Ella minnow pea, p.9
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       Ella Minnow Pea, p.9

           Mark Dunn
 
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  Monty, Otter-paws 23

  Mrs. Mittie,

  I value, nonetheless, your going to the learny-house to help my son. Little Timmy values it as well.

  He is gone now. Timmy. This morning. With Nash, my spouse. I must remain. I must remain, as I am without violation. Nash has two. One among us must stay. I am the one. Our home, our property – it’s all that we have, you see. Were we all to leave, they will expropriate it. They expropriate property, you’re aware, are you not?

  Please exonerate me. In your heart. I am so sorry that I was the one to report your violations. I’m so sorry that I was to learn what is truly important in our lives too, too late.

  Write me as well. When time permits. I am the last one on my street. It gets so still, so lonely here at night. Eerily still. Anguishingly lonely. Not, though, when the L. E. goons motor through – their horns wailing. Hooligans. As a rule, though, it is ghostly silent here.

  How are you set with rations? I will soon have to miss one meal every sun-to-sun. Are you giving thought to moving to Town?

  I may wish to go with you.

  Write soon.

  Georgeanne Towgate

  PS. The painting was mine. It pleases me that you wish to hang it in your home! I will paint you more.

  Nollopville

  Wetty, Onomatopoeia 25

  Mrs. Mittie,

  Where are you? You are not home when I go to your portal. When I ring, I note no movement within your house. Have you gone to Town? Have you gone to the States?

  I am apprehensive. Am I now alone?

  Georgeanne

  Nollopton

  Thuringio, Otalgia 26

  Sweet Tassie:

  They will not let me into the prison to see you. I have spent the entire postnoon, all the early hours ensuing my arrival in town, waiting. Waiting here on the prison’s visitors’ lawn to see you.

  Waiting.

  Waiting.

  They tell us nothing. (Will they even give this letter to you?) It is very upsetting. I want you to grasp how greatly I love you.

  I won’t try to learn why you sent the threats. They push us all to the point where we say things, operate in ways that are not at all as we really are.

  Were anything to happen to you, what then?

  With all my love,

  Mother

  Somewhere in Nollop

  Satto-gatto, Ottoman Ruler 28

  To Tassie’s Mother Mittie,

  My guess is that you are now with your sister, so I am routing this letter to her house. I am here in Nollop. (A stowaway, an illegal alien. I have spent the last 24 hours in nail-nipping intrigue!) All to see the one I love. To help the one I love. I am aware that they have put her in prison, though she will not stay there long. I will see to it. Wish me well.

  Truly yours,

  Nate

  [Upon the Minnow Pea kitchen table]

  Nollopton

  Sunshine, O Tempora! 29

  Ella,

  While you were at the prison, attempting with your Aunt Mittie yet again to get in to see Tassie, men who were sent here to see me got themselves into our own sorry impregness with little struggle at all. Apparently, they were sent to interrogate me – the grilling pertaining to the now exanimate anti- high-priestal movement. Unhappy with my initial responses, they grew instantly perpy when I soon let slip an illegal letter. What enormous toothy grins! What mouth-enamel! You see, I gave them reason to transport me. To Pier Seven. Toss me right onto the emigrant trawler. No more Mum. One less agitator.

  (I am an agitator!) My leave happens very soon. As soon as I am through with this epistle to you.

  It’s a weeping shame. Why, I am not even given enough time to gather my things! All my possessions, your Pop’s possessions are yours now, I suppose. Preserve them. Preserve our memory. I wish you to stay. You must stay.

  Maintain the struggle. In our name. In our honor.

  (I am so sorry that they will not permit me to see you prior to weighing moor. Give your Aunt Mittie a huge hug with my name on it. Tassie, as well.)

  Until we meet again, sweet Ella.

  With love always,

  Your Mum

  Nollopton

  Sunshine, Overgarment 29

  Mother, Ella:

  You two must stop whiling your postnoons near the prison gates. They will not let you in to see me. Go now. There are things to attain elsewhere. You’re aware, right? The things

  I mean?

  Love,

  Tassie

  (This is the last time I will terminate a letter in this manner now that “V” is soon to leave us. A new letter goes. So what else is new?)

  10

  .........................................................

  A***E*GHI**LMNOP*RSTU*WXY*

  .........................................

  Th* *ui** *r*wn *ox **mps o**r the la*y **g

  [Slipped under the Minnow Pea front door]

  Nollopton Prison

  Nollopton

  Toes (Halloween), Oompahpah 31

  Miss Pea:

  Man was here. Young man. Southern U.S. While you were home. Got your relation. Got your Aunt. I let him get that Tassie – that angel girl – let him steal her, pure truth! I must sign paper saying this – per authorities. They were here – the authorities. They put me to signing this paper saying what happen.

  Anyway, you got no reason to return to this prison anymore. Seeing that she is no longer here. They will put eye to your house, though. Might they show up there – Tassie-girl, your aunt, young Ameri-man. My guess, though, is that those three are gone-gone – set sail I’m sure to the States. Anyway, this is the thing: you no got to return.

  Guess what? I go to the lash. A sentry who lets a prisoner go, he gets the lash, gets the whole nine-tail-lam. It’s worth it, though. To see that sweet, pretty girl release! Hurrah!

  Yours truly,

  Sentry William P.

  Halloween

  Ella -

  I am no longer in prison. Nate is the reason. He got us (Mother, me). We are on our way to the States. My horseman-gallant in shining armor! I wish you were with us. Then again, it is important too that you remain in Nollop. Now rests almost solely upon you Enterprise 32. You will triumph, we are sure. Our hearts, our prayers are with you.

  Tassie

  PS. I am trusting that the young shrimper we met in the north lagoon will get this letter to you. He was on his way to Nollopton to sell his haul. As a result, this letter may smell slightly shrimpish.

  [Posted on the front door of the home

  of a woman who wears an orange hat]

  Nollopton

  Wetty, Nosegay 1

  Woman in pretty, orange hat:

  My name is Ella. I saw you yesters, rummaging in the rear – that shut Italian restaurant on Main. No got to rummage. There are plenty eats in Wally’s store at Eighth meets Elm. (Are you a shrimp eater?) Wally, I hear, is a humane man. He is rationing eats – they will last longer this way. No money? No got to worry. We who are still here will help one another. I want to meet you. See me tonight?

  I use to possess relations – my mother, my papa, my Aunt Mittie, her she-heir Tassie. Gone now. All those near to me, gone.

  I am alone. Perhaps you are alone too?

  See me tonight? My home: 4 houses east. I got stew tomatoes!

  Ella

  [Posted on the Minnow Pea front door]

  Nollopton

  Thirsty, Notaphily 2

  Ella,

  Happy to get your letter. We possess a sense sometimes we are the only ones still here. We will see you not tonight. Tomorrow night, yes? I insist, though: my home. Little one – Penny – she is ill. She perhaps not so ill tomorrow, although she ought to stay in a little longer. We were not rummaging, we must say. We thought there was gas. Must get gas into our generator. How is your power? They supply us only one hour in the morning now. No one remaining at the power plant to man operations there.

  Wally is
a humane man, you are right. He is helping us in this trying time. We must all help one another.

  Tanya T.

  (the woman in the pretty orange hat)

  Nollopton

  Satto Gatto, No-trump 4

  Tanya,

  What a sweet time I was shown at your house last night! It was so pleasant meeting your spouse. It was a pleasure too, meeting your girl Penny. I am happy that she is nearly well.

  I was also happy to meet Mannheim, also his young assistant Tom, although not please to learn that the institute is no longer open. Nothing is open any more, is this true? Tom tells me that the state operates now only to relate the next letters to omit. There are no other magisterial assertions. The thug-uglies arrest, thrash – then expel. The high priests generate their alpha-elisions, then return to their lairs to eat what tasties were put there, while praying to Nollop, paying homage to Nollop, stooping, prostrating, salaaming to Nollop. Ignoring all humanity in their Nollop-apotheosis.

  Let us say Nollop were all-hallow preeminent Omnipotentate, why – still – shut out all those with whom one shares this planet? Were we put here on this earth only to worship? Exalting Nollop is to erase all that is non-Nollopian upon this isle. To utterly erase an upright, meritorious people. Genoerasure.

  Oh the humanity!

  So, tea tomorrow? I eagerly await your response.

  Ella

  PS. 43! 43! One step nearer our goal. I hope that Tom was all right with that hug.

  My girl wove six dozen plaid jackets before she quit.

  ...............................

  Nollopton

  Sunshine, Norepinephrine 5

  Miss Pea,

  A pleasure it was to meet you two nights ago. Your smile warms me, illuminating the gloom. (The hug was pleasant as well.)

  We are alone at the institute now – Mannheim, his girl Paula, yours truly. The entryways are hasp-shut; though we easily mount the trellis next to our lunette to gain entry. We then may toil on, without espy-ation. The other pupils – the other worthy assistants – they are, alas, all gone.

  Expulsion.

  None, I am happy to say, went willingly.

  We, Miss Pea, (may I appell you Ella?) are the only ones who persist now in Enterprise 32. The others who remain on this isle plow their energies into hunting aliments, into maintaining shelter in these unsure, austere times. As a people, we Nollopians now seem to exist only elementally. Outright primals we are now!

  Piteous loss.

  A loss, though, that I may not examine too long as my mission shouts my name. Our mission. We are true partners in this.

  May I also note that you are pleasingly pretty? (I let that slip out, I am sorry! I meant it, though!)

  Mannheim’s girl Paula will rap on your portal soon. She will present our latest attempt. There is little time. 11 sun-to-suns. Then the 16th.

  “U” is gone. I suppose you’re aware. The 1st aeiouy to go. Up until now the other graphemes were not aeiouys. When the aeiouys start to go, Ella, writing to you turns exponentially more grueling. I will not throw in the towel, though. I trust that you won’t either. I truly relish our partnership.

  Perhaps we may sup together tomorrow night at the unilearnity? I will show you how to shinny up the trellis.

  I got lime gelatin!

  Your ally,

  Tom

  11

  .........................................................

  A***E*GHI**LMNOP*RST**WXY*

  .........................................

  Th* **i** *r*wn *ox **mps o**r the la*y **g

  [Slipped beneath a neighbor’s front door]

  Nollopton

  Monty, Nostromo 6

  Hello there.

  I am Ella – the one who smile at y’all yesters. Whose home is near. I am writing to people who are still here. Who I still see in the streets, who peep at me – wall-in, porthole, portiere people. Wanting to say something, with anxiety stilling erstwhile galloping yammers. It is important that we say something to one another – any little thing. We are not low-tier animals. We are higher entities, am I right? Say something. A greeting. Anything.

  It is important, as well, that we stay in nearness to one another – not only in the proximital sense – in the sense also as persisters – inheritors. We are all that remains – the ones who maintain the remnants – the Nollop that earlier was.

  Retreat is not an option.

  Ella

  [Slipped beneath the Minnow Pea front door]

  Nollopton

  Monty, No-way 6

  Insane woman name Ella:

  Retreat is what we want. Go away. Let we alone.

  Anonymess

  [Posted on the Minnow Pea front door]

  Nollopton

  Monty, Nostomania 6

  Mittie -

  This letter I post on this here portal in hopes that Mittie might see it. That Mittie is staying here at her sister’s home now. I hope hope hope it is so. I am in a home not too remote. Three homes away. It was empty when I got here. It is my home now.

  It was a long trip – 2 night-to-nights – to get here on shoe – to get to where my ally Mittie perhaps is. I ate twigs. I slept in sewer-arroyos. The yellow-sphere shone harshly on me. In the north I was near insanity. It wasn’t pretty.

  Isolate. Solitary. So lonely it was where I was. More so lonely than here. Here where Mittie is!

  Please ignore not my appeal. As earlier. When one moment Mittie was there, the next she was not. I am so sorry as I mention earlier, the things that I perpetrate to harm Mittie. What I see now – it’s all so plain, my past errors so apparent to me now. I saw into the glass swarthy; yea, now my eyes are open!

  I want eagerly to go to my Nash, to my son Timmy in the States. I may not. I am to stay here. Nash tells me this is how I am to help those I esteem – the only way to retain what little we own. Yet it is hopeless, my staying there in that remote hamlet where we possess the tiny property. What is the worth? Why is my staying there more important than seeing the ones I esteem: my Nash, my sweet, little, not-yet-eight-no-matter-what-anyone-says Timmy? Mittie sees, right? How I so miss my sweet ones!

  We help one another now, agree? I say I am sorry; Mittie says it is all right. Mittie assents to this, yes? Please say we are mates. Amigas. Say, please, that we are womanpals. I so greatly wish to hear these terms!

  Georgeanne Towgate

  (All letters still here! Yea!)

  Nollopton

  Monty, No no, Nanette 6

  Georgeanne Towgate,

  My mother’s sister – the one thee wants – is gone. She went with her she-heir Tassie to the States. Tassie was in prison. The reason: she sent threats to the High Priests. They arrest her. She is happily no longer there. Alas, neither is the one thee wants.

  This is, permit me to relate, why it was important that she exit thy hamlet so hastily. Not the one thee imagines. There was no ill will.

  I shall sign on this moment as Georgeanne’s ally! See, I am at times lonely too.

  We eat together tonight, yes? Two lonely amigas.

  I am eighteen. Yet my age is not important. Nothing is important next to Enterprise 32. I await thee.

  Ella

  Nollopton

  Toes, Noogie 7

  Tom -

  Here’s the news: there is a new woman on my street. Her name is Georgeanne Towgate. She is lonely, shows great apprehension. I will try to help her. She is not at all similar to my Tom who is strong, wise, pleasing to the eye. Thy gelatin was so tasty. I am happy I met thee.

  Ella

  Nollopton

  Toes, Noopers 7

  Ella,

  No more gelatin nights now. Happy to report Enterprise 32 progress:

  37! That’s right: 37! Hip hip hooray!

  It is all too awesome! Now only 5 to go. I will not sleep tonight. Neither will Mannheim.

  Thy amigomate Tom

  Zelda quickly wove eight nubby flax jumpers.

&nb
sp; ...............................

  NOLLOP HIGH HOLY ORTER

  Tewstay, Nophemger 7

  Greetings, Nollopians:

  This is to inphorm ewe oph Statoot 28-63 past this morning with implorment phrom high elter R. Lyttle. Hensephorth, sitisens may – in graphy only – espress themselphs when warrant, threw yoose oph proxy letters, yet only as hear-twins. Any attempt to employ hear-twin graphemes in orality will warrant the most sepheerest penalties yonter the law.

  Is this what Mr. Nollop woot want? On this, we are not sertin. Howepher, ewe may write to one another in this manner, ontil we rool otherwise.

  Sinserely,

  Hamilton Phergewson

  Nollopton

  Tewstay, Nophemger 7

  Ella,

  Yesters we open this portal to a Mr. M who was employ with the Penta-priests. He was let go – phyrt. Lost his apartment in gophermental homeplex. He has tales to tell, Ella. There are loonies – paranoi’s at the helm! Intoxi-tipsy on raw, intemperate power. 2 oph the 5 seem to worry little what Nollop’s wishes are. So entirely at ease they are with the power Nollop soppositely grant them. 2 others, tho, are the total opposite: monastian hermits – lashing one another with relish-whips when either oph them ephen things apowt a sin-letter.

  It seems that Lyttle alone remains in possession oph his sanity.

  Other news: last night my sister’s man was stanting pheneath the senotaph when a new tile plonge. The tile with the letter X. It hit him right on his het. The priests are there pronto pronto to get the tile. They see my sister’s man lying there, eyes not open. They gather the tile peeses. They stroll away, not ephen looging at him. Totally ignoring ingert man.

 
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