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The Brentford Mercury

Hate Story

The Brentford Tales part 1

by Michael Carroll


Hate Story

Carolyn sat at the kitchen table, a blank sheet of writing paper before her and a pen in her hand. Hugh leaned back against the sink, grinning to himself and sipping at his cup of tea.

"Well?" Hugh said. "What are you going to write?"

Carolyn shrugged. "This isn't as easy as you think, you know. Read it to me again."

Hugh picked up the paper and read from the Personals column. "'Middle-aged man, tired of the same old love interests, seeks younger woman for tedium and hate. All serious letters answered. No cranks.' He should have said 'no other cranks'."

"What's the box number?"


"Okay," Carolyn said. "What about something like 'Dear Box Number thirty-three, I read with curiosity your ad in the Personals column of the Mercury. I am a twenty-three year old woman, also tired of the pressures of society to love everybody. I am interested in writing to you, as I am sure it will be boring, and who knows? perhaps a spiteful and embittered relationship will soon develop.' How's that?"

"Cool. That'll do."

"Okay, you do the envelope while I'm writing it."

They posted the letter on the way to the pub, laughing at the absurdity of it all. "It'll give the old geezer a surprise to see that someone actually took his letter seriously," Hugh said.

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