By Hannah Christensen
It almost embarrasses me to write you, but as a concerned citizen, I feel it is my responsibility to take my part in public affairs.
I am astounded at the gossip reaching my ears about supposed goings on today. I won’t sully your eyes by repeating no doubt grossly exaggerated rumors–bomb threats? dangerous chemical exposure? staff members boiled alive? Nonsense, I am sure.
Still, even clearly false rumors are often noxious, damaging those they touch. I urge you, quell the rumors!
If such gross reports have any hint of truth to them, they must be based on thoughtless misunderstanding or wild exaggeration of childish mischief. Discourage any mention of pranks or other such foolishness–it merely elevates the mischief and stirs up the true problem–gossip. Squelch such talk and let any piddling affairs die.
I pray you do not misread my earnest concern as presumption toward you wisdom. It is only that the well-fare of the school, a cornerstone of our society, touches my heart almost as deeply as yours. I write to lend you support in a time of battering pressures.
True as it is that change costs in both time and resources, I would not have you bear the brunt of that cost alone. Enclosed is a sum that will help defray any costs encountered as the children under your care learn that their flights of foolishness are not worth noting.
I–and indeed the whole society–am deeply indebted to the work you are doing. Do not grow discouraged.
Often I think how fortunate we are to have one of your talent and drive as our chief of police, but when I heard of the proposed measures at school, I just had to write you. How bold! How enterprising! How clever! It takes sheer genius and true leadership to come up with the idea of pioneering in having a steady presence at our schools, quiet as they are.
I have no doubt that your force’s presence will foster positive relations with the youth of today and prevent any decline into the crime that forces the more degraded places to need a constant police force to stand guard duty, always playing the the enforcer.
I urge you to consider Officer Hoffman for the job. His experience and demeanor would suit him well. In fact, the sooner he began duties, the better our community would be off. Tomorrow could not be too soon! But I know I have no cause to worry. Without doubt, in your promptness you have already removed him from all previous responsibilities to begin your plan of hope.
We owe you all our peace and prosperity.
With all my respect,
C. G. Mur.
To Your Most Esteemed Honour:
I know your time is valuable, so I will be brief.
Your excellent judgement is well known, both in severity toward the lawless and mercy towards the unfortunate. I know you desire to do only justice, and so thought to forewarn you about an upcoming case. A youth, Charlie Murrdoch, is about to be tried for a case of violence. I fear this case is only brought to you through a combination of misunderstanding and prejudice. Even though some set against him are of high enough authority to know better, I know I could rest confident in your dedication to justice. You are above playing favorites with any. Still, I plea for you to open your ears wide to mercy. While the defendant is certainly not without faults, when under pressure he tends to bluster. If you dealt with clemency, though, I’m certain it would help him build his life towards the lofty. Severity of dealing may easily ruin him.
Thank you for your time, Hounourable One.
I call you dear, which is undoubtedly true, being my own younger self, but I have grown to despise you. It is your fault. If it had not been for the fiasco you pulled today, Governorship would be plum pudding in the bag.
Yes, your fiasco. I had the governorship, and before I could sit in my well-deserved office, word began circulating over my “past misdemeanors” and “tendency to violence since childhood.” The second could be construed as slander if not for the blackening the first one does me.
Still, I am near enough to office to have access to the letter portal. Perhaps I can fix matters.
You may wonder why I am sending this now rather than before you pulled your foolish prank. Frankly, I know you too well to try earlier. You would not have listened. But now that you see the trouble, maybe you will be willing to hear. For our sake, I hope you do.
To begin, do not deny knowing anything about cherry bombs in school. There is not a soul in the school who has not heard something about cherry bombs in school today. Moreover, with your record, it would give you credibility to admit that you had plans to pull pranks. Emphasize pranks you planned after school. They may cause as loud of an outcry, but you can’t be prosecuted for something you never did.
Do not admit to pulling pranks with cherry bombs, such as bombing the janitor’s closet or teachers’ lounge–and making excuses like, “He deserved it for being so grouchy about cleaning up messes,” or “I wanted to know if it or the cook dropping the pot would make a bigger splash,” will be counted as confessions of guilt. Most importantly, do not–DO NOT! admit to involvement in the Lunch Incident.
If you must admit to pranks at school, mention intentions to bomb the bathrooms. That’s a usual enough piece of foolishness, even without the chance to follow through on your day, someone else would probably have tried it in the next year or so.
To explain bringing your explosives to school, mention showing them to your friends and putting them in your locker. In fact, talk about friends and witnesses any time they try to pin you down on any prank. To put it plainly, if someone asks if you threw the cherry bomb into the teachers’ lounge, don’t say, “I didn’t know anyone was in there”; talk about how you and Ricky were standing in the hall when you saw smoke billowing out, and how you asked if he thought the teachers were smoking or had had problems with their Bunsen burner. The more people you involve, the more suspects you introduce. The more who knew about your locker of ammunition, the more who could have stolen it and blamed you for their pranks. Play it right, and the tattler himself should become suspect.
Try to keep you nose clean in the future. I’ll see what I can do by way of persuasion with the authorities, but assume nothing and watch you attitude! See if you can hit up Lucille for etiquette pointers, though the biggest part is to deep a respectful mouth in your face. Or simply keep you big mouth closed. Respectfully.
Be wary of Officer Hoffman. His eyes are always there, and his nose is longer than it needs to be. I suspect his ears are sharper than he warrants, as well.
When I exit the time bubble, I expect the governorship to be mine. Do not fail.
Dear Mr. Murrdoch,
If you are receiving this, it means the guards did indeed find you coming out of the governor’s letter portal time bubble, and must arrest you for obstructing justice. While I hope this is not the case, my suspicions have been growing over time.
I remember being surprised years ago when the Chief considered dismissing me from testifying at your case back when you threw a cherry bomb into the the cafeteria’s spaghetti water and gave on e of the cooks second degree burns. But it was not until after you became Governor that I suspected foul play.
Still, I do not know if I would have ever connected the two if you had not sent a confiscation order on all the old chief’s documents and correspondence.
The investigation I have done since has led me to believe you are guilty of not only obstructing justice, but of interference of government by flattery, unlawful personal use of government property, purgery, and unlicensed conveyance of capital through the time barrier. I’m sure the lawyers will be able to slap on more labels, but they needed more proof first.
It goes against my grain to mess with the past rather than dealing with the present, but your presence was the needed for final proof. I’ve sent the records of evidence as well as a synopsis of the current situation to your time, so if things go as I expect, I may exit my bubble to find fewer problems in my past than I have experienced. But more importantly, I hope this time around you learn your lesson, and at least what you experience truly changes for the better.
Chief of Police,
Back to Stories in Letters