Dear Noah

Submitted for Contest #66 in response to: Write about a contest with life or death stakes.... view prompt

58 comments

Nov 03, 2020

Fiction Drama Contemporary

Dear Noah,

You don’t have to do this. Do you understand me? You. Don’t. Have. To. Do. This. Stop it. Just come back. We’ll figure out another way. We always do, don’t we? So, stop acting like a stubborn ass and just come back.

I know what you’re planning to do. You’ve blocked my calls, you’re ignoring all my messages, you’ve even blocked my emails. So, I’m writing this letter to you as one last attempt at talking you out of this insane plan. 

I know what you’re going to say. That you have to do this. That we have no other option. But please if you care about us at all, please come home. This is life. It throws curveballs our way and we either learn to hit them out of the park or we get hit. Wow, I’m so philosophical. I even shock myself sometimes with how wise I am. Okay, Natalie is reminding me that this isn’t the time for jokes. But seriously, we can get through this.

I know you’ve been under a lot of pressure lately. The landlord hiked the rent. We’ve run out of food stamps. My tuition fees are due. We’ve already crossed the deadline for Luke and Nat’s tuition fees. The electricity being cut off was the last straw for you.

But believe me when I say that none of this is worth your life. I know that what happened wasn’t fair. You got handed a shitty deal. Colby Smith should be the one being punished, not you. He was the one who destroyed your career. He was the one who cheated, who put Plaster of Paris on his boxing tape. He was the one who knocked you out causing the Traumatic Brain Injury – the seizures. And yet, he gets away with a three-year suspension while you’re forced to retire from pro boxing? That is such crap. That rat bastard deserves a hell of a lot worse than suspension. He deserves to be in jail for the rest of his life.

But what happened, happened. You have to remember that there’s a reason that people who suffer from seizures are not allowed to compete in pro-boxing. If you get hit in the head then you could die. Please, Noah, we are not worth your life.

You have already done so much for us. Even though you were only nineteen when dad was thrown in prison, you still left college, abandoned your scholarship, packed up your bags and come home to take care of us without a single complaint. You were forced to take responsibility of three kids so early in life. No, not forced. You made the choice to. Nobody would have blamed you if you didn’t. And yet you did. Hell, you had been taking care of us for years before that. Luke and Nat were practically raised by you. The only time you put yourself first was the year that you spent on campus. And even then, you worked two jobs so you send money home to us, to keep us fed and clothed. When you heard dad got arrested, you dropped everything to come back. Just so we could all stay together, so we wouldn’t be thrown into the foster system.

You’re worried about what will happen if Child Services finds out about the rent being past due and about the electricity being cut off. But who’s going to tell them, Noah? Not me. Not Luke. Not Natalie. And even if they find out, we could always run away somewhere. Anywhere. Timbuktu, for all I care. 

Or I’ll get another job. And so what if we have to give up our apartment? We’ll live in the car till we can make rent again. That shitty old mustang isn’t good for much else anyway. Electricity? Who cares? It’s summer anyway. We don’t need air conditioning. What the hell are windows for, if not for breeze?

I’ll put off college for another year. I’ll study harder. I’ll get a full scholarship instead of the 40% I got this year. Just, please Noah, please. Listen to me for once. Please don’t do this.

I mean, do you not understand what the doctor said? Are you daft? Did the TBI knock out your sense of self-preservation as well? Don’t act like a fool, Noah. What you’re about to do is suicide. Who the hell gave you this idiotic idea anyway? Tell me, so I can knock their bloody teeth out. I mean. An underground fight? You know how crazy that shit is. Anything goes there, Noah, anything. Last month, one of the fighters bit the other and he was not even given a warning! The referees, if you can call them that, just laughed. 

Don’t even try and justify your decision by saying that you don’t plan to lose! Who the hell does, anyway? Plan to lose, I mean. No one, that’s who. Be rational. What’s going to happen to us if you do get knocked in the head, huh? We’ll be forced into the foster system anyway. You leaving will just draw unwanted attention to us. Right now, no one is checking up on us. We can disappear today without anybody caring. But if you’re gone, so are the chances of us disappearing. So don’t be stupid.  

Noah, you’re my older brother, okay? Even though sometimes I find you annoying as shit, I still love you. And I don’t want you to do this. Not for me. Not for us. We’ll figure out another way to support ourselves. Nat wants me to tell you that she’ll start tutoring kids at school and Luke will start giving soccer lessons to second and third stringers. See? We have this all figured out. We've got this!

Just come back, Noah. And Pick. Up. Your. Damn. Phone. I’m worried about you. We all are.

I’m handing this letter to Jake because I think he’s the one behind this suicidal idea of yours and he’s probably the only one who’ll know how to find you. If not, then I’m going to try and hit every underground fight I hear about till I find you.


Sincerely frustrated, 

Your awesome brother who has the solution to all of our problems and doesn’t want you to risk your life.  

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58 comments

Radhika Diksha
09:26 Nov 07, 2020

thanks for following me. Will you please read my stories and give your feedback on it. I will sure read yours and give feedback.

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Malz Castell
07:17 Nov 09, 2020

Sure

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Onye Okoro
20:10 Nov 11, 2020

Love the concept of a story being told through letter. A few moments had me thinking 'this isn't believable' or 'no person would write that', but overall a good idea and story. I just wish I could've gotten something from the resolution and story as a whole. There's setup to invest in this Noah character, but no pay off. Check out my story 'Easy Contest'. Hopefully you see what I mean.

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Malz Castell
05:41 Nov 12, 2020

I hope to turn this into a novel someday. I'd love to expand the story at the very least, give you all some background and a conclusion. :) Thank you so much for your advice. I'll definitely keep this in mind for my future stories. I really appreciate it. :)

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Onye Okoro
16:04 Nov 12, 2020

No problem.

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Kim Morgan
12:40 Nov 10, 2020

Awesome work. I'd give it 8.5/10. And would you mind checking out my two latest stories...."Triple Threat" and "French Accent"?

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Malz Castell
13:56 Nov 10, 2020

Thanks. Would you mind telling me what you didn't like about it? Yes, definitely.

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Kim Morgan
05:58 Nov 11, 2020

Nah, I just didn't get the part where his brother was kind of funny and jolly when he's trying to dissuade his brother from ending his life. It has a bit of humor which I don't feel is apt fo the situation. Otherwise, great job!

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Malz Castell
08:54 Nov 11, 2020

Thanks so much for the feedback, I'll keep that in mind next time. I just felt that if I'd written the story from Noah's perspective then I would have kept it completely serious. But for me, his younger brother, although he knew about the circumstances they lived in, would still have a lighter and happier personality because most of the burden would have been borne by Noah. Thank you so much for the feedback. I really appreciate it. :)

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Kim Morgan
04:58 Nov 13, 2020

No problem :)

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Radhika Diksha
08:24 Nov 09, 2020

Emotional as hell. Loved the concept, fell in love with Noah. Love to read stories where family relations and love are prioritized. Loved your writing style. And check out my story and drop your comments on it.

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Malz Castell
11:44 Nov 09, 2020

Thank you so much. Yes, definitely.

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A. S.
23:09 Nov 08, 2020

Thank you for the follow Malz! I really loved this story. I know that it has already been mentioned, but including the other siblings and what they had to say in the letter, really brought it together. The style of narration; where it started out light hearted and got more desperate, helped me get to know your character really well. Would you be willing to read and comment on my story “Burning Red”?

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Malz Castell
07:11 Nov 09, 2020

Thank you so much. Yes, I really enjoyed your story "Burning Red".

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22:28 Nov 08, 2020

Well done! I like the format and the conclusion...

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Malz Castell
07:04 Nov 09, 2020

Thank you so much. I'm glad you liked it.

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Lourenço Amorim
11:46 Nov 08, 2020

Goof idea and execution. I expect a less jolly talk, but I understand each person deal different with desperate situations. I like your writing style.

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Malz Castell
12:47 Nov 08, 2020

Thank you. Yes, I do find a bit difficult to find that line. But I wanted my character to have a slightly lighter note to him.

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Aisa M
09:32 Nov 08, 2020

This is cute :)

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Malz Castell
10:11 Nov 08, 2020

Thank you.

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Hallie Blatz
13:04 Nov 07, 2020

I loved the letter idea! You managed to tell a whole story without any dialogue and it flowed wonderfully. I really like your style! I used this prompt as well, I really like what you did with it. Sincerely, Hallie.

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Malz Castell
13:16 Nov 07, 2020

Thank you so much.

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B. W.
18:06 Nov 06, 2020

Hm, i think you did a great job with this story and so ill give it a 10/10 :)

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Malz Castell
18:07 Nov 06, 2020

Wow, thank you so much. :) I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

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B. W.
18:09 Nov 06, 2020

No problem ^^ hey, if its alright could ya maybe check out some of my stories and leave some feedback? I'd love to see what ya have to say

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Malz Castell
18:15 Nov 06, 2020

I did. I left a comment for you too... I really enjoyed reading it.

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B. W.
18:16 Nov 06, 2020

thanks :)

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Molly Leasure
17:44 Nov 06, 2020

This was such a creative story to this prompt! And I love the pacing you had as it got more and more desperate near the end of the letter. And the little asides from the other siblings were perfect. They made this feel so real. It was like I was reading an actual letter, a very personal letter. I noticed just one typo! It's an easy fix. "...then I’m going try and hit every underground fight I hear about till I find you." -> "...going to try..." Overall, what a wonderful story. And of course, a sad one. Wonderfully sad ~

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Malz Castell
17:48 Nov 06, 2020

Thank you so much. And thank you for pointing out the typo. I really appreciate it. :)

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K. m. Carpenter
15:05 Nov 06, 2020

I really, really loved this. You captured the bond between siblings so well. You managed to add background information and heartfelt pieces all into a single letter without it seeming crowded. That isn't easy to do, but you excelled at it. Fantastic job!

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Malz Castell
16:06 Nov 06, 2020

Thank you so much. This story was one of the most challenging ones I've ever written but I really enjoyed writing it.

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K. m. Carpenter
17:32 Nov 06, 2020

You executed everything perfectly! It was a wonderful read!

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Malz Castell
17:46 Nov 06, 2020

Thank you so much.

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Oh my god. I am at a loss for words. So amazing. The beginning is heart breaking. I LOVED this! If you can, could you read my stories? I loved yours! Great job!

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Malz Castell
12:09 Jan 17, 2021

Thank you so much! I'll definitely read yours through the course of this week. Let me know which one you want me to read first. :D

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Hi! I was wondering if you could read PEACE Tea and LOVE first!!! thanks so much!!!! -Cass

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Izzie Chan
19:31 Dec 10, 2020

This is amazing! I like that you told this story through a letter, that made it really interesting. I could almost hear the emotion in it. One note, though: the part where the writer made a joke while trying to persuade their younger brother to back off of a fight that could kill him. I kind of thought that it sounded a bit insensitive. But overall, you’re really good at incorporating emotion into your stories, and this was an amazing one to read. Great job! :D

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Malz Castell
18:57 Dec 11, 2020

Thank you so much. :)

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Izzie Chan
04:38 Dec 12, 2020

No problem! :D

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Cal Carson
23:17 Nov 18, 2020

Great work! I really felt the emotion. I doubted a letter would make a good fit for this prompt at first, but you proved me wrong ten times over. Loved the tone, too. "Electricity? Who cares? It’s summer anyway. We don’t need air conditioning." I'm probably just misunderstanding this sentence, but if it's summer they need air conditioning. Just something I was a bit confused about, it doesn't take away from the story as a whole. I'd love some feedback on my story, "All Good Things" but either way thanks for a great read.

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Malz Castell
04:05 Nov 19, 2020

Thank you so much. Yeah, I think I should said "heat" instead of air conditioning. Thanks for pointing that out. :D Yes, I'll definitely read your story.

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00:40 Nov 18, 2020

Great story! I loved the way you incorporated the whole story into just a letter, it was really clever and I would never have thought to use this prompt this way. One thing I would say though, is that it might be a good idea to mention the contest earlier as I hadn't really grasped how it related to the prompt until close to the end. But apart from that, it was really good and I really liked it!

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Malz Castell
02:37 Nov 18, 2020

Thank you so much. I will definitely keep that in mind. :)

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Greta Faignant
04:08 Nov 17, 2020

Very intriguing!

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Philip Clayberg
03:38 Nov 16, 2020

Thank you for writing this story. It's not always easy being a brother. I should know: I'm one of three brothers. You care for your brother(s), but you also realize that they need their space. And they might not always do things that you're okay with. They might even do dangerous things, which you're *really* not okay with. But you can't hold them down. You can't force them to change their minds. You can try to persuade them not to. And maybe, just maybe, they might agree with you sometimes. I do hope that Noah's brother doe...

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Malz Castell
05:21 Nov 16, 2020

Thank you so much for reading. Yes, hopefully someday you guys will get a sequel or even a novel. :D

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Philip Clayberg
06:06 Nov 16, 2020

You're very welcome. Looking forward to that sequel (or more than a sequel). If it's a novel, I'll have to wait until I can afford to buy books (which may take me longer than it takes you to write a sequel or novel). I miss buying books (especially used books). Being very very very very poor isn't fun at all.

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Ben Franklin
18:59 Nov 14, 2020

Wow! Cool story concept, great execution

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Malz Castell
19:01 Nov 14, 2020

Thank you so much. :)

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21:30 Nov 08, 2020

I really liked this story (or rather, letter) and it clearly addresses the situation. Well done! :D

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Malz Castell
07:17 Nov 09, 2020

Thank you so much.

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09:52 Nov 09, 2020

No problem! :)

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