Short story: The last note

claire-fullerHe wrote her five notes after they first met, and when she was in the bath, he hid them around her house – behind a painting, under a rug, in the toe of an old tennis shoe. She found them one by one over the years. Notes of love, recalling the heady rush of newness.
Until only one remained.
“Tell me where,” she begged, already old. “Give me one clue.”
“In the library,” he said eventually.
Every day she took down a book and flicked through its pages; and finally, one afternoon, a scrap of folded paper fluttered out.

***

I’m flattered this week that Rochelle chose a photograph of my libary at home. My piece this week is based on a true story. My partner Tim and I did write notes to each other and hid them in each other’s houses. We live together now, and I know that there is one final note in a book, that I’m yet to find.

This piece of writing is part of the Friday Fictioneers writing group. Each week writers from around the world attempt to write 100 words (or so) starting with a picture.

I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture or to join in, with the group hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields.

76 thoughts on “Short story: The last note

  1. Claire, what a beautiful story of love. If Bill had done that for me (hidden them in my books), I might still be looking!! Of course, many of my books are in boxes so the task of searching for the note would be even more difficult. My dream is to one day have a room that can serve as a library for my thousands of books!

    janet

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    • It’s vinyl on the bottom shelf, some art books and cookery above those, and then biography and film (fiction is mostly on the opposite wall). So you may well have spotted a book on sculpture.
      Thanks for your message.
      Claire

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  2. So romantic, the idea of hiding notes in those first months, while you’re all loved up!
    The library is beautiful, and so is the story.

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  3. Thank you for sharing the personal story behind this writing; it adds so much to the reading. Very beautiful story (and photograph).

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  4. Dear Claire,

    I feel very lucky that chance and circumstance (and your writing down through the months) led me to read this story. I will remember it forever. Thank you.

    That last note is being written and read every day by both of you. Amazing, Claire, just amazing writing.

    Aloha,

    Doug

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    • I am looking, but there are a lot of books, and somehow I want to savour it for a little longer. The library is actually the dining room, but it is great to be able to have all our books out.
      Thanks for reading and commenting Bjorn.
      Claire

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  5. Oh, I am so jealous of your library. I would LOVE to have a wall of book shelves someday. Of course, since I do more and more reading on my Kindle I doubt I ever will 🙂

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  6. such a wonderful story and very inspiring 🙂 i think i might just try hiding love notes as well ^^ and thank you for sharing with us your photo

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  7. Thank you for sharing your library with us. I hope you eventually find your love letter. I posted one story and have another in the wings for this week.

    I just started with this group more or less. And it is so hard to read everyone every week. I’m trying to read everyone this week in order! Again thank you. Cheers.

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  8. HI Claire
    this is a wonderful story, and made even more wonderful by the fact that it’s true! What a brilliant idea to capture that first heady state of love and hide it away to remind you in the future.
    I’d almost be sad to find the last note though.

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    • Actually, that’s why I haven’t really been looking that hard – I want to delay that moment. Perhaps when I’m 80 I’ll find it.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.
      Claire

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        • A favourite book, do you mean? I do. At the moment, without doubt it’s ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ by Shirley Jackson. Do you know it? Do you have a favourite?

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          • It’s funny, when I was very young I read Herman Hesse’s “Siddhartha” and thought it was the most amazing book. Many years I revisited it and laughed out loud. It shows how we can change.

            I think the most beautiful book was “A Wizard of Earthsea” by Ursula LeGuin. I read it aloud to my girls.

            “Between Silk and Cyanide” by Leo Marks is a recounting of cryptology and spying during WWII

            and the Tolkien “Lord of the Ring” is like a cherished friend who I re-read sometimes like a chat with a friend.

            and then there’s …. 🙂 – thanks Claire

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  9. What a sweet story, Claire. Sometimes Connie writes on my napkin when she packs my lunch. It’s always nice to come across one of those notes when you least expect it.

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  10. We have similar libraries. I will post some photos of mine. Lovely romance. They have grown old together. I’m glad you didn’t reveal the contents of the final one. A bit of mystery. And we can dub in our version anyway.

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    • I did think about including what the letter said, but apart from the word count issue, I think whatever I wrote might not be ever as good as what readers can themselves imagine. Sometimes less is more in writing, don’t you think? Looking forward to seeing some pictures of your library. Send me a note to let me know when you’ve posted them.
      Claire

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      • Hello Claire, I’ve just posted some photos of some of my library – the main ‘hoard’ as I’ve called it. Yes, less is more in writing sometimes. It’s very hard to achieve.

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  11. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers 100-Word Story Challenge: | Poetic Mapping: Walking into Art

  12. How romantic and I love that you shared your library with us. I zoomed in on the books too and didn’t think of it as discourteous until someone else apologized lol. Doesn’t it kind of feel like you had the Fictioneers over to your place? Thank you for sharing.

    And as I’m telling a lot of people this week: I would have liked the story but for some reason my like button is not loading. Please consider yourself “liked”!

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    • I don’t have any issue with people seeing what books we have on our shelves – it’s a nice way to get a good conversation started. And yes, great to have all the Fictioneers over to dinner this week (the library is also the dining room).
      Thanks for reading and commenting.
      Claire

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