Monday, October 15, 2018

#WEPFF Déjà vu at the Mailbox

I went out to get the mail. The day was sunny and mild. I must have been preoccupied with the newly changed leaves, the crispness of the autumn air. The neighbor across the street had put up garish Halloween decorations overnight. Ghosts and tombstones punctuated their once barren yard. My thoughts turned to my disdain for the whole month of October. Pumpkin spice and horror, not my scene.

It wasn’t until my feet hit the broken asphalt of the street that I noticed. The whole corner of the yard had been wiped out. Nothing but a freshly dug track of dirt where there was once a soaring 50-foot pin oak tree, a low stone retaining wall, and the white mailbox post. Everything was gone save the black metal box which sat post-less at the far edge of the dirt.

Instantly panicked, I ran inside and called for my husband.

“Tim,” I yelled. “Come down here and look at this.”

He ran downstairs, spurred on by my anxious tone.

“The mailbox,” I said. “Everything is gone.”

We went to the window together and looked out toward the street. I reached a new level of horror when I saw everything was perfectly normal. The pin oak, the low retaining wall, and the black mailbox perched on its white post. Nothing had been disturbed.

“But it was just...” I sputtered and broke down sobbing. “I’ve lost my mind.”

Tim and I stood in front of the window as he tried to diagnose my mental state. Had I seen anything else that didn’t make sense? Were my thoughts racing? Was I hearing voices? As we talked, a giant bulldozer drove slowly up the street.

I knew what it was going to do, but I made no move to stop it. My mouth couldn’t form the right words and my husband didn’t hear the noise until the splintering crescendo of the crashing tree caught his attention. The heavy machine crashed through the towering pin oak, the low stone wall. The black metal mailbox flew from its white post and landed at the edge of the torn ground. The dozer rumbled away carrying all of the debris.

Tim rushed into the street in sock feet. As he yelled after the dozer, I remembered something. I walked out and pried open the door of the mangled mailbox. I still needed to get the mail.

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This is my first time entering the Write... Edit... Publish flash fiction challenge. As you might gather from my story, I don't enjoy horror or really anything to do with Halloween. My entry is based one of my weirdest dreams. I hope the other entries aren't too scary!

Join the challenge here: