Short story Friday: The Postcard, by Arleane Ralph

By Arleane Ralph

Contractors discovered the postcard upon pulling out the kitchen cabinetry. It sat for days on a switch box until the drywallers came. Then it rested a while on a palette of Tuscan stone tiles, and, after that, maybe it dropped over a rough sill or was scrapped with the paper wraps of the granite countertops. So the postcard disappeared once more and its story ended again, except that the tiler’s apprentice, a shy teen with an interest in history, posted a picture of it, and, soon after, the willowy grand-niece of one Mrs. Nettie Huelscamp of Empress, Alberta, liked it.


Arleane Ralph wrote this delightful story in response to a photo prompt at 100 word story, an online literary magazine that invites visitors to submit a story of 100 words – no more, no less. The photo accompanying the prompt showed the back of an old postcard, stamped 1915 and addressed to Mrs. Nettie Huelscamp, Empress, Alberta.

In her review of 100 word story for The Review Review, Joanne Spencer writes about Ralph’s story: “The author masterfully describes in only a 100 words where this letter was, where it has been and then where it goes all during the process of a kitchen remodel. It’s a brilliantly executed piece of fiction that left me with a complete story. Ms. Ralph literally gave the postcard a life, a personality and a reason.”

Published with permission from the author.

Sidebar photo: tubarelli0/

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