Postcard – Flash Fiction

A new Heartlands category–Fiction–begins today with this flash fiction. 

jametlene-reskp-642975-unsplash
Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Elaine almost missed the slim card beneath the stack of bills in the post office box.  The box was always stuffed after she’d been away a few days.  She might have missed the postcard altogether had it not slid out onto the tiled floor.

She picked it up and carried it with the other mail to a tall sorting table.  In the orange light of the fluorescent bulbs overhead, the picture on the front looked grey, though she could tell there were vibrant colors.  Some Amazonian scene with a large river cruise boat.  A brightly-colored bird on a tree branch in the foreground.  A wide expanse of water.  The stack of the steamer harkening back to earlier days.

She flipped the card to read the note:

Elaine,

Seems too cliche to say ‘Wish you were here.’  You’d hate it anyway.  I think mosquitoes nearly drained me of blood last night.  But it is a wild place and something about the howls of the jungle made me want you here.  Not for comfort, but for adventure and companionship.  If you ever want to wander with me, I’d be your willing sidekick.

Max

Max.  The name meant nothing to her.  Who would have sent her such an invitation?  And how could she say ‘yes’ in return?

She slipped the card in the back pocket of her jeans and bundled up again to head out into the blowing dark and cold. 

Someone wanted her to go with him.  And she hated sidekicks.  And mosquitoes.  But the wind and the river howled her name: Elaine.

–Alex Joyner

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