When the online publication Wigleaf accepts your story for publication (see “Artichoke” link at right for mine), they offer you the opportunity to send a postcard to go along with it. After my story was accepted, I was working on one but for whatever reason I never got around to sending it in before publication. Here is what would’ve been my postcard:
I’m writing from my kitchen, drinking water, a silent radio before me. There’s a stranger who arrived here not long ago. He’s sitting across from me at the table, watching my every move. He’s wearing a sharp black suit and crisp shiny shoes. Before he arrived, I was drinking beer and listening to hard rock, my usual day off routine. But he came in and poured the beer down the sink and replaced it with bottled water, turned the music off and insisted we talk. He told me that it’s clean living from here on out, that he was here to enforce it. I said nothing in response, so I decided to write you. In a little while, he said, we’ll go over your shortcomings—jobs, charity, relationships. It sounds like rousing times ahead!
You might ask, why not just bounce him out, call the police? Well, not so simple. It’s like he’s cast some sort of spell. I couldn’t resist letting him in, and now I sit here and am physically unable to force him out, lift the phone. He’s staring at me as I write, which doesn’t help the process, and I fear he’s cooking up something to stop this as well.
I dislike writing you with pleas, but I ask that you help me. I live at XXXXXX and my phone number is XXXXXXX.
Under better circumstances, perhaps I’ll write to discuss food recipes and Hitchcock.