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Librarian

Letters to a Colleague

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Librarian    0

Dr. Suchong,

Letters. By god, letters. You forget the feeling of pen against paper when you go without writing for so long. But it takes another step of removal to express the feeling of rediscovered majesty. Even before everything, emails reigned supreme. Children grew up typing and tapping, and perhaps for them it brings the same joy, the same craftsmanship, but for me, for those of my generation... letters.

I would write you letters, Dr. Suchong, to update you on my progress. You would write back firmly, encouragingly, but never too saccharine. You wrote words that would make the corners of my lips curl and then unfailingly would say you'd expect me to go so much farther by next month's letter.

Look how far we have come.

Still, I sit here at this run-down table at this run-down tenement slightly north of Chernogorsk not because I'm delusional or in denial, but because I seek to maintain the contrary. Writing letters to you grounded me in reality and so I'll continue to write to you, I think. Until I can't scavenge pens or paper any further. Though I will say that bandits and scavengers often overlook these precious parcels so perhaps I may have many years of writing you to look forward to.

I've done quite a bit since I've set down the bottle. After everything, I snuck from house to pub to tavern to house scavenging meager amounts of food and ridiculous amounts of vodka, sometimes brandy or scotch if I was lucky. But when I got food poisoning, I suppose you could say it awakened my instincts. I felt as if I was in the operating room and I needed to wash up and get going before a malpractice suit came my way.

I'm glad to say I've an almost complete mobile surgery kit due to my efforts and I've kicked the food poisoning along the way.

What was it you used to say? "These small victories lead to...?"

Sincerely,

Dr. Sandra Kim

Your friend and colleague.

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Owen    14

Looking good. Can't wait for more to come.

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Librarian    0

Dr. Suchong,

They set the mailbox on fire, Dr. Suchong. I had spent many pens-worth of ink sending you letters for a month and the traders two tenements down went and set the mailbox on fire because I did not 'tip' them enough. This is entirely unacceptable.

I have changed, Dr. Suchong. I stopped drinking after that bad moment at the oil refinery. It's a waste of my energy to carry and my time to drink. I have setbacks on my mobile surgery kit, namely lots of edgy little raiders like to steal decent surgical equipment for torture equipment and at best animal skinning equipment. This is what I have to work with, Dr. Suchong. Survival as a terminal aspect of my work environment.

So forgive me if my progress is scant, but my endurance is admirable. Isn't it?

Sincerely,

Dr. Sandra Kim

Your friend and colleague.

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