Gazing up at the blue swathed ceiling, while nursing her third glass of punch, Sophia felt the evening's theme should have been 'Drowning'. Either that or 'Cut Price Crepe Paper'.

"Do you know those little bottle tops, the ones with a double hook on them?", Jeff smiled at her winningly, drawing her eyes back down to meet his,"I invented those". Trapped in a corner of her old high school gym, Sophia grinned non-committally.

Feeling out-of-place at her aquatic themed 10 year reunion, reams of blue crêpe paper of every shade imaginable decorating every square inch of the hall, Sophia had tried to stave off her old Chemistry class partner Jeff. He'd latched onto her the moment she stepped self-consciously into the hall.

Eventually, after she'd downed a few glasses of punch, Jeff had started to grow on her like he was a bunion and she was a pair of too tight heels, not much unlike the ones she gingerly stood in.

"They're selling like crazy," Jeff continued excitedly, "Well, I don't sell them exactly, more like I have the patent pending…"

"Sophia!", a loud voice interrupted Jeff's bottle top soliloquy. Across the hall, drawing the eyes of a few of Sophia's other former classmates stood nearby, a slender woman in a glaringly blue dress lightly jogged towards her. "Sophia its me, Jessica!".

"Jessica, how are you?" Sophia greeted her old classmate warmly, a genuine smile stretched across her face, "You look fantastic! Give me a twirl." Jessica laughingly obliged, the swirl of her knee-high dress drifting up scandalously as she spun around, before she spread her arms out to pull Sophia into a tight hug.

"Lets make this a group hug!" Jeff exclaimed , attempting a three-way embrace, before halting at the exaggerated cough Jessica directed at him.

"I don't think so Jeffrey," she eyed him flatly, before letting Sophia go with a sigh and momentary silence, before continuing "So did either of you hear about Mrs Reed?"

"Mrs Reed? Our trigonometry teacher?" Sophia looked side swept by Jessica's non sequitur "I haven't thought about her in years."

Jeff nodded, "She was a nice woman," he began to slowly raise his empty punch glass as he continued commemoratively, "may god rest her soul." Jessica reached out a hand gently halting the rise of his punch glass.

"Don't R. I. P. her yet," Jessica paused for dramatic effect, her eyes glowing with excitement. "Did either of you receive," Jessica's voice dropped an octave as she emphasised each word, "The Letter."

Sophia smiled as she shook her head, rolling her eyes at Jessica's well-known excitement when it came to juicy gossip, "I didn't check my mail this morning."

"Me neither" Jeff agreed, grinning at Sophia when Jessica gasped in mock-shock,"I rarely check my snail mail, I do everything online."

"Well as soon as you both get home, open your mail," Jessica urged, lightly gripping Sophia's forearm, "Mrs Reed has sent letters out to everyone she's ever taught," she cast a theatrically covert eye around the gym as she went on, "she is still alive. She didn't die."

Jessica's voice dropped to an almost comically loud whisper, "Mrs Reed has been locked up in the loony bin this whole time!"


Authors Note : Here is the story prompt that inspired this flash fiction piece, 'Your high school math teacher disappeared when you were sixteen years old, but now you have reason to believe she's not dead. A week ago before your high school reunion, you received a mysterious letter that appears to be in code—much like the puzzles she once gave her students. Now, at the reunion, you discover that several of your classmates have received similar letters. (500 Words).'