postage paid, business reply mail

Mary Ann stole a look at the clock. She rose, rinsed her hands, and walked to the mail slot. Nothing.

For five weeks, on each Wednesday Mary Ann had received a small card. The first was a surprise. It simply had the letter “B” on one side and her address on the other. She wondered what “B” meant, turned it this way and that, and rested it on top of the mail.

When the second card arrived, a letter “E”, Mary Ann scrambled to find the first one. She found it under a Penny Saver.


This could mean something, she thought. For the first time in her life, there were cards. No matter what happened, if she could find a link, she could say, “it was in the cards.” And what couldn’t be tied back to being?

The next three weeks had brought the avalanche of “M”,”I”,”N”. This introduced complications. She told Sally about it, who simply said, “You’ve got an admirer silly! I’d make a nice fan out of them. That’ll probably be the most useful thing who-ever-he-is gives you.”

Mary Ann wasn’t sure. What if there was a “D” coming? “BE MIND”, could lead to “BE MINDFUL”, and that always means trouble. On the other hand, a valentine would be a welcome change.

She was mulling this over coffee when she heard the mail. She ruffled through a few ads, an odd novel called “La Disparition” with postage attached, but no card.