TUESDAY REVIEWSDAY: “A Missive with Love.” by Michael Leath

Tuesday Reviewsday:

“A Missive With Love” by Michael Leath.
Published in Firewords Quarterly, Issue One – Spring 2014

This story is like that photograph, frayed and held together by tape that has turned yellow over the years. That photo that you found in your grandparents closet in an album full of faces long forgotten. Or that photo in the rusty, antique frame that sits on your aunts mantel. The picture is of a young couple staring into each others eyes with such love that it makes you smile. It makes your day. It makes you crave that wholesome, beautiful love from the olden days that warms you like a bath on a cold winter night.

At least that is what I wished for. I wished that this story had that beautiful “The Notebook” ending. I wanted so much for the unnamed husband and wife of “A Missive with Love”. I want to know how they met and I want to read about their honeymoon in Paris. I want to read all the love letters that she’d received from him in the height of their romance. This “Missive” is the end of a poignant, delicately woven story that speaks to your heart like a love letter, torn to pieces.

Although this short story leaves me aching I cannot think that there was any love lost in this piece. The love that the husband and wife had for each other resonates throughout and flows clearly though to the end. Hearts are broken but Love was freed with a heartbreaking price. 

I want to see that happy photograph of the love that was once so bright and new. I want to see the light in her eyes as she looks at her new husband on the decks of the Eiffel Tower. I want to read about their tender kisses and embraces of yesterday. 

This is a story of wanting and letting go. Mr. Leath has done his job well. He makes me wish that things had ended differently. He leaves me wanting the happy ending that will never come.

Michael Leath is a Vietnam Vet, former screenplay writer and a life long Texan. I had the pleasure of making his acquaintance on Trigger Street Labs, a website for writers and filmmakers. Please check out more of his work at http://www.michaelleath.com. If you would like an entire magazine full of imagination and creativity please go to http://www.firewords.co.uk to snatch up the latest Firewords Quarterly. Mr. Leath also has a novel published for purchase on Amazon. Go HERE to purchase “Queen takes Kings Pawn.”


Hello my fellow artists, writers, thinkers and dreamers…

I am going to set some goals for myself. Could you help me to keep them? Any small thing would be awesome. A little note here and there… especially if I miss something.

Goal #1: WRITE 500-1000 words daily. That’s not much. By the time I am finished with this blog I will have satisfied todays requirement. If I do not fulfill the daily requirement… well let’s just say that there have been consequences that have been set up. Consequences that involve tickling. I hate being tickled.

Goal #2: READ. I have been given homework from a great writer friend of mine, Michael Leath. Please check him out at www.michaelleath.com. These are the books he would like me to read and understand for the betterment of my mind and craft:

—WIRED FOR FICTION by Donald Maass

Goal #3: An easy one… keep READING. I’ve read a about Eight romance novels (it’s for research… really!) and about a dozen comics from Aspen Comics just in July. Plus I just received my first Fireword Quarterly Magazine a few days ago and have been pouring over the fantastic short stories there. So… this is the easy Goal.

Goal #4: Take my reading to the next step by REVIEWING. I got this idea from the author John Green. I am sure others do it as well. TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY. Every Tuesday I will review the works of writers I know… and I know a good handful. I have read such horribly written… not horrible reviews… actual published reviews that lacked any substance. I will start on one tonight to post tomorrow. Not sure what I will review though…

Goal #5: Take steps to bring my novel to the next level. I am not sure what that is but if you have the name of a good line or developmental editor, please leave their name and contact info below. I’m shopping around.

Five Goals.

I can keep Five goals… especially with your help.



PS… please follow the links for Aspen Comics, Firewords Quarterly and Michael Leath. All hold wondrous worlds of imagination and creativity.

Sewer Rat … The beginning of some brain smatter side story of my Animal World.

It is really a symphony of sounds and smells. The scream of electrified metal clashing against metal melds with the melodious canned voices that fail to rise above the static of the obsolete sound system. The din of millions of footsteps trying to get somewhere, or away from somewhere churns up the aroma that belongs to this place alone.

Caught up in the sounds and smells that is the music of the New York City Subway, I almost missed her. The sewer Rat scurries by me in a rainbow of ratty florescent green curls and a faded torn I “Heart” NY shirt she probably bought from one of those knock off stores in Chinatown. She grabs the pole and swings back around. The metallic doors close and she peers out the window as the train begins to move. She sways. Her shorts are stained with finger swipes of spray paint over a pair ripped purple tights. The earbuds that keep her ass moving in small undulating waves are studded with green rhinestones.

Her satchel is a mess. Dirty tees and jeans poke out of every available hole. Shit had been stuffed into that hand sewn pice of rag. This girl must have been in a rush to get somewhere. 
Or … away from someone.
A book slips out of her bag, bounces off her boots and drops on to the black rubber floor below. It flips open in front of me. A detailed pencil sketch of a Lion stares up at me. 
Still not noticing me, she scoops it up in a flash of punk pink painted nails and stuffs it back into her rag of a bag. She gnaws on her pinky nail. Most of the paint looks to have been bitten away. As she works on the rest of the toxic pink paint, she stares out the window of this A train that we have both found ourselves on.
I look back down. She is definitely not a sewer Rat. Her boots give her away. She could have stole them, true, but these babies fit her like they were tailored. These were made from the finest skins I’d ever seen. This ratty mess was no more sewer Rat than I was. I can’t imagine why or what would make this lovely girl pretend to be other than she is.

And she is special. A Snake. My special Snake.

The train slows as it approaches 14th Street. She backs up, visibly disturbed. The train stops and her head snaps down and she is absolutely still.
I glance up as the doors open. Two cops stand right outside. One cop looks in and straight at me. With all the shit that’s been going down, I’m not surprised they are on high alert.
I arch my brow and smile invitingly. The cop looks deep into my multifaceted eyes and turns beet red. He bows his head in acknowledgement. Unless necessary, Law-enforcement types rarely seek to tangle with my kind. He backs out of the train as the doors close. 
With a lurch we begin our forward momentum once again.
I look up at my target. She has finally noticed me. Does she know who I am? Her now unpainted pinky is back in her mouth and her malachite green eyes are piercing. 
No, she doesn’t know who I am. Maybe it is better this way.


I smile my inviting smile and she looks away, startled and terrified. She looks to the humans on the train. They are all oblivious to her. She backs up against the train car exit doors. She reaches for the handle as if to pull it open to exit to the next car.

I give my head the slightest shake and she obeys immediately. Tears stream down her face.

Good girl. Now she knows who I am. What I am. There is no escape for her.
And now I know who she is. I’ve been searching for her and after all these fruitless years she happens to stumble onto the same train car.
God I love this city.

…to be continued…