OLWG · writing

OLWG# 205- Cutthroat Razor

Written for OLWG# 205



At the post office that morning, Melinda pulled a notice out of her box advising that there was a package for her. A package too large to fit into her box, so she should come to the desk and claim it. The notice was scribbled on an envelope sized green card and did not indicate who the sender was. She looked at the length of the line and then at her watch before determining that she would be late for work if she waited in that queue. Maybe she could come back, spend her lunch break at the post office. She took the green card, locked her box and hurried out to her car. 

The morning was uneventful. Mel tried to check email but was able to read only a couple before the 9:15 ‘all-hands, stand-up meeting’ at the circulation desk, where everyone got reminded of Children’s Storytime at 10:30, book club at 2:00, and the writers’ group coming in at 5 pm.” Melinda saw her schedule to work the adult reference desk from 10:00 till noon. After that, she went back to her cubicle to answer email, coordinate with volunteers and get a few other small things done. When 1:00 arrived (lunchtime), she grabbed her keys and handbag, logged off her computer, and made her way to the lot behind the library, where she found a large splatter of bird crap strategically positioned to block her view out the windscreen.

She pulled a handful of tissues from the box that always slid back and forth across her backseat. The box had a pastel green hand-crocheted cover that her mom had made a few years back. She spat on the tissues and tried to clean the window but only managed to smear the bird shit around. “Damn, now what am I going to do?” She wondered, then she remembered her unfinished cup of coffee languishing in the front seat cup holder. That worked well enough to get her out of the immediate jam. She could stop at the Shell station on Palisades and wash the windscreen. She got in the driver’s seat and fastened her seat belt, started the car, tuned to Texas Radio FM, broadcasting from somewhere deep in the Virginia Swamp, and pulled out onto 17th Street moving in the direction of the Post Office by way of the Shell station.

At the Post Office, Melinda presented the green card to Donna at the service desk. She waits. The package that comes out is about twelve inches square by maybe six inches deep. It’s bound by packing tape. Melinda recognizes her mother’s handwriting on the outside. That answers the first question. The second question is what, on earth, has her mother sent her this time. The last thing her mother had sent was a photo of her neighbour’s son. Mrs Carmichael lives next door, and her son is named David Carmichael. He goes to Med school somewhere in New England.

Reaching into her purse, Melinda takes out her razor with the tortoiseshell handle and slits open the packing tape. Inside, neatly folded, was a white gown. It was hand-beaded and embroidered with a white on white floral design. Melinda recognized her mother’s wedding dress.

“Oh, for fucks sake,” she said out loud and tossed the box, dress and all, into the back seat. 

She didn’t even have time to grab a sandwich before she had to be back at the library.



This week’s prompts were:

  1. a white gown
  2. it’s “coo-pon”
  3. are my seams straight?