Midnight Postman

It is on these nights that you feel a slight nostalgic chill different from most other normal nights. You had left your window open. The frame worn and rotting and the chipped glass dust-stained and filthy, the wind that whistled through it into the room sung with an odd tune.

Usually you are not interested by the strange change in temperature and allow the sounds to lull you into a waking slumber, a daze brought on by listlessness. But tonight is not a usual night and you wander to the collapsing window.

At first all you can see is an eternity consumed by fog and ashes, but if you trained your eyes beyond the gnarling branches of the dead tree in your yard and stare hard into the faded distance, you begin to make out the emergence of a tiny circle of light.

Barely caging the heightening thrill you feel inside, you tell yourself it was just your imagination even as the spot of hope grows larger and closer, because you could never bear it if it were not real. You have seen it so many times it is a routine you know well, but still you hesitate to express the joy and let the uncertainty slowly seep in.

As if hearing your heartfelt wish, the crumbling, unmoving grandfather clock in the corner of the room chimes. Your excitement almost breaking free of its chains, you count them one by one, wanting to be sure before you let yourself believe.

One…

You see the light approaching.

…Two…three…

Turn your eyes inside the room and watch as changes gradually take over.

…Four…

The overturned chair stands up again as its missing limb reappears.

…Five…

The wilted weeds in the paint-crusted glass come back to life as brilliantly hued flowers.

…Six…seven…

The images in the mirror are no longer clouded.

…Eight…nine…ten…

The moth eaten mattress and quilt are full of stuffing once more.

…Eleven…

The window that was just falling apart has returned to perfect shape.

…Twelve.

A knock sounds from the door and you know; it is real.

You look outside from your place on the second floor and see him standing there outside your home, crisp blue uniform, neat feature cap, letter in one hand, burning oil lamp at his feet, and ample cloth bag filled to the brim.

The knock comes again, but you stay where you are like you always do and merely watch him. Though shadowed by a black sky, the shimmer of the stars and the glow of the moon illuminate his figure and like every other one of his deliveries, he wears a pleasant expression on his face.

He knocks once again with a force no greater and no lesser than before, not even a flicker of irritation present in his actions. He continues to wait with a rare patience for someone to come answer the door, though you know that will not happen no matter how many times he asks, or how long he waits.

Knock.

Your gaze remains on him as he does his job, your own face holding a similar serene expression and a faint smile resting on your lips.

Knock.

Still you remain by the window, unmoving, only observing, and unconsciously counting.

The hollow echoes of his knocks ring through your home seven more times before silence takes over once more. Finally he steps back and lifts the letter he holds in both hands, not quite bending from the waist, seemingly offering it to the wooden door in front of him.

He straightens and puts the letter away, then picks up his lamp and turns around to leave. At your gate he pauses next to the suddenly healthy, strong branches of the thriving tree in your yard and turns around again. Facing your home, he takes a slight bow, and upon correcting himself, smiles and lifts his cap with his right hand in greeting before taking his leave of your soil.

You watch as his uniformed back gets smaller and smiling, silently thank him for his services as he disappears into the darkness of night and everything returns to its broken state.

Thank you, Mister Postman.


A/N: This story is free for interpretation. Hope you enjoyed and feel free to review. Thanks for reading!

-Azrik