Shredding and organizing paperwork hasn’t left me with much time for posting. Selling my place will be worth it, but I sure wish I could get to the selling part without all this work, and without having to move afterward.
This is an excerpt from a novel I wrote in 2008 and 2009, titled “The Other Side.” If I completely rework the point of the novel, it’s got a great premise.
It’s a day like any other. After finishing my morning exercise routine, I shower, eat breakfast, gather my things together, and prepare to leave for work. As always, it’s a struggle to get out of the apartment without letting Serenity, our kitten, get away. The demonic ball of energy, as I lovingly call her, is frustratingly fast and determined to escape her boring confines. Fortunately, my roommate and I have devised a strategy.
Balancing my belongings in one hand, I grab a plastic toy and throw it across the living room. The second the black bundle of fuzz darts after it, I open the door, slip out, and quickly shut it behind me. Immediately, I turn the key in the lock and congratulate myself on another successful exit. Today will not be a repeat of last week, when I arrived at work an hour and a half late because I spent the better part of my morning trying to locate and capture the runaway.
I’m so pleased with my non-eventful departure that I almost miss the only oddity the morning has offered me so far. In fact, I turn and take several steps before it truly registers. Wait. Is that an envelope? I pause to look. Yes, it is.
Curious, I return to the door.
The envelope is secured to the dark wood by means of a single thumbtack, neatly centered and located about a centimeter from the top of the paper. Its smooth white edges form a stark rectangle below the peephole and above the old-fashioned knocker. My name is written across the middle.
I stare. It is clean and unpretentious, unusual but not so unusual as to justify the flurry of excited nervousness that manifests itself as a twinge in my chest.
It’s just a letter. One of my friends chose an obscure method of communication. That’s all. It’s perfectly harmless. But strange. Very strange. My hand trembles as I pull the thumbtack out, a motion that becomes exceedingly obvious once I hold the paper between my fingers and look at it.
The envelope is fluttering. It’s fluttering and I’m almost not breathing. Why is the paper so cold against my skin? Why am I frightened?
Today it’s going to rain from 2:24pm to 4:44pm.
I blink, bemused. Then I reread, certain I missed something. But no. It’s only a single sentence, penned in loopy, slightly messy handwriting, on an unlined and otherwise unmarked piece of plain white paper.
Barely shaking my head, I turn the note over. There’s nothing on the back.