Picture courtesy of Norman Rockwell. Picture link.


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Mick Coyle


A brief synopsis; 

Janet Wicks born in 1945 and raised in a small isolated community in America, a product of the Quaker faith, she was of good education but so naive to the world outside her own community.

The Quakers although renowned for their Middle English mannerisms, I have tried to write this letter in a not so much Middle English but more with a hint of Dickensian/Austen trait.


The Letter

My Dearest Cousin Miriam,

I do hope this letter finds you in good health and good faith.

Firstly, my profound apologies for the lack of communication over the preceding months, but fate and faith, or lack of the latter, has been my undoing. I have always looked to you as my personal confidante and now seek your counsel.

I will endeavour to paint a true picture of my unfortunate predicament and trust this will not be a subject for outside discourse, as I have come to learn your discretion in these matters is beyond reproach.

You will no doubt be aware that I have taken my leave of the family fold, a spinster of five and twenty and with little prospect of finding a worthy suitor from within, though this not being my only inducement to stray. For some time I have heard the calling of the unknown, the great cities of America, their diverse cultures and their unorthodox disposition to life. Such traits have become known to me by means of the infrequent visitors to our isolated community.

These visitors; though frowned upon by our elders and kept in isolation for the duration of their visit, for fear of contamination to the core of Quaker life. However on certain occasions I did manage to elude my chaperone and engage in discourse. In one instance I managed to acquire forbidden literature of their travels.

I fear it was time to end my austerity and bid farewell to my parents and The Religious Fellowship of Friends. As one can imagine this caused great anguish to my parents, especially as I declined any notion of chaperone or companion.     

Upon my arrival to the city of New York I was fortunate to instantly obtain meagre dwellings. Though being foul and dismal they nonetheless served their purpose.

Providence was to be my guide, as shortly after I was to acquire employment as wage clerk to a large company, a position of great trust and confidence. Such trust was to inspire much needed felicity in oneself.

My work colleagues, however, were deemed to be brazen and vulgar, a point I did put forward to my minister at vespers, though I was assured such ribaldry was prevalent in the generation of the day.

Mr Samuel Gibson, or Department Manager as his title assumed, a handsome man of his early thirties and a desirable suitor to many a spinster.

I made a point of enquiring to Miss Vane, my work colleague, the nuptial status of Mr Gibson and was assured he to be of eligible status and of jovial demeanour, though these not the terms used, but I was now learning to translate this new world language.

I took pains to get acquainted with Mr Gibson, even to the point of trivial conversation, indeed, dare I say, bordering on flirtation. This I did in an unconscious manner as was contrary to every doctrine of my conscious being.

I fear this new world was having a profound effect on my unconscious mind. It would seem other than his overseer relationship, I did not exist. I believed myself fortunate in the power of comprehension but I was now at a loss.

There was something I was of ignorance to, something that forbad the indulgence of his affection on me. A fact that made me more determined to win his desire.

This day was proving to be of labour, for my flirtations with Mr Gibson had been the cause of sleepless nights, and so having deep consequence to my work load.

  “Can I help you Janet?”

Mr Gibson offered his services and, perceiving that my modesty declined what my situation rendered necessary, quickly amended my errors.

I consciously accepted his intervention with alacrity.

Then returned to my work

I came to reflect on the cause of my sleepless nights. This is when my unfortunate predicament occurred.

A whisper came to my ears “Janet, stay behind tonight, I want a word”

My thoughts ran amok. Was I to be chastised or instant dismissal? I feared both had little appeal to my consciousness.

Came six o’clock the office emptied, I was left to my thoughts until I was summoned to the office of Mr Gibson.

  “Janet, it has come to my attention that your mind is not on your work”

  “I’m sorry Mr Gibson, but I hav……”I did not get chance to finish my defence as his lips came to mine, I responded with much need.

His soft lips kissed my neck, my shoulders, I felt my dress fall to the floor, his lips continued their journey and found my exposed breasts, his tongue explored my now prominent nipples.

Such passion was unknown to me, I was about to throw virtue to the wind, my virtue.

A shiver ran down my spine his finger followed the shiver and squeezed me to him.

I could now feel he was fully aroused.

  “Oh Sam” I gave a loud moan

  “Do you want me Janet?”

I sensed his voice now more dominant, more demanding.

   “Yes, I want you Sam; I want to feel you, to feel you inside me”

  “I beg your pardon Miss Wicks”

  “Oh! Err, Err, I’m sorry Sir I was just daydreaming”

  “Yes well daydream in your own time girl, we have to get those wages out by six o’clock”

Now aroused from my dreams I found myself in the most compromising position. I made haste to recover my self esteem, but to no avail as taunts and ridicules flowed from the mouths of my work colleagues.  

It would seem my dearest Miriam that in a momentary lapse of consciousness my inhibitions became my exhibition and so my undoing.

I remain your dearest cousin Janet.

PS, I have since become aware to the cause of Mr Gibson’s indifference.  It would seem I was in error in my translation of this new world language, as gay is no longer a reference to one’s demeanour but to one’s preference in gender, yet another embarrassment.

Copyright © 2007 Mick Coyle