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Dear Susan by Justin Zipprich

Having my flash fiction story 'Dear Susan' published in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine was an amazing honor.Read it below.

Short Stories

Writing is a strong passion of mine. Nothing excites me more thinking of a great idea, hashing it out and polishing it up on the back porch in the warm sun. Below are some of my short stories. Click the arrow on the Writings tab to check out some Screenplay snipets and Comedy Sketches I've written.

Foliate Oak

Dear Susan, How are you these days? I imagine that is more of a rhetorical question at this point because I know you would never admit the truth. At least you would never admit it to me. I wouldn’t exactly call us friends since you probably don’t even know that I exist. Despite these facts, I’d like to offer you some sound advice. I know that you are Jeff’s new girlfriend. More importantly, I know that a man like Jeff can have his faults.My writing of the letter is not meant as an intrusion. It’s just that I know how he treats you and I feel obligated to warn you that things will get worse. I am sure you probably feel quite the opposite. You believe that the longer you two are together and the more he grows to love you that suddenly, the hurting will stop.Being the girlfriend, you must have this feeling in your heart that he is the same decent guy that he was in the very beginning. He’s just going through some rough times, he’s stressed from work. These are the only reasons why he feels the need to slap, kick and verbally abuse you night after night. These work stresses are why he shoves you onto the porch, forces you down on your knees and mocks you as you beg him to stop, please stop. It’s not his fault that he gets caught red handed by nosy neighbors who poke their heads out their front doors, drawn by the sheer volume of your screams. Getting caught only gets him angrier. He’ll deal with you more inside, he says, as he pulls you back into the house, a handful of your hair in his clenched fist.I know that you’re not allowed to speak of this violence outside of the house. Besides, if you did, you know that he would kill you. There’s no doubting it, he’s personally promised it many times before.I know that if you ever have a child with him, he will holler at your offspring while they cry their eyes out. He will threaten them: if they ever tell the police about the abuse, they will be taken away from their loving mother. The family will be broken up forever. I know that if you ever attempt to defend any of your lovely children, you will certainly pay the ultimate price: An ugly black eye that you will have to explain to your co-workers the next day. I know that you’re running out of excuses. I also know that since you are the girlfriend, he’ll promise that he loves you more than anyone else. He swears that you have more in common with him than anyone else and he’ll swear that he’s trying to change for the better. Rest assured, the beatings will continue. Don’t ask me how I know, just believe me when I say that I really do share your pain. I wouldn’t dare say any of this to your face. If Jeff ever caught wind of us meeting, I fear that we would see him at his most vile. You know how he hates getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar. I can imagine that you will be shocked at how accurate the details of this letter will be and I certainly don’t mean to scare you. I’m simply trying to help. Unfortunately, I also know how ignorant you can be. When this letter finds itself in the trash, I will be far from surprised. Whatever happens, I know that I tried and that is the best that I can do. Just know that I will always be around, watching from the background. Good luck to you and your new man, you truly deserve each other.Best Wishes,Sarah Wilkson, Jeff’s Wife.

All material on is copyrighted by Justin Zipprich. Not to be used without permission.

The Process by Justin Zipprich

There are a few things you need to know before we start. First, if you’re lucky, yours will be a long and arduous process. Secondly, be warned, in some way, shape or form, your heart will break. The final fact can be devastating or in some cases a relief, you will not make it out alive.Some of you may be in the middle of the process, a few closer to the end. You all know that everyone’s experience in the process will be different. This information is more for the beginners, those who have not yet experienced all that can occur during the course of the process. This will be a basic outline, the hope being that this information will achieve the goal of at least assisting your understanding of the stages that will occur for the remainder of this experiment. Let us begin.At first you will be surrounded by pitch blackness, you may even feel as if you are blind. This constant darkness will last for many months but it will not last forever. Suddenly a blast of light will thrust you into stage one. It is at this stage where you will be introduced to your sponsors. It is typical that these sponsors will be around for most of the duration in your process. They will always be there for any questions or requests you may have. These sponsors will help you through the many years that it will take to learn your basic skills. These simple skills will be extremely useful as you progress through further stages. You’ll find it difficult to walk, eat or even talk. Do not fret, you’ll soon move on to the next level and then the real fun begins.Stage two will be the first phase where you will be able to make your own decisions. These decisions will alter how the rest of your experience in your personal process will be affected. There will be numerous fellow subjects giving you instructions. Most of them will mean well, take heed to their advice, particularly your sponsors. However, in this stage as in all others from here on, there will always be those who are only out to hurt you. You may be too early in the routine to know who to trust, all I can tell you is to use your best judgment. Try your hardest, logically think things out and before you know it, you’ll have moved on to the most influential yet dangerous stages of the process.Time always flies during experiments such as these. You may not have realized that at this point, many years have gone by and yet, the process continues. You will have found somewhat of a niche at this point. There should be people around you that you trust and rely on. It is during these years where you will gain the most knowledge. Hopefully you will have discovered the work that you enjoy, a passion that will sustain you throughout the process. This is also the phase where you will find those people that you will in effect, team up with for the remainder of your time in this place. Whether it is intentional or accidental, there will be fellow subjects in the process who will break your heart, turn your stomach to knots and make your mouth go terribly dry. It will take some trial and error but you will finally find that one true entity, your other half.Years later your companionship will spawn other younger participants. Their primary goal will be to take your place when you move on. They will need your guidance. Be good to them, for they will carry on your name. They will follow your examples and swell you up with pride. You will spend many years in this stage. For some it will be a wonderful experience, for others, a waking nightmare. Some will thank their creator for the experience; others will curse it with every new day. No matter how you feel, it can never delay the final stage. The concluding phase is inevitable and different for every participant of the process. For those fortunate enough to make it past year sixty five of the process, this phase will be both a blessing and a curse. These “golden years” will be a time of relaxation and reflection. It will give you time to enjoy the portions of the process that you were not able to enjoy during the years previous, in which support of your unit was your primary responsibility. In an ironic turn, these years may also remind you of what you experienced during the first stage of the process. As your final years progress you may forget those basic skills that came so easy to you earlier. You may lose portions of your memory and your motor skills may wind down. This may lead to you be in a position of needing constant support. If you keep an optimistic attitude, these final years will be pleasant and satisfying. If you make it to this stage, you should rejoice, for all are not so lucky.It is said that all good things must end and this is also true of the process. For some it will come surprisingly quick, for others it will be drawn out for years. No participant of the process will come out of it alive, in the end all terms expire. There may come a time in the far future of this society where the expiration date will extend much longer, perhaps even indefinitely. For now however, your fate is sealed.It would be a good idea to get your affairs in order so that your passing will be easier for the ones you care for the most. This is not mandatory however. Some of you may be so stunned by the abrupt end of your particular process that these preparations will be impossible.The easiest way to make your expiration easier for those around you is to show respect and love for your fellow participants during the entirety of your time in the process. There are many ways that your process can end. A stray vehicle, a deadly disease, an act of hatred or a never ending sleep are all possible outcomes. However your time ends, understand that while the formal process will be over, there may be a second tier, another plane where your essence will continue.In the end, your experience during the process will depend entirely on you. You have the free will to determine which path you will take and where your journey will lead.You may wonder who the creator of the process is and what motivations this architect may have. The answer to these questions is an issue of constant debate. The answers may even be different from source to source and your belief in any certain originator may not positively determine your final outcome. Remember that the idea of this experiment is to create an environment where various subjects interact with one another to varying results. There is no one solid path. You are in charge of your own fate, rarely will the creator intervene. The creator is simply an onlooker whose true capabilities may only be witnessed if there is a total breakdown of the process.Do not despair. For the amount of people who try to make a mockery of the process, there are volumes more which are generally happy to be part of such an experiment. Do the best with what you have, absorb knowledge and stay close with those you trust and never give up, whatever the odds may be. These are the best tips I can give and I believe in their worth.The situation you’ve been thrown into can be very frightening and overwhelming but the rewards are great and the experience rich in opportunity and adventure. You can learn and become anything that suits you. You can invent and create or destroy and demolish. You can make others laugh or force them to cry. You can ride the process to the end or stop it short.Just remember that this experience is your own, it is meant to be enjoyed and embraced. The process is certainly not perfect, it is simply a blank canvas and only you hold the brush. Best of luck to you in your journey and welcome to the greatest of adventures, the grand process, this process known as life.



I am proud to announce that my essay The Process has been published by Mountain Tales Press. Check it out:v The Process – Whisperings magazine.v Publisher – Mountain Tales Press []v Newsstand ink-print & digital print –

All material on is copyrighted by Justin Zipprich. Not to be used without permission.

All material on is copyrighted by Justin Zipprich. Not to be used without permission.

All material on is copyrighted by Justin Zipprich. Not to be used without permission.

"I had the pleasure of working with Justin on a shopping blog for a former employer. I counted on him to produce a series of themed articles weekly. Justin was personable, reliable and flexible, willing to test different strategies for the company. He proved to be a top contributor and I would definitely work with him again!"- Crystal Murray, former PR Manager of


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