I hope this letter finds you well and you continue to enjoy teaching the piano to your eager pupils. Yes, praise for your skills and patience in this pursuit has spread far beyond Mayfield.
As you see, I have sent you a photograph, which I found whilst inspecting the contents of an old chest that had been stored, forgotten, in my attic these past ten years. I hesitated to send it for some weeks for fear of causing unwanted memories to surface, but my darling Arthur assured me that your memory of my mother’s death would have diminished after almost fifteen years, and the photo of the three of us may bring you joy.
I remember that evening so well, Papa. Mother sang like a nightingale; your piano playing enthralled and the applause from the audience made me proud to be your daughter. Later that night Mother broke your heart.
You never believed I didn’t know what Mother intended to do, but it was true. None of us knew she had a lover. My heart was broken two-fold when we found her letter after she’d fled. To see you so distraught caused me far more grief than Mother’s absence.
Rest assured, Papa, my lips remain sealed regarding your journey to Brighton on the day Mother was stabbed in her apartment. Even Arthur knows nothing of that. Mother’s murderer was never found and her lover simply disappeared. Though the man was never located, the police drew the obvious conclusion…
I chose to believe that the knife concealed in your dresser was simply an unwanted gift. I’ll take that belief to my grave. As you will, doubtless, take your secret to yours.
Your loving daughter,
I must thank my daughter, Louise, over at An Enchanted Place for the use of her photo, which is one of many taken on a lovely day out we all had to Warwick Castle a few years ago. (I scrounged a photo from Lou because her pics are SO much better than mine!)
I am currently in the middle of putting together another 85 stories for A Second Dash of Flash and hope to publish it later this year. This is one of the stories I’ve already written for the book – which, like Book One, A Dash of Flash, is an eclectic mix of stories of varying lengths and genres. It will make a nice change from writing historical fiction for novels for a while.
Part 1 of this story (originally just titled The Photograph) can now be read here. It was written as an afterthought, some weeks after this one: the reason for the additional information to the title.