Letter from Hell - Reply from Trudy Whitehall
by Sarah B

This is 'from' an original character
of mine, Trudy Whitehall, who is Archie's sweet patootie in my
universe. She's also Terry Whitehall's little sister, but he's not
mentioned here since I hadn't thought of his character yet when I
wrote this. Enjoy!

******************

Mr. Simpson,

You don't know me. For that matter, I don't know you, although I
know about you. I came upon your loathesome letter while cleaning
some papers off of Horatio's desk, he's staying at our home for a few
weeks and when he's busy he never cleans up after himself.

I didn't know one could be capable of accomplishing your feat -
sending a letter directly from Hell - but once I found out about you
I daresay I shouldn't have been surprised. Horatio told me all about
you - and he didn't want to, I made him, for reasons you'll know soon
enough! After he told me - and after I dealt with the fruits of your
disgusting labors - I put you out of my mind, for good and all I
thought. Until I found this, and became so angry I thought I should
explode if I did not reply to your foul letter immediately.

Now let me introduce myself to you. My name is Trudy Whitehall, and
I have been Horatio's friend since we were both small children
together. I am also Archie's wife.

Oh, I can see your jaw dropping now. You don't even believe me. But
it's true - the soul you thought you had so completely destroyed
lives on, not only lives but thrives! And Horatio is doing very well
for himself as well, fit and healthy and loved and respected by all
who know him. I'm very glad to say that your mission to destroy
Horatio failed on all counts.

I am glad you are in Hell. Horatio says he's never known me to hate
anyone, but I do believe I hate you, and quite strongly too. How
anyone could come upon Horatio and do violence the way you did - to
beat him, and torture him, and try to kill him besides! Horatio is
the kindest, most decent, most honorable man on this earth, and next
to my husband there is no one I should hold in higher esteem. He
would have been your friend too, would have helped you and supported
you, but you would have none of it. How much poorer you were for
your malice! I do pity you.

You don't want pity, I know. You want revenge. You want to know
that Horatio died on some forgotten sea, deserted by his friends and
haunted by tragedy. How proud I am to say that you will get none of
that! Horatio has beaten you, lives a life of fulfillment and joy
that touches everyone he meets, including me. That is why I had to
sit down and write you this letter. Because I had to let you know,
you cowardly mass of cow dung, that you can claim victory nowhere on
this earth, especially not on Archie Kennedy. Horatio saw to that,
partly; I am seeing to the rest.

I knew Horatio a long time, but I didn't know Archie until I met him
at the party Horatio's father threw for him after he achieved the
lieutenancy. At first I thought Archie was quite the handsomest man
I'd ever seen, and the kindest and bravest. He has such a gentle
soul, I could see it in his eyes.

But you saw it too, didn't you, you horrible beast. I wondered why
Archie's eyes sometimes looked so full of pain, why he seemed to want
to touch me but couldn't. Why he jumped at loud noises, why a kiss
made him shudder and pull away. He was like a shy colt, all
eagerness and timidity at once, and I didn't know why.

And then Horatio told me. You sick, filthy, misbegotten wretch.

He wouldn't have told me if Archie hadn't fallen ill. If I hadn't
heard him crying your name like a wounded child as I sat by his bed,
I might still be in ignorance of your villainy. But once I knew -
once I sensed that your name was poisoning him, stabbing him deep
inside where even I could not reach - I asked Horatio for the truth,
and he told me. Because he knew I loved Archie, he told me. And
because he knew Archie loved me, he told me everything.

How could you. I am glad you are in Hell.

How I would love to tell you about the days that followed! I could
fill volumes with the joys that are cataloged in my memory - how
Archie got well again, how we married, how he healed my soul and I
healed his and together we are riding days full of sunshine and
evenings that brim with starlight. I would sing of his bravery, his
courage, his gentle good humor and mischieviousness, the way he and
Horatio act like two adolescents when they are together, his iron
sense of right and his determination that no one - especially the
young ones - should ever be alone. I would love to tell you every
syllable, for I know how that would eat at you.

But I won't. Because I would rather torment you with guessing.

I cannot have children, but Archie and I have adopted several of the
town's orphans and are raising them here at his father's estate as
our own. And that is your final defeat! Not only does Horatio
thrive to build his empire, but my husband is building his, through
the hands and hearts that love him and call him father. He is
passing on his good name while yours moulders in the dirt, to be
eaten by worms and turned to the defecation it is. He and Horatio
will be remembered for generations to come. You are already
forgotten.

Oh, and you wondered why you couldn't break Horatio? What special
quality he possesses that refused to let you beat him down? I know
what it is.

But I'm not going to tell you.

Choke on that, you miserable cur.

Please burn in hell forever,
Trudy Whitehall Kennedy