She couldn’t resist it.
She couldn’t resist its pull, its magnificence. Such royal splendour. It
had been this way for her since childhood.
Five foot two of red cylindrical sexiness it stood, outside of the
village store, shouting out for her attention, unable to caress her from afar.
Anchored to the concrete, she had to put in all the work, but she was happy
when she was near it, even though it would never follow her home.
Monday to Friday at eight forty-five and five fifteen, she’d visit her
unrequited love on her journey to and from work. She took the same route each
day, the long route, just so she could brush past it. Often, she’d linger
a little longer on a
Friday afternoon by joining the queue for the store counter. She’d line up with
Crochet Zone magazine and her packet
of humbugs in one hand, clasping the letter she had scribed to anyone who could
read in the other, and she’d crank her neck and stare.
She’d happily wait, caught up in erotica, until Mr. Haddon the shopkeeper
was free to serve. The longer he took with the customers in front of her, the
longer she spent with her love, so she’d let others queue-barge until she was
the last in line, until Mr. Haddon needed to flip the sign to closed on a busy
evening, until she was asked to leave. Peeking back outside at its erect presence,
at the tall, pillar silhouette popping, throbbing against the light from the low
slung afternoon sun, she longed. She’d pay for her goods and leave slowly, stalling
a little, knocking something from a shelf on her way out, hoping that she’d
timed her visit correctly so she’d get to witness it being unlocked and opened
up and emptied of its contents. This was what she loved to see the most. It
made her wet with glee.
She felt the curvature and swing of its central door call out to her as
the postman turned his key. The throbbing in her chest and elsewhere rose to a
crescendo as she watched him shuffle the envelopes from the depths of the post
box’s guts out and into a hessian bag, and she wished she could sneak in and take
the place of the letters and curl up inside her Love.
Once it had been emptied, if no-one was looking, she’d ditch the
magazine and sweets and leave the counter queue early to drift home—to witness
such a sight was almost too much for one day. On departure, she’d brush her
palms against the ring of bumpy, heavily painted protrusions cresting its neck
just below its slit of an opening before grinding the warmth of her thigh
against its bottom half if no-one from the shop was watching.
The lady was in love with the letterbox. For years, she watched and
touched it, caressed and felt it, filled it with letters to anyone and everyone
and no-one. But alas, she knew it was never to be.
Broken hearted and withering on the vine, eventually she settled for a
man, Bradbury, who adored phone boxes instead. They spent their weekends
cycling around the cityscape, seeing how many pieces of government
infrastructure they each could spot and recorded their finds in a leather-bound
book. For a while, he just about ticked her box.
Several years passed however, and she grew tired of the fakery, the sham
marriage, and all was far from well and a row broke out between the two of them
for not the very first time. This day however, things turned physical, as he
threw a plate at the wall in their home. He hadn’t liked the dinner she had
cooked. Not one bit, at all. So she stormed off into the night, up, and out
without putting on shoes, keen to put distance between them both. She pounded
the streets in her house dress and slippers until all that shone was the moon,
and she found her feet leading her to the corner shop with the post box once
more—her childhood sweetheart—and she felt she’d run far enough.
“You’ll always love me, won’t you?” she whispered as she stroked its
side. Silently, it replied in agreement. Quietly, it purred like a cat on a
lap. Like a ghost, she saw through its inanimate disguise. She wrapped her arms
around it and thrust herself against its cold, painted body, finding herself uninhibited
by the blanket of night. The corner shop was closed and had been for several
hours, there were no people, no Mr. Haddon complaining about her ditching
magazines without paying after she’d read them in the queue. This could only
have meant one thing—it was to be now or never.
She wanted to kiss her lover. She needed more than a kiss. She pressed
her ruby red lips up against its neck and licked it with her tongue. It tasted
of vanilla and spice and everything her husband didn’t. She couldn’t hold back.
Forty-nine years of repression. Forty-nine years of longing and lust. She
slipped her fingers inside its slit and then slowly, entered her whole hand.
Before her rational thoughts could stop her, her entire left arm had slid
inside and down the letterbox’s throat. Ripples of pleasure rose up her body
from her toes to the crown of her head. A swirling, a merry-go-round of passion
spun in her solar plexus. As she tipped her head back and exclaimed joy to the
world, her mouth fell open with ecstasy.
And then the post box closed its own lips—down and hard and tight on her
arm. It ratcheted her in like a ticker-tape timer and seized her hard at the
shoulder. Its rectangular jaw cut and sliced and started to draw her torso
through too. Red blood and paint slid down its wall and also into its core. The
lady let out a piercing scream, with eyes wide and rolling back into her skull,
but her shriek was caught only by the wind of the night as the letter box took in
her legs and her feet. It spat out the slippers which fell to the concrete, and
shortly after, followed her dress. In under a minute the screaming stopped. No-one
came to her rescue.
In its belly, her body and limbs were blended and chopped and mashed and
pressed; her organs were peeled and folded into letters. The postman came at
eight forty-five and scooped out the guts and the lady who loved the letterbox
was delivered all over the world.
Townend has been writing creatively for 23 months—not non-stop, there have been
breaks for food and sleep. SJ won the Secret Attic short story contest (Spring
2020), has had fiction published with Sledgehammer Lit Mag, Hash Journal, Horla
Horror, Ellipsis Zine, and was long listed for the Women on Writing
non-fiction contest in 2020. SJ also has work published with Ghost Orchid
Press. SJ hopes that her stories are emotive and take the reader on a journey
to often a dark place and only sometimes back again.
on Twitter: @SJTownend