With Love, Brian

Magpie writing prompt

She loved the smell of old correspondence. So when she found a hidden box full of personal letters under her mother’s bed her intent was to sniff, not snoop.

But the highway to hell is forever paved with good intentions. As she lifted a letter closer to her face to smell its content the words “With love, Brian” jumped to her eyes. Brian? Her mother married her high school sweetheart. Aimee modeled her entire life goals on her parent’s marriage. ‘Til death do us part, respect and honor – her mother and father lived those words to the fullest!

Didn’t they?

Her mother’s death came as no surprise and was but one week after her father passed away. She told all who enquired that her mother died of a broken heart.

With love, Brian. 

Aimee now switched from sniffing to snooping. Who’s Brian? The letter was postmarked, but the tear went right through it. She couldn’t read the date. The envelope was yellowed with age. Her heart was reddened with rage. She spilled the box on her laps. She was surrounded in a cloud of dust and a smell she couldn’t describe. It was on the tip of her tongue. As she licked her fingertip, it all came rushing back. Chanel No. 5. It was her mother’s perfume – her signature scent.

She could almost hear her mother’s laughter. She closed her eyes and Aimee could see her father trying to bite her mother’s neck playfully eating her when she put a dab of Chanel No. 5 behind her ears. Brian sprayed his letters with the scent that was shared between her parents.

Did she start wearing it because it reminded her of Brian? Or did Brian spray his letters with it because it reminded him of her? Who used it first? And did she dare continue reading to find out…

Her laps were covered in old love letters. Her laps were covered with destruction. She held a handful of letters debating over reading them, or not. She wanted to know. She needed answers. But to read them could potentially ruin the thoughts she’d held of her parents’ perfect union.

With love, Brian.

Aimee decided Brian was a brother long ago banned from the family. She piled the letters neatly, fastened them with a red ribbon and tucked them back in the box. Before placing the lid back on, she brought her face down into in and inhaled. She inhaled long and slowly gulping down romantic memories of her parents.

Chanel No. 5. sent with love from Brian.

This is a Magpie Tale.  Write a story based on the prompted image. It’s fun, you should try it! Oh, and rather than invent names everytime I write fiction, I use names pulled from my most frequent commenters. Fun hunh? I thought so.


21 thoughts on “With Love, Brian”

  1. love this and the way it ended nice little twist. great job in bringing the photo to life, Hope i can do t he same


  2. Oh, I love this… but she practices a bit now restraint than I ever could. I would have read the letter top to bottom and them a few times more.

    Great response to the writing prompt


    1. Personally I don’t know what I would have done. But then again, my mom is alive and well and their marriage was not at all like Aimee’s parents. Far from it!


  3. No fair! I want to know who Brian is! I’m nosy (I have snooped through letters before, probably shouldn’t admit that!) and could totally relate to the temptation to read them. There’s a stray “to” in the line starting “Her mother’s death…” Off to learn about Magpie prompts!


    1. THAT is where my frenchness shines through… I thought the expression was “came as to no surprise” but now that I repeat it, it just doesn’t make any sense does it? Will change. Thanks!


    1. yeah, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before actually… I used to sit there and think and think about names and then *clink* a light came on! Thanks, and at least you won’t be surprised when you read a story with a rad heroine chick called Jewels!


  4. ok, it was not me…smiles…just to clear that up…
    nice story…and while the restraint would have been hard, i thik i might have just closed the box myself and not wanted to know who brian was as well…


  5. Fantastic. What a great premise. Damn. It’s kind of funny in a way. I’ve modeled my marriage and life goals on my parents disastrous epic fail of a marriage, and my grandparents’ epic stagnation of a marriage. Matter of fact, I don’t know anyone in my or my husband’s family whose marriage I respect. Sad, sort of. But I’ve always been a trailblazer 😉 My mom uses Victoria’s Secret Amber Romance, since I was wee. I would know that smell anywhere. I really love your signature twisty conflicts. And her name 😉 As a matter of fact, I don’t think its possible for my name to get any more French; my middle name is Michele.


    1. Shutthedoor! My sister’s name is Michèle (same spelling only with an accent)!!! My mom didn’t wear Chanel No.5 but my dad thought she did so he always bought her bottles of it. 0_o


    1. Yes. Brian the mystery man! Thank you so much for stopping by Kess – I’m really happy I’ve been writing Magpie’s again. I missed it!


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