Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: MAIL (02/18/16)
TITLE: Life Line
By Rachel Rudd
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A man in a red coat greeter her, "Good morning, are you Margarit Lane?"
She nodded slowly. "Then, the Royal Mail would like to apologize for the delay," he said as he handed over two envelopes. "We have had one of these envelopes in one of our post offices for 60 years. It seems that it was marked undeliverable, but during the recent restoration of the building we have been attempting to clear the office. The other one was posted only two weeks ago."
"Thank you. Do you know who they are from?"
"The return address on both of them is incomplete so I guess you'll have to work that out for yourself. Cheerio."
She stood in the open doorway fingering the envelopes as the man headed back to his vehicle. How could it be possible that a letter could find its way to this house after sixty years?
She studied the envelopes more closely. They could be twins except that time had faded one of them to a tea color. Both were addressed to Magerit Lane and both had stamps from countries she didn't recognize. The one with the faded writing interested her most, but how could it be that she didn't recognize the sender's name on either one of them? For sixty years one had been lost. Sixty years ago she was just a wee thing sitting at her grandmother's knee right in the same living room she was now passing through.
She gingerly settled the letters on the aluminium table in the kitchen. Snippets of stories her grandmother, Magerit's namesake, had told her surfaced as she placed the kettle on the stove for tea. As her grandmother rocked and knitted, she had told stories of family members who traveled to foreign countries to share the Good News, the best news really. Some were stories of dangerous journeys over turbulent waters only to face hostile environments upon arrival. The best ones, though, were the stories of lives and communities being changed by the Eternal. She shook her head. The recollections made her think too much of her son.
She surrendered the emotions that surfaced once again and focused instead on the two letters. As she poured milk into her cup, she decided to open the newer letter first. Inside was one slip of paper with five words that she read out loud, "Time will bring water to a thirsty soul."
She understood the reference right away, but what good news would be coming from a distant country? "If the sender of this note knew the good news why didn't they just tell me?" she speculated. Putting the letter down, she sipped her tea while imprinting those six words into her mind.
The other envelope seemed to be almost brittle in her hands when she picked it up again. Her hands began to shake as if they knew something exciting was about to happen. The paper they extracted had the exact same words as the first note, "Time will bring water to a thirsty soul."
I sent a cryptic message through a friendly prison guard who knew of my coming release. Did you never receive my note? Her grandfather's words to her grandmother resounded in her head.
Her hands flew to her mouth and she gasped. How could she have forgotten?
One day, when she was just a bit past her sixth birthday, there was a light tap on the garden door. The stranger that greeted her smiled in a oddly familiar grin. Her grandmother had come into the room and her cane bounced to the floor as stared dumbfounded at the tall gray-haired man walking towards her.
For the second time that day, a knock on the door startled her out of her wandering thoughts. As Magerit opened the door, she was forced to grab the door frame with shaking hands. Time stood still for one moment with the words the man at the doorstep uttered, "Mum, It's so good to see you."
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