Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • An old, battered suitcase was found with crumbling papers.
    Keeper of the family's correspondence over decades.

    Among those letters was one solitary file.

    "I believe" it said.
    Signed "Umbrella Monarch"
    No one knew who that was, offhand.
    Some sleuthing revealed the author. An uncle who had passed on a few years ago.

    She began to read it. She had not known the man at all, she realized.
    Through her childhood and adolescence he was the volatile journeyman.
    Not the doctor son, the astrophysicist nephew or the US-schooled engineer.
    The lesser loved child, always.
    And he died early.

    But these few pages, written when he was about 20, showed the diamond in the rough.

    "Torment," wrote the Umbrella Monarch, "is a precipitate longing for something lost that can never be repossessed."

    She wished she'd known him better.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.