Dearie Dearest

Submitted into Contest #53 in response to: Write a story about another day in a heatwave. ... view prompt

12 comments

Thriller Suspense

Dearie Dearest,

I can't feel you anymore. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad, but the headaches might suggest the latter. I'm getting freaking withdrawals from you. This is worse than when I canceled coffee. Everyone ran for their lives when that happened. Literally. Although, it did help with Disneyland. No lines!

Anyway, you haven't talked to me in a while. Didn't want you to forget me. I’m still here and will be there when you fall.

~Your love

The man frowned at the letter, flipping it over. Nothing. He bit his lip, a hand ruffling his peach fuzz mustache.

He glanced around his apartment. Lost socks scattered in corners, an overflowing trash can, and thin walls that magnified the neighbor’s arguments and nightly clog dancing. Or maybe it was midnight fencing practice with lots of moaning.

Yeah, this letter was not for him.

He snatched the envelope from the kitchen table going through a midlife crisis, scanning the return address. There was a P.O. box and the name Your Love. Shaking his head, he whipped out a pen and paper.

Dear “Your Love,”

I believe you have the wrong address. My last relationship was in preschool. Hope you find the right person!

~Wrong Number

He chuckled, capping the pen. They didn't leave a name so why should he? Shoving the letter into a freshly addressed envelope, he sealed it shut. Fingers dove for a stamp, freezing when they brushed the glossy material. Dang morals, he would have to sacrifice a stamp for this. He huffed and proceeded to peel off a precious square, the movement soul wrenching. This person better be freaking grateful. That was good money.

The chair squealed as rose, marched to the door, and grabbed his black jacket. He yanked it on, rushing to the car. If he hurried, he could drop it off right before they closed. The car zoomed, skidding to a halt before the post office. Sweltering heat stuck him to the seat, forcing him to have to heave. The seat held him captive long enough for full regret from wearing shorts to sink in before finally peeling off to chuck the envelope into the box. There was an entire minute to spare before collection. Score!

He meandered home, locking up before stumbling into the common area for some necessary AC. A mailman was shoving something into the apartment letter slots, fingers shaking.

The man's brows furrowed as he slid next to the poor thing, “We already got mail today.”

The mailman jumped, turning to face him. The deliverer was a kid, small bumps spotting his forehead and chin. “I- I know sir, I just forgot to give someone a letter and it’s my first day doing this on my own and-”

The man smiled, cutting off the ramble, “You're doing great, don’t worry about it.” He turned to leave but paused, “Is it for Henry by chance?”

The kid nearly passed out, “Yes, is that you?”

The man nodded. Suddenly the letter was being torpedoed at his face as the kid dashed away. Henry caught it and sighed. He trudged back up to the apartment, curiosity nibbling his mind. By the time he fumbled inside the envelope was torn wide.

Dearie Dearest,

He groaned. Not again. Why would this person bother with two letters the same day? Well, he was only sending one stamp, so they better be happy. He shrugged off his jacket, placing it next to the door. Fine, he would see what they had to say.

I do have the right address Henry.

He froze. Reread the line. His name was never given in the letter. Wait, this person shouldn't have even received his message yet.

He slid into a chair, forcing himself to read on.

Honestly, I shouldn't have to explain myself since you're the one who always contacts me, but you slid off your black coat right before reading this line. You even plopped in your favorite chair.

Ice slithered into his veins. His hands shook.

Anyways, I kinda miss you. You would call me all the time and now its radio silence. What happened? I used to feel you by my side but now your so distant. Though as you read this, I am starting to sense you again. Thank you.

~Your love

His eyes were small orbs, staring blankly at the words. This had to be a joke. Some sick, messed up joke. He fumbled with the letter as he flipped it. There was a scribble at the top.

This isn't for laughs Henry. I do miss you.

The letter fell from his hands. He curled his arms around himself, vibrating from invisible cold.

This was so wrong. He had no love, no significant other, no children. No one ever missed him.

But someone did.

A familiar banging started inside his head. A sound that hadn’t happened for years. He was taking meds, chugging water, monitoring stress. He was supposed to have grown out of it anyway. The pounding accelerated, something trying to break through a wall. Maybe it wasn't something, but someone.

His heart skipped beats, making his breathing erratic. He crumpled to the floor, curing in a fetal position. No. Not happening. No.

All he saw was blinding white, colors and shapes gone. Feeling vanished. His limbs convulsed, twitching and twisting. He shook on the ground, no control over anything. His head slammed into a table, blood dripping into his hair.

I stood next to him, drinking in the glorious seizure. Blood’s tang flitted up to me. I breathed deeply, savoring every spice he poured out. The poor guy wasn't going to make it to thirty even though his birthday was tomorrow. Pity. Oh, well. He shouldn't have cut me off after teasing for so many years.

I crouched down and tilted my head to the side. I could see why this was his last one, he was taking forever. I smiled. It was rather considerate of him, allowing my final fix to be the longest.

Sweat coated his brow in thick droplets. I lapped up each one. A sharp stab of salt, then the sweet savor of the sea. My lips gave an appreciative smack. He was really laying it all on the table for me today.

I reclined beside him, my thick black cloak cumbersome to lay upon. After several attempts it finally fell flat. I shoved an arm under my head and gazed at him lazily.

The heartbeat faltered and I held my breath. Or would have if I had any. His body violently threw itself, then stopped. Limbs twitched, fingers trembled, but nothing else. I pulled back my hood, a grin on my lips. The tease was finally coming home. I leaned in until a hair's breadth from his mouth.

“You should never play with death if you plan on winning,” I whispered. I licked my lips before planting them on his. The soul jumped from his body, soaring upward. I surveyed it sadly. Another gone, another enemy made.

I traced a finger over his brow, the skin still warm. I would get such a horrible lecture for this, and all I did was postpone his death for three minutes! They were such sticklers. I huffed. The fringe of his eyelashes tickled my fingertip.

It was only a teeny-weeny rule bending.

I just sent him some letters so he wouldn't blame his true murderer. It would break him to realize his killer was a tiny girl. Someone who wanted to see just what would happen if she experimented on her older brother for a few years. Who would ever consider their baby sister to be the one masterminding her brother's seizures? Who would think a sibling who died at the age of six, created something with her own death in mind?

Blaming me was a far greater gift than letting him realize that.

His muscles no longer quivered, the body frozen. I smiled at him. The sucky thing was that no one would care about my letters, rather the trivial fact that I kept him alive for a few extra breaths.

I hadn't expected him to run off and be a good person. He decided to send a response, but as luck would have it he made it back right at nighty night time. Cue a foolish mailman. That bugger messed everything up. He wouldn't leave and right as the lovely seizure was about to start he threw a letter at Henry's wonderful face.

Lets just say the kid would have needed a lot of therapy. It tends to be something people do when they think they murdered someone with a flying envelope.

Souls tugged at me, forcing my gaze away from Henry and all the trouble he got me into. At least I kept my promise to him. My promise to be there when he falls.

An annoyed soul pinched my arm. I growled at it, but stood. The soul was right, I had to go, it was time. Time to be the bad guy. Time to be death.

August 01, 2020 10:27

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12 comments

Monica D
23:42 Dec 03, 2020

I liked the Dark theme of death and like your other story, Weird. I just have a question. Who died? The guy with the Peach Fuzz mustache or the mailman? I just found that part a little hard to follow. my favorite part was Dear “Your Love,” I believe you have the wrong address. My last relationship was in preschool. Hope you find the right person! ~Wrong Number I was glued to the story all the way! good job! The suspense was AMAZING!

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Kathleen Doidge
20:00 Jan 01, 2021

Thank you so much for reading two of my stories! So for who died it was the peach fuzz mustache man (eventually Death calls him Henry). I probably should have explained that better in the story. Again, thank you so much for reading!

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Deborah Angevin
11:33 Aug 17, 2020

I got chill when reading the letter... A wonderfully written piece, Kathleen! P.S: would you mind checking my recent story out, "Grey Clouds"? Thank you :D

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Kathleen Doidge
06:57 Aug 27, 2020

Thank you so much for reading! I checked out your story, it was wonderful!

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This was chillingly awesome! I think it's so cool that you made this a horror story, which happens to be my favorite genre. Amazing job, really enjoyed this one.

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Kathleen Doidge
11:51 Aug 13, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Charles Stucker
05:20 Aug 13, 2020

Meet Joe Black meets Dexter, or something along those lines. I missed a tiny bit of information. What relation does the death figure have to his sister? You mention her death at age six. Other than wondering how she did it, the tale is good horror. Everything is a scene, it has plenty of action, the protagonist has agency (even if his actions fail, he takes them) no narrator, everything works well. I'd say this is Hitchcock quality (The magazine- though possibly a little to macabre for their preferences). Good work.

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Kathleen Doidge
07:27 Aug 13, 2020

Thank you so much! So the death figure wanted to keep Henry from realizing his sister caused the lifetime of seizures. She experimented until his days were numbered, but did this at a young age as she knew there wasn't long 'til death came for her. The death figure didn't want Henry to know his baby sister was the reason for lifelong suffering so created something/someone else he could blame. The figure did this as it's devastating to realize someone you mourned over is your murderer.

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Aditya Pillai
04:34 Aug 11, 2020

Oh. My. God. This was something else. Unique, dark, compelling. I have rarely seen third to first person shifts, but I guess it works here. Very interesting. Nice work, would love to hear your thoughts on my latest!

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Kathleen Doidge
23:39 Aug 11, 2020

Thank you so much! I will make sure to check out your story

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21:34 Aug 01, 2020

Wow. I mean, just...WOW. This was such an interesting and amazing take on the prompt! I loved it! Keep it up, Kathleen! 😄😄👏👏👏 ~A (P. S. Would you mind checking out my story ‘Tales of Walmart’? Thanks!)

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Kathleen Doidge
01:19 Aug 02, 2020

Thank you for reading! I would love to check out your story.

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