Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: MAIL (02/18/16)
- TITLE: Dead Letter File
By Vince Martella
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“I know what you did, and you’re going to pay.”
No signatures, no envelope. One sentence on an otherwise blank page.
Fear struck him as he contemplated the implications. What does he know? And who is he?”
It didn’t take Scott long to come up with a short list of possibilities.
Stepping into the foyer, he folded up the note and slipped it into his pocket.
“Is everything alright, dear?”
“Yeah, baby, everything is just fine,” he lied.
Trisha. Everything had changed when he met her. The thought of losing her to a long buried mistake almost made him sick.
“Come here and give me a hug,” he said. He closed his eyes and gave her a tight squeeze.
Sleep was fleeting that night as his mind raced over his past.
“I know what you did…”
He remembered the night he and some friends were returning from a night of drinking. Just a few blocks from home, he ran a stop sign and sideswiped another vehicle. He didn’t stop; he couldn’t risk it. He hit the gas and drove until he was sure no one was following them. He never found out what became of the other car’s passengers. “Was someone hurt? Killed?”
The possibility of being hauled away in handcuffs in front of his wife and children chilled him to the core.
He thought, also, about the atrocities he committed as a soldier. “Well, at least these were government sanctioned,” he thought.
“…and you’re going to pay.”
Pay…During his drug years, he had ripped off quite a few people. “Has one of them caught up with me, looking for revenge?”
He remembered a spate of one night stands. “Could it be a scorned lover?”
Scott tossed and turned all night, his mind working overtime. At 2 a.m. he bolted upright in bed.
“What was that?” he panicked, straining his ears. He was relieved to find his wife asleep.
Suddenly, he feared for his son Benjamin. What if this psycho’s intention was to make him pay by harming his child?
He slipped out of bed quickly, but quietly, so as not to wake Trisha. He grabbed the .45 Glock out of his dresser drawer , and headed out into the hall. He stopped at Benjie’s door, peered in, and continued down the hall.
Determination overcame fear as he headed down the stairs; if his assailant was going to punch his ticket tonight, he was going down shooting. Gun outstretched, Scott swept the room, finger on the trigger. Not until he had checked out the entire house, and tried every door, was he convinced they were safe and alone. He quietly made his way back upstairs, hid his gun again, and crawled back in bed.
Scott greeted the morning sunlight with squinting eyes and nerves on edge. He made his way downstairs, drawn to the aroma of fresh brewed coffee.
“Morning, sleepyhead,” Trisha purred. “Coffee?”
Scott grunted. She pushed a steaming cup his way.
“Thanks,” he grumbled.
“What’s up with you?” she asked.
He raised his head slowly. “Honey…do you love me?”
She looked quizzically at him.
“I haven’t always been the man I am today, Trish. There was a time I …”
His voice trailed off.
“Listen Scott, I don’t care about your past, and neither does Jesus. You made a commitment to Him, and that has made all the difference. He accepted you and He loves you". She grabbed his hands and looked deeply into his eyes. “How could I do any less?”
“But my past…”
A knock at the door cut him off. Somewhat grateful for the interruption, he opened the door.
“Good morning, Mr. Freeman.” Benji’s best friend, Jimmy, stood nervously on the porch.
“Is Benji home?”
“It’s a little early Jimmy,” said Scott. “He’s still asleep.”
“Oh…” said Jimmy. “I was just wondering if he got my note.”
“What note?” asked Scott.
“In the mailbox. At last weeks' yard sale I saw Benji sell my Matchbox cars and pocket the dollar. I just wanted him to know I want that dollar back.”
Scott smiled and tousled Jimmy’s hair. “I’ll send him over when he wakes up.”
Scott strolled back to his cup of coffee.
Looking up with compassion, Trisha asked, “Are you still worried about your past?"
Scott shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “What past? If Jesus doesn’t remember my sins, then I guess I don’t remember them either!”
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