Vial with a conspiratorial sound. Included herein.

June 25th, 2010 § 0 comments

READ IT IN GREEK

Humbly, for the Kaliva literary week
June 25, 2010

It arrived one Saturday morning in the post. Without a return address. A package wrapped in brown paper and string.

The detail seemed important.

With string.

The box inside was wooden, maybe a little crude and old-fashioned, however, well made. And inside the box, a bottle filled with red liquid, embraced in velvet. He opened the bottle carefully, fine silver cap which opened and closed with a small conspiratorial sound. He sniffed the liquid tentatively and it reminded him of maybe strawberries. The second time he thought it was lilies but the third time he once again changed his mind. Cinnamon? Oranges?

At first he took it as a joke. He expected some jolly friend to approach him and confess to sending it. He began to tell the story of the little bottle and the package without sender but no one showed the slightest inclination to admit that he had sent it. On the contrary, some even advised him to get rid of it, you never know, maybe an insane killer who randomly sends poison.

When Internet searches did not reveal anything he went by the biggest libraries of the city. He asked old professors and took a sample of the red liquid to a friend who worked in a laboratory. Nobody could tell him for sure what was in the bottle or even what could be in the bottle.

He thought that he could try it. Once or twice he managed to bring it to his lips but his hand trembled and he was forced to admit that he did not have the guts. He caught himself in the mirror, the bottle still in his trembling hand, his face looked bereft of colour. He closed the box carefully.

***

It arrived one Wednesday morning in the post. He was at work. Without a return address. A white envelope and his address written in red ink.

The detail seemed important.

With red ink.

He did not think that there could be a connection with that other item, received so many years ago, with the little package wrapped in brown paper, because he had strived too hard to forget. At first he had left the box on the coffee table but the memory of this failure and his sweaty face disappointed him every day. He then put the box on the bookcase and pretended that he forgot about it, though he felt uncomfortable sometimes when he had his back turned to watch TV.

The envelope had a card inside, off white paper and a gold embossed edging. With red ink in the middle, with two words, written in rather cursive letters.

“Too late”

He stood in the hall looking at the card for a while.

Until his body exploded towards in the living room – almost of its own accord – to confront the gap between the two books.

***

There is no more to this story. What ending? You haven’t been taught well, my stories have no ending. They are just that, stories. If you want and ending then you should have asked me to tell you a fairy tale.

Of course I do not tell fairy tales.

I am only a writer, here see, my hands have stains.

From red ink.

It is probably ink

Come a little closer to see it for yourself.

 

Published in Greek in the blog Η Καλύβα Ψηλά στο βουνό
June 25, 2010

READ IT IN GREEK

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