Flash in the Pan

A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights

First Words…..after Brenda Miller

by Barbarann Ayars

I had to think very hard to recall the probable first words I ever wrote. Writing my brains out in my golden years bears no resemblance to the youngster who wrote almost nothing, though as a senior in high school I won a cash prize for an essay I didn't keep. It was about Russian people and how they were not themselves very different than Americans. I titled it "The Hearts We Do Not Understand". It dealt briefly with the differences between our governments, but for the majority of the essay addressed the humor and dedication to values that concerned me as a young girl about to graduate.

Most likely "first words" written words were to a pen pal.


My name is Barbarann. One word. Not 2. My teacher asked me if I'd like to have a pen pal. It sounded like something interesting to do. I asked for a girl pal, but got a boy. I hope you write back. I live in a small town in America. I am eight years old and in the third grade. I like school very much. I am a good student.

How are you? I am fine. I have blond hair and blue eyes. I would send you a picture but it would just show knobby knees and bony elbows. So don't expect a picture.

I would like a picture of you. I found Belgium on a globe. I don't know what Belgium looks like. Tell me about Belgium. You live very far away. I never get mail from anywhere. Mail from far away would be nice.

I know a little about boys. I have a little brother who is getting bigger. He has very black hair and black eyes. Some people think we are twins. I can't think why. I have a half-sister. She's really a whole baby, just a year old. I don't know why my parents say she is half.

I hope you write back soon. That's all for now. Good bye.

Yours truly,

I never received mail, and was very excited for the possibility. I understood that my pen pal lived a world away and that mail would take a long time to arrive. I haunted the mailbox for weeks, with nothing in the box for me. I had finally given up, thinking my letter got lost. My teacher suggested I send again, but I was not very encouraged and didn't write another. Then, one day when I had long since lost hope, there was a letter addressed to me from Belgium. I could hardly wait to open it.

Dear Barbarann,

I got your letter. I don't want to be your pen pal. I don't like girls.

Your friend,

Barbarann Ayars lives in Medina, Ohio, although she enjoys writing almost anywhere.

Twenty-fifth Flash

Ipod Pilgrim by Cecile Lusby
Gabrielle’s Legacy by Arlene L. Mandell
To Thee I Bequeath by Charlene Bunas
Newt Dance by Elaine Webster
Confession by Jacqueline Doyle
Sermon On The Beach by Linda Loegel
Remembering Mommy by Cathy Bell
The Balloon by Lynn Sunday
Shortcuts! by Teresa Oefinger
Connect-the-dots by Sara Baker
The Tree Of Life by Eva Silverfine
An Unverified Story About My Father by David Macpherson
Early Departure by Risa Nye

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