Letters to Grandma

A look into the lives of some not particularly great people just trying not die.

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Letters to Grandma

Post by Coydog » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:41 am


Grandma Lily,

It’s your favorite grand-daughter! Not Arcade BECKY, though as far as I know he’s doing well. As you might have realized, I’m not around a whole lot. Veronica and BECKY have joined forces like some awesome gay super hero team to watch over New Vegas while I'm desperately trying to come to terms with my obsolescence indisposed.

I’m doing okay. You might be happy to know that I have a boyfriend. His name is Bart and he’s just the cat’s pajamas. He’s good to me and good looking to boot. I hope I can introduce him to you one day. I think you would really dig him.

I think about you and the gang a lot. I think about home a lot. I get sick with it sometimes, but it’s alright. I miss you all terribly. The place I’m at now is different, I guess. Not nearly as exciting as home, and people use toilet paper for money instead of caps, but everyone has been so nice.

My little boy is almost a teenager! Can you believe it? And he’s so smart. Way smarter than me or his dad, and I’m grateful for that. This place is good for him. I might be homesick, but the Wasteland does not take kindly to children. You of all people understand. He loves building little robots and playing soccer. He’s even in school here!

Someday you'll meet Fennec, too. He’s such a great kid. He deserves a grandmother like you, Lily. All children do, you know?

I hope you’re doing alright and that you’ve found your real grandchildren. I hope this letter finds you happy and safe. Remember that you always have a home and a family, even if none of us are your blood.

Your loving grand-daughter,

LITTLE JIMMY

PS. I don’t remember if you can read. If not, maybe have actual Little Jimmy or Becky do it for you.

PSS. If you happen to cross paths with Raul, tell him Seis piensa en ti, viejo! Don’t forget to immediately apologize. My Spanish is really rusty.

PSS. DON'T FORGET TO TAKE YOUR MEDICINE!


The letter was written on a piece of paper, carefully torn from the spiral spine of a notebook and penned in the courier's surprisingly tight and wholly utilitarian handwriting. She had stuffed it into an envelope with the utmost care, along with several pressed, dried roses that Coydog had chosen simply because she believed that her adoptive grandmother would enjoy them.

For lack of address, she simply wrote LILY BOWEN on the front of the envelope, and with a silent prayer that the letter might end up where it needed to be, she dropped it into her boyfriend's mailbox.
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Re: Letters to Grandma

Post by Coydog » Sat Aug 31, 2019 1:29 am

Never one to be deterred by a lack of communication, Coydog found herself writing yet another letter to the void. The day had been a rough one, and the courier had been engulfed by her feelings. She had never wanted to tell Lily of the tragedy that had taken Craig Boone, lest it worry the elderly nightkin. But given time and distance, it felt wrong now to withhold such information. Boone had been apart of their little ragtag family of strays just as much as the others, though Coydog often, and with her fair share of guilt, claimed sole ownership of that particular lost soul.

After what felt like a solid hour of crying, Coydog waited for Bart to go to sleep before whipping the notebook from her bag. She tugged a well chewed pencil from its spine with her teeth, and setting the book in her lap, she began to write.

Grandma Lily,

It's your favorite grand-daughter, LITTLE JIMMY! Actual Little Jimmy, if you're reading this, my name is really Coydog and your grandma straight rocks, boy!

I'm not even sure if these letters are getting to you, but I feel like you need to know something. It's better you find out from me than someone else. So you know all of that unpleasant business around how I disappeared? Yeah. I didn't mean to do that. I was scraping brahmin shit poop off of my boot and the next thing I know I'm in this joint with purple trees.

So, Boone died. He's dead. Dead dead dead dead. The Big D-E-A-D. Boone is dead. Boone IS dead. Boone is DEAD.


Coydog stared at the paper, at her words, as if they had offended her. Her lips were pulled tight, teeth gritted and the muscle in her jaw throbbing. With a roll of her eyes to the ceiling, she snatched the failed letter and balled it up. Ripping another page from her notebook, she pushed a breath between her teeth, picked up her pin and began writing again.



Grandma Lily,

It's your favorite grand-daughter, LITTLE JIMMY! Please, please let me know if you're getting my letters.

All the love,

LITTLE JIMMY


And it was that letter that she stuffed into an envelope marked to LILY BOWEN, just as she had addressed the previous one. Placing the letter on the small table next to the bed, she climbed beneath the covers but did not snuggle up to Bart. Heartbroken, and after an hour of tossing and turning, Coydog silently sobbed herself to sleep.
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Re: Letters to Grandma

Post by Coydog » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:20 am

There wasn't a man on Earth or beyond that could stir within Coydog the absolute love she felt for Bart Fitzroy (except for the unflappable Craig Boone, but she wasn't sure that was the same thing at all.) He made her stomach feel funny and her cheeks turn red. He made the lump of technology that was her heart skip a beat. He was kind and funny and a little bit stupid, just like she was. Though she didn't exactly have her hopes up, she imagined that she might spend a nice chunk of her life with him.

But he wasn't supposed to the see the note about Boone.

It had struck a cord in her after Bart found it in his shoe and asked her about it; so very patient and understanding. And patient. Confronted with that, Coydog, who very well understood the value of speech, had practically clammed up. "It's fine." "I was in my feelings, man." "Didn't need Lily to see that. Wanna tell her myself." "I just miss Boone." Just like that, all hand-waved away.

Later on, after they'd broken the coffee table and he lay asleep on the floor, wrapped up in a blanket that belonged to the dog, Coydog awoke from her sleep. The room was an eerie blue, peppered with shadows, with only the light of a distant dock lamp shining through an open window. Her nose twitched. She could smell the salty air; could hear the mesmeric crashing of waves.

Coydog leaned in the doorway that separated the kitchen from the living room, nothing against her skin but the cool night air. A joint that had miraculously stayed tucked behind her ear was liberated by a quick swipe of her fingers. Letting it hang from her lips, she lit the spliff up and let the smoke roll into the air. Her green eyes found Bart.

She wondered, as she so often did during such snippets of solitude, if she still would have met him, somehow, had she stayed in the Mojave Wasteland. Boone would still be alive, or so Coydog's guilt was quick to tell her, but what about Bart? Would their paths have ever crossed?

Boone would still be alive...

"You're too good for me," she quietly lamented to her snoozing beau before turning and disappearing into the kitchen.

A too large baby blue hoodie was snatched from the back of a chair and slipped into. She didn't bother to zip it. Next her notebook was taken from the top of the refrigerator, along with a pen. Once Coydog had sat down at the table, she found that she couldn't remember what she wanted to write down. She scribbled in the margins; drew misshapen dogs and spirals. Then, as she was beating herself at a game of Tic-Tac-Toe, the courier's brain reminded her that this was a letter to Grandma Lily, and suddenly she knew what to write.



Dearest Grandma Lily,

It's LITTLE JIMMY again! I hope you're still out there. Please please still be out there. Don't forget to take your medicine. Nobody wants Leo coming back. Remind your grandmother about her medicine, Actual Little Jimmy!

I'm still with Bart and for the most part it's been baby steps. I really hope you like him. He's such a great thing. The magic stuff is weird and infuriating, but I'm sure he doesn't understand half of what I say, so at least we're even. Fenn is officially thirteen! Don't worry. I've told him all sorts of Grandma Lily stories, so he already thinks you're cool. Kid can't grow up without knowing the legends.

I wonder if you ever see Raul. Sometimes I dream that he's out there, still giving people hell and gunshot wounds.

Anyway, I'm doing alright. Lining my pockets, doing what couriers do. I can deal with the headaches easier here. Still not dealing with doctors if I don't have to but I think my brain is breaking. Now I'm just rambling.

I love you. Always,

LITTLE JIMMY



Without re-reading it, Coydog folded the letter and stuffed it into an envelope. LILY BOWEN was printed on the front, but this time she added to the back.

I have seen an alien man fight a literal demon. Here there are dragons and faeries and wizards; actual magic. If anyone's listening, please spare a little moondust for me and see that this letter gets to my grandma. Thank you.

Coydog wrinkled her nose up at what she had written, then shook her head and placed the letter in her courier's satchel on her way back to the living room. Nestled up against Bart once more, the blonde stared into the darkness for what felt like hours before finally falling asleep.
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Re: Letters to Grandma

Post by Coydog » Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:52 am

Lily. Lily Bowen. Sweet Lady. Grandma of my heart.

I'm just going to take a second to apologize for all of the profanity that you or LITTLE JIMMY are about to read. Just know that I've placed the appropriate caps in the swear jar, Grandma.

Situation normal, all fucked up. Apparently, or at least as everyone keeps telling me, Boone *isn't* dead. Now I'm no doctor, but Lily, that man was dead as Dean Martin. Ash, Grandma. Fucking ash . I was so torn up over it that I picked up two more jobs! All I did was cry. I even talked to the motherfucker like he was still around!

Oh god. I'm pretty sure Betty thinks I'm bonkers.

So! Let. Me. Tell. You. I'm staying in Bart's barn - we broke up, long story - and I wake up and I shit you not, there's Craig Boone, staring at me with that constipated look he gets when I'm all sweaty and panicking, like he's worried but he doesn't like it. In my defense, I thought I was seeing a ghost.Then he was walking towards me and stumped his toe.

Not that I'm an expert in the occult, Lily, but I'm pretty sure ghosts can't do that. Still didn't rule out zombie though. I'll thank Bart for showing me Night of the Living Dead. I jumped out of bed like someone had lit a fire under me and just dove out of the window. I landed in a bush in nothing but a tank top and boxer shorts. He was calling out to me, but oh no. I'm not a bad person for thinking that was some sort of brain eating corpse trick. I took off.

So here I am, beneath a table at a cafe writing you because I have no idea what's going on, and what if he comes in here? It would be great if you would write back, even if it's just to tell me to stop writing. But right now I need you, Lily. I need you to tell me it'll be alright. I need Raul to tell me that my buddy isn't a shambling corpse, and my other friends aren't making a game of me or just fucking brainwashed.

What if it is Boone? What if he didn't die and I've just gone off the deep end? What if Dillon is right and it's some time thing or tear in reality?

Don't mind the stains. I'm on my second cup of coffee. Really calms the nerves.

Any advice would be greatly fucking appreciated,

LITTLE JIMMY

PS. Dillon is my friend and occasional boss. I'm not sure exactly what he is, but he eats demons and saves planets. He's a dick but some of the best people are.

PSS. Betty is another one of my friends, except once in awhile we cuddle. She's super boss.

PSS. No one will every replace you guys though. I'm so lucky. I got to pick my family.


Coydog sent that letter, or at least attempted to in her half-assed, wish upon a star way.
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Re: Letters to Grandma

Post by Coydog » Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:21 am

There was no response from Lily, and as much as Coydog hoped, she had made peace with the terrifying idea that she would never receive one. It did not do for her to sit and ponder the fate of the nightkin too hard. She could only pray to gods whose names she did not know that her adoptive grandmother was safe and loved.

She sat in her boxcar in the rail yard. Outside a scattering of itinerant workers sat around a fire barrel, laughing raucously among themselves. She hoped they all make it home as she listened from her spot on her bedroll. Roxie snoozed the sleep of the innocent nearby; the cyberdog's body curled into a comma on her very own blanket.

Regardless, the blonde woman removed her pen and her pad and began writing.

Grandma,

Sorry about that last letter. How are you? Good I hope. And I do hope relentlessly.

Boone is back, Boone is back, Boone is back! I finally spoke to him, but I could only tell him that he was dead. Of course my behavior has, shall we say, pissed him off and now he thinks I've been doing hard drugs again, but Lily...I'm so happy to have my best pal back. I'm still sad that his death and my complete inability to deal with it broke Bart and me up...but Boone! Here! Living in a house without me!

I'm so proud of my Big Guy. Betty says he still stays with me out in the wilds like, all of the time. I'm nervous about talking to him again, but at the same time I'm gonna hug that big lug so hard that he'll have to hit me to make me stop.

I still have no idea what's happened, or why his death was reversed. Probably time stuff, since Bart agreed that Boone had kicked it. Ah well. Speaking of...Bart and I are hanging out. Friends and the like. You should still meet him, Lily. You'd get a kick out of him.

I hope to see you soon, or at least hear from you.

Always worried,

LITTLE JIMMY.
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Re: Letters to Grandma

Post by Coydog » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:43 pm



Hey Lily. It's LITTLE JIMMY again. As always, being the dutiful and extremely worried granddaughter (or grandson? You know, I never asked) that I am, I hope you're happy out there, wherever you are. I miss you. I miss everyone. I adore my friends here, but between me and you, they don't hold a candle to you guys. You're my family.

Speaking of, do you ever hear from Cass? I hope that horned up boozehound is alright. We might've fought a lot but that doesn't mean I don't love her.

So Boone and me are getting back to normal. He's doing great. Just his same, super talkative self. Got a job as a cop or something, I don't really know. One uniform is the same as any other, I guess. Really makes his butt pop though. Don't judge me, Lily. What's the point of having pals if you can't cheese on them? Seriously, I've had a sneak peek of life without that dour SOB and it isn't pretty.

It's cold here. Not just at night but durung the day too. It sends my spine and head to aching something fierce, but don't worry, okay? I'm keeping warm. Too damned cold to camp out. Got a nice little crash pad in Boone's basement.

Bart isn't doing so hot. He got weird, asked if I was doing Jet around Fennec.

1) I wouldnt know where to find Jet here if I wanted to.
2) I haven't had so much as a fucking puff in well over a year.
3) I love my kid and I like that his father (River Wolf) and step mother (Molly) speak to me.
3.5) River and Molly have a super fat baby named Leonard who I get to babysit from time to time. He's such a chunkus, Lily! HIS CHEEKS ARE SO FAT, LILY!

Why would I fuck mess that stuff up?

So I was royally pissed angry! Then Bart came over and I thought he'd apologize, but nope. More weirdness. He said some stuff to justify himself and left. Not so much pissed anymore. Just worried.

I mean, it's cause for concern, but he wants to be left alone and I kinda gotta respect that. Sometimes a soul needs solitude. Betty, my chef friend, drops dinner off for him. She's such a good pal.

My kid is doing well for a smelly, moody teenage boy. I miss my little baby man. He won't even let me smooch his face anymore. He says it's embarrassing! But all told, he's a good kid. A little too smart for his own good sometimes but for the most part he stays out of trouble. He's thriving here.

I have a friend named Dill. I don't remember if I mentioned that before. Sometimes that just happens. Comes with having your eggs scrambled with a 9mm whisk. Anyway, he's a weird dude. Not bad weird; like he doesn't keep slaves or sniff hair or anything. Never been balls deep in a deathclaw. I like spending time with him, is what I'm getting at. AND HE GAVE ME A FALCON! Those mean looking birds in that old animal book? Remind me to show it to you if I haven't. It's not for eating though, okay, Lily?

Lastly, I'm still so super homesick. If I hear one more person ask why I'd wanna go back to that place, I'm gonna deck 'em. It might be a monster infested shit heap, but it's my monster infested shit heap, you know?

Anyway, I love you Lily. This is LITTLE JIMMY signing off until next time.
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Re: Letters to Grandma

Post by Coydog » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:49 am

Grandma Lily,

I hope this letter finds you in good spirits. Or, you know, at all. I still think about you and the gang all the time. I think you'll be happy to know that I'm still trying here. I have a pretty steady delivery job, and I give piano lessons a few days a week now. It's so much safer than home. I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. It's been a year and I still don't know. I'm still floundering, but I don't feel like I'm drowning anymore, and that's pretty boss, right?

Boone is still doing well. Between you and me, I think distance might've been what our buddy needed. Nothing here to remind him of poor Carla or that awful buisness at Bittersprings. But the more he gets out of his head, the more I've come to realize that stoic asshole storm cloud might just be his actual personality.

I don't think he needs me as much anymore, and that's the way it should be. I miss my grumpy shadow though. I mean, I still have my room in his basement, but Big Guy needs space to do his thing.

So, lemme update you on Bart. I mentioned him earlier, and we've made up. I'm even keeping my toothbrush at his house, which is apparently a big deal or something. FuckFluff if I know. I just know we fit together, and I really dig fitting. Fingers crossed that it lasts longer than a few months!

Guh. This relationship crap is hard, Lily.

I got stabbed, but on second thought, might wanna leave that part out.

My friends here are doing alright. They're meaner than shit, but that's not exactly news. My kid, on the other hand..

..well. That story could fill a whole letter on its own.

This is gonna be a short one, and I'm sorry about that, but I'm including a picture of a puppy. I know how much you love baby things, Lily. Feast your eyes upon Porkpie Mitchell! Buh Buh Buh!!!

LITTLE JIMMY OUT!!!

PS. Hey Real Little Jimmy. Hope you're doing well!


Image
(Pic was borrowed from https://animalso.com/breeds/german-shep ... tbull-mix/
)
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Re: Letters to Grandma

Post by Coydog » Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:50 am

She calls him to her with a familiar serious of whistles that fluctuate in pitch. The Eyebot whirs down the hallway of Bart Fitzroy's home to where the long, leggy blonde sits in little more than her skivvies and a bathrobe at the kitchen table, spooning soggy cereal into her face. She yawns and stretches like a lazy cat. There is warmth in her eyes, a genuine fondness when the floating heap of scrap metal comes into view.

"ED-E, my love," she says, voice hoarse with fatigue.

"Bzzz-EEbip!" Chirps the little robot. He is round, about the size of a globe with a battered metal chassis festooned with the likes of a crushed soda can, an ancient yellow bumper sticker celebrating some long dead fuck's honor student, and a well-worn license plate with large white letter that read ED-E. The blonde nods her head as if she can make sense of his sentiment, and drags her hand down her face.

"It's good to see you too, little buddy. But down to brass tacks, okay? Initiate recording protocol."

Something within the Eyebot clicks and clanks, and his form trembles briefly in the air. Coydog waits with baited breath, and only relaxes once the familiar hum of a holotape fills the air. "Hey Lily. We're going to try something new. I figure it might be nice to hear my voice for a change. I just really wish I could hear back from you, even if it's to tell me to fuck off. Sorry. Sorry. If you can make a bleep noise to cover that fuck, Little Jimmy, I'd be forever grateful."

She pauses and lights a cigarillo from the pack on the table. "I've had a few weeks to just sit and think." She takes a drag and blows the fruity scented smoke into the air. Nearby a stupid cat clock ticks off the passing minutes, its creepy eyes shifting side to side in the darkness. "And I gotta tell you, Grandma, I got nothin from it'. I thought there would be this huge revelation, with weird, fat winged babies flying around and trumpets blowing. No dice.

I'm in a place where I'm not constantly on guard, and people are pretty upfront about what kind of meat you're eating. Toilets work. There's plenty of warm, safe places to sleep. I have good friends, my sniper buddy, and a boyfriend and dog who love me. My kid is fu..uh..*flipping* flourishing. But, ramble time, I met this guy at the an inn tonight. He said he's been separated from his tribe. And it just clicked.

I think I'm lucky. I got all of that here, and even if I've been separated from most of you guys, I still have you, too. Millions of miles can't ruin that. I know, I'm being sappy, but I could always be in my feelings around you. You're too good for what you've been given, Lily." Just on time, a lanky, dog shaped blur comes zooming past, one of her bras hanging from the side of the creature's mouth. Without a lick of awareness, the dumb mutt flops down a few feet from the table. He takes the garment between his paws, and happily starts chewing on a strap.

"Pork! Dammit! Not another one! I'm sorry Lily, but I gotta jet. Pork got into my clothes bag! Take your medicine! End recording protocol!"

The tape clicks, and if ED-E has anything to say about the tableau playing out before him, or the woman currently playing tug of war with a dog over her undergarments, he does right to keep his judgemental beeps to himself.
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Re: Letters to Grandma

Post by Coydog » Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:33 am

The holotapes, like the letters before them, are dropped into random postal boxes along her route. It is habit at this point, but she cannot quite kill the hope that one day she'll get an answer. One barely makes it out though, the one she had been so sure of sending when she had dictated it nights ago, sitting around a dark kitchen table, to an indifferent floating robot. She just happens to listen to it, while Bart slumbers in his room nearby and she feels comfortable enough to reclaim her chair at that same table.

As the eerie cat clock tick-tick-ticks on the wall, never quite making it to the next second, Coydog slips into a pair of headphones and smiles at ED-E, hovering and humming over the chair across from her. "Initiate playback," she commands, in a firm but low voice, lest she wake up her magic man from some well earned slumber.

"Hey there, Grandma

You'll be happy to know that I'm still doing alright. I'm putting forth an effort to learn to be "civilized'. I'm not even sure what that means, really. I was under the impression that I was already pretty damned civil. Ahh well. Adapt or get eaten, right?

There have been portals opening up around here. I haven't seen any like them in Rhy'din. First a deathclaw showed up, then a rad scorpion. One day it just rained caps on a kid up in Ambertown. Then a lady was seen getting out of one. I don't think you know her, honestly. Her name is Christine. We were trapped in the Sierra Madre together. But I got my hopes up, thinking I had a way back. So we went, bought a chicken, and caught the next portal right as it was opening.

The chicken just exploded when we tossed it inside. Suffice it to say we learned those portals only go one way.Things come out but they can't go in. Real mood killer, if you want the truth. Don't know of any that've opened up since then, but I do keep an ear open.

In other news, remember how my impulse control just sort of short circuits sometimes? Wellll, LITTLE JIMMY here might've gotten a little in over her head. Remember me talking about my pal Dillon? He mentioned a dinosaur base in another universe, or something. Not really sure on the particulars there, BUT I decided to tag along! In a world with actual dinosaurs! Where everything wants to eat you! Tanith was there, just as excited as me. She's very good at fostering recklessness. Or maybe I'm the bad influence. Fuuuu...luff if I know, Lily.

Well, now I'm kind of regretting it. Just a tiny little bit. I'm still going to go because....dinosaurs. Real ones. Like actual Dinkys stomping around, just seventy five percent more murderous. I'd be an idiot not to do it. But I can't figure out a way to break it to Bart.

I can't take him, or Pork, or Betty, or even Boone. I would hate to be responsible for the extinction of an entire species if something happened to them. Plus, I kind of already ran it by Boone and he just asked if I was on 'shrooms.

Fair enough.

My kid can never find out, because he's smarter than me, Lily, and he'll find someway to tag along. That's not so much me protecting him from the world as it is me being a responsible mother and keeping a dinosaur from taking a bite out of his adorable mug.

So yeah, I guess that's it. As always, I'm over here, being the gang's biggest cheerleader. I still hope you're in the game, Lily.

Love,

LITTLE JIMMY!"


Coydog sits in the dark and the sounds that break the silence almost do so in complete harmony. The ticking of the clocks fall behind the soft hum of the eyebot, Bart's snorting providing a low undercurrent. She smiles and closes her eyes and just listens. "End playback."

In the morning, bright and early, she will drop the tape off in one mailbox or another, but long lasting hope still ebbs and it flow. When the parcel leaves her hands, it leaves her mind. The letters and tapes to Lily are best left to the nighttime, when Coydog is sleepy and sentimental and alone, save for ED-E. That mailing them seems increasingly like an exercise in futility is not lost on her.

But the Courier has forgotten what she once knew as fact; that everything ends up where it needs to be.
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