Addressed Mail Only

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Entry to Challenge #1 - Postman/Mailman

Submitted: November 06, 2018

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Submitted: November 06, 2018

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Stephen Alson was an unremarkable man.

He was 53 years old, he had loved once but never been loved. His father left home in Stephens twelfth year, all the hair on the crown of his head followed just a few years later. He never drank, but had a glaze over his eyes and redness to his face that even sometimes confused his mother. Upon leaving formal eduction in 1980 he took the trauma that was high school and reverted into himself, joining his uncles carpentry business in early spring. He lasted three years, his thin arms and petite hands proved too weak for manual labour. At the age of 21, and almost now completely internalised, he was passed to the post office by a local job Centre. There Stephen found a calming balance of solitude and fleeting interactions, over the years he learned how use his anonymity to create characters he would play in these ephemeral, doorstep dialogues.

This new skill allowed Stephen a chance at an existence, piecing together moments at the end of each day, he would smile alone, as if he had spent a day with old friends.

In September of 2017 a new tenant moved into the end terrace where Stephen would begin his daily round; mid to late thirties, short black hair and angular bones in her face, she smiled at Stephen as he approached her half open door, held open by boxed up belongings. His years of improv failed him as he basked in her majesty, his voice cracked and his head lowered. "are you the regular postman?" she asked, "oh, yes I am.", "you'll be seeing a lot of me, i work from home a lot, I'm Alice.". The joy in her voice, and bounce in her arms had Stephen awestruck. He fumbled over his introduction and made his way back to the road.

That night Stephen dug out an old self help book he had ordered off a late night infomercial in the late nineties, he read again about a technique to improve confidence, to act as someone you regarded as overtly confident, to play a character other than your own.

Months passed and he plied his new trade, regularly conversing with Alice on her doorstep, sometimes even without post to deliver he would find a reason to knock at her door. She would order vinyl records from the sixties, one day she asked him his favourite song, "oh it was way before your time, Donnie and Joe Emerson had a song called Baby." he proclaimed, "i always imagined dancing with my new bride to that song." a wry smile on his tilted face, a technique he had picked up online.

As summer faded, and Alice's hair began to grow long, she began to notice a change in Stephen, perhaps his comfort had affected his confidence, he would sometimes switch between characters mid sentence, sometimes being very familiar and other times almost stranger like. His characters were becoming transparent, like a blind man describing a sunset, she began to not answer the door most days. Keeping pleasantries bi weekly at best.

The week leading up to Christmas Alice handed Stephen back a vinyl shaped parcel at her door, "Dreamin Wild!!!" Stephen busted out, she had bought him the record he loved so much. She called it a thank you for the service, Stephen took it as his chance to profess his love.

He slept little the night before, going over the lines in his head.

At her doorstep he told her of his love for her, with light snow falling, she reached her arms around his neck and pulled him in close, kissing his cheek on the way in. "Oh I love you too Stephen, come in, work can wait!", almost in a daze he fell forwards into her hallway. They embraced again falling against the kitchen work surface "this is where i will cook for you Stephen, we can drink wine and dance until the moon fades", a flash and he was being pulled to her bedroom, the walls a deep red, they began to make love on the four poster bed in the middle of the room. Several hours passed, a full post-bag at the bottom of the stairs, Stephen pulled himself over Alice as she smiled timidly up at him, "i love you Alice" he said as he rested his head on her heart, it beat like thunder. They fell asleep, the gap in the curtain watched the day wear out once more.

Neither Stephen nor Alice showed in for work the next day, or the next four thereafter. Stephens boss at the sorting office called twice at his house, but he was with his love.

Alice's best friend found the bodies on the sixth day.

Several months later, a barely attended courtroom heard how Stephen Alson had entered through an unlocked door at the back of Alice's house, sometime between 5 and 6am. The skin under her fingernails indicated a short struggle before she was bludgeoned over the head with a hammer Stephen had brought with him. The evidence shows Alice being dragged between each room of the house;raped in three separate rooms, her left forearm snapped probably early on in the attack, her feet bound with cable ties and her mouth taped.

The lead Officer on the case explained his confusion; these kinds of impersonal, frenzied attacks usually last a matter of minutes, Stephens murder of Alice lasted more than twelve hours, he told of a day that was purposeful in its details and almost passionate in its blood lust.

Forensic examinations established her final moments; Stephen had tried to strangle her, but once again his weakness got the better of him, deep bruises around her abdominal where he kneeled into her and cut the sides of her mouth into a smile, drawing the blade down her neck and driving into her heart. He rested his head on the beating wound and drove the blade into his own chest.

There was no funeral for Stephen Alson.

Alice was 32 the day she died.


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