A Tomorrow Letter

Submitted into Contest #212 in response to: Set your story in a post office.... view prompt

5 comments

Drama Fiction

John Mayors fumbled with a book about dolphins and their relationships, a chocolate muffin from yesterday and a giant spiders nest of keys in the other hand as he arrived at his destination. A charming green post office door that had been painted a vast number of times throughout the years since its inception more than a hundred years ago, which had created a moon-like surface if one looked closely. Postman Mayors rarely looked closely. As for anyone, looking at the moon up close for the first time is a mind boggling experience, for the secret inhabitants of the moon it was just another tuesday.

The post office was not straight. Located in a small village in the scottish highlands, a village that never really seemed to wake up but always exist in the twilight zone of a grumpy morning and after the second coffee. The building leaned in all the various directions that the good lord had graced reality.

”Mornin’ to ya, waiting for a letter?” Postman Mayors said, cheerful about this tuesday. There was nothing special about this tuesday morning per se, it was as any other tuesday morning. But that was exactly the types of tuesday mornings that Mr. Mayors liked. What else could man ask from God than predictability. Change, ah, what would that be good for?

”Morning John. Yes yes, do you have a letter for me?” Mary replied. Leaning on her crutch. It was a family heirloom that crutch, passed on for generations. ”No sorry Mary, no mail for you from yesterday, maybe it’ll come today.” Mary did not respond, but tilted her head upwards, pointing her thick demanding nose up at the sky whilst peering out from under a flowery hat. ”No rain today”. 

Postman Mayors followed the direction of her nose. ”No that you be right about Mary, no rain today it seems.” He took a bite from his chocolate muffin and began to ponder about the shape of clouds. 

”You’ll be even fatter from that one”. Mary pointed with her crutch at the muffin.

”Huh?” Mayors looked down at the muffin. He smiled. ”What you know now Mary, better fat and happy than fit and staring down the cliffs of dover”

He began to unlock the door. One had to insert the key from a certain down-right-slightly-up-angle, pull the door towards you, push the handle half way, twist the key as if you almost wanted to snap it and. pull the door up slightly with the handle, whilst still pulling mind you, and then rotate the key the rest of the way. And then push the door open.

”I’ll be sitting here outside.” Mary said. ”I’ll be coming out with the coffee soon.” Postman Mayors went inside, put his items on a counter and ventured into the back office and put some coffee. 

”I’m old, I cant be standing here all day” he heard in the background. ”Be right out!” he yelled back. He took a woodden chair and carried it out and sat it down on the sidewalk. Mary gave him a stern look and sat down. ”Will young mr. Allane be joining you today?” she asked.

”Ah yes Mary, that he will be, all the way until school starts again.”

”Good, that boy needs some direction in life. I seen it before you know, young man like him, about to come of age with no sense, life of trouble in the end.” 

”Ah don’t you worry, he’s a good lad. But what you say Mary, how about a cup of joy?”

”Yes, why not John, that would be nice.”

Postman Mayors brought out both two cups of coffee, a small table and a bundle of unsorted envelopes that the village had put in the post office mailbox. He sat down, smiled at Mary and they both raised their cups in a small cheer. He began to gently sort the letters.

”When’s the post coming today?” she asked.

”In the afternoon Mary, as always.” 

”Today i’m waiting for a special letter you know.”

”A special letter you say?”

”Yes yes, very special.” 

In the distance they could hear a sharp high pitched sound from a small motor trying its best to carry the load from its passenger along the road. 

”That be the young Allane I bet” Mayors said and sipped from his coffe and looked at his watch. ”early”.

His prediction was right. Allan Allane shot through the narrow roads through the village cutting the corners in perfect angles at a life threatening speed of 21 miles per hour on an old red painted Honda C90 moped. He breaked hard when he arrived to the elderly couple enjoying the morning. He unbuckled his helmet and hung it on the steer.

”Morning!” 

”Quite the racing driver you” Mayors said.

”a menance!” Mary held her hand over her heart. ”driving like that, you could be gone one day!” she gasped.

Allan Allane, brushed through his curly brown hair with his hand, got off the moped, lifted it up on the sidewalk and leaned it against the post office wall.

”Me? I’ll be racing realy motorcycles soon, then i’ll show you menance!” he laughed and gave Mary a light kiss on her chin. She looked at him in horror.

”No you wont, i’ll be having a chat with your pa long before you get to sit on any motorcycle you”. She fended him off with her crutch.

”You’re here early” Mayors cut in.

Allan Allane sighed dramaticly. The type of sigh only a teenager whom wanted all the sympathy for his or her very, and most certainly uniquily, detrimental situation, could perform. ”Pa rushed me out of me bed! No reason, just ”out! out! Work like a grown up!””. He mimiced his father. Allan Allane put on a somber face.”Mary, my babe, special letter coming today?”

She frowned. ”Mannors mr. Allane, one does not go around calling old ladies babe.” she raised her commanding nose into the air again. 

”Ah Mary, forgive me darling” he smiled. She did not budge. Mayors chuckled. ”There’s fresh coffee if you want” he motioned towards the inside, ”and the mail from yesterday is sorted so you can deliver it here in town now and then we have time to do the rest of the folks after a nice long lunch.”

Allan Allane engulfed the remaining coffee, reviewed the sorted mail from yesterday and the delivery list Postman Mayors had done to identify the optimal route. He put the mail in a backpack, put on his helmet and was on his way. Waving off the man and the woman, still pondering about life, one with a half empty cup and the other with a half full.

Eventually Mr. Mayors had to go inside and work as the owner of the Rose Garden Shop, Fiona, arrived with a rather large and heavy package she wanted to send away. ”Dirty, the prime dirt for roses you see” she commented when Postman Mayors asked. 

”You waiting for a letter?” Fiona asked Mary as she exited the post office.

”Oh yes, a very special letter” Mary replied. She had finished her coffee by now and was writing down thoughts and observations in a small notebook about people she saw.

”Ah ye from whom?” 

”My son, he’s been away you know, so he’s sent me a letter.”

”That’s wonderful” Fiona looked down at the scribbles in the notebook. ”You don’t let anyone get away with anything do you?”

Mary looked up at her. ”the Allane boy came rushing down with his moped like mad this morning I tell you! You never know with people you know, so when something has happened it’s all here” she patted her notebook. ”you’ll be happy the day something happens to you and coming to ask me”. Mary snapped, waving her crutch around.

“Calm your nerves Mary, only making conversation.” Fiona replied and frowned.

“After I get my letter, i’ll just stay at home and do nothing so you wont be bothered by old ladies like myself.”. Mary turned her head away from Fiona and ignored her until she left.

Allan Allane returned three hours later striking Marys nerves like a wild guitarist on his last solo. “Mister Allane!” she protested and got up from her seat. She wildly poked Allan Allane with her crutch. “Hey hey there” Postman Mayors rushed outside and took Mary in his arms and pulled her away from Allan Allane. “No need to become violent Mary, it’s just a moped.” he glared at Allan Allane. “And you, you know she’s old. Just because you can don’t mean you should do Allan.”

“He.. he! That boy!” Mary spat and yelled. Tried to break free from Mr. Mayors arms but to no avail.

“Calm calm, he didn’t mean no harm did you Allan?”

Allan Allane shook his head and raised his hands defensively. “No no, sorry Mary, no harm. I just got caught away”. A lie. But one that he could live with and Mary, to her credit, accepted.

“Allan, get us some lunch”. Mayors gave Allan Allane some money. The young boy walked accross the street to the local pub, The Wild Goose and Boar. Neither animal had been sighted in the area for years. The place should change is names Allan Allane thought. He brought back three plates with mashed potatoes, gravy and fried pork. Mr. Mayors had brought out another chair and they huddled up around the small table. 

“You‘ll kill yourself one day” Mary said. “or me! or someone else! I’ve seen it before you know, young men like yourself, carried away, no responsibility, just gone one day.” 

Allan Allane sighed as only teenagers who get told how to live their lives from an adult can do. What was the harm of driving around full speed on his moped? It was the slowest vehicle in the village. Even the tractors went faster.

“Now now Mary, he’s just a young lad, he needs to live a bit”

Mary made displeased grumpy old-lady sounds. “As soon as I get my letter i will be going home from this death trap”.

They ate. Postman Mayors and Allan Allane chatted about Allan Allanes plans for the future, his friends, how difficult his father was with all the demands about homework and not being out too late on weekends. Mr. Mayors brought back the plats to the Wild Goose and Boar and surprised the old lady and youngling with apple pie for dessert. Time passed. A few customers came and went.

Eventually a truck arrived and gently parked outside the post office. “See, that is how you park” Mary said. Allan Allane smiled and said nothing. Truckman Greggg with three G’s, because his father was drunk at the time of naming and no one thought of protesting, exited the vehicle and greeted them.

“Not a lot of mail today John” he said, opened the back of his truck and produced a beige bag that seemed to hardly have any content at all, and handed it over to Postman Mayors. 

“Let’s see if you have your special letter today” Mayors said and took it inside. He poured the contents of the counter, a handful of letters. Allan Allane followed him inside. They went through the letters and sorted them.

Allan Allane fiddled with a pen. “I still don’t understand how she can’t know that your brother drowned in the lake. I haven’t even been alive as long as he’s been dead” 

Postman Mayors put down the letters. “Sometimes thats how the mind works, to protect itself. She wasn’t always like this, but old age can change people.” 

“Isn’t it hard for you?” 

Mayors did not speak. He took a deep breath and made a long exhale. His shoulders sank and he leaned over the counter with a weak posture. He sighed again. “C’mon, let’s close for today. We can deliver the rest of the mail tomorrow”. 

Postman Mayors went outside. “Sorry Mary, no letter today. Maybe it’ll come tomorrow.”

Mary nodded silently. “Maybe tomorrow, yes, i’m sure of it.” Mr. Mayors and Allan Allane carried the chairs and small table inside and Mayors locked the door in a similar manouver as unlocking it. He waved off Allan who gently drove away.

He turned to Mary and smiled.

“C’mon ma, time to go home”

Mary looked to her left and right, leaned on her crutch and gave her son a short nod.

“Tomorrow John, tomorrow we’ll get a letter.”

“Yes Ma’, tomorrow” he put his arm over her shoulders and they slowly walked away from the post office.

August 25, 2023 09:19

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5 comments

Helen Sanders
06:08 Aug 31, 2023

Okay Daniel, my spin on your story writing: You write dialog well. Definitely brings characters to life. Do work on editing. Reader should not have to edit too. And for me, the intrigue in your story began with this dialog:”You waiting for a letter?” Fiona asked Mary as she exited the post office. ”Oh yes, a very special letter” Mary replied.” So as writers we speak too, 'cause...What does this statement really say about the Author: “Mary made displeased grumpy old-lady sounds.” Thank you for being a Writer who submits.

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Daniel Brandt
07:09 Aug 31, 2023

Thanks for the feedback, I fully agree with the editing. It was a last-minute submission written on a bus so I fell on my sword for not writing it earlier :) Thanks again. I am happy you liked it.

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Mary Bendickson
21:06 Aug 26, 2023

This really is a quaint charming account of a son watching over his aging, forgetful mum. There are many punctuation and spelling mistakes. I am not sure if you were in a hurry or it was intentional to add colloquialism?

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Daniel Brandt
17:46 Aug 28, 2023

Thx, it was 1h before deadline and I was on a bus 🤪

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Mary Bendickson
18:42 Aug 28, 2023

Okay, the enough to correct.

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