Before and After

Author’s note: The following letter is from Herman, the heroine of my novel, The Magician’s Curse, to Stephen, the hero. It fits into the book about a week into her stay in his mansion. This letter is written completely stream of consciousness style and is unedited.

Dear Stephen,

Where do I start? I’m sitting here in my room–in the guest room in your house, I should say–waiting impatiently for you to get home from your trip. I can’t really say I’ve been bored–Margaret has been great at keeping me busy. And wow, the lifestyle you two lead. Having our pick of which car to take when we go out to buy props and stuff for your show, going to fancy restaurants all the time … it’s like nothing I ever dreamed my life would be like before I got on that train, what, days ago? It feels like weeks.

Not that I’m used to it or anything, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be, completely. Or will I?

So now the decision: should I write what I’m thinking, which will make this letter something I have to crumple up? Or do I keep it to myself and show you this when you get home? Ugh, it would be nice to have someone to talk to about how I feel. I guess I could talk to Margaret, but I’m sure she tells you everything. Have I given away what I want to say, just by rambling about it?

I think … Okay, I’m gonna say it and be damned, as my mother would say. I think I might be falling in love with you. Isn’t that crazy? I’ve known you all of a week, and … well let’s face it. You’re the first guy who’s stuck with me for a week and not gone running away. Why is that? And maybe you will too, which is why I probably (definitely) shouldn’t show you this letter. If that weird dream hadn’t happened two nights ago, maybe I wouldn’t even be worried.

Unlike the before and after of my real life–poor girl finds a rich boyfriend and never looks back … Yeah, unlike that, my dream made me feel like all this–THIS–is a dream. A dream within a dream. How strange is that?

Hardy-har-har … I’m asking if THAT’s strange, but that’s kind of relative, isn’t it? After you performed ACTUAL magic on me. So, like what is this new life I’ve moved into all about? Are you a true illusionist, and none of this is real? Is it any wonder I’m scared to say those three precious words that I’ve never said to anyone but my family before?

Oh Stephen. I just wish you’d hurry up and come home so we can spend some time together. Some REAL time together. Alone, even. I have no idea why you asked Margaret to chaperone us all the time. We are adults, after all. At least you are, and I will be in a couple of weeks. Officially. Not that I’m going to suddenly “mature” like toast popping up. DING! You’re done. You’re officially old enough to do stuff like vote. Old enough to have an opinion and have sex, south of the Canadian border.

Which brings me to …

Nah. I don’t even want to contemplate it. If you are some kind of illusion, starting to obsess over an intimate relationship is only going to disappoint me more when I find out I’ve been living in a rundown shack for a week and you’re actually a raccoon. Which is how my life has normally gone up until now.

So I guess now I have to crumple up this letter and eat it or something. Which is TOTALLY going to ruin my dinner. Apparently we’re eating at home tonight. Probably surf and turf on golden plates … Do I sound unappreciative? I’m not. I really do appreciate you taking me in and giving me a job. Even if nothing else ever comes of our employer/employee relationship, at least I have your beautiful face to look at.

I can’t wait to see you onstage. And I can’t wait for you to come back home.

I can’t wait to kiss you again, and hold you in my arms … so I can make sure you’re real.

With all my love,


This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link to find the prompt, and read all the other entries:


Breaking Up – a 50-word … thing

Dear You,

I’m sorry we broke up. The sad fact is, you are who you must be and I am who I have to be, and it seems there is no compromise. A serial killer and a saint are just not suited for marriage. I should have known.



Dear Future Lover

How are you? I’ve been feeling a little down lately. You see, I miss you terribly. How is that, you ask, when I’ve never even met you? Well, you see, it’s easy.

I have this dream about you. It’s a recurring dream, though I don’t have it often enough. In it you love me more than life itself, and I love you the same way. You want to be near me all the time. You would even give your life for me!

With this in mind, I wrote a story about you. In our story (because I’m in it too, of course), there is an evil witch who wants to pull us apart. She attaches herself to you like a leech. In one part of the story I even tried pouring salt on her! But all it did was stung her eyes and she punished YOU for it. It was horrible. I knew I couldn’t try such a thing again.

So I waited. And I waited. And eventually … she died! I know it wasn’t very nice of me, but I rejoiced. So then you and I finally got back together and we lived happily ever after.

Did you like my story? I hope so.

Now all I have to do is meet you. Do you think our real story will go the same way as my made-up story? I hope not. Please promise me you’ll stay away from witches, both until we meet and after.

Thank you.

Just writing to you has cheered me up a bit. I’m going to close this letter now, but before I do I just want to say I love you. And I can’t wait to meet you.

Yours truly,



P.S. I might write to you again, so don’t forget to watch out for another letter.