Dear Jess,

I don’t know if this letter will get to you. The book says it should, but the book has lied before. We’ve figured some stuff out about it while you’ve been gone. For starters, as far as we can tell, we can’t not use it, so it really wasn’t your fault.

Your parents are still freaking out. They think you ran away or something. The police talked to all of us, and they still come by every now and then. They’re convinced that either we know more than we’re telling (which to be fair is true) or that you’ll eventually contact us (which I hope is true).

Some news from this side. I’m doing ok I guess. I might have to do a year over if my grades don’t improve, but that doesn’t really seem important after all that’s happened. My grades are down because I’m not sleeping much. The book gives you nightmares. Alice has it worse. She tried to use something in the book to find you in her dreams. The book lied about that. When she does sleep she does it at the clubhouse. She doesn’t wanna wake her parents when she starts screaming. Will smuggled out some of his meds for her, but she doesn’t have enough to use them all the time. The clubhouse is our temporary solution.

I guess I should also mention that Will is in a psych ward. That’s also supposed to be temporary, until the police decide what to do with him. He’s ok, and he’s not actually crazy. He wanted me to make sure I said that in the letter. He accidentally used the book to let something in from Outside. He actually got it though. With a hatchet. He’s pretty proud of himself. The problem was some neighborhood dogs got hacked up and a janitor at the school got injured. The cops found him wandering down 5th street with the hatchet in hand and covered in dog blood. The janitor is gonna be pressing charges I think, but it could have been much worse.

Alice and I are passing the book back and forth, so that neither of us has it long enough for it to use us. She thinks we should get rid of it. Don’t worry, I won’t let her.

I’m not ready to give up just yet. If you get this that’s the main thing I want you to know. I’m gonna keep trying to find you. I’ll keep trying to bring you back.

The book says that’s impossible, but sometimes the book lies. And even if I can’t find you, I know you, and I know you’re trying to find your own way back (at least I hope you are).

Even if the book is right, I won’t give up hope. I’ll be here waiting, until you get back.

Forever yours,

James

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3 Responses to Dear Jess,

  1. Sientir says:

    I really like this one quite a bit, for several reasons that I’ll enumerate:
    • I like how the title is also part of the story. I don’t know why, but I do.
    • I like how this is a letter, and the way that using that format lets you put so much burden on the reader to figure out what is going on. I enjoy that! 😀
    • The world building and setup is also very interesting.
    • You conveyed a LOT through implications. It stays true to being a letter addressed to Jess while simultaneously managing to fit in a lot of info that let’s us infer a ton of details about what has happened.

    I feel like this is one of the stronger non-series stories I’ve read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Holding Hands | Recreational Exorcist

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