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It’s the letter I’m waiting for all right. The three letters N.H.S kind of give the game away and I slide a malignant nail across the top…”

 

by gary hewitt

 

I can’t look. Maybe I’ll just make another cup of tea, it can’t do me anymore harm can it?

C’mon, stop being a bloody wimp. You never know it might be good news, maybe everything’s fine.

Got to admire their punctuality though. They said a week and there it sits on my doormat.

One manila envelope telling me all about the future. Half of me wants to wait until Stevie comes home and ask him to open it for me.

Damn, I wish I’d told him about all this.

It’s in my hand now and I can’t stop a terminal tear tucking itself away on the crest of my lip. Be brave Cheryl.

It’s the letter I’m waiting for all right. The three letters N.H.S kind of give the game away and I slide a malignant nail across the top.

Dear Mrs Delaney.

Oh crap, I can’t read this. Let me make a cuppa first, it can wait. Milk, two sugars, oh hell, live dangerous girl and have three. Stop bloody crying will you.

I flip the letter open again and read it and don’t weep. At least I know now, at least I can get busy, get organized ’cause Stevie, God bless him, is fucking hopeless.

I slam open the Yellow Pages and look for U. I find Upholstery and track back and ah yeah, here we go. Shit, the ink’s smudged but not to worry. At least I’ll get Stevie to wear a black tie for once.

Originally published:
Issue Forty-Nine
August 2007

 

(illustrations: dee sunshine)


A fitting word to describe Gary Hewitt’s imagination would be “febrile.” Writing started off as fun but he has managed to complete a first draft of his novel as well as churning out a fair few short stories. He has participated in Slingink’s Eurofiction, The Whittaker Prize and also in the Grail’s annual Writeathon. His ultimate ambition is to be a full time writer whilst still enjoying his work.  More from Gary Hewitt can be found in the Vault of Smoke.

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