The Letter

Dear Lizzie, my special and much loved grand-daughter.

If you are reading this, I will be gone. Please do not mourn me, I will be happy. And do not cry for yourself because your tears will blur your vision, and I need you to read this note quickly, and then destroy it.

Lizzie, looking back, my life has been foolishness – a lot of foolishness, how I chuckle over it and shake my head! I spent my life disregarding and ignoring love, when it was beside me all the time. I was driven to save lives as some kind of compulsion, but all those lives I saved – most of them did not even know they had been saved. I beat men at their own game – but they never knew – or most of them anyway…

My obituary will be a lie.

I didn’t think I would mind slipping anonymously from this life, leaving what I did unknown and unrecorded. But as the end is in sight I find that I do mind. I also realise that need to. I want to tell it to you, my dear – I thought you may want to use it as the basis of your first novel – I have faith in your writing ability. I suggest you change the names, disguise us all oh, and you will probably have to make me a little more attractive than I was, or no-one will like your main character!

I must also confess to you Lizzie, that I am driven by anger: When my beloved gasped his last breath, ‘They’ were at his bedside almost before his family. Before his body was cold they had stripped his house – our house – of every written word, every document, every remnant of him and all the work he did. ‘Top security’ they muttered as they left us. How dare they!

The same will not happen to me! Let them come – they will find nothing to gather, nothing to harvest where they look. I will appear to leave without footprint, without echo – Always take people by surprise Lizzie – a good life lesson.

Lizzie, in the parcel with this letter is my walking stick. It is very important – one of the only three material things in this world that I treasure. One of the other items of personal value is in the top of the cane – twist the silver top thrice and a lever will pop out. Click and turn it and the top will open. The tiny space inside is just large enough to hold a tablet of arsenic – but I have need of that now my dear. In its place is my engagement ring – for you – and an encrypted microchip. These three things – the walking stick, the engagement ring and the story of my life (You will have no difficulty with the password, to decipher the encryption, if you think about the stories that bind us.) is what I bequeath to you, with my love.

What is most important to me, is that you will know my story: You will know who I am – who I was and how I became that person. You will know what to do next.

Now, Lizzie, do not get distracted, dear. You need to hide away the stick and microchip (you can wear the ring). Deny their existence. Should a stranger ask you about either, deny all knowledge – this is important Lizzie – let no-one know I have given them to you. If after having read my story you decide to follow me into my business then the walking stick will let everyone know you are my granddaughter and to listen to you. Xx

Love Nana Clara