a letter never sent

Dear …,

I am writing a story. I am writing the story you owe me, because I have given up on you ever paying your debt.

While there might have been times when a story could be bought or commanded, those times are past now; in any case, this particular one could only ever be given freely. When we last met, you named this debt as your own and gave me a promise – freely! – to tell it, but you never did. I have not even heard of you since, in fact.

So I decided to write it intstead of you. It will be different from all the other stories I have written, for it has to be more profane and prosaic than any of them to be credible. In all probability, it will not be beautiful, either.

Still, I will write it, and the writing will be the easier part. For after that, I will have to believe it. Just as the Son, who had, under expert instructions, dreamt his wings, and then had to forget the time he had lived without, I will have to believe this story to be true, as if you had truly told me.

I will probably lose whatever confidence I still have in you in the process, as well as any goodwill that’s left. I am well aware you could not care less about it. If I do my job properly, neither will I, by the end.

Nevertheless, I wish you all the best.

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