Les Gillespie's Letters

Les Gillespie first appears in my novel KUNDELA the next novel in a trilogy is Les Gillespie's Gold. To write in a more planned way I am following a suggestion picked up at one of the Novel Writing Workshops by Merlene Fawdrey and building profiles for the main characters as part of the outline.

As I build a profile for the ghost character of my new novel, Les Gillespie, I have decided to have the family involved in a mystery of long hidden letters and the secrets they keep. Les is an enigma in his son's life. Someone to despise and yet his now discovered letters play with Joe's mind. Drop in for  a look now and then to come inside Les Gillespie's tortured Mind.

This is one of his letters.

January 10th 1969

Darling Helen,

The evil returned tonight, it was all I could do to contain the rage, and writing to you about it is the only way I can bring myself under control.

            I was killing a sheep for the week’s meat ration when it happened, the shed was a bit dark with the evening light flickering, casting eerie shadows across the boards. I flashed back to the jungles of New Guinea and suddenly the sheep was the Jap Officer. I was euphoric, overcome with joy. I could kill him again and enjoy the sensation even more.

            The blade was my normal knife the same one Dad had used, but tonight it was more than a knife in the killing shed, in my hand was the bayonet, the one I had fashioned into a short dagger, its handle warm and comfortable. Something as normal as this before the war was natural, and one many of us do to provide food for our family, but since I arrived home, nothing is the same. Every time I have to do this the memory returns.

Once again the sheep was my nemesis, the Jap officer. My left hand, two fingers in his eye sockets and my knee in his back and wrenching him backwards, I heard his last gasp as the knife raced deep across his neck, blood oozing from his arteries pumping, spurting as air from his lungs escaped the open windpipe. It felt good, I was vengeful and satisfied as I took another life. I told myself I was avenging the mates who died on the airfield, but I am worried my love, I fear my anger will cause me to harm Joe one day.

I can’t tell you to your face, in death, you’ve escaped the daily witness of my actions and for that, I’m thankful. Joe is a fine young man and will be much more than me, and I’m sure when the time comes he’ll be a great Dad, you only have to see how he protects Mary’s girls.

The doctor tells me to write these feelings down to help me cope and writing to you does that, but I long to feel your skin against mine. I open the drawer of your dresser every day, to smell the perfumes and powders, it helps me remember an earlier time and fills my need to be close to you again.

I miss you Helen, and my biggest fear is that, when I reach the gates of Paradise, I will be turned away, rejected, never again to see your smile, hear you sing, or feel your touch. forever condemned to stoke the fires of Hell.

Your loving husband,


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