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She sat at her kitchen table, surrounded by paints, glues, pages from magazines and other craft clutter. She had the house to herself all evening, so she knew she could take her time to get this right.

She pulled a sketchpad closer to her, picked up a pencil and a blank postcard, and carefully drew twice around the card, creating two postcard-sized spaces for her to sketch designs in. She set the card to one side and leaned over the sketchpad, her pencil moving quickly as she sketched out an idea.

She sat back and held up the sketchpad, putting her head to one side as she considered its aesthetics and practicality. She didn’t want any of it to fall off in the post, after all.

After a few moments’ consideration, she put the pad down and leaned over it once more, sketching out a second idea. This was it, she thought, this was perfect. Striking, simple, beautiful.

She got up and grabbed her recipe book holder from the counter, using it to prop the sketchpad up in front of her. She placed the blank postcard squarely in front of her and worked slowly and carefully, stopping occasionally to grab a tissue from the box and dry her eyes. She used all her creative skill to create the most beautiful masterpiece she could imagine, all in the space of just a few inches.

Finally, it was done. She held it up and looked at it. She would personally have liked to add a little glitter, but she knew that wasn’t allowed. Despite that, it was perfect.

She turned it over. She had written the address on the postcard and put a stamp on it before she started, now all she had to do was walk to the corner of the street and post it.

She stood up and fetched her coat. She walked slowly to the corner of the street, feeling as if the postcard was a leaden weight in her pocket, trying to remember an old fairy tale she had heard once. She couldn’t recall it all, just that there was a girl with a secret that was crushing her. In the fairy tale, the girl had found release by digging a hole in the ground and whispering her secret into it.

In the real world, she put it on a beautiful postcard and sent it to a man she had never met.

© Kari Fay