The Last Letter
I spent several days of that summer out of city. When I returned home I noticed mail box stuffed with letters to the top. There were about thirty of them. Letters without return address, some heavy and wet to the touch as if they were in the water or, rather, filled with water within.
My name and address were on all envelopes. Strangely enough, they were scrawled across the envelope with red ink for the most part. Letter smelled decaying meat and garbage. Frankly speaking, I didn’t want to take them home, but curiosity turned out to be stronger than disgust. I hurry-scurry managed to take letters into the house and spilled them in a sink in the kitchen to save home from this stench.
I chose from the heap least moist and more or less neat letter and opened it. There were photos – pictures of strangers with punctured eyes, knocked-out teeth, mouths long-drawn in a crazy smile and cut open throats. What I saw made me sick. I didn’t what to think what was in other letters. I feverishly opened letter by letter and little by little I gathered a heap of photos with mutilated people - bodies with cut off limbs, lying on operating tables dissected bodied with taken away organs, hung people with bowelled guts, bleeding… Traces of blood and dirt could be seen on some wet letters.
I caught a sight of dimly familiar person in one picture. And the more letters I opened, the more familiar faces I saw. I had seen some people at work, with some people I had gone to school. I found photos with mutilated bodies of my close friends and family in last letters.
When I kept the last letter I was stricken with sudden understanding, but I had no choice. I opened it and saw… myself. As opposed to the rest of envelopes I was alive in the picture, my eyes were all right, hands and feet were in place. But…
Numbing, I understood that the pic was taken at the threshold of my house – right before I took my accursed mail.
I heard steps behind the back.