Short Story Saturday: An Anonymous Letter

Short Story Saturday: An Anonymous Letter - Photo by John-Mark Smith from Pexels
Photo by John-Mark Smith from Pexels

Hello everyone! As part of Short Story Saturday, I have posted another short story, this one entitled An Anonymous Letter. Inspired loosely by Please enjoy.

“I think you’ll like what’s inside,” the auburn-haired man said as he handed a beaten envelope to a crossed-armed and glowering man. Both were standing in front of the latter’s fancy two-story abode. “Been sittin’ in my pocket since this mornin’. That’s why it’s all messed up and stuff. Meant ta give it to ya earlier but I forgot. Sorry about that Corny.”

“It’s Cornelius,” the clean-shaven blond man replied as he removed one arm from his chest to take the envelope from his neighbor’s hand, “I await its contents with breathless anticipation, Timothy.”

The man before him smiled as he stroked his bushy beard. “Told ya before ta go ahead and call me Scooter. All my friends do.”

“I’ll keep that in mind, Timothy. Oh, look over there.” Cornelius pointed at the stoop in front of the brown dilapidated home with a free hand.

“No foolin’.” Scooter walked over to his stoop. An envelope had been placed on top. “What’s this?”

His neighbor sneered. “You don’t even know what a letter is?”

“I know it’s a letter. But whazzit say?”

“I have a stellar idea. Why don’t you open it up and find out?”

Scooter did as the man suggested and opened the envelope. After gawking at the contents within it for a few moments, he walked back to his neighbor and said, “Would ya mind readin’ it for me, Corny?”

The man scowled. “Again, it’s Cornelius. And don’t tell me you don’t know how to read.”

“I do know. But I can’t read this so good ‘cuz of all them fancy words. Need you to translate and stuff. Would you mind?”

“Very well!” Cornelius rudely snatched the letter from Scooter’s hand. “And stop calling me Corny!” It was then he realized that his brusque actions had made a tear that obscured some words and made a couple of the letter’s sentences completely incoherent. Yet, the blond neighbor didn’t seem to notice. In fact, he barely glanced at the words as he recited their message.

“Dear Timothy MacGillicuddy, I like to believe I have been exceedingly fortitudinous in the multitude of years it has been my grave displeasure of having to live next to your abode. I dare say, however, that even Gandhi undoubtedly would shout toward the heavens with deep and resentful ire had he to deal with such an appalling living situation. It is with my utmost displeasure that I now write to you to lodge several grievances starting with that beast you call your pet.

Your mongrel’s defecation in my yard is merely the latest in a long list of offenses that mutt has executed against me. And I know you’ve tried to make light of this but I must also insist that you stop throwing your mongrel’s toys into my yard. You’ve jokingly suggested that I could use these toys to play with my champion, my beloved bichon frise. But I assure you that, unlike your inelegant monster, she is not the kind of animal to demean herself by playing fetch.

Moreover, your dog on several occasions has leaped over my fence to chase my little one around my yard, an action undoubtedly prompted by your throwing of balls. You’ve in the past dismissed my concerns saying the two are merely “playing”. I assure you that being terrified is the antithesis of entertainment.

Now I move towards my objections to you, your friends, and your family. Your raucous parties taking place and continuing at all hours of the night are making it difficult for me to sleep. I can’t begin to tell you how many nights I’ve spent lying awake in my plush bed enduring the drivel you call music. I’ve also had to deal with the perpetual and incessant yelling, screaming, and laughter you’ve shared with your family and companions, not to mention that unremitting noise emitted by that infernal scooter of yours as you drive it all around town. Even in my cavernous home, it is still possible to hear every decibel.

At the first opportunity, I am moving to a new neighborhood. For the time being, however, I must once more implore you to amend your behavior. I ask you this knowing I will sooner drink the entire ocean before you show even a slight bit of concern. Any amending of your, your family’s, or your friend’s personal conduct, I fear, would be a miracle rivaling those written in the Bible. At the very least, please bathe every now and again and brush your teeth. It would help with your malodorous, putrid smell. It’d be a good first step, at least.

Please take corrective actions immediately. I beg of you.”

After a short pause, Scooter replied. “Oh.”

Cornelius raised an eyebrow and scoffed. “‘Oh’? Is that all you have to say?”

Scooter shrugged. “Well, who’s it from?”

Cornelius flipped the paper over several times before answering. “It appears that the letter writer neglected to leave a signature.” His voice began to trail, “What a stupid mistake….”

“Come again?”

Cornelius snarled. “He didn’t leave one.”

“Oh.” Scooter demonstrably scratched his head. “Well, I wonder who wrote dat, then.”

Cornelius sighed and rolled his eyes. “I haven’t the foggiest.”

“Coulda been my wife Alice. She yelled at me pretty good for watchin’ football all day yesterday, I tell ya what.”

“Considering she lives with you, I doubt it’d be necessary for her to leave a letter on your stoop.”

Scooter nodded. “I reckon yer right. She could have left it on the kitchen table.”

“Plus it wouldn’t make sense for her to write about your dog terrorizing her dog since he’s the same animal.”

“Is that what a bitchin’ freeze is? A dog?”

Cornelius lifted his nose in the air and emphasized each syllable as he said, “A bichon frise is a dignified breed of dog for those with the utmost of class.”

Scooter flashed a half-grin. “What kind of name is that fer a dog?”

Cornelius rolled his eyes. “It’s French. You know, from France. I believe the French name gives the dog an aura of elegance.”

Scooter wagged his index finger. “Now that’s interesting.”

Cornelius raised an eyebrow. “How so?”

“It means my uncle coulda left me the letter.”

Cornelius scowled. “What makes you possibly think that?”

“He owns a French dog hisself. Does bye con fritz mean bulldog?”

“It most certainly does not! Your uncle’s French bulldog doesn’t nearly have the nobility of the bichon frise. A bichon frise could be a champion show dog if raised correctly in a peaceful environment! I suppose a French bulldog could be a champion show dog too but that’s like comparing the New York Yankees to the Seattle Mariners. This is especially true when, presuming it is anything like yours, your uncle’s dog may as well have been raised at a state fair.”

“If ya say so. Still, I think my uncle coulda done it. We’s got into a fight over the Sooners and Volunteers ‘gain. We should never call each other on Saturday. Anyway, dat could be what made ‘im do it.”

Cornelius shook his head. “Unlikely. The letter directly mentions your dog terrorizing his and using his lawn as a makeshift commode. Where does your uncle live again?”


“That’s over two hundred miles away. I doubt your blue tick runs two hundred miles daily to defecate in his yard. I also think it’s safe to say he hardly has the intellect or the manual dexterity to make the drive.”

“Well I dunno, he’s pretty smart. ‘Course he’d a had to take the truck. Don’t think I ever taught ‘im to drive a stick.” Scooter laughed and slapped his knee to the scorn of Cornelius. “I reckon yer right, tho’. If it ain’t my uncle, there’s someone else it coulda been. Maybe my brother wrote the letter.”

Cornelius forced a grin. “I have a feeling that you’re getting close. It would have to be a neighbor. It’s only logical that it is somebody nearby.”

“Uh-huh. Plus we’s got into a fight while we was huntin’ for truffles a while back. Told ‘im he could take a swig of my bottle and he damn near drank the whole thin’. Wouldn’t bother me so much ‘cepting he does it all the time. Never pays me back neither tho’ he always says he would. I yelled at ‘im pretty good for it. ‘e didn’t say nothin’ to me the rest of the trip. Maybe he’s still mad.”

Cornelius sighed. “A letter seems a little extreme to express dissatisfaction over being reprimanded.”

Scooter scratched his head. “Well, if I understand what you said, I reckon yer right.”

“Besides, at what grade did he drop out of school again?”

“Seventh grade.”

“Does he have an extensive vocabulary, or should I say, ‘does he know all them fancy words’?”

“I reckon not.”

“So it’s probably not him.”

“I suppose’n yer right.”

Cornelius rolled his free hand in a circle. “So, is there anyone else you suspect?”

Scooter shrugged. “Well, I reckon there’s one suspect left. But I know it ain’t ‘im.”

“Whom do you suspect? Your grandfather? Your great uncle? Little William from across the street?”

“Well, no, none of those people.”

“Then who, pray tell, who could it be?”

Scooter gestured slightly. “I s’pose it coulda been you.”

Cornelius held his cheeks with both hands mocking surprise. The letter remained clutched between his pinky and ring finger in one hand while the beaten-up letter he received from Scooter was similarly gripped in the other. “Really? How very shocking. I am flabbergasted by the accusation. Please elaborate. Tell me why you think it’s me.”

“Well, ya does have a fancy dog. And know all them fancy words. Plus I know ya ain’t that pleased with our hootenannies going fer long hours. Especially since none of us ever invite you or nothin’.”

Cornelius looked away but still scowled. “Not that I’d ever debase myself by attending your soiree. I prefer my solitude.”

“If ya say so. ‘Course, I know you can’t be the letter writer guy.”

Cornelius snapped his head back to his neighbor and let out an exasperated sigh. “How on earth did you come to that conclusion?”

Scooter smiled. “Well, yer too good a guy.”

Cornelius tilted his head. “Pardon me?”

“I know my friends and me can be a bit tryin’ with our hootenannies. And my dog runnin’ around wild when he escapes from me can’t be no picnic neither. Not to mention me tossin’ some of ‘is toys and balls into your yard gots to be annoyin’. Then there’s all our yellin’ and cussin’ and stuff. But yer always very patient with us. Ain’t really yelled at us or nothin’. Never really got mad. We felt bad so we’s thought we’d invite you to a BBQ we’re havin’ this Saturday.”

Cornelius’s jaw dropped slightly. “You’re kidding.”

Scooter pointed to the object “Nope. Open that envelope and find out yerself.”

Cornelius did as instructed. Inside was a meticulously crafted if not crude and poorly spelled invitation. It implied, albeit in an unsophisticated way, that they would be honored if their neighbor attended their barbecue at the end of the week.

“I know it ain’t yer kinda thing, but we’d plum like it if you came over this Saturday.”

“I… I don’t know what to say…”

Scooter’s grin widened even further. “How ‘bout ‘yes’?”

Cornelius reciprocated his neighbor’s smile and nodded once. “Yes… yes, of course! I’d love to attend.”

“Now ain’t that a hoot.”

“It is an unexpected development to say the very least.”

“Now, let’s get back to the matter at hand. Do ya know who wrote me that letter?”

“The letter?” Cornelius’s blood seemingly drained. “Oh, right, the anonymous note.” For nearly a minute, the man stared into his neighbor’s eyes. The silence was almost deafening. He eventually found the words. “Er, well, um, do you know what I think? I think it was a prank by some teenagers. Yes, teenagers. They’re the ones who did it.”

Scooter nodded. “Makes sense to me. Damn teenagers.”

“Yes, well, teenagers… or perhaps it was simply a mistake.” Cornelius shook his head as a warm, legitimate smile once again found its way onto his lips. “Regardless, I think it’d be best if we just forgot the whole affair altogether.” He then demonstrably tore the letter into confetti.

“Already forgotten, neighbor.” Scooter waved. “So you have a good ‘un, Corny, er, Corn knee less.”

“Corny’s fine. Corny’s just fine.”

Scooter flashed a gap-toothed grin. “Right. Corny. See ya Saturday.”

“I wouldn’t miss it. See you Saturday, Scooter.”

Cornelius waved as his neighbor returned home. He then unlocked his door and entered his abode. His tiny bichon frise yapped as she greeted him.

“Hi Persephone,” the man said. He then reached down to pet the top of his dog’s head with his free hand. After placing the invitation on his mantle, he walked toward his back door and gazed through the glass window to his cozy backyard. He then sighed when he saw the various balls and dog toys that still littered the yard. He opened the door and walked outside.

Persephone stood by the open glass door as he cleaned his yard. Upon realizing she was staring, the man bade her to come out and join him. After a few tentative footsteps, the little dog gleefully beside her master. Among the various toys and debris lay an old tennis ball. Though it was practically bigger than the canine’s head, she took interest in it. Noticing this, the man picked it off the ground and tossed it for her. An impromptu game of catch commenced. As it did, Cornelius wondered what sort of wine would go well with corn biscuits and gravy.

If you enjoyed this story, then perhaps you’d be interested in reading more by pressing the “short story” tag below or clicking this(short story) link or this(genre and tags) link or this(story list) link. I would also urge you to share this story with others and comment below. Please check out my books page as well by pressing here. Thank you for reading my story.


2 thoughts on “Short Story Saturday: An Anonymous Letter

    • Thank you very much! I was actually a bit worried about this story wondering whether I went a little bit too over the top with the redneck’s accent but it sounds like I did a good job. Thanks for the kind words.

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