Cynthia writes to Kenneth on Sundays. Unwaveringly devout, his faith always buoyed her's. She always signs "Love and prayers."
On Mondays she signs Darren's letters simply “Love"; plain and direct like the man himself. But in a good way. A strong, rugged way. Like the ancient and rocky Highlands of his father's kin.
Tuesdays are for William, it being the day the Museum is free. She sits in the center of the Impressionists’ gallery, trying to capture the beauty around her. Every letter closes with a description of a different painting. A reminder there is still beauty in a world gone so ugly. “I see each brush stroke through your artist eyes.”
On Wednesdays the proprietor of the Hammer and Anvil pours Cynthia a little glass of something strong. They toast Michel before she moves onto tea. Her spoon tinkles through the cup while thinking of just the right words to describe the patrons of the pub: Privileged; Jolly; Sad; Melancholy. "No matter how full the stools are, it feels empty without you here.”
Thursdays Cynthia serves soup to the homeless. It's what Trevor would do. When the pots are empty, always before the lines of destitute are exhausted, she walks between the tables. Pen in hand, she captures snippets of the conversations around her: The boys' 'ill show Jerry. Just wait to the Yanks get geared up. 'Ol Adolph won't know what hit him. “So optimistic,” she always adds, “no matter how down their circumstances. Just like you.”
Fridays Cynthia watches the changing of the Palace guards. She takes a lunch and stays all afternoon. “They fidget,” she writes to Bernard. “Their eyes dart too much. Not like you, my little Statue Man.”
On Saturdays Cynthia writes no letters. She takes the train out to the country and follows the well worn path from the platform, and through the wrought iron gates. Her eyes stay on the ground, never meeting those of the women she passes. Like her, they wear black. “I will love each of you, always,” she whispers over the letters, kissing each gently before placing them on the headstones, “my brave, precious sons.”
Eric Erickson is a native of Denver, Colorado and his fiction has appeared in Curbside Splendor, Cigale, Penmen Review, and Down in the Dirt.