A mysterious pack of letters appears in the prompt for Twittering Tale #134. Many people today don’t have to deal with stacks of snail mail arriving daily; annoyances pile up in our email inboxes instead. There are some similarities in dealing with the paper bombardment of old and its electronic counterpart. In my daily intake of approximately 200 emails, I click on “delete all” then do a quick scan to uncheck important stuff from “Like Mercury Colliding” and messages from banks. In earlier times I did the same thing with delivered stacks from the Post Office. I knew what colors bordered the notices from the electric and water utility people. To be read later along with all those companies which expected payment for their overpriced products and services. But to receive a packet of letters! What could that mean? It was Priority Reading, “open me first” type of stuff. Or maybe not, as Jane finds out.
Perhaps “Dear John” letters are a thing of the past. Not to fear, the world of electronic communication is here to save the day. Imagine riding along on a luxurious (compared to commercial economy class) government aircraft appointed and decorated for VIPs. Suddenly, and that is the definition of e-communication, a “Dear Rex” tweet appears. “Are you enjoying the flight? After landing, be sure to turn in your Department of State Seal, the new guy (TBD) needs it.” (122 characters with spaces).
What is lacking today is the suspense that came with postal deliveries — those who wrote letters mostly adhered to conventions of form. Even if the content was disagreeable, agreed forms of delivery somehow softened and buffered harsh reality. Today, demand for speed of delivery and clarity is so starkly delivered that both sender and receiver admit messages are rude. Information is cherrypicked and read by gaslight. Thoroughly thought out and reasoned papers of four hundred pages are summarized in almost tweetable four pages. We have hit new depths of information management last seen on another continent circa 1936, the years leading up to a war that would produce the letters in this Twitter Tale.
It is the best of times and the worst of times, Barr none.
About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story in 280 characters or less. When you write your tale, be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale. If you would prefer to post your tale in the comments (some people have very specific blog themes but still want to participate), I am happy to post a link to your site when I post your tale in the Round Up.
I will do a roundup each Tuesday, along with providing a new prompt. And if for some reason I missed your entry in the Roundup, as I have occasionally done, please let me know. I want to be sure to include your tale.
Finally, have fun!
Twittering Tales #134 – 30 April 2019
Bishop and Lowell
“Well, these are the last of them.”
“I can’t believe she kept them. Do you know they wrote to each other for decades?”
“Oh yes! He once said that she was a “muse who makes the casual perfect.”
“It feels strange reading their private letters…”
“Pass ‘em to me then. I’m not shy!”
John collected the letters to send later; they would arrive home before him. Sad and embarrassed, he detailed the reasons for meeting someone new. It was the war, you know. Graves Registration sent her recovered effects. Jane cried as her husband read the letters for her aloud.