrong, would. He had just been so fascinated with the fact that in this day and age, someone actually wrote letters. He wanted to meet the person behind the page. Of course, he didn't expect a response. 

He turned the handle.


Oh, wow. This wasn't what he had expected. She didn't say it was as bad as this. The poor thing. The poor, poor, thing.

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