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Fiction / Ashley N.E. Murphy


Issue 2. June 21, 2021

To Haraboji~

Right now you are confused. You are wondering where it is, and why this letter is in the silk indentation it left. Maybe this is the first time you’ve opened the cabinet in years. You’re wondering how long it’s been gone.
            I didn’t steal it from you. I returned it to its owner. The poor thing has probably been watching the skies for decades. You’re like a package thief, but instead of new track pants, you stole its adulthood.
            By now you’ve recognized my childlike Hangeul handwriting. Now you’re growing angry. You need to calm down. The cardiologist says you need to relax.
            If I said you were selfish you would stop reading. You would start listing my many flaws. But this was not a mistake. This isn’t like the time I tried to show you fan death isn’t real by turning on your fan with the window closed and so you stayed in bed for the rest of our visit and you talked in a hoarse whisper every time you spoke to me for two years. I’m the hero here, not the bad guy.
            Maybe I’m Westernized but I do care. Just because I’m going back doesn’t mean I won’t feel it. When I’m over there, I feel a string that stretches my heart all the way back here. I will know.
            It was the right thing. I don’t care if you never speak to me again. You can’t keep it from growing up, stunting it. Imugis are not bonzai trees for you to keep.
            Actually I might not leave this letter in its place. But I’ve already put the yeouiju in the lake, so that’s done. Maybe you just see an indentation where the yeouiju should have been. Maybe that’s better, so you don’t know it was me. I don’t want to upset you.
From Daeyong
but you already knew that

A new author, Ashley N.E. Murphy has been published in Fudoki Magazine. She is also the founder and editor of Sundial Magazine for historical fiction. At home in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, she lives with her husband, daughter, and animals.

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