Saturday, November 17, 2007


It was now Thursday of the same week. John hadn’t talked to Bill since his foiled suicide attempt on Tuesday, and he was looking forward to seeing his new friend again, kind of.

John drove his mail truck toward the final house on his route, just as he’d done the previous Tuesday and just as he’d done on hundreds of days before. But this time, something was amiss.

“Something is amiss,” said John, bringing the truck to a premature stop.

He looked out his left window and saw Bill happily pushing his wheelbarrow toward some destination unfathomable to all rational human beings. Bill, noticing John, turned to his friend and started waving, dropping his wheelbarrow and spilling garbage everywhere; but John – as he had been wont to do in the past – ignored him.

“Something is definitely amiss,” John repeated, now looking down at the letter he was about to deliver.

It was unsealed, much as the last one had been. John, however, made no move to read it. Something held him back; there was something unsettling about that letter. Instead, John turned it over, looking at the return address with great interest.

“Mischa Petrovitch, Department of Evil,” read John aloud. “And it’s addressed to Newsweek. The man in that house is the editor of Newsweek? That’s odd. I should’ve known something like that; I’m supposed to know everything!”

John, caught up in his conceited contumely, grew steadily more determined; he resolved to read this letter, come hell or high water. Or Bill.

Bill came.

“Hey John! Didn’t you see me waving? What’s up? What are you doing? Delivering mail? I wish I could deliver mail, but I’m just a garbage man. I took the mailman test once, but I failed. My mom –”

“ – Took away your X-Box, I know. Not today, Bill. I’m about to transgress the boundaries that separate postman from postbeast. I’m about to read this letter!” said John.

Bill gasped, horrified. In reality, he had no qualms at all with what John was about to do, but he figured John would appreciate a powerful reaction.

John took the letter out of its envelope and began reading aloud: “Dear Editor, I am writing this to express my sincere displeasure with…GOOD GOD!”

“What is it, John?” asked Bill.

“It’s – I – I can’t say! It’s unspeakably evil!” said John, his expression slowly changing from horrified revulsion to steadfast resolve. “I know what I have to do. I can’t allow this letter to reach its destination. I must destroy it.”

“Cool! It’s just like Lord of the Rings! Are we going on a quest to a volcano? I’ll bring ice cubes so it doesn’t get too hot!” said Bill.

John quickly tore up the letter, then looked over at Bill and said, “I’m sorry, what? I was ripping up this letter; I couldn’t hear you.”

“Never mind,” replied Bill, clearly disappointed.

He cheered up instantly, however, as a passing butterfly caught his attention. Immediately he took off, in hot pursuit of the elusive insect.

“Well, that’s the end of that,” said John.

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