Text Box: First Quarter 2018  Second Place



Vivien Foulkes-James


























It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to you, but I see no other course of action open to me.

When first I came here twelve months ago, I was so grateful to you. Finally, I thought I had found a place where I could be comfortable and earn my keep doing the job that I was trained for. Adele is a sweet little thing and learns well but long hours spent with only a child for company left me craving for conversation of a more adult nature. Knowing your dislike of gossip I adhered to your instructions not to engage with the other staff. I have felt lonely at times, but always I could return here to this room. I have my books and occasional letters to write. I must admit that I was flattered you sought me out and I looked forward to the time we spent together. I thought it was a meeting of minds, but I see now, you wanted so much more.

It pains me to say this but, I have to call a halt to our friendship. You are more than twice my age, you are my employer. You hold all the cards, this is not a union of equals.

Glancing round this room now, which has been my sanctuary, I can hardly comprehend that this will be my last night here. The candles and the last embers in the grate show the room in such a pretty light making my leaving all the more painful. By first light I will be gone.

Now all is silent apart from the easterly wind whistling through the casements and the scratching of my pen on this notepaper as I write to seal my fate. But very soon there will be the disturbances from the upper floor and try as I have done to ignore it, sleep is impossible until the commotion subsides.

This house holds its secrets. Questions hang unanswered in the corridors, whispers echo from room to room and the treads of the backstairs keep their terrible truths.

Tomorrow I shall leave here and throw myself on the mercy of my aunt until such time as I can secure another position as governess. That will be my future.

Sir, I could never marry. I had only one true love and she was cruelly taken from me.

Forgive me and try to understand.



First Place: Winter Spider

Third Place: Who Lost Little Bear?