Mysterious letters start arriving…

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A few weeks ago a letter came to the house, addressed to my kids.

It was in a plain envelope, with the address typed onto the front.  Local postmark.

Inside, it read:

‘base 4757

17 september 2037

dear dexter and euan

i almost cant beleeve this is going to work. but its worth a shot.

theres a masheen here. its big and brown with a metal keybord and lether straps. we arent allowed to use it. the grown ups have there own plans for it. maybe there worried were going to brake it.

i type into the masheen and it sends a mesij into the past. about twenty years into the past, if ive set it up rite. if this works the way they say it does, the mesij will bounce off a receever stashun in your time, and if thats working it will make a print out and mail it to you.

you probably think this is weird becos you dont know about receiver stashuns yet and also you dont know who I am.

but I know who you are. we hear a lot of stories about you.

someones coming ive got to go. ill try to get back in here soon to use the masheen.

goodbye. for now. i hope.

j’

 

Weird, huh?

A few days later another letter arrived, but when they opened the envelope, the kids discovered an entire sheet of zeros and ones with no discernable pattern or means of decoding (although believe me Dexter gave it his best shot).

And then a few days after that…

‘base 4757

22 september 2037

dear dexter and euan

sorry if the last letter was all glitched up. the power went off when i was typing and i think the mesij got scrambled. the power goes off a lot. ill tell it all again just in case.

our sitooashun here is bad. some of the adults are kind but most of them are not. most of the time theres not enuff food and sometimes theres not enuff water either. we have to work really long hours on the masheens.

at bedtime cara tells us stories. theres one about dexter and euan and there frends and how they bilt a transmittor masheen that freed all the children. in the story dexter and euan and there frends were brave and kind and clever too becos they worked out the code to transmit through the masheen. and then all the children escaped from the base and lived happy ever afterwoods.

beno says its just a ferrytail but cara says ferrytails are sometimes true.

please please please dexter and euan. find the frends who will help you and work together to bild the transmittor masheen and transmit the codes to set us free.

we really need your help.

someones comi’

 

 

Nothing happened for several days, then today…

‘base 4757

1 october 2037

 dear dexter and euan

sorry i havent been able to get in here for ages. weve just been working on the masheens the hole time and its been really hard to get away.

after i send the last letter i realised i didnt tell you anything about bilding a transmittor masheen. maybe you already no how to do it. but maybe you don’t.

you need to use a computer to transmit the codes to a satellite in your orbit in your time. you need to find a way of attaching a transmittor dish to the computer. you can probably make the dish. it just needs to be the rite shape and shiny enuff.

maybe you can make the computer to. but i dowt it.

also the masheen will only work if you take it somewhere really high. not like the roof of your house high. more like a mountain. just try to think of the highest place you no.

i think this mite mean no electricity so youll need to figor that out to.

oh and i need to send you the codes. without the codes it wont work.

unfortunately i dont have the codes at the moment. but im working on it. in the meantime you can start working on the masheen anyway.

gotta go.’

 

Curiouser and curiouser.  I wonder what will happen next?

 

Writing Bubble

11 thoughts on “Mysterious letters start arriving…

  1. Maddy@writingbubble

    LOVE this! Really exciting especially from a child’s perspective. I love anything time travel-y. Is this something from your next novel? And are you sending your boys these letters for real? Or… maybe they actually are real!!! Thanks for linking to #whatImWriting

    Reply
  2. Becky Post author

    Thanks Maddy. It’s not a novel. I wanted to create something that didn’t have an end ‘product’ in mind, if you know what I mean. Just to play. The kind of thing I would have enjoyed at their age. And I liked the idea that they would to create something as well as part of the process, rather than just being passive readers. (Plus there are lots of bits of old computers etc in our garage just sitting there doing nothing.)

    Reply
  3. Sadie Hanson

    I really, really enjoyed this. I was pulled in from the off – just loved all the misspellings and the urgency on the letters. You have a wonderful imagination. Are you going to develop this some more, or play with it some more on the blog? Loved it! :o)

    Reply
    1. Becky Post author

      Thanks Sadie. I’m not sure where it will lead – kinda depends on what the kids do with it. The most recent letter included map coordinates for Wolstonbury hill (on the South Downs) so maybe we’ll head up there this weekend…

      Reply
  4. Susie Fiddes

    I love this! When I read it initially, the letters reminded me of an incident a few years ago in Duddingston, Edinburgh when people started discovering envelopes containing cash and a small note arriving through their letter boxes. There was some theory at the time that it was some sort of PR stunt by the author Ian Rankin for his latest book, although I’m not sure the mystery was ever solved. It may just have been the local faeries! Enjoyed reading immensely!

    Reply
  5. Rachael

    I’m just catching up Becky and I love this! Such a great way to fire the kids’ imaginations… Are they busy trying to build the transmitter machine now..? I know I would have been!

    Reply
    1. Becky Post author

      Thanks Rachael, glad you like it. We’ve been googling ways of making a dish out of a kitchen sieve (isn’t the internet amazing?) Lovely to meet you yesterday!

      Reply

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