[WP]You are now 70 years old, scientists have found a way to send one letter back in time to someone of importance in your life.

It was a short, explosive letter written in my terrible chicken scratch:

Hello kid,

You little shithead.

I'm not leaving for disneyland, you twat. I might die out there. I might get fucking captured. Why aren’t you sad, you idiot? Why won't you stop me? I bet you'll say you're actually really happy I'm leaving, won't you? "Lads, I finally have the house to myself, I'm the man of the house", I bet you're saying to the loser friends you hang out with. Finally got Mummy to yourself, finally free to help yourself to my stuff, finally free to bring girls home without me telling Ma. Well, fuck you. You aren't going to be happy when I come back and kick your head in. Grow the fuck up and stop ignoring me, you wanker.

No love,


Couldn't make it too complicated, you see, or I knew my idiot brother wouldn't read it. Not really sure if he ever learned how to read properly.

I shouldn’t have sent a letter at all, to be honest. I wasn’t a starry-eyed idealist anymore; I knew everything that had happened had always meant to happen. I was always meant to leave home at 20, the brother I’d fed mushed carrots to when he was a baby refusing to come say goodbye to me. If he’d said goodbye, I wouldn’t have been so angry and fucked up, and I wouldn’t have stopped calling home entirely, and I wouldn’t have gone arse-first into a war on another planet without a single photograph of my family on me. Our kid wouldn’t have run away from home to lie about his age and become a mechanic in some backwater town, and he wouldn’t have been on the other side of the galaxy when they blew Earth up, exempt from the front lines because they needed him in the factories. If I had gone back home after the battle was over, we’d still be on that dirt farm digging holes with Rosco the one-eyed dog, and we’d have died on that field, me, him, the dog and Ma, right in the instant the nuclear blast tore through the entire world.

I really shouldn’t have sent a letter. But I couldn’t help myself. Call it being senile in my old age. I knew what the Butterfly effect was in theory, but 50 years ago didn’t feel real, my memory of that time felt like a daydream, and it was all taken care of by good looking young people in clunky glasses, so nothing could really go wrong right? Time was linear, wasn’t it? Or wasn’t it? Who fucking knew? I wrote it, pen mutilating paper, reverting back to being juvenile and angry at the world at 20 again, and I sent it in a instant of momentary weakness. I just wanted the kid to remember me.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread