A Letter From Mum
By: Ray Scott
Oy, love! I miss you tons. Your father lays awake thinking about you and we want you to come home. We wish you could. Last night, over supper, we were yammering on about the time you got into the trash like some sort of wild raccoon. We laughed so hard while you were mocking about. You were so little; barely walking, you were. We still have pictures of that day with your top messed with pudding. We'd probably still be picking noodles out of your hair if you hadn't left (you were never much of a neat eater, dear).
Your father thinks I shouldn't write you these letters, says it's not much good writing you like this. Says it will just make me miss you more. I tell him to bug off, a mother has a right to miss her only daughter, wouldn't you agree? Besides what does he know? He's just a man, and what are they good for besides looking at 'em? OH! Honey, it slipped me to mention: we moved to Ipswich. Yeah, London is just a bloody speedway, it 'tis. Have to be a damned professional traffic-dodger just to get a bite to munch. It's just a bit of a fast moving city for an old bat like your mum. Your pop says he's always dreamt of living in a village with little buggers not over the age of walking hand delivering milk to our porch. Silly nit, that man, I tell ya.
Oh... That silly little boy keeps dropping by; says he's just checking on us to see if we're alright. He's lucky your father doesn't knock him off his ringer for what he did to you. We'll never forgive him for taking our baby from us. It feels like just yesterday you were suckling on your mum's teat. You would have always been just a babe in my eyes, I swear it. Oy, but you just had to go and get yourself into a jam with that little boy. My poor Madeline. You were but nineteen when it all happened. I wish you would've just listened to your father and I. These tears burn like acid. A broken mum, I am. I can't even have my breakfast tea anymore without bursting like a bloody sprinkler system.
Well, I've been meaning to visit you in the hospital, not like you'd be able to respond. Doctor said you had little brain activity. It pains me to see you in a coma, it breaks your mummy's heart, it does. But on the bright side, the Doctor told me you were doing far better and you may even be able to make an [almost] full recovery. It brings great joy to your father and I to know that. Well I've got to go. I just want you to know that mummy loves you. Oh, and happy twenty fourth birthday, love. I have a lot of special gifts for you, sweetie. See you soon!
"Alright, that's enough Linda, let's have it," a worker commanded her, "Hurry along, I haven't got all day!" She handed him the letter, her hand shaking. "Go back to your room, it's almost time for recess," he finished.
He walked away with the letter in hand and brought it to the processing room. "Aye, Mack, I've got a question for ya." He stated.
"Shoot mate," Mack said to the new worker.
"Where could you send this letter to? I thought Linda.. err... Mrs. McCoy had no family left."
"Aye, mate. She doesn't," he responded.
"Who's she writing?" He asked naively.
"C'mon.. You know I'm not to be blabbering about the patients' business," he said with a sigh. "But... Everybody knows, and since you're the new guy I suppose I oughtta let you know." Mack said to the new guy. He stopped putting the papers in boxes and looked at the floor for a bit. He walked over to the file cabinet and pulled out a manila folder full of old letters.
"Say, what's that there Mack?" He asked, referring to the folder.
Mack's features darkened as he began to speak and the room became a bit colder. "Okay mate, truth is, Mrs. McCoy used to be a happy person. Hell, she still is. Anyway, she was a loyal wife and a happy mum with her newborn child. Named her Madeline. They were the perfect family. Hard working husband bringing in six figures and a stay at home mum keeping the child company."
The new guy looked at Mack with a bit of delight from the story, but also a lot of confusion given the fact that Mrs. McCoy ended up here.
"She was one of the friendliest people in all of London. I once heard the Queen herself had her over for tea because she was such a fresh spirit to surround yourself with. No matter the compliments though, it wouldn't do right by her now," he said.
"What do you mean?" He asked.
"Well three years after the baby was born (maybe four), Mr. McCoy came in with a bit of lipstick 'round his collar. Linda got a bit suspicious. Called the man out on foul play, she did. But, of course he denied it all. Unfortunately for Mr. McCoy, he had no idea that she had hired a detective to follow him 'round. Next thing she knew, the detective brought back Polaroids with Mr. McCoy bumpin' uglies with a gal half her age it seemed. The detective brought up the option of divorce. But Linda told him she didn't want to ruin the child's life," he continued to tell.
"Damn. Poor Mrs. McCoy. Seemed to be a pretty sensible woman though," he stated.
"Aye, that's what the detective thought. But Linda was broken. Her marriage of nine years had all been a sham. The father of her child was an unfaithful dog. Something snapped in Mrs. McCoy after seeing her husband with another woman. She wasn't the same after that. So one day he came home late: same shtick. More lipstick and harsh scents of perfume this time 'round though. She went bonkers, mate. As soon as Mr. McCoy stepped out of the wash room she whacked him clear in the head with a metal shovel. Poor bloke didn't know what hit him. Anyway he was only knocked out. Madeline, only three years young, is crying until she's blue in the face."
"Wow.. This story got pretty ramped."
"That ain't the lot of it. She took a poker to the man's belly and gutted him like a pig. Poor little Madeline ended up watching it all and at this point she's screaming her head off. Mrs. McCoy snapped her head toward Madeline and dragged her to the living room. What follows is unspeakable," Mack said as he looked down at the floor again.
"C'mon Mack, you've told me this much. Just finish the bit," the new guy begged.
"Linda suffocated the child. Took a pillow to her face and smothered her daughter. Detective happened to stop by the next day and found Mrs. McCoy sitting in the middle of the living room with Madeline's lifeless body in her arms. She was just sitting in cold silence. They arrested her and brought her to court eventually. Her lawyer claimed that Mr. McCoy had killed little Maddie. She ended up pleading..."
"GUILTY!?" Interrupted the new guy.
"No mate; Insanity," he said as he looked up at the new guy. "Now every year on this date, the date she killed her husband and daughter and also her daughter's birthday, she writes this letter to her daughter with some made up story every single time. I think she was admitted into the facility sane and as the dates flew by she went mad. I think she truly believes that her daughter is still alive. Sometimes the story is Madeline's in the hospital, in the army, even in outer space. Poor Maddie hadn't even celebrated her fourth birthday really. It's a sad case mate. What birthday is she on now?" Mack asked the new guy.
"Twenty four," he said after glancing at the letter, feeling a bit guilty for invading her privacy.
"Aye, sounds about right. Linda might have lost her mind but she definitely didn't lose her sense of time. It's been twenty years since little Maddie was killed on her fourth birthday. Twenty years since her marriage officially crumbled. Twenty years since Mrs. Linda McCoy lost herself and everything she lived for."
"Wow.. Poor souls. Did anything ever happen to the girl Mr. McCoy was seeing?" The new guy asked.
"Oy, She vanished," Mack told him.
"What d'ya mean she vanished?"
"Like she went missing ya Nit! No one knows. I think Mrs. McCoy cast a spell that made her disappear!"
"What?! Now I'm almost sure you've lost your top Mack!"
"Believe what you wish . . . Just be careful, though Linda is about forty and ain't too active these days, freaky things still happen 'round here! just be sure not to say..." he was interrupted.
"...Alright Mack, I'll be seeing you later I've got work to do. Shouldn't be bothered with ghost stories and fairy tales. Besides, I've lived here all my life, if that really happened my mum would've told me about it or I would've read it somewhere," the new guy said with a hint of disbelief in his voice.
He walked over to Mrs. McCoy's room, "Alright now it's time for recess! C'mon and stretch your legs Mum."
She whispered something. "Beg your pardon?" the new guy asked. He leaned in closely to hear her better.
"I'm not your mum. I'm nobodies mum." she whispered in his ear. Then she locked her jaws around his throat. She crushed his trachea and he began to bleed from the mouth. She had killed him. Since the day of her Daughter's last Birthday, no one would dare call her mum; not even out of respect. Every person who does... Ends up dead.