A Message for You

I sent a message via amateur radio net to Kathryn in California this evening. It said, within the allowed maximum five lines of five groups of words or numerals or punctuation. Twenty-two here. Elizabeth’s lucky elevens:

Elizabeth on Amazon (stop) do

not purchase (stop) small package

in mail Monday (stop) Elizabeth

is safe even though story

continues (stop)

It was a joyous, yet quiet message. Victory and completion, yet the “story continues.” I wonder where new twists or entirely new information might come from. But I recall writing contingencies in my head while driving home from a conference in Richmond, alone in the car again and mind stumbling over resolution and solution and response to the many contradictions. The things Elizabeth had told people, what she had written, in part to justify her selfish behavior, in part because she didn’t quite know where to turn next, just pack and run. The small khaki shoulder bag, Rita’s name and the old address in Denmark inked across the inside flap. Just enough room to carry the least amount of necessity. Where stories come from. Where? But the message said the “story continues.”

My assignments are six five-hundred word essays. The characters, Kathryn and Elizabeth, Billy and Hollister. Newcomb. Rita. Good guys, less than good guys. Complex girls, and warm and solid. I’ve done four of the essays; two to go. I will get a sense of the summer in the next two weeks. I can feel it. Perhaps at the reading, while thinking out loud. A moment. A thought. A seed. And some doubt. Yet maybe. Maybe.

Can you help me? Maybe not yet. Whenever you are ready. And dare.

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