Lancelot’s Daughters


Lost in the forest of family trees

in a part of the Wood that not many people visit or many trees grow is

my family tree.


It’s not as tall or lush as the other trees,

and on a hot day it will be indifferent to your discomfort so  it won’t provide with  you a

jot of shade and even though  the branches are a bit twisted and thick and sturdy,  if

you think that during the winter ice and snow are permitted to take up temporary

residence along it’s limbs, you would be wrong.


My family tree is alone in a forest of family trees and it is just fine with it’s place in the



After all, it holds the bones of my Great Aunts from generations ago named Patience

and Experience and their father Lancelot.


Patience and Experience were given those names and were sent out into the world by

their father Lancelot where they visited villages and jails to offer spiritual guidance to

people accused of witchcraft, of doing deals with the Devil.


After these visits they would return to their home and report to their Father who

always waited for them in the chapel on the grounds of there home, their

heads bowed, their hands hanging limps at their sides.


” Well? ” he would ask, his eyes brimming with hope and shining with tears.


” Not one, not one damned soul among them  to save.”  Patience sobbed.


” People. ” Experience would wail. “They were just, people.”


Their father would fall back into his chair, he would drop his head into his hands, and

then he would- as I have been told-

howl like a beast from the darkest corners of Hell.


Or maybe I have it wrong, maybe I heard it wrong.

Maybe they meant he howled  from Hell like the beast he was.








Sincerely Yours

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. 


The envelope was light blue and the stamp in the corner was a Christmas stamp with a cheerful smiling Santa with a red nose.

It was August and 85 degrees out, the sun was hot and Christmas seemed years away. So I picked the envelope with the Santa stamp up and looked  it over.

It was addressed to MLT  at a post office box in Seattle.

The return address caught my eye

S. Stanwood

C/O Fenton Estates


I know Fenton Estates. Most people around here do. It was the States First Mental Hospital and it closed about 20 years ago.

I pulled the letter out.

It was written in purple ink in small neat block letters.

Come Visit . I am so lonely.

Sincerely Yours,


I turned the envelope back over and looked at the post mark.

It had been stamped a week ago Bridgewater, Washington.

I folded it, put it into the envelope and wondered-  who would reply if I wrote and said I’d be there soon.

I guess there’s only one way to find out.

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